April 11, 2006

Chrysler Beats Up On Big Oil

Seems the auto manufacturers are getting in on the beating of big oil companies. Chrysler had this to say about the huge profits that big oil is seeing and the huge increase in gas prices at the pumps recently

"Big Oil would rather fill the pockets of its executives and shareholders, rather than spend sufficient amounts to reduce the price of fuel, letting consumers, during tough economic times, pick up the tab,"

In an extraordinary rebuke across industry lines, Vines said the oil companies were lining up scapegoats for frustrated consumers while filling their coffers.

"Despite a documented history of blowing their exorbitant profits on outlandish executive salaries and stock buybacks, and hoarding their bounty by avoiding technologies, policies and legislation that would protect the population and environment and lower fuel costs, Big Oil insists on transferring all of that responsibility on the auto companies," Vines said, referring in part to a print advertisement by oil giant ExxonMobil that criticized the auto industry's record.

In the ad, ExxonMobil said the U.S. economy had become vastly more fuel-efficient since the first oil shock, "so why is … the average fuel economy of American cars unchanged in two decades?"

So what does the auto industry say in reponse to ExxonMobils accusations?

Spokesman Eron Shosteck said the auto industry is producing more than 1 million vehicles this year that have gas-electric drivetrains or can run on alternative fuels -- yet the oil industry has been slow to provide stations that offer alternative fuels.

There are 180,000 gas stations in the United States but only 500 ethanol stations, and most of those are in the upper Midwest.

Chrysler has gone out in front on this issue, Morrow said, but he expects other automakers to join in -- "I believe you'll see a consortium of forces coming out to beat up on the oil industry."

The counterattack may be effective, he said, because regular consumers have suffered from high home heating and gas prices. "So the consumer might be saying, 'There's someone out there finally fighting for the little guy.'"

I don't think we have heard the last of this from either side.

Posted by Quality Weenie at April 11, 2006 07:18 AM | TrackBack

Gee, shall we compare the profit margins of both companies over the last 20 years?

Posted by: Ogre at April 11, 2006 01:58 PM