on PUMA and other silly endeavors

GM-Segway PUMAUpon seeing Project PUMA, the new joint venture from unlikely partners GM and Segway, you might have thought of me. Specifically, you might have wondered, “What would Chris think of this?” And so I’m going to tell you a little story…

[strums guitar]

What? Okay, maybe not.

I thought, “What the hell are they thinking? Is there really a problem this solves, a problem so compelling it required someone to figure out how to balance a two-person vehicle on two wheels in city driving conditions?”

Seriously. Who is their target market? Prospective Smart car buyers who would jump for something that popped more wheelies? All those Segway owners longing for a dorkmobile built for two?

No, I think this is something much simpler: another publicity stunt by GM to try to associate themselves with progressive “green” thinking without the risk of producing a product that might displace the automobile. Can’t you just hear them talking about it in the boardroom? “I mean really, this one practically kills itself!”

One thought on “on PUMA and other silly endeavors

  1. Well said, Chris. I don’t know if you’ve seen their “hybrid” trucks, but they are basically a regular gas truck with an electric converter that allows for some plugs in the bed. That’s great for my electric saw, but MPG is still only 22 highway (http://www.gmc.com/sierra/hybrid/index.jsp). Seriously?

    Toyota’s non-hybrid gas Tundra is rated at 19 MPG on the highway for a similar 2 wheel drive model.

    Give me a break, GM. You owe it to your employees and your customers to do better.

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