I read an older issue of The Limbaugh Letter where Rush Limbaugh warned over a decade ago in his newsletter about an upcoming liberal war on the sport-utility vehicle.
Around the same time, the Big Three of General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler knew that despite government requests of them to manufacture small cars, they were not providing profits to the automakers the way production of minivans, sport-utility vehicles, crossovers (the Jeep Grand Cherokee is one), and trucks have to them, considering the durability. The automakers' advertising campaigns were built on trucks and their durability, as we have seen with country singers, NFL players, and Sprint Cup drivers marketing on trucks.
Environmentalists were very unhappy with the trend towards trucks because they demanded fuel economy to become the only standard, and wanted a push towards smaller vehicles, similar to what happens in Europe.
Meanwhile, the sales charts in the United States clearly favoured the truck market. Americans wanted vehicles that had rock-solid backbones in ladder frames, the ability to carry cargo that allowed them to tow a boat to their favourite fishing spot, their bicycles for a mountain bike climb, a kayak for rafting, or golf clubs to carry a foursome to the gold course. Businesses -- both small and large -- need trucks to carry the load for their work duties. Families, who could not purchase cars because of the government's fuel economy policies that made family wagons impossible, decided to buy vans and truck-based sport utility vehicles that could carry the load that the passenger cars, weakened by the standards of the CAFE and Gas Guzzler Tax standards, could not.
Environmental activists such as the Earth Liberation Front, Earth FIRST!, and others were tired of America's push for trucks. In some cases, trucks were torched, slashed, and damaged at dealership lots by such activists.
When the price of fuel increased, concerns grew about vehicle sales as people began looking at the weaker passenger cars to save fuel costs. Some legislators wanted to open major oil patches closed by liberal activists since the Carter Administration, only to be shot down by filibusters.
In 2006, the environmental activists, along with other liberal activists (homosexual special rights groups, unions, et al) took back the legislature, effectively naming Nancy Pelosi the new de facto leader of the United States. Under the Pelosi Administration, they put down the coup de grace against the US automakers, enforcing a new 35 MPG fuel economy standard designed to close the loophole of trucks that had become the cash cows of the automakers. Furthermore, they refused to drill for oil, and endorsed inefficient alternative energy that made little, if any, sense.
That, along with a recession caused by the economic policies of the Pelosi Administration, drove down American automakers who built their entire fortune on trucks. Liberal leaders knew the trick. Automakers had built their entire fortunes on trucks, and with the election of Barack Obama and the supermajorities in Congress, the activists had the perfect storm to brew.
Meanwhile, the American vehicle sales were clearly tipping towards trucks. Trucks were now over 50% of vehicle sales, and a pro-environmentalist administration could easily work on putting the brakes on US automakers that built their products based on trucks. The liberal leadership wanted the auto industry like the judicial system -- based on Modern Europe. Europe is full of minicars and microcars, with subcompacts being the "regular" size vehicles in the continent.
They could now use social engineering to attack the automakers. Ford caved first, by agreeing to discontinue production of the "Panther" line (Town Car, Crown Victoria), and converted a huge revenue-making truck plant to one that produced plug-in Focus. The Focus would become Ford's largest car, with the importation of the Fiesta minicar and Ka microcar in the planning stages.
But when General Motors' Rick Wagoner, who has clearly been the architect (along with Bob Lutz and others) of basing their lines on trucks, found the President, it was the President who fired the leaders on the spot, seizing the automaker in an attempt to bankrupt them and force them to produce the type of cars Ford produces, and Japanese automakers Toyota (iQ, Prius, Yaris) and Honda (Insight, Fit) produce.
Chrysler also had the same fate, considering their innovations have been truck-based, save for the Dodge Viper, since the 1980's, with the K-Car (which gave us the minivan), and the 1994 Dodge Ram truck, which rejuvenated the brand's trucks. Once again, the President demanded microcars, and forced a sale to Italy's Fiat, where they could force down microcars such as the Punto and Topolino, produced in Serbia at the former Zastava plant that gave us the Yugo. (Fiat bought Zastava in 2008.)
Sadly, the evidence is clear that crashes involving the type of cars the Obama Administration is forcing on what had been Detroit's three major automakers (one volunteered, two by force) is going to create severe problems. I have been in two nasty crashes, and was able to walk away from each. In the government-mandated microcars, the drivers would be severely injured, with death nearly certain from the worst of the crashes. Many of these crashes would require a driver to have a six-point safety harness, a crash helmet, and a HANS device just to survive, since basal skull fractures are almost certain to happen with a microcar colllides with a mid-size vehicle or larger.
What we are seeing with the automakers is that the President is using his social engineering and socialist policies to force Americans into the 2-seat microcars of Europe because they are the only vehicles he wants; he wants to legislate the family sedan, truck, SUV, and business vehicles out of business in order to support these environmentalist policies of the fringe of Gore, Hollywood, and other activists. He wants to outlaw America's love affair with the automobile and trucks of the past 50 years and replace it with a socialist engineering project similar to the Trabants of East Germany or Volkswagen Beetles of the 1930's.
When the only vehicles left on the market are Trabants, the Administration will have successfully defeated the automakers, and the people. But it shows how environmentalist activists are in excessive control of this nation to appease its worst offenders.