Subject: Automotive Industry Challenge… Dr. David Cole
From a senior level Chrysler person
Monday morning I attended a breakfast meeting where the speaker/guest was Dr. David E. Cole, Chairman, Center for Automotive Research, (CAR and Professor at the University of Michigan ). You have all likely heard CAR quoted, or referred to in the auto industry news lately.
Dr. 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.
Dr. Cole’s favorite story is as follows:
There was a team of Obama people speaking to Dr. Cole (Graduate Engineer, automotive experience 40+ years, Chairman of CAR). They were explaining to Dr. Cole that the auto companies needed to make a car that was electric and utilized 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 the BTU’s of LNG and battery life that they had looked up on some website.
Dr. Cole explained that to do this you would need a trunk FULL of batteries and a LNG tank at big as the car to make it happen and that there were problems related to the basic laws of physics that prevented them from…
The Obama person interrupted and said (and I am quoting here): “These laws of physics? Who’s rules are those? We need to change that. (Some of the others diligently wrote down the law name so they could look it up). We have both 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 sort of issues”.
This country is in big trouble…