The only American car you’ll get me to buy today would be the 2009 Dodge Challenger. And that’s because I love what it looks like and nothing else. It could stall in traffic, the wheels could fall off, the radio could burst into flames when you put it on.
And it all wouldn’t matter to me, because I think this car is so beautiful.
Ok, so it all may be because I own two 1970 Plymouth Barracuda’s which this car was designed after, along with the 1970 Dodge Challenger. So I guess my love of this car that Dodge introduced in 2008 is just skin deep. I do admit that when it comes to automobiles I can be very shallow.
Now when it comes to other American car companies and their cars, well, I’m not that sold on their beauty. And even more important I’m not sold on the prospect that they are going to be around in the next 10 years either.
And don't get me wrong, I have always been an American car kind of guy. A Buick Century, Chevy Monte Carlo, Ford Thunderbird Super Coupe, a couple of Plymouth Barracudas, and even an American Motors AMX.
Oh, I even bought a 77 Dodge Aspen to drive around when I was first dating my wife in Fort Greene. That place scared the hell out of me, and I didn't want to leave my brand new Thunderbird parked on Adelphi street.
It took me a while to figure out why people used to wave at me as I drove down Myrtle Avenue. They thought I was "car service". Oh my God, how embarrassing was that?
And my wife, well, she wasn't that happy about that move I made, and would always point out the more expensive cars that were parked on her block.
"Ronnie, you have a Jaguar behind you and a brand new Lexus in front of you. And you're worried about parking your Thunderbird on my block?"
If there was one mistake I made during our dating time, it was buying a "piece of crud" Dodge Aspen to drive to her house and park on the street in. Thats because I was worried someone would steal my new 94 Ford Thunderbird.
Putting a car before a woman can be a real mistake sometimes. That was a real "pussy" move on my behalf, and I will always regret it. "Ouch".
So now comes my opinion on this “bailout” for our automobile companies. Just a Brooklyn boys take on the whole thing.
Even if the government bails out GM, Chrysler and Ford. I have lost my confidence in their product.
Do I think someone who’s worried about their job is going to put a one hundred percent effort in what they do? No.
Do I think a dealer service center who should be servicing my car is going to do a great job in the face of closing down? No.
Am I confident that the car I'll be driving around is going to be the best product that a company facing massive layoffs could produce? No.
That’s why the people I talk to on the block, at home and at work all feel the same way about buying an American car in 2008.
Even if the government bails them out, there is ZERO confidence in what they are offering to the customer.
Now that’s something these American auto companies need to change faster than anything else. People’s perception of them, plain and simple. Because without feeling confident about who they are and what they produce, no money in the world will ever keep them alive.
And there just aren't enough people like me, who are sold on looks alone.