TO THE EDITOR:
Nothing so clearly illustrates General Motors' self-created path to another bankruptcy — and why Volkswagen likely will succeed — than the Dec. 14 editorial, "Dealers should be treated as partners in EVs." GM brass will never understand.
GM tells Cadillac dealers to spend $200,000 to sell electric vehicles or take a hike, generously letting them take all the upfront risk of being minor players in a future market, with direct competitors already beating their sales. VW tells dealers it believes electrification is the future and offers to go 50-50 on the upfront costs and risk of creating the means to exploit that market. Some 99 percent of VW dealers sign up and willingly share one risk GM likely never cited.
That risk was mentioned by Subaru CEO Tomomi Nakamura: "For the U.S. market, we're not sure how rapidly the EV market will grow" ("Subaru CEO eyes market share, better quality," Dec. 7). In 1908, Henry Ford's competitors all said the same thing as he introduced the Model T intended for a mass market that did not yet exist.
Ford created the mass-market demand for low-cost cars — and EV makers must do the same for their products in this century. The maker that risks the upfront capital, as Ford did with the moving assembly line and River Rouge plant, will own this market.
NORMAN HIGBY, President, WMP Forecasts, Menlo Park, Calif.