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December 11, 1973 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1973-12-11

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Compacts and sub-compacts: New car-buying trend?


"WHAT'S GOOD for GM is good for
the country," or so claim some
amateur and possibly even professional
What used to be good for General
Motors, i.e. profitable, was arbig, stur-
dy, roomy car that had a large enough
engine to provide that extra surge of
speed so crucial in passing other
Yearly style changes, from overturn-
ed bathtubs on wheels, to slightly wing-
ed conglomerations of color, chrome,
and glass, to a full-fledged bird and
then back to the old standard, t h e
bathtub on wheels - also were good
for GM.
But now in our post-Nader, V.W.-Hon-
da, Energy-ecology crisis era, GM has
revamped its notion of "good." T h e
car-buying public, more out of neces-
sity than choice, has reaffirmed t h e
American tradition of thrift, and the
Big Three have been forced to adjust
to a restructured market.
I am told that it is a well-known
fact among automotive engineers that
weight is a major determinant of the
gas mileage in a given car. So long
as the present internal combustion en-
gine is used, rather than a Wankel, a
dissel, or even a turbine, the mileage
per gallon is quite predictable for a
given weight.
altered these figures in recent years,
but in the smaller weight cars their

effect is not nearly as significant as
their effect is in larger cars.
This is mainly because larger cars
have larger engines emitting more pol-
lutants which require a larger, more
comprehensive pollution control sys-
tem. Much of the 119 pounds added to
V-8 engines since 1968 has been in the
form of pollution controls or adjust-
The Society of Automotive Engineers
convened in September of this year and
released the following data for 1972
cars (the weight is inertia weight,
meaning that the driver is figured into
the weight of the car.)
0 Less than 3000 pounds - Includes
Hondas and Volkswagons on the low
end, Pintos and Vegas in the middle
(2100-2,500) and Gremlins and Maver-
icks at the top end. These cars get 20-
23 MPG, and account for 19 per cent
of 1972 sales.
* 3,000-4,000 pounds - Includes
Omega at the low end, Matador in
the middle, and Ambassador at the top
end. 13-14 MPG, 17 per cent of 1972
0 4,000-5,000 pounds - Includes Le-
Mans at the low end, Caprice in the
middle, and Mercury at the top end.
11 MPG, 45 per cent of 1972 sales.
05,000 pounds or more - Cadillacs,
Lincolns, Imperials. Nine MPG, 19 per
cent of sales in 1972.
THE AUTO industry has a bit more
complicated breakdown of the a u t o

market. The categories they use over-
lap in weights, so it would seem they
classify cars according to size and
function. Their structuring looks like
this, in 1972 sales:
per cent
Sub-compact-Pinto to Gremlin 8
Compact-Maverick to Omega 15
Intermediate-Matador to LeMans 23
Regular-Ambassador to Caprice 19
Medium-Dodge to Mercury 17
Luxury-Cadillac to Continental 4
Bus, spec.-Mustang to Mark IV 11
These percentages are approxima-
tions, but the essential figures by my
reckoning are that the compact - sub-
compacts accounted for 25 per cent of
1972 sales. If intermediates are includ-
ed as "small" cars, then they comprise
nearly 50 per cent of new car sales.
Sub-compacts average 23 MPG, com-
pacts 20 MPG, and intermediate 14
consideration, these cars would be the
mos economical purchases in a ration-
ing situation, or in a situation of sharp-
ly increased gas prices. Regulars, me-
diums, and luxurys all have substan-
tially poorer MPG statistics, which is
chiefly due to their greater weight.
The controversy at present is whe-
ther the increased sales of compacts/
sub-compacts, presently 31 per cent of
1973 sales, will continue to climb.
In talking with car dealers in Ann
Arbor, many felt the market would re-
main at 70-30 level. Others predicted a
levelling out at a 50-50 breakup, in two

