RUSH: You remember this story? This story is from two weeks ago, two weeks ago we had this story on this program. It’s from the Los Angeles Times. The headline: ”Hybrid Car Sales Go From 60 To Zero At Breakneck Speed’ — The gas-electric vehicles are piling up on dealers’ lots as anxiety over gasoline prices evaporates. But more hybrid models are on the way. The Ford and Honda hybrids due out this month are among dozens planned for the coming years as automakers try to meet new fuel-efficiency standards and please politicians overseeing the industry’s multibillion-dollar bailout.’ Nobody’s buying ’em! Nobody wants them! The manufacturers are making them in droves to satisfy Obama! Sorry for yelling. Nobody wants them! The Prius is supported by the Toyota Tundra and the whole Lexus division ’cause it loses money. Nobody wants them! The only people that have them — well, I’m not going to characterize them — but there aren’t that many.
I will only say that those people have probably given up their individuality for what they think is a larger cause, but nobody wants them. That doesn’t matter, because as I mentioned earlier in the program, a couple hundred more million acres placed off-limits, energy rich, shale oil, natural gas, placed off-limits by the US Congress. We’re gonna become more dependent on foreign oil, more dependent on foreign oil. Gasoline prices are going to go through the roof at some point, Big Oil will be blamed by the Obama administration, and then you will be forced to start considering cars you do not want and you are not buying. Good-bye freedom. We have got to drive these people out of office before it’s too late.
Blair in White House, New Jersey. Nice to have you on the program. Welcome.
CALLER: Hey, Rush, when I was a consultant, one of the assignments I had was to evaluate the portfolios of blue chip companies, product portfolios, and I had to analyze the Toyota portfolio, and it wasn’t even close, the Tundra and the Tacoma were the cash flow producers by far and the Prius was a rapacious cash eater.
RUSH: Yeah, the Prius, let’s face it, you know, God bless Toyota, but Prius is a loss leader. They’ll lose money on the Prius to keep Congress off their back, to have a good brand, to make ’em look like they’re socially conscious citizens of the earth, but they’re making the freight on the big cars and trucks they sell.
CALLER: Yes. But here’s the problem with that. The more hybrids that these big car manufacturers produce, the more cash they’re going to lose and they’re going to be actually worse off in the long run with more of these hybrids because —
CALLER: — they are huge cash eaters. And it’s just going to require that they sell more and more — the irony is that the —
RUSH: Now, wait, wait, you need to explain here as a consultant, if they sell more hybrids, wouldn’t that be good?
CALLER: Well, I’m saying they’re going to be making more, not selling more, right? So if they’re going to be required to make more —
CALLER: — they’re going to be required to make more, the cash that that consumes in manufacturing and setting up new plants and getting material and the technology, the payback on that is years. And when we really got into the reasons behind it, the tipping point was four-dollar-a-gallon gas, and it had to be four dollars a gallon for like six months in order for this to really start people to get into the hybrid —
RUSH: Yeah. And look what happened when gasoline fell dramatically along with the price of oil —
CALLER: Right on.
RUSH: — and the hybrid sales went from, like the LA Times headline, 60 to zero in a flash.
CALLER: And it’s going to continue to do that the more they make ’em. People aren’t going to buy ’em, and that’s what our research showed.
RUSH: Well, they are going to buy ’em because Obama’s going to see to it the price gets back up to four bucks, since that is the tipping point. That will happen. I’m sure it’s part of the agenda, Big Oil is going to get blamed for it. He’s already said in public, he didn’t care the price was four bucks, he was asked about it during the campaign, he said, (paraphrasing) ‘The price doesn’t bother me, I’m a little upset about how fast it got there.’ But, look, the story says it all. Ford and Toyota are manufacturing all kinds of new hybrids to keep politicians happy. Politics. You want to know what killed the auto industry? Politics. Politics. Politics outta Washington and Sacramento and other state capitals, politics killed the auto industry. Politics is why you can’t get a car you really, really like or why they don’t make as many as you really, really like ’cause they’re being forced to keep the Gestapo off their back. They’re forced to manufacture cars people aren’t buying to keep the Gestapo off their back.
RUSH: Somebody just sent me a note: ‘Rush, you’re wrong. Obama is not going to be able to sell Priuses. He’s not going to be able to go out there and make people buy a hybrid.’ Oh, he won’t use the word ‘hybrid,’ folks. When it comes time for Obama to convince you — those of you who have already given up your individuality, those of you who have already joined the cult — he’ll simply say, ‘We need to buy green cars.’ The word ‘green’ will make it acceptable. They won’t use hybrid or these kinds of things. But who can resist the tug of doing something ‘green,’ like ‘green windows’ and ‘green energy’ and ‘green’ this and that? It’s going to be a ‘green car.’ Not the color, but it’s going to be the kind of car that will ‘save the planet’ and so forth. Go beyond what the brand names are, the advertised names.
It was just the first hour, second hour of this program, that I speculated (along with Jennifer Rubin of Commentary magazine) that this whole thing with General Motors and Rick Wagoner being fired, was a charade. ‘General Motors Corp.’s new chief executive said,’ today, this is Fritz Henderson, ‘that more of the automaker’s plants could close as part of GM’s effort to meet new, tougher requirements for government aid. Bankruptcy is much ‘more probable’ now.’ This is what some people thought this whole charade was about yesterday with Wagoner getting canned. When Obama came out and promised the federal government would guarantee your warranty, they said, ‘Wait a second! Why are you doing that? They’ve still got 60 days to reorganize.’
‘Well, we’re going to guarantee the warranty ’cause people are concerned that others would not buy cars from a bankrupt company.’ They wouldn’t trust that the warranty would be honored and so forth.