Auto Industry Recession?

Saw this story today on Yahoo! News.  Comments (rant) afterward…

The head of Nissan Motor Co. said even if the United States is not in recession, its auto industry is.

“We are very lucid on the situation of the industry that there is a recession in the United States, at least in the car market,” Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn told reporters, saying automakers face rising costs for iron ore, precious metals, aluminum and other materials.

“These represent risk for the industry,” he said.

Ghosn, who is also president and CEO of Renault SA of France, expressed optimism that the market will improve.

The American auto market “will not stay in recession for a long time,” he said.

U.S. car and light truck sales totaled 16.1 million vehicles in 2007, the worst year in a decade, and sales are expected to slip this year as well.

Ghosn said the cost of raw materials, increasing for the fourth straight year, must come down.

It amazes me that sales of over 16 million passenger vehicles in one year is considered a “bad year”.  These people aren’t happy unless everyone in the country is wasting their money constantly on new cars. Our economy is still too dependent on cars in many ways. Never mind the pollution, waste of energy, and continuation of poorly designed, car dependent cities. Too many people’s jobs are still dependent on the auto industry, when you consider the entire industry supply chain. We need to transition our economy away from this. 

Too many people buy new cars every few years. Many replace their cars every 2 years. Insane. Seriously, cars are now made to last several hundred thousand miles. Unless you have a 20+ mile commute each way to work a car should last you at least 10 years. 

So to sum up. I view any slow down in the American automobile market as a good thing. It may be painful for some people in the short run, but you know, I’ve been through layoffs and whatnot.  It sucks, but thats just the way it is. I’m not saying kill the auto industry all at once, but we need to encourage fewer people to go into it in the first place. All those potential employees should end up working in green industries that help rather than hurt. THAT is where out money and resources should be going.

End of rant. If you disagree, well, I’m sorry to inform you but you are wrong.