interview > white > clip: white 3
White 3 (1:45)
Topic(s): Auto Industry / Car Culture / Efficiency / Future Transport
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If you look anywhere in the world, not just the
United States, you look anywhere in the world, people will buy the most
horsepower they can afford. I mean, you know, there's something kind of
primal and elemental about having a powerful machine at your beck and call and
at your command. The car companies know this; they're selling emotion.
Look, if we just needed an appliance to get from A to B, we'd all be
driving around in Toyota Corollas—used ones, by the way, not new, because
used is ever so much more economical. And that's not what we do. Why?
Because we can. And because this is how the industry makes money.
you know what? It's everybody. It's not just General Motors,
it's not just Ford. They all do this. Toyota, they all sell power, they
all sell prestige, they all sell size, they all sell high tech. The question
that, I think, over time, if there's going to be a serious discussion
about the impact of this on the global environment, is whether the car
companies can shift from selling horsepower as a proxy for technology and
technological superiority, and start selling high fuel economy or super clean
we're starting to see that. Your- I think Honda and Toyota, again, I
think have led because it's kind of consistent with their corporate
image. GM is trying to do that. I think a lot of what they say about trying to
develop a plug-in hybrid is aimed at kind of repositioning themselves in
people's minds. I think you'll see all the car companies do this.
The question is whether sort of the big center of the American market is going
to change without a somewhat more radical input like a big gas tax or much
stricter government regulation that essentially drives the market toward a more
fuel efficient set of solutions.