• Nov 29, 2006


The 2006 L.A. Auto Show had only been officially open to the press for an hour before all hell broke loose at the show's keynote speech given by General Motors CEO, Rick Wagoner. Despite GM's laundry list of green related announcements and reveals this morning, two protestors from Global Exchange stormed the stage during his speech and demanded he sign a big cardboard contract that said the following:

I (RICK WAGONER) CEO of General Motors hereby pledge to make GM the most efficient automotive company in the industry by 2010.

According to Chris Paukert at Winding Road, Wagoner's response was that his speech commited General Motors to that very thing. Other reports say that after the initial stun of seeing people on stage who weren't supposed to be there, Wagoner was smooth and handled the hiccup with grace.

The video above shows the one of the protestors, Mike Hudema, having a healthy debate with Don Fuller from MAWG who also contributes to Kelley Blue Book. Hudema started the discussion by claiming that GM should not have "killed the electric car" because there was a demand for it. Fuller disagrees... repeatedly, over and over again.

[Source: Winding Road]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 55 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      This was hilarious! I love Don Fuller's no holds barred determination to get the academic nitwit to answer anything except his pre-programmed soundbites. Fuller has been around the proverbial automotive block. An editor of Motor Trend, professional racer (24 hours at Daytona, plus a land speed record at Bonneville). He is articulate and understands all the facets of these complex issues. He's even funny.

      Oh, and I'm honored that he is my Dad.
      • 8 Years Ago
      It looked like a bitch slap fight to me... No one wins... Everyone looses. Both groups had good points, but they are lost on making the other side seemed deranged and moronic.
      • 8 Years Ago
      #46
      Lithous out of curiosity what do yo do for a living? I work in an Emergency Room, I see and treat terrible crap all day, I come here to read about cars. Your post seems so bias against working people and your answer so narrow minded that once again you miss the point completely, this is a blog about cars!

      I asked you to talk about cool American cars and you can't.
      "Where are the cool, fast, sexy, efficient American cars?" I said.
      You answered: "Where are the sexy Japanese cars?"

      That's a non sequitur, and a straw-man argument! Your question does not follow from mine, and you're asking another question to distract from the first! The question is simply, "Where are the cool, fast, sexy, efficient American cars?"

      I'll skipping all you're computer rambling because again you're off topic and getting back to cars. I used the Vectra to make the point that many of our American cars are crap. TopGear presenters can't even say the name of the car they hate it so much. I don't give a crap about "badge engineering", just make a good car. I'll keep buying used Bimmers till American cars don't suck.

      The rest of your post is off target and rife with more flawed arguments and logic. By the time you do get back on topic you just put you foot in your mouth! You say: "Why would GM even start the EV-1 if they wanted to drag their feet? That makes no sense."

      Dude, go see "Who Killed the Electric Car?".
      The movie lays it out, and it a impassioned call for "cool, fast, sexy, efficient American cars" and about the groups that killed them: GM, Hummer crazed consumers, C.A.R.B., Oil Companies.

      Lets talk about cars, not your favorite corporation.
      I love cars!

      This space shouldn't be about politics, just cool cars.
      • 8 Years Ago
      If the guy was smarter he would not even bother pursuing General Motors just as hundreds of thousands of Americans are already doing.

      Americans are enabling the Toyota takeover of GM, not Toyota. But this has nothing to do with that.

      He should concentrate his time with a company like Honda a company that had the FIRST hybrid on the market and got 60-70mpg.

      Honestly, why bother with the good ol' boys club? They are FOLLOWERS.

      Honda comes out with the first ever hybrid for the USA then Toyota with the Prius. YEARS LATER, GM is talkin' up a storm about their Hybrids that will soon "materialize".

      Why go after the FOLLOWERS of Hybrid technology when you can go after the LEADERS of Hybrid technology, and demand they get EVEN BETTER mileage?

      Go to Toyota and Honda and DEMAND they come out with a hybrid that will put an END to the debate of hybrids. Something that goes beyond the "norm" something with 100+ mpg. If your looking at GM for that, you will be waiting a long time, becuase we don't even know how far off Toyota and Honda are.

