Auto industry driven by consumer wants

Letter to the Editor
Published: 11/28/2008 12:00 AM

I am responding to Larry Maurer's letter of Nov. 16,"Automakers Don't Deserve Bailouts".

I am a 30-year veteran of the automobile industry, most recently of Lattof Chevrolet, which closed their 72 year business on Oct. 10.

Mr. Maurer needs to understand that the automobile business isn't the one that hasn't "learned their lesson" but rather the consumer. We live in a country built on capitalism. The auto industry produced products that the consumer wanted!

They were the driving force behind bigger vehicles and the auto industry attempted to meet their demands.

Federal safety guidelines also restrict the size of the vehicle. If you are a young family with three children required to be in safety seats, a larger vehicle is a necessity, not a desire. In its simplest form, you can liken the situation to a t-shirt vendor.

If bright orange t-shirts are in, does he stock only white? How long would he survive as a viable business?

As a side note, Mr. Maurer points to the Hummer and Navigator as "oil derrick specials." He fails to mention the Toyota Sequoia, Honda Ridgeline, Nissan Armada, Landrovers, BMW X5, Mazda CX7 and Lexus GX and RX all of which have lower miles per gallon stats than their American counterparts.

I would ask Mr. Maurer when he gets into a Toyota or Honda, look into the vanity mirror and realize that the problems that the big 3 are having are not necessarily self-made.

Peg Olsen

Elk Grove Village