last edited 2009/03/30 11:00 (*
As it has been noted by most informed individuals, the big three US car manufacturer General Motors, Ford and Chrysler are in crisis, and its tied in brands like Opel in Germany are alike threatened.
If in a crisis we get rid off what we don't need urgently, and the first item is the car - good so - but it's not that simple I'm afraid. I remember an US senator just 3-4 years ago mocking about "the tiny european cars" being too small and rediculed their usage also for US citizens; as if Freud is still happy in his grave to see male penis measurement and comparison deeply embedded in the western society: "my car (penis) is bigger than yours" kind of behaviour. Anyway, the big mouth of that Senator is now shut, and likely he changed his mind and nobody noticed; but when he opened his mouth back then, he made it to the news, and all nodded - herd behaviour.
Often Darwin is cited wrongly saying "the strongest survives", which is simply not true, but rather "survival of the fittest" and 'fitting' means adaption to the environment.
Forgive me to include some spiritual perspective, but it suits to make a point: the spirit is the being which drives a vehicle, the human body. The vehicle can replicate itself, which is truly a miracle; it can fix most of its damages, in other words, is able to heal itself; broken parts in most cases heal and get stronger after the fix. I don't know any human-made machine coming even close to the human body or any other organic body; in this sense, we are still in the kindergarden to become "gods" in action ("god" meant as that authority which created us), but it doesn't mean it's not achievable, as the creations usually inherents part of the creator, especially if that piece was created with a lot of the creator's passion.
Anyway, back to the topic. As I made the point in the overview of Mobility, if you have 1000kg vehicle to transport a 80kg person, then you are spending 92% of the fuel to move the vehicle, and only 8% to transport the object itself; this isn't fit, and also only possible with an easy access to fossil fuels, and its inefficient, speak wasteful, usage.
The car manufacturer crisis combined with the financial and economic crisis is as a chance to adapt new requirements of mobility, in the sense to explore sustainable approaches, in particular because a non-sustainable financial system just has crashed, not yet fully, but almost; now they are trying to fix it before it lays rest forever (see my The Banking System: Trust & Money Making).