Sunday, June 14, 2009

Soglin's Onto Something

After reading his blog I usually think Paul Soglin, Madison's "hippie mayor" who turned out to be one of the chamber of commerce's best friends, is on something. But this time I think Paul really is onto something when he posted about what the UAW did not do to General Motors.

It's a great read:

I was raised on General Motors automobiles. Every car my Dad bought, except for a Dodge Dart he purchased from a relative, was a Chevy. My uncles and aunts bought GM.

I was committed to doing my part and bought American cars. GM cars.

My first new car purchase was a Buick Regal purchased in 1978. I loved that car. We made two trips to Boston, one to Washington D.C., two skiing trips out west to Colorado and Idaho, camping trips in Wisconsin, and countless trips to Chicago for family in all sorts of weather.

In 1982, little holes, pin holes appeared in the roof. I knew that the body problems could be a disaster so I traded it in for a new Buick Regal. The new car was nice but the engine cut out every time I made a right turn up a hill. Go figure.

In the next fifteen years, Sara and I purchased three more GM cars, including one for my mother-in-law, and not including the Buick for the mayor's office.

The last new car was the Chevy Blazer. In 1992 with three kids, three large dogs, and Sara constantly hauling furniture that she was painting, an SUV was a logical choice. The vehicle was a nightmare.

The United Auto Workers (UAW) did not put the holes in the roof of the Regal.

The UAW did not create the design defect that made the second Regal stall on the
right turns.

The UAW did not design the Blazer which Consumer Reports rated as one of the worst SUVs on the road.

The UAW did not make the Japanese design of my Infiniti with 90,000 miles and rides like it was brand new.

The UAW did not make GM build Hummers while Toyota was building the Prius.

The UAW did not order German and Japanese engineers to build smart, zippy, fuel efficient cars for the youth market so they would grow up snickering at U.S. cars.

The UAW did not fog the minds of GM executives so they believed they were on the right track with the Cadillac Escalade.

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