In coverage of GM’s reported intention to produce a $4,000 car, the company revealed that its near-term “goal” is to “have 75 percent of its sales” outside the United States.
But, here’s the catch: GM won’t be able to sell the $4,000 car in the United States. Because in the United States, new cars must be “government approved” before they can be approved by consumers. And to be approved by government, a new car must be fitted with a horn o’ plenty of government-mandated safety and emissions control equipment.
“Safety” and “low emissions” may be laudable, but they aren’t free. The federal requirement that each new car be equipped with multiple air bags is alone worth an estimated $1,000-$1,500 per car — or one-third to nearly one-half the projected final cost of the GM $4k car.