A Tribute As Such

I often lament the fate of the American auto industry. And for that I sometimes get ridiculed. They were too big and slow to react to the market demands. They didn’t give us the little piece of crap cars we wanted. What is the number one selling vehicle in America? No. Not a darn Corolla, a full-sized American¬†pick up truck. Why do you think that is? Because it’s what America wants.

I called the local talk radio station one day. They have a little piece called “what’s bugging you” or something along those lines. I just said, “The Toyota in front of me with the “Proud American” bumper sticker.” The jerk DJ almost tripped over his own posterior trying to suck up to the Toyota dealer sponsor of his. He tried to run me into the ground but I had already hung up and now he wonders why nobody calls him. But I digress.

What is it you do for a living? Are you a craftsman? Are you a professional? Are you a salesperson? Suppose some gubmint agent walked into your place of business one day. And it was obvious from the git go that he had no idea how to do what you do. But he forged ahead and made it law that you had to do things his way. And everything he wanted you to do was exactly the wrong thing at the wrong time. How long would your business last? The auto industry has lasted forty years so far. In the shadow of the EPA. Looming like the angel of death waiting to give another defunct car company the double tap.

Here’s a fact that I know first hand. In other words I was there. I saw it. When I was young I worked as a dealership mechanic. I used to prep new cars for delivery. A car that sold in America for eight thousand dollars sold in Sweden for thirty thousand dollars. That’s almost four times as much. Was it due to shipping? No. Was it due to the exchange rate of money? No. I know you’re wondering, “Well what the heck can it possibly be?” Tariffs and taxes. Swedish tariffs and taxes, to be exact. The Swedes did not want our vehicles in their fair country. But some Swedes were apparently willing to pay that price because I prepped a lot of vehicles for that program. But you know what the funny thing was? A Volvo in America was about ten grand at the time. How can that be?

1979. That’s how long we’ve been taking it in the shorts on that deal. Is that a monument to longevity or what? That company is still in business. For now. How many Volvo’s would we see running around if they were being marked up 375 percent due to import taxes and tariffs? I venture to say quite a few less than we do now. Let’s see, thirty grand conservatively times 3.75 is one hundred twelve thousand five hundred dollars. You going to pay it? Yeah, the Japs are the same way. You going to pay a hundred grand for a crappy Toyota with no cup holders? Didn’t think so. Until next time, screw environmentalists.

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