Friday, April 1, 2011

Ford Takes The Lead (In More Ways Than One)

CNN reports that Ford has surpassed General Motors in sales for the first time in 13 years. All this despite the fact that GM received a $19 Billion dollar bailout (not counting a $30 Billion post-bankruptcy loan to GM) that Ford declined. Moreover, an industry analyst attributes Ford's surge in part to the firm's attractive array of fuel-efficient vehicles, including small SUVs (apparently a reference to the Mercury Mariner hybrid) now in high demand given the recent spike in gasoline prices. This result is ironic to say the least, as President Obama justified the bailout in part by claiming that the bailed out companies would help America "lead the world in building the next generation of green cars." (The $40,000-plus Chevy Volt, on which some say Chevrolet will lose money, is an example of the sort of "leadership" the President was apparently talking about.) That is to say, the free market (Ford), incentivized by artificially high gasoline prices (because of the OPEC Cartel and gasoline taxes) and unassisted by taxpayer largesse, has done a better job implementing the President's "clean car" policies than the company owned and subsidized by the national government.