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How can intelligent people be so STUPID??? Are the automakers in Detroit working as a cohesive group to achieve an industry wide Darwin Award? And is the United States government going to be so stupid as to fund these fools with the American public’s money? The voters clearly have elected a new government which wants to go toward a more sustainable future society not more gas guzzling monstrosities. But, and this should be in Ripley’s, Believe It Or Not, it’s so dumb. Here is today’s Reuters.  Sun 11 Jan 2009 | 19:46 EST. You wouldn’t believe this unless it was cut and pasted from the original article.

Detroit Auto Show 2009 chooses Hyundai

Detroit Auto Show 2009 chooses Hyundai

First: GM begs for money from Washington and then Hyundai gets top award. Well, this industry’s choice for a car of the year in this year of clear economic recession where even GM goes begging for money, one might think, would be an economical electric car from Hyundai, or the new Chevy Volt all electric, especially when the whole industry is on the verge of economic collapse. But NO! ??? they choose a new muscle car.

2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe

2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe

OK it’s a nice looking car and would have done well back at the 1959 Santa Barbara Concours d’Elegance where my dad’s 1931 Packard coupe lost first place to a 1957 Mercedes Benz 300SL

1931 Packard automobile

1931 Packard

My dad’s 1931 Packard looked very similar to this one but I don’t have a photo handy so this one is off the net.

1957 Mercedes-Benz 300SL

The car that won looked about like this. All of these are beautiful cars, including the new Hyundai,  but now we are in a world that is running out of fuel to run the monster engines in these conspicuous-consumption cars and we should all be behaving more responsibly. Even rich people should be conserving our common resources.

Here are the specs on Detroit’s choice for car of the year, Hyundai Genesis Coupe—note the 300 hp:

Technical Specifications
Engine: 2.0 litre four-cylinder / 3.8 litre V6
Aspiration: Turbocharged / Natural
Maximum Power: 212 hp (158 kW) / 300 hp (224 kW)
Maximum Torque: 217 lb-ft (294 Nm) / 263 lb-ft (356 Nm)
Transmission: Six-speed manual (optional five and six-speed automatics)
Drivetrain: Rear-wheel drive

Exactly a year ago I made my feelings felt about cars in my blog

What do people really want – a Hummer or a Tata ? ? ?

Tata Nano

Tata Nano from India

The Tata Nano is much closer to what Detroit should be taking to Washington when they go begging for money. Somehow, showing up in a personal jet and then driving up to Congress in their latest gas-guzzler muscle-car doesn’t send the right message. I understand this but the top people in Detroit don’t. It isn’t because they have low IQ’s, it is because they are stupid, and as comedian Ron White says on TV, “You can’t fix stupid.”

The Tata Nano is having some trouble getting launched, and it won’t be out until September, apparently because the slumping global demand is hitting the middle class in India but as I see it the Nano is the car America should be importing, or copying and building.

96 Geo Prizm overlooking Lake Tahoe CA

My 96 Geo Prizm overlooking Lake Tahoe CA – ( at +38.8202 -120.0273 )

If my old 1996 Geo Prizm can get 51 mpg on long trips why can’t Detroit build a new car that can beat it? The little Nano could probably get really fantastic mileage especially with its coasting feature and the new quick start engine which shuts off when the engine is idling in traffic. The take home message about Detroit executives is—

Give stupid people money and they will do stupid things with it.

(update Jan. 13th) Actually, there is some hope as seen in this video about the Detroit Auto Show. Perhaps it isn’t those Detroit auto executives who are stupid, it is the buying public that refuses to buy Detroit’s more efficient cars. It is probably that same public mentality that precipitated the housing loan collapse, that is caused by too easily available credit which allows the public to purchase something which they really can’t afford. So then the responsibility comes down to the lawmakers as being the stupid ones and they are the ones who are now giving away trillions of dollars. Slavery was made illegal throughout the world long ago but it has been replaced with voluntary self-imposed-slavery by the current debt system created by our politicians. Perhaps a further generalization on the above rule of thumb would be.

Give stupid people power and they will do stupid things with it.

(update Jan. 23) Here is a really cool YouTube movie illustrating the Detroit mentality of bigger more gas guzzling cars are better.

(update March 11, 2009) A good article about 100 MPG hybrids from WIRED magazine with lots of links.

(update April, 11, 2009) The American auto is going to eat the food off your plate.

See also: How to make an all electric car economy work