I argued last week that all the electric vehicle talk we heard so much of at Chrysler and GM during their restructuring (remember all those GM electric car ads on TV, which have now disappeared?) were just a honey trap for Obama. Auto makers knew that they were not designing a car for the masses, but for one man, to get him to put taxpayer money into their companies. Now that they actually have to think about selling these cars to the public, the ads have disappeared and now Chrysler is ending its EV program.
I want to take you back to their restructuring plan. The plan had 7 steps, listed in priority order. The first and second priority was restructuring. The third priority was a deal with Fiat. The next priority, ahead of any others beyond the initial restructuring and Fiat deal, was their EV car program. Here is the page from their plan (click to enlarge)
In fact, this was very clearly a business plan aimed at Obama. Look at the #4-7 priorities and their order. Only one potential investor in the whole world would appreciate these priorities. Any private investor would find these priorities nuts:
4) Commitment to Energy Security and Environmental Sustainability
5) Compliance with Fuel Economy Regulations
6) Compliance with Emissions Regulations
7) Achieving a Competitive Product Mix and Cost Structure
So "achieving a competitive product mix and cost structure," arguably the problem that drove them into bankruptcy, is their dead last priority! Welcome to government motors, where commitment to energy security is more important than having a competitive product mix or cost structure.