This would normally be in an Alt-Wheels Notes post as I’m trying not to do single posts for that subject anymore.
But this is rather significant and needs emphasis on its own:
From: The Dow Drops
Detroit used to worry about Japan. I don’t know how much they still worry. At least you don’t hear them complaining anymore.
China, however, is a whole new worry for them — and I’m not sure they even realize it.
Although I’m not anti-car, I’m no fan of them since these days they’re basically killing machines, mowing down pedestrians, Alt-Wheels riders, and even other drivers. Something happens to a person when they get behind that wheel.
Anyway, I’ve gotten distracted here. Cars are on their way out. Aside from people who live out in low-density areas where distances are great, there’s no reason to own one in a major metropolitan area. The cost of ownership and traffic congestion are becoming a burden. And there’s this overriding statistic to contend with:
Have you noticed I haven’t even mentioned climate change? The oil companies and Detroit see the sun going down on their current way of life and style of business — it’s only a matter of time before the public in general is finally convinced and politicians start making moves to prohibit driving (especially on days when air quality is dangerous for everyone). Singapore has already mandated a transition to fewer cars. Other nations are bound to follow.
But to get back to my point: China.
China basically rules Alt-Wheels.
Most electric skateboard companies are Chinese.
Most electric scooter companies are Chinese.
Most electric unicycle companies are Chinese.
Even when there’s a rare American company, the components they use are from Chinese companies.
I don’t think there’s a single American company that makes small electric motors used by Alt-Wheels.
And bicycles? The BBC recently did a documentary about Raleigh bikes. They’re all made in China now. A native British industry succumbed. (How long can Brompton bikes hang on?)
Will it be the same for American carmakers?
What would that do to our economy if Detroit disappears?
Ford owns Spin rental scooters and was allegedly promoting the Ojo electric scooter — but has Ford ever announced they will manufacture such things? Nope.
As for GM and Fiat-Chrysler, I have no idea. When carmakers have revealed their plans to enter the Alt-Wheels market, their products have been mainly laughable. BMW, VW, and Audi just don’t have a clue. They’re designing in a vacuum. And since Alt-Wheels products are less complex than autos, there’s bound to be a decrease in employment at all such manufacturers.
I don’t have any solution here.
But I do know what’s happened already. American no longer makes radios or televisions. We long ago surrendered those to Japan.
Will the same happen with cars and Alt-Wheels?
Is anyone even paying attention?