Plan Z

Hey, I've got a great idea! Let's "make" America's car companies build small, economy cars! It's perfect for the environment! As long as you don't mind the crippling injuries: Report Says Small-Car Buyers Sacrifice Safety for Fuel Economy
Consumers who buy minicars to economize on fuel are making a big tradeoff when it comes to safety in collisions, according to an insurance group that slammed three minimodels into midsize ones in tests.

In a report prepared for release on Tuesday, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety said that crash dummies in all three models tested — the Honda Fit, the Toyota Yaris and the Smart Fortwo — fared poorly in the collisions. By contrast, the midsize models into which they crashed fared well or acceptably. Both the minicars and midsize cars were traveling 40 miles per hour, so the crash occurs at 80 m.p.h.
Yeah, those big SUV's look pretty stupid, don't they? Perhaps the most dramatic results were those for the Smart Car. 
When the institute crashed the Smart into the Mercedes C-Class sedan, the Smart, which weighs half as much as the sedan, went airborne and spun around one and a half times. The institute’s crash laboratory did not clock the speed of the rebound, but calculated that in a collision between cars of that weight, the sedan would slow down by 27 m.p.h. while the two-seater would change speed by 53 m.p.h., moving backward at 13 m.p.h.
I've noticed that Smart Car owners tend to drive very tentatively when the speed picks up. I can't even imagine what driving one of those must be like. Forget the danger, the road noise and cramped interior would be insufferable after a while. 

The lesson, of course, is that Americans don't like big cars because they're idiots, or because they get a thrill out of burning fossil fuel. Big cars are safer, quieter, ride easier, and can be much more stylish and comfortable, especially for those of us who are 6 ft. tall or more. Saying that we can "save GM" by building small cars is almost too fatuous to be believed, but that seems to be the goal. Hopefully, GM will still be able to adjust once consumers let it be known that small cars are not their first, second or third choice.  

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