Reader Question: The Truck We Can’t Buy?

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Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!

Tommy asks: I think I know the answer but would like to know why we’re not allowed to buy the Zhengtu Chinese GM truck you wrote about the other day. The whole deal makes me made because I would like to buy one.

My reply: There are several reasons.

The first and most fundamental one is that the truck does not “comply” with current federal “safety” standards, such as side/bumper/impact and rollover standards. It lacks the “equipment” mandated by the federal “safety” apparat, including side-impact air bags. It is therefore illegal to sell the vehicle here, as it was illegal to sell Mexican-built VW Beetles, which were made there until 2000 (and have not been sold new here since 1977).

It is extremely expensive to make a vehicle “compliant” with all these “safety” – and “emissions” – standards and probably impossible to do so and keep the vehicle light and simple.

The second reason is that GM and the rest – and the rest of the financialization sector – do not want low-cost vehicles available as these would undermine their ability to chain people to debt servitude. Many people could buy a $9k truck outright and those who needed to finance it could pay it off in two or three years, with the payments being half or less what the payments on a $35,000 vehicle would be. This would liberate them, financially – and that  is something the corporations who run this country do not want.

. . . 

Got a question about cars, Libertarian politics – or anything else? Click on the “ask Eric” link and send ’em in!

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