      If it was NOT for Toyota and Honda with their Hybrids:

      the term "Green Line" would be foreign to us.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Would somebody mind telling this activist that companies such as Toyota and Nissan also produce large "gas guzzlers?" Maybe he should be ringing up Mercedes and BMW, or Daimler.

      You don't have to be liberal or conservative to realize that the activists argument is kind of stupid because if you do some thinking, it isn't just GM who is at fault.
      • 8 Years Ago

      Have you seen the aftermath?

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFDjz1VqFlE&NR

      RAN may be unrehersed, but at least they don't name-call and threaten violence. This guy comes across as a total jackass, and frankly, the RAN stunt was pretty funny and on-target. SEe the whole thing here:

      http://youtube.com/watch?v=s4bwptKniHU
      • 8 Years Ago
      Either way, (regardless of who is right here) healthy debate fosters change, hopefully good change. When you attack someone's character, such as calling them a moron, you lose credibility because you have run out of points on the topic. I think it is good that concerned citizens are able to approach people in a public forum to hold their feet to the fire because that is how results are achieved. However, Hudema should have been more tactful in his approach because his points are lost in translation when he attacks Fuller. I agree with Hudema's argument about improving MPG standards. Afterall, China has higher MPG standards than the US. I am not sure about his electric car claim and I don't have the time to research it. Regardless, rushing the stage wasn't the proper time nor place.
      • 8 Years Ago
      The intolerent views of many people who have posted here strike me as fascist.

      Below is the Oxford English Dictionary definition of fascism, and it the one I mean to use here. The fascist bigots flaunting their moral superiority with bellicose personal attacks have made no clear points, other than a boring display of ignorance and intolerance. Fascist right wing crap should have no place on an AutoBlog.

      Lets talk about cars, not First Amendment Rights.

      ________________________________
      fascism |ˈfa SH ˌizəm| (also Fascism)

      noun an authoritarian and nationalistic right-wing system of government and social organization.

      • (in general use) extreme right-wing, authoritarian, or intolerant views or practice. The term Fascism was first used of the totalitarian right-wing nationalist regime of Mussolini in Italy (1922–43), and the regimes of the Nazis in Germany and Franco in Spain were also fascist. Fascism tends to include a belief in the supremacy of one national or ethnic group, a contempt for democracy, an insistence on obedience to a powerful leader, and a strong demagogic approach.

      -OED
      • 8 Years Ago
      "GM, like any other car company, will build what we want to buy. Too bad we have to give them a few years to figure it out and wait for them to engineer a solution."

      To expand on that, it's unfortunate that the "buy American" train of thought would have us patiently wait on the big 2.5 to figure out exactly what we want, and obstain from buying a foreign-made (or simply foreign-designed) car in the interim. Instead, we should settle for something that isn't quite what we want but IS made by an American company. But if we do that, the American companies have no incentive to respond to the customer's wishes.

      If all of a sudden, Impala sales plummet and Camry sales soar, GM would figure out that the customers have a need or want that they're not fulfilling. How are they supposed to figure that out if we keep buying cars we don't want?

      So since most people already buy the car they want regardless of where it was made, it's not a problem. The problem is the long lead time it takes to realize the customer's need and then design a new car (if that's what it takes) and get it out the door. And not much can be done about that if we want quality vehicles.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Liberals gone wild. Radical environMENTALists. GM-bashing. Leave it to the leftists to embrace their oh-so-fuel-efficient (Hollyweirdos and academic Trotskyites pushing their less-than-spectacular gas mileage hybrid cars) Nipponese champion, Toyota. They fail to see the irony in embracing yet another corporation, let alone a foreign one that has so little regard for the environment. Too bad that those afflicted with the GM/Bush/Wal-Mart/America Derangement Syndrome won't seek help for their condition.
      • 8 Years Ago
      GM 1939 4 speed automatic.
      2007 suburban, 4 speed automatic.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Lets see more amazing cars like the Tesla, or an A8 that does 700 miles on a tank, and lets cut the personal attacks. What's so wrong with asking for energy independence? No blood for oil.

      Ps. Does anyone think CEO Wagner has built anything? Other than perhaps a golden parachute for himself?
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