Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Government Motors

This story is from a Ford engineer who reports on the type of people the Obama administration is sending to the auto industry. If it wasn't so pathetic, it would be hilarious...

"I recently attended a breakfast meeting where the speaker/guest was David E. Cole, Chairman, Center for Automotive Research (CAR). You have all likely heard Cole CAR quoted, or referred to in the auto industry news lately.

Mr. Cole, who is an engineer by training, told many stories of the difficulty of working with the folks that the Obama administration has sent to save the auto industry. There have been many meetings where a 30+ year experience automotive expert has to listen to a newcomer to the industry, someone with zero manufacturing experience, zero auto industry experience, zero business experience, zero finance experience, and zero engineering experience, tell them how to run their business.

His favorite story is as follows:

There was a team of Obama people speaking to Mr. Cole (engineer, 40+ years automotive experience, Chairman of CAR). They were explaining to Mr. Cole that the auto companies needed to make a car that was electric and liquid natural gas (LNG) with enough combined fuel to go 500 miles so we wouldn't "need" so many gas stations (a whole other topic).

They were quoting BTU's of LNG and battery life that they had looked up on some website. Mr. Cole explained that to do this you would need a trunk FULL of batteries and a LNG tank as big as a car to make that happen and that there were problems related to the laws of physics that prevented them from...

At this point, the Obama person interrupted and said (and I am quoting here) "The laws of physics? Whose rules are those, we need to change that."

As this government schmuck expounded on the topic, some of his cohorts frantically wrote down the “law name” so they could look it up.

The Obama person continued: “We have the congress and the administration. We can repeal that law, amend it, or use an executive order to get rid of that problem. That's why we are here, to fix these sorts of issues."

Ford Engineer (Name withheld for obvious reasons)

P.S. Liquid natural gas (LNG) is stored at -260F. I don’t believe they had their facts correct. Perhaps they were thinking about compressed natural gas (CNG) in which case a huge tank would be required for that service. In any event, tis very sad.


  1. You know what I think is pathetic?

    People who repeat e-mail rumors without first finding out if there is a shred of truth to them.

    Like most e-mail stories like this, it is fake.

    If you get one from a Kenyan saying he has a million dollars for you, that one is fake too.


  2. Toyota built a camry that goes 250+ miles on 8 gallons of CNG, 16 gallons is a long way off "as big as a car".