- The staple car of the former East Germany was notoriously
mediocre. Similar to a lawnmower, or
weed eater, this beautiful piece of machinery came complete with a two-stroke
engine that required oil
and gas to be poured in a container and then the whole car had to be shaken to
mix them together (2:15). Also
similar to a riding lawnmower, the body was made of Duroplast, which would
possibly meet the present need for "green" manufacturing since it was made of
primarily recycled trash. Unfortunately, Duroplast is difficult to dispose of, and releases toxic fumes when burned. Due to central
planning, limited changes to the features of the Trabant were introduced during the production years, as this would have required further investment (i.e., capital) and fulfilling the needs of customers is anathema to the government production model.
This name is almost synonymous with "shitty car" to those who experienced it in the United States during its time as an available import. Fiat technology was used in the building of this car, and since Fiat is also involved in the GM/Chrysler deals, perhaps new offerings from those government run companies will be equally majestic. Additionally, there is also this
tidbit, regarding a Yugo that was literally blown off of a bridge. This certainly bodes well for the new era of green autos, which is likely to be ushered in by our rulers.
- For the upscale member of the Soviet Politburo, there was the Lada. This was one of the more successful autos created by the Eastern Bloc countries during the cold war. Still, jokes such as:
Q: What's the difference between a Lada and a Jehovah's Witness?
A: You can close the door on a Jehovah's Witness.
suggest that the quality was marginal on these autos.
- Another Soviet producer, made crappy cars that you were supposed to buy.
Including the notorious PROTON
SAGA - This Malaysian vehicle is actually not as bad as some of the
old communist bloc stuff. This may be
due to the fact that the mechanical parts are coming in from a private company, Mitsubishi. A new version of the Saga was announced in 2008, and has received decent reviews, although questions regarding consistent quality remain. In the US/Canada takeovers, it is unlikely
that this will be an issue, given the involvement of big labor.
Certainly there are other examples that could be summarized; indeed this was only intended to provide a hopeful glimpse into the future of the US automobile market now that we have a "car czar". As the federal government rolls out new
green vehicles that no one wants to buy, it seems reasonable to assume that the next step will be mandated purchases of these vehicles, with the money handily deducted from your paycheck. Of course, this will not affect those who make the rules, as they will simply import what they want from private companies such as Toyota or Honda (only after driving the manufacturing operations of these companies out of the country).
Indeed, it's a Brave New World!