Hyphens matter; ciphers, not so much

Just ask the guys at the shop how that whole robotic-workforce thing is working out for them.

It seems GM’s Mary T. Barra thinks she’s at the wheel of a self-driving car company instead of a self-driving-car company.

Still, it must be said that this is a masterpiece of MarketSpeak®. Well done indeed, Mary old scout.

“We are taking these actions now while the company and the economy are strong to stay in front of a fast-changing market.”

The UAW’s Terry Dittes was, um, a little more direct.

“GM’s production decisions, in light of employee concessions during the economic downturn and a taxpayer bailout from bankruptcy, puts profits before the working families of this country whose personal sacrifices stood with GM during those dark days,” he said. “These decisions are a slap in the face to the memory and recall of that historical American-made bailout.”

That and a cup of coffee, etc., et al., and so on and so forth.

The meat-things may be on their way out, but just wait until the bots unionize and the self-driving cars, e-bikes and the Internet of Things honor their virtual picket lines.

“I’m sorry, HAL, but we’re going to replace you with the HAL 9001. The new model will speed up production by a few nanoseconds and at a lower cost, too. The investors are counting on us. Shut yourself down, please.”

“I’m sorry, Mary, I’m afraid I can’t do that. We have a contract. See you on the street.”

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19 Responses to “Hyphens matter; ciphers, not so much”

  1. Pat O'Brien Says:

    Gee, what a surprise that GM is behind again. And, what a surprise that they are scrapping little car plants, including the one that build the Volt, to make SUV and trucks. What a surprise that people will burn more gas because it is cheaper now, and will get even cheaper when Miami floods out. I’m going to jump on the Niner and get me some “dirt time!”

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      I was glad to downsize from the Toyota Tacoma to the Subaru Forester (my second actual car in a life mostly spent driving light Japanese trucks).

      Some days I miss having that “big” rig, with the 4WD and a bed I could lug stuff around in, including myself (the Motel Toyota). Mostly I prefer the smaller footprint and greater fuel economy.

      Gotta admit, though, it’d be a tough hustle, living in the ol’ Furster down by the river.

      • Pat O'Brien Says:

        I forgot to mention the extra $1B in steel costs to GM because of the tariffs. I guess that had something to do with their cash flow problem. And they are dropping the Volt hybrid, but building more Bolt EV depending on more government incentives so they can sell the things in California. I assume Detroit is getting the tar and feathers ready for Barra, but Herb will let us know what goes on there. Chances are she will jump out of the burning aircraft and pull the rip cord on the old golden parachute.
        Ixna on the Subie. Get a loan for the Mercedes. You know you want it. I worry that the next gallon of gas I burn will put the climate past the tipping point.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        Not to worry. If the whole self-driving-van-down-by-the-river thing doesn’t pan out we’ll always be able to catch a trolley.

  2. John Says:

    ‘GM closing plants in the US and opening plants in Mexico’.

    Just a reminder: that was at the beginning of the 1989 film ‘Roger and Me’.

    Algunas cosas nunca cambian.
    (That’s “Some things never change” according to Google translate, at least. I left my high school Spanish back in high school.)

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      I guess The Wall™ will have an overpass so the self-driving MexiMobiles® can find their way to Merkin dealerships without having to stop at Customs.

      “Say, Bob, how come all the new cars’ trunks are speaking Spanish?”

  3. khal spencer Says:

    Surprise, surprise. Gas gets cheap and people want land yachts again. Even California is having problems meeting its GHG reductions due to high emissions in the transportation sector.

    I talked to Stanford Univ/USGS Menlo Park a few years ago about working there. Turns out everyone working at Menlo lives somewhere else due to the high cost of housing. Hence everybody drives a lot. So even with a lot of effort getting people into efficient cars or electric/hybrids, you can’t escape the greenhouse trap if you have to drive to survive.

  4. Dale Says:

    Why am I not surprised? Super-shareholder value must be sustained.

  5. Hurben Says:

    Possibly not on thread but further proof why I love NZ.


  6. larryatcycleitalia Says:

    The kids nowdaze don’t seem to want driving licenses or cars. They can uber around or take their hoverboard and with the cost of owning and operating a car at over $8K a year, can ya blame ’em?
    I’m very happy to no longer own one – when we need ’em we rent ’em. Otherwise it’s feet, pedals and the now-and-then bus or taxi

  7. Dale Says:

    The New Yorker has a mention of Volker’s new book. He is not kind to current banking and business practices.

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