Life at ground zero for economic pain and auto industry greif...

My most frequent question being in a large college and auto making town has been "Where did or do you get that?" My funniest answer was "Out of a vending machine at the mall." I always give the web address too.

Second would be what mileage I am getting. My most interesting answer
was a short discussion with a man driving his worn out Geo convertible. I told him my mileage probably wasn't quite as good as his, he gets 50-60 in the Geo and I used to own one of those too. However, you could see in his eyes that he could see the difference in quality between the two. The only problem with the Geo was that it was made no where near as well as the smart is, and can't hold up to the years. That guy was wise to keep his Geo parked all these years and to pull it out during high gas price times, but you could see its condition was tired and he wasn't happy with it.

The most shocking comment I have heard was one day driving down my street when suddenly from a bus stop I heard a young woman scream at the top of her lungs "OH MY GOD!!! WHAT IS THAT?!!?

Strangest sight was to see a man throw his bicycle down at a street corner and trip over it trying to get his cell phone out to take pictures. He walked right out in front of traffic to get a shot.

Not one negative comment here in Michigan's capitol where everyone knows very well about the economic situation we are all in. The most common site I get is people giving the thumbs up all over the place. Lately, I am seeing more and more smiles and comparisons from other small cars like the Aveo, the Versa and the Fit. These are usually driven by women, who look like they have families to tote around. The smart helps them feel right at home it appears. It was probably the husband of one of them driving the Geo.

The saddest thing I have seen was the day I was behind a Ford Focus, and the owner had taken the o out of the logo and replaced it with another matching u. Yes, I did have to laugh and I hope our automakers soon get a clue about being green.

Every day when I drive to work I see another truckload of huge GM cars and Cadillacs leaving what is left of the plant here in Lansing. I know it is because they have employees to keep working who have families to feed, but it really is just digging a deeper hole.

I am glad people here are not jealous, and I feel bad for those waking up to things, when a hybrid or fuel efficient vehicle is so difficult to get a hold of. The dealers are flipping prices like mad trying to get rid of a useless inventory and they still keep pumping them out just to keep the plants running. It is sad.

To those of you waiting in line, you will be blessed one day to own one of the most prized vehicles of our time. Hang in there, you did the right thing and I doubt very much you will ever have cause to regret it.

As far as the younger crowd, guys ask where to get it in general, and girls ask how fast it will go. They all say "Sweet!!!" when I answer any question.

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Comment by Richard E on September 29, 2008 at 5:01pm
Comment by delaney on September 29, 2008 at 3:13pm
Good one, Brent. Your blogs are fun to read.
Comment by moonhilda on September 28, 2008 at 5:52pm
great blog!
Comment by kurlee on September 28, 2008 at 1:12pm
We recently had an article in our Arizona Republic newspaper talking about "what are they?" and at the end they said that you could buy a Yaris for about the same price and have a back seat, etc. They just don't get it. I have no need for a back seat so why do I need to buy one. And yes, it's not practical for most but that's what I like as well. It fits me and I don't want to see a hundred of them every day anyway. The auto industry needs to acknowledge that more is not necessarily better and develop more city commuters and long range electric vehicles. I can't wait to get mine and when someone says "I would never drive one of those" I'll just smile and say "sweet." Ha! Good blog, Brent.

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