“Build it cheaper, build it better, more reliable and more affordable, and it will sell.”
– Henry Ford
In the early 20th century, automobiles were luxurious options affordable only to the rich.
Operating an automobile wasn’t anything simple either. If you were wealthy enough to afford a car, you would’ve needed to hire a chauffeur to drive it for you. Most models were complicated machines that required someone conversant with each car’s mechanical nuances to own and to repair.
But that was about to change when inventor Henry Ford built his first horseless carriage in a barn in Detroit, Mich. Ford was responsible for transforming the automobile from a luxury innovation into an affordable utility that profoundly shaped the 20th century and continues to serve us today.
“I will build a low priced motor car, with the best materials, built by the best men today.”
– Henry Ford
Envisioning how an affordable car could revolutionize Americans’ personal transportation needs, Henry Ford was determined to build a simple, reliable and affordable car for the average American family. Mr. Ford’s goal was to give Americans a vehicle that would make their lives forever better. And he did. His Model T Ford, manufactured on his new assembly line, became “America’s automobile.”
The Model T Ford was first built in 1906, and Mr. Ford constantly reduced the car’s cost. Instead of pocketing the profits, Mr. Ford continued to lower the price of his car. As a result, Mr. Ford sold more cars and steadily increased his profits, transforming the automobile from a luxury toy into the bedrock of world transportation.
Mr. Ford was a brilliant businessman. His marketing strategy was simple: “direct product profit” rather than percent of mark-up. He believed sales volume put more dollars in his pocket and more cars on the street than higher price tags. The Model T was the best-selling American car in U.S. history.
Henry Ford took inspiration from the past, saw opportunities for the future, and believed affordable technology could improve people’s lives. To him, technology wasn’t just a source of profits, it was a way to provide Americans with “cheaper, better products” that would ultimately improve their lives.
“There is only one rule: make the best quality products at the lowest costs possible.”
– Henry Ford
Mr. Ford’s theory of building a cheaper, better, less complex car that the average Joe could buy is a thing of the past. Today, climate calamity geeks are demanding that Americans buy the most expensive vehicles to maintain and repair ever produced — anywhere in the universe.
Climate nerds claim the electric car is the next Model T. While a century ago, cars replaced horses for transportation, the comparison ends there. In 1906, a Model T was cheaper to own and maintain than a horse. Today, you can buy 100 bails of hay cheaper than one climate calamity car battery.
Climaters have had a plan to get rid of all fossil fuels for years and got the chance when President Joe Biden was elected. He ran as a moderate but when he entered the White House, he came out as a progressive.
“I actually had the most progressive record of anyone running for office.”
– Joe Biden
It is no secret President Biden chose Vice President Kamala Harris as a running mate to get the left coast climate geeks to finance his campaign. There are 14 electric car companies in California, and they lead the nation in green car sales. Those who know anything about left coast politics knew what Joe Biden would do next.
On his first day in office, Mr. Biden canceled the Keystone Pipeline. The next week, he put an end to all federal oil and gas leasing. While the Colonial Pipeline was shut down and millions of people were scrambling for gas, Mr. Biden announced he was taking 30% more public lands out of fuel production.
When Mr. Biden took his oath of office, the average retail price of gasoline was $2.38 a gallon. This week, according to data received from the AAA, it was $4.03. Before Mr. Biden released oil from the U.S. national oil reserve, in some parts of the country prices reached as high as $7.90 a gallon.
When inflation hit 9.6% and Joe Biden’s Build Back Better bill failed in Congress, the Democrats deceivingly renamed their $433 billion climate spending spree the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022.
“We will be reducing inflation by promoting renewable energy over costly fossil fuels.”
– Joe Biden
This bill contains $369 billion in climate spending. According to the Wall Street Journal, it subsidizes wind and solar, sustainable aviation fuel, critical minerals, biofuels, climate car batteries, hydrogen, reusable nuclear, electric-vehicle production and sales, charging stations and green energy plants.
The next Model T? Not even close. This bill provides $20 billion in almost free federal loans to car companies to build electric car factories and incentives for people to buy the most expensive cars ever built! Climate geeks praise Mr. Biden for making the largest climate investment in U.S. history.
When the average Joe starts looking into buying an electric car, he loses interest very quickly. With the price of the car around $80,000 and the price of a replacement battery starting at $6,300, and considering the major problems people have had with their batteries, that is an immediate turn-off!
“If it is not affordable it is not practical for the average American worker to buy.”
– Henry Ford
An Auto Trader report notes that 36% of those surveyed say they’d somewhat consider buying an electric car, while 46% say they will not. They cite the biggest drawbacks are a lack of charging stations, under 200 miles per charge, battery problems and most importantly they cost too much.
Thomas Tusser told us, “A fool and his money are soon parted.” No matter how high gas prices are, most U.S. drivers will not go green. In today’s economy, it is a liberal pipe dream to think the high-roller climate activists can convince the average American to shell out their life savings to buy a car that is less reliable, more expensive to repair and can take a full day to refill its tank with electricity.
When Joe Biden declared war on fossil fuels, he declared war on over half of his voting base. With 87% of black voters registered as Democrats, and 83% making middle or lower class wages, how many will be buying an electric car? Middle and lower class whites will not even consider buying a climate clunker. Democrats blew off 90% of their voters to appease the upper 10% of their party.
If climate nerds were really concerned about global warming, they’d have “begged” Biden for more money for rapid transit. Instead the majority of the Democrats’ $50 billion spending bill is dedicated to producing more electric cars and convincing consumers to buy them. Democrats revealed their true colors when they abandoned low-carbon emission rail and transit for the electric car. And the major problem is those who will never be able to buy these cars will be paying for them. The Model T was a working man’s car. These electric ornaments will only be play things for the rich.
“Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason why so few engage in it.”
– Henry Ford
The author is a Center Square contributor