Moth Arg Nats 2017: Day 1 by Capizzano: …
Full Article: Catamaran Racing, News & Design – Moth Arg Nats 2017: Day 1 by Capizzano,
There was a time when General Motors had to face up with falling sales, job cuts and the threat of bankruptcy. When General Motors effectively killed a goose that had the potential to lay golden eggs, it was thought that GM can be traced back to the final days of the EV1. By 2003 GM had recalled and crushed all but a few EV1’s, those that weren’t were placed in museums. If this act of recklessness had never happened General Motors could now be a world leader in clean vehicle technology. Instead, they find themselves way behind their competitors, trying to catch up with Toyota and Honda in the production of hybrid vehicles, most notably with the Chevy Volt.
Rick Wagoner has gone on record as saying his biggest regret was “axing the EV1 electric-car program and not putting the right resources into hybrids. It didn’t affect profitability, but it did affect image.” An image that with hindsight has been irrevocably tarnished and as a result Wagoner paid the price with his job. Had GM continued to develop the EV1, the Chevy Volt or possibly an even better design would have been on our roads for years now and the one time world leader of the car market may have found itself in a much better situation to deal with the present downturn.
General Motors made a huge mistake in crushing the EV1’s, but were they solely to blame for the demise of this burgeoning technology? Many feel that General Motors intentionally sabotaged the prospects of the EV1, aided and abetted by state legislators, oil companies and even the government, but surely they found themselves in an invidious position. If the EV1 was as good as has been claimed, it could easily have been disastrous for General Motors. In designing and building a clean electric car, they were in effect showcasing just how unclean and polluting the rest of the cars they produced were. If this was the situation then GM would have found itself with just one product. But it was a product that was leading the world. Leading in a direction that may have helped to reduce our dependence on oil, a dependence that has caused conflicts worldwide.
For whatever reason General Motors chose to kill off the EV1, they now find themselves in a dire situation, they designed and built an electric car, a car that appealed to a market, a car that worked. When the Chevy Volt is launched, if it ever is, GM will have to win these people over again. The same people who had their hopes crushed when GM crushed all those EV1’s.
So today GM finds itself looking backwards, backwards to electricity and clean technology, looking backwards to the good old days, good old days when they led, not followed. If only they’d had hindsight, or even more importantly, courage, things may have turned out very different. Their image would have been a lot healthier and their profits… well they certainly couldn’t be any worse than they are today.
Dave Foord is the content writer for a number of websites. If you are in the market for a cheap new car take a look at the new Honda Insight or the new Toyota Prius.