A Mystery to Me

The huge shortage of new cars continues to baffle me. I have read many articles and listened to some videos explaining the shortage of computer chips that is the root cause. I just don’t buy the story. To me, this is a fake news story that is bigger than any used to bring down President Trump. In the mean time, people continue to drive old cars, or buy used ones at prices that the new ones brought two years ago. The fleet grows older as the shortage continues. My own car just turned 177,000 miles and celebrated it’s sixteenth birthday. I have friends who insist that my car is young and brag that their car has close to three hundred thousand miles. I will agree that the quality and reliability of modern cars has improved exponentially with the advent of electronic ignition, fuel injection, and CNC machines that can control metal part tolerances to four digits. Assembly has tightened gap tolerances with the assistance of computer controlled robots, and dipping car frames in electrostatic baths before applying primer and paint with robots that never get bored with monotonous spray patterns to give each car the same coverage. Yes, all of these wonderful technologies use computer chips in their controllers, and the cars use many computer chips to eliminate troublesome mechanical switches throughout. I understand all of that. I can even believe that the modern car has as many as forty chips deployed throughout. What I don’t believe is that modern car companies didn’t see the shortage coming. I also, don’t believe the chip manufacturers are out of capacity to make chips. Both car companies and chip producers have been in business for a long time. They couldn’t possibly have lost their ability to forecast demand. I can believe they might be a few percentage points off of a forecast, but not so far off that their businesses are in jeopardy.

Making a computer chip takes smarts, most of which comes from people in the USA, but the manufacturing cost is high and the result is that chip makers farm the manufacturing to cheap labor countries like China, Taiwan, Malaysia, and the Philippines. By transferring the making to those countries they get chips at a lower cost and make more money. The problem is that when a pandemic hits the labor pool those companies sink. I truly believe COVID had some effect on chip production, but not all.

I tend to be an aficionado of conspiracy theories, and have dreamt up a new one to chew on. What if the Green New Movement is in bed with all the car companies of the world? What if these car companies have pledged their allegiance to the Greenies to halt standard car production in favor of electric cars. How will they deal with the huge fleet of modern gas consuming vehicles in the WW fleet? As it turns out the chip shortage has been a great excuse for not making new cars while the older ones keep on ticking. That gives them time to convert manufacturing to all electric cars. I am shocked to learn that Cadillac, a division of General Motors is switching to all electric cars by 2025. The list doesn’t end with Cadillac. Add the following to the list of Greenies headed toward batteries:

Jaguar, Audi, Alfa Romeo, Rolls Royce, Mini, Volvo, Bentley, Mercedes-Benz, Fiat, Renault, Nissan, Volkswagen, GM, Honda, Hyundai, and Toyota. These companies are committed to selling zero emission vehicles by 2020-2030. Only Toyota who has been selling the Prius since the 1990’s has a delayed date of 2050. Hmmm. Maybe Toyota knows something the rest of them don’t. Toyota is also betting on hydrogen powered cars over electric.

All the facts support my theory of a conspiracy to save the world by forcing electric cars down our throats.

I have but one more question: what happens if after the entire world is solar, wind, battery, and hydrogen powered, and that includes, cars, trucks, trains, planes, and ocean going ships, and Antarctica melts anyway? Do we really want to waste our energy (pun intended) in trashing fossil fuels?

2 Responses

  1. If it is any consolation, and no reason why it should be, the other side of the world is equally impacted. The waiting list for popular models now stretches to over 6 months in India. But I like your suggestion of the Greens being in bed with carmakers. Are they really so smart?

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