There is an opinion piece that ran in the NY Times last month by Thomas L Friedman entitled “While Detroit Sleeps”. Now no one wants to see the auto industry fail, but he poses the question that we may be spending good money after bad. You get that feeling of losing in Vegas and then trying to make it back on the next spin of the wheel or deal of the cards. He equates investing in our current auto makers to putting money into other doomed technologies:
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In order for the Big 3 to be a good investment, they need to change their ways. Since gas prices have fallen so sharply, there is a tendency to delay research on gasoline alternatives. Unfortunately, we know prices are going to rise again and we need to be better prepared next time oil goes over $100 a barrel.
In a story on Huffington Post called “Is There An Option More Promising Than The Plug-In Electric Vehicle?”, Patrick Takahashi discusses our future options. He argues for the use of wind and solar energy to charge battery-powered cars. This will take many years, but we have to make this a priority now.
So what should we do? Chase our loses while doubling down on a bad hand or quit gambling with foreign oil and make sound investments in gasoline alternatives? The Detroit Lions fired their GM and coach to change direction from their losing ways. Sounds like a good strategy that could also be applied to our auto industry.