Everything goes through waves of enthusiasm on Wall Street. It’s fascinating that the marketplace is now focused on the threat of inflation, like it didn’t exist just a few months ago.
Finally, the price of a barrel of oil has got people thinking that all prices could rise a lot of the near term. If you think about it, the vast majority of the products we use every day have some sort of petroleum product imbedded in their make-up.
One industry that has me enthused lately is that of vehicle manufacturers. Although it’s tough to take, it isn’t surprising that General Motors Corporation (NYSE/GM) wants to close four truck plants in North America. When concerning new vehicle purchases, everyone I know is thinking about fuel efficiency.
I really hope that GM’s new electric car, the “Volt,” will be a technological success and a sales success for dealerships. Toyota Motor Corporation (NYSE/TM) just announced that it is going ahead with a major effort to improve the battery technology in its hybrid vehicles.
The battery seems like the real hybrid alternative for the near term. To me, I think it just makes sense. You drive around in your electric car, park it, and plug it in to recharge the batteries. In major urban environments, electric vehicles will go a long way to help reducing smog.
Not being an engineer, I can only suppose that an electric vehicle also means less moving parts and better overall reliability.
I often think that the big three domestic automakers are behind the curve on what customers want. What a GM, Ford or Chrysler needs is a new winner on their hands. They need a “Prius” to get customers enthusiastic about buying a car again. They need a runaway successful product to get people enthusiastic about buying domestic cars as opposed to the imports.
The next few years should see a revolution in hybrid vehicle innovation. I like the look of the “Volt.” I just hope it works.