Big Three Shrivel in Latest News

Breaking News Dept: Last October, the “Big Three” automakers sold fewer than 50 percent of all cars sold in Canada that month, down from a high of 75% just 10 years ago. The Toronto Globe and Mail business pages trumpeted the news with a headline reading “End of an Era: Big Three are no more.” The Star, which draws more heavily on said auto-makers’ ad budgets for their salaries, toned it down a bit: “Big Three sales dip below 50%–Foreign-based firms win more than half of deals in October–`That has never happened before,’ industry expert says”

That we at the Allderblob wet ourselves with delight goes without saying [okay, then shut up about it. –ed.], but still we held off comment: on the one hand, cars are boring and we grow weary always thinking about them (that we are always thinking about them is an unfortunate fact. As human beings living in North America we are inevitable subjects of automobile hegemony. You can’t walk down the street without thinking about cars. Try it. Just don’t send us your funeral bill).

On the other hand, the “Shrivelled Three,” as they have come to be known, the “Big 2.5,” were sure to react to the shrinkage. They were sure to reach for the steroids and bulk up.

We anticipated a renewed shockwave of advertising, and figured that’s what we’d write about, when it came.

What we didn’t anticipate was such a literal reaction to October’s emaciation proclamation.

This just in: Dateline, Detroit auto show. Chrysler, Ford and GM are back. With “muscles.”

Muscle cars, that is.

It is to laugh.

At a time when mass media are finally granting exposure to the “Toronto Coroner’s Rule,” which says, in effect, “Motor must give way to Muscle” the way on open water “Steam gives way to Sail,” can it be coincidence that the devious car companies are attempting an end run around this rule by bulking up on “muscle cars?”

How did they put it in the Toronto Star the other day?

In fact, a single change to the Highway Traffic Act, as recommended in the Toronto Regional Coroner’s report of 1998 into 11 years of cyclist crashes and fatalities, might have prevented most of the pedestrian and cyclist deaths of the past six years.

This recommendation (number 12 in a list of 19) would have a “law of the sea” imposed on road users, as opposed to the “law of the jungle” that applies today. The law of the sea simply states that in a question of right-of-way on open water, “steam gives way to sail.” This reflects the reality that a motorized vessel has more power and more control, under most circumstances, than a non-motorized one. On land, an analogous law would have motor give way to muscle in any question of right-of-way. Thus, cars would give way to bicycles, while bicycles would give way to pedestrians.

Advertisers take note: a muscle car by any other name is still a car. It is not a pedestrian, and it is not a bicycle. And remember: in Canada, steroids are still frowned upon.

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