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Environment

GM Gets Shafted For Relying on SUVs and Trucks

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Detroit's condition is not the kind of thing you want to rub your hands in bloggy schadenfreude over. Blue-collar layoffs have started turning into white-collar layoffs. And when they sell cars that do horrible things to the planet they're just trying to give the American public what it wants.

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But of course the American public is fickle and freaked out about gas, and so the SUVs and light trucks that used to account for 60% of GM's sales in the USA aren't selling like they used to. As a consequence, GM just posted its 3rd biggest quarterly loss in its history. The leasing of SUVs has taken the biggest hit, because nobody wants to buy the used SUVs anymore--they're now selling at a quarter of their original value. It is tempting to resort to karma talk here. Call me a socialist, but wouldn't it be better for everyone if making catastrophically large ski-transport vehicles was against the rules, so everybody would just stick to the fuel-efficient cars they want whenever there's an oil crisis? This is a pretty clear example of the free market not behaving like the benevolent god libertarians want it to be. More like a spoiled mercurial toddler or a crackhead. Image: flickr/Rick Harris

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