On Governments and Automakers

There’s now a proposal on the Congressional table (“pass the pork, please”) to deeply involve government in the auto industry.  Among other things, Congress is hoping to spur innovation by their involvement.  I thought it would be useful to refresh our memory on past government-run auto companies.   Below you can see the sort of bold, innovative design changes initiated over time by Lada, the old Soviet car maker.   Amazingly, they needed the help of Fiat to get even that far:

Here’s the 1970 version:

Here the results of a decade of innovation, the 1980 model:

Lada 1980

And finally, add another 5 years of design excellence, the 1985 edition:

  Lada 1985

How about reliability and engineering excellence?  In the old Soviet Union, of course, free speech could only occur on the sly.  Russian humor became the means of true expression, and the Lada fostered a whole genre of jokes.  Here’s just two:

Why do Ladas have rear window heaters?   To keep your hands warm while pushing.

How do you double the value of a Lada?  Fill it with petrol.

Unfortunately for taxpayers, this bailout is no laughing matter. 

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2 Responses to “On Governments and Automakers”

  1. sandysays1 Says:

    Congressmen and senators who voted for the Paulson/Bush Wall Street Welfare Plan should be skinned! It started all this. Oh yes – what happened to the freeing of credit that was supposed to take place after that emergency 700 billion was approved? If you want to see how congress voted look at my October 8 blog entry- it has the complete record. Visit me at http://www.SandySays1.wordpress.com

  2. coffeeandcoke Says:

    The entire bailout BS is just that, BS, from top to bottom. I feel for the ‘little guy’ who ends up laid off, out of work, etc during all this BS but lets face it, Wall Street and now GM Ford and Chrysler are being rewarded for screwing up. As always, the big guy gets it all and the little guy gets crap. Congress would have done better if they would’ve gave those of us driving cars 10 years old or older a ‘grant’ toward a new vehicle, or a certified used vehicle, with ‘conditions’ of lower emissions and better gas mileage or some crap like that then handing over billions to all the overpaid people who screwed everything up in the first place. UGHHH maybe I should do a post about it on my blog cause I could go on forever… LOL

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