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Trudeau Should Consider Buying GM and Making Electric Cars

#1

Trudeau Should Consider Buying GM and Making Electric Cars

Linda McQuaig

Long after the last factory has left Ontario, one can imagine Doug Ford still sporting a full-on Cheshire grin as he puts up billboards proclaiming the province “Open for Business.”

Certainly, the premier didn’t seem even slightly embarrassed that he’d posted his billboards along the American border just before America’s biggest automaker announced plans last November to permanently shut down business at its flagship Ontario plant.

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#2

This word should does funny things. Trudeau should and should not do a lot of things, but Trudeau should be striving to accomplish what a lot of other people want and is not.

Yes, LInda McQuaig has an interesting idea here, but the time to have bought GM was when it failed. Neither Canada nor the US had any interest in taking it out of the hands of its lobbyist owners, and Obama insisted as a condition for bailout and for executive bailouts and golden parachutes that labor be shorted its contractually arranged retirements.

What game is Trudeau playing? I, at least, do not know in detail. But he is certainly interested in selling oil, enough to trash vast regions of Canada to do so.

One can let considerable details slide and still see certain outlines. The plan here is slash and burn–burn the world’s resources at breakneck speed to further Western imperial military and economic control–in which Canada, as something of a US and perhaps also European vassal state, as sad as that is, is thought to have some vested interest.

Trudeau should indeed consider making electric cars. But he is quite busy with the tar sands business, and has every intention of continuing and expanding that.

We are not going to have a faraway (read state or federal) government willing to just step in and solve this, though one or another half-measure may get accomplished. These large global players play for large and short-term global power, and what is needed is a multi-millennial change.

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#3

I would love another EV maker that would perhaps do things a little differently. I have no illusions what I want would ever happen under Trudeau who I don’t think much of but it’s fun to dream. What we really need is a company to make a basic car that pushes the boundaries a lot in terms of how cars are made and repaired. I was hoping for a lot more from Tesla but so far they are a big disappointment and are just catering to the upper end of the market. I drive a Leaf now and I’m not that happy with Nissan either. Ditto GM, Ford and all the others. We need a car with modular battery packs that follow standards and allow multiple vendors to supply original and replacement battery modules. We need a car or line of cars that maximixes parts reuse across the line, uses good standards on eco materials with no cabin out gassing (the air inside most new cars is terrible). Cars with open source software for any autopilot functions so we can have third party audits of resistance to hacking. The exterior of the car in my opinion shouldn’t use metal - whatever is the best choice to knock down the ridiculous amount of money that gets spent after fender bender a these days (and for Canada a more rustproofed car would be appreciated I’m sure).

As I live in LA and an all electric vehicle is good for me but perhaps the Canadian market could use another source for heat energy - it’s a bummer to have your range dropped so much to keep the inside reasonably comfortable. I hate to dream about gasoline cars maybe there is another cleaner fuel for plug in hybrids. Ammonia sounds interesting but 1/2 the energy density of gas. E-100 maybe. Real high quality biodiesel? (Maybe we’ll get the algae process working better someday)

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#4

You hit on the one thing that will NOT happen in out current craptilist system. “cars that maximixes parts reuse across the line…”. Chevy killed their first electric car (in 1999, I think) because of part sales. Auto manufactures expect to make almost the same amount of money in part sales over the life of a vehicle, as the original cost of the vehicle. Electric motors don’t break down like internal combustion engines. Case in point, I recently needed to replace my weed-eater, checked on electric models from a major manufacturer, it was going to cost as much (when you added weed-eater, batteries, and charger) as 3 gas models of the same class.
You bring up good points, but they wont make the manufacturer money, so until we kill capitalism, the consumer is not likely to see the ideas you’ve stated.

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#5

Yes, but I thought this (hypothetical) case would be a nationalized car company - maybe there is room for globally optimizing choices instead of just ones that make the company the most amount of money over the next 5 years.

My general view of capitalism is that one can still regulate the crap out of it and it will still be capitalism but get it to optimize better goals - kind of like how the Scandinavians have learned to bend them fairly well, but I’d like to go considerably further.

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#6

What’s wrong with Toyota, or Honda, or Ford for that matter building those cars, and more. Northern engineered cars to run in cold, snowy weather as well as warm. And sell a lot of them to Canada.

And I hope your thoughts on replacement parts becomes a reality sooner than later. I want my local Auto Zone to be able to give me a free code check, and have my battery and related components available.
Crank em up. Well, give er a whirl.

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#7

Thanks Ms. McQuaig…Crown Corporations were often created in Canada many years ago. Today’s “Free Market Folly” has not worked for many years. Capitalism in my opinion is the root of the problem. Like Ms. McQuaigs idea? Let our PM Justin Trudeau know how you feel in a polite and respectful manner. https://pm.gc.ca/eng/connect

Mr. Blair M. Phillips
St. Catharines,Ontario
Canada
Retired GM of Canada employee

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#8

I agree this and many other things should be nationalized (IMO energy resources), but with his track record, not sure Trudeau is the right politician to do this under, Canadians might disagree with me. Worker owned facilities might be a viable solution.
I’m not sure capitalism can work here, we had regulations and greed killed them. In this country (US), no matter how well and how much you regulate it, they will work as hard and long as they have to, and spend as much as they have to, to defeat those regulations, and greatly tilt the system to their advantage.

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#9

Henry Ford went the route of creating parts that were used across the line when he designed the Model T Ford. The idea was anybody could fix and maintain these things and that because it was a one size fits all the things would be easy to maintain with readily available parts.

That all changed when Chevrolet got on the scene. They used people like Bernays to sell the public on the idea of each being “unique” where a given car model would help that person stand out from the crowd. With this came planned obsolescence. Individual car makes would have unique platforms and models were to be upgraded every few years. Chevrolet saw profits soar and Ford soon followed suit.

Capitalism in its modern form could not exist without planned obsolescence and failure by design. It is a wasteful system exhibited by people waiting in line for hours on end to buy the latest Cell phone from Apple.

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