It was George Santayana in 1924 who coined the famous phrase "those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." And like deja-vous the US auto industry is fulfilling the prophecy. Back in 1973 the OPEC oil embargo hit the US, gas prices rose about 70 cents a gallon & Detroit was stuck with dealer lots stuffed with V-8 gas guzzling monsters that no one wanted. Much hand wringing followed, with claims from the Big 3 that this could never have been anticipated & they were caught without any models that could appeal to the economy conscious consumer. The door was opened to the Japanese imports & the rest is history.
Fast foward to 2008, gas prices have been steadily trending upwards since 2004 to their current high of around $4 per gallon. Once again Detroit was caught off guard, stuck with dealer lots stuffed with V-8 gas guzzling monsters and no models to sell to the economy conscious consumer. And once again the Big 3 are hand wringing with the usual "no one could have predicted this" excuses.
What are they teaching in MBA class these days anyway?