After a couple of weeks of being on the road in New York for the "Today Show," Detroit for auto stories, and other places around the country, I've finally had a chance to take in the e-mails you've been sending me about the increasingly dicey auto business. While I have, and will continue to directly answer your e-mails, there are a few I'd like to share.
On the Consumer Reports survey showing most people blame the government's lack of an energy policy as the reason for high gas prices, Charles wrote, "I am angry the way this Government has FAILED to grasp ANY energy policy. I have , for sometime trying my best to figure out why our Government has failed the people. All I can come up with is GREED, money, money, and more money."
You're right Charles. but part of the blame falls on the American public. The vast majority of us have never pushed for more oil exploration, more refineries, more research into alternative fuel supplies because it wasn't a priority for us. Now that we're paying $4 a gallon, we are finally complaining loudly.
On my blog aboutGM's growing financial woes, Gene told me, "GM has a few weeks, a few months at best to put a disaster plan into effect. It is their only hope for survival. It will not happen because they don't want to try and everyone involved is still living in the same dream world they were in forty years ago when they started going down the drain."
Gene, it may seem like GMis clueless about what to do, but in fact, the executives there are scrambling to make the right moves. Should some of these (shifting plants to make fewer trucks/SUVs and crank out more cars/crossovers) have been made some time ago? Yes. But now that GM is in a spiral of bad news, it can't focus on missed opportunities in the past, and must zero in on what to do now.
After I explored the screeching halt in SUV sales, Mischa told me, "One question I have is why were $3000 tax breaks given for these beasts as car companies pushed them for their higher margins. Why were they shown driving up mountain-sides when in real life they end up just going to the Mcd's drive-thru filled with all of 2 people?"
Mischa, if I had a dime for every SUV owner I know or have met in the last month who has told me they regret getting a big rig to just drive around the suburbs, I'd have more than enough money to fill up one of those big rigs. OK, maybe not a complete fill up, but I'd have at least $60 for half a tank.
Who's to blame for the Big 3's problems? Dan e-mailed, "The press also puts GM's recalls on the front page while never mentioning Toyoda's. Why? Why do we hate our own companies? Why does the press fall in love with a Japanese company? What is with you folk? American auto companies will survive and save the millions of jobs and profits from going overseas."
Sorry Dan, don't shoot the messenger. Reporters weren't the ones to focus on building trucks/SUVs even as gas prices moved higher. Reporters didn't come up with the business plan for the Prius which has become a hit vehicle for Toyota.
Finally, some of you think I need to re-take my grammar lessons. Drew wrote, "'According to the latest survey from the fault lies with the federal government for not have a national energy policy.' I'M UNEMPLOYED IF YOU NEED AN ASSISTANT EDITOR. :)"
Thanks Drew--but the correction has been made.
Questions? Comments? BehindTheWheel@cnbc.com