or three years.
The 50-50 level seems the most like-
ly, but only the oil refiners know for
A lot of auto dealers and ind'istrv
spokespersons complained of a "scare"
during the last eight weeks. Only a fear
of rationing, or doubled gas prices could
cause owners of large cars to absorb
as much as a $300 loss on trade-ins for
smaller cars.
WHILE THE market value of Cadil-
lacs, Newports, Impalas, and so forth
dropped well below the industry blue
book value, the depreciation of VW's,
Pintos, Gremlins, and Vegas was neg-
Many dealers felt that owners accus-
tomed to the ride and roominess of
their large cars would only need one
or two experiences with a smaller car
to convince them of their mistake.
"One guy traded in a Toronado for
a Maverick, drove the Maverick around
the block and came back complaining
that he could barely move." Still, it
would seem that a trend is developing.
Industry spokespersons seem reluct-
ant to admit to the new trend, indeed
GM is at present said to be pushing
large cars more than ever, but the Big
Three certainly are preparing for an
increased demand for smaller cars,.
GM, FORD, and Chrysler have all
cut back in production of their larger
models, and are planning to lay off
large segments of their work forces.
The layoff is in part caused by a parts
shortage which is plaguing the indus-

try. However it would seem that the
auto manufacturers also want to catch
up with the restructured market, and
are attempting to avoid a surplus of
large cars.
The most significant fact that lends
credence to a new, stable trend in co;-
sumer preference for small cars is
that the Big Three are planinng to con-
vert factories.
Ford plans to convert three factories
that were producing medium and re-
gular cars to the production of inter-
mediate and compacts.
Chrysler is about to convert a plant
from the production of regulars to the
production of intermediates.
GM plans to convert four plants from
the production of regulars and mediums
to the production of intermediates,
compacts and sub-compacts.
cline to specify just how much they
would be cutting back production of
larger cars, but one officijl guessed
"wildly" that it was 15 per cent.
Also interesting is GM's construction
of new plants with "flexible" assembly
lines. These plants will be capable of
producing the entire line of GM cars,
from luxurys to sub-compacts, appar-
ent evidence of GM's faith in the per-
sistence of traditional consumer trends.
Probably the most interesting devel-
opment is the remarkable sales of the
Mustang II, a car that officially strad-
dles the compact/sub-compact gap, a
car that can be stocked with all the
extras every -status-conscious, comfort-

minded buyer would want.
Mustang II is said to account for 95
per cent of all Mustang sales at pre-
sent. If there is such a thing as a
trend within a trend this appears to be
AT FIRST, the American car manu-
facturers merely wanted a ;lice of the
compact/sub-compact market dominat-
ed by the imports. But knowing t h e
American consumer as they do, they
have gone one better.
Sacrifice roominess, and you can still
get a prestigious car with all the ex-
tras and get the gas milesage that
makes small cars a salable commodity.
Needless to say, power brakes, power
steering, air conditioning and so forth
greatly decrease gas mileage, but in
the Mustang II, one still might get the
same gas mileage intermediates get
Although there is a paradox here, the
desire to get good gas mileage so as
to conserve gas and money versus the
desire to pay a lot more for the extras
that can be put into a car, one unex-
pected benefit may come of all this
FOR A WHILE NOW, sociologists
and psychologists have been decrying
the decline of the family. What better
way to bring the family together than
to pack them to the rafters and strap
them to the roof in your new Honda
Scott Twininc is a student at the
Unliversit y.


~e 51t1i an PDul
Eighty-three years of editorial freedom
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan

Response to

"Arab racis

420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Mi. 48104

News Phone: 764-0552


Subversion by the FBI

over the myriad of scandals that sur-
round the battered Nixon administration
the disclosure that the Federal Bureau of
Investigation worked actively to de-
stroy New Left political groups may go
largely unnoticed.
According to informed sources in the
Justice Department, the FBI engaged in
a widespread "counter-intelligence" pro-
gram against leftist organizations from
May 1968 to April 1971.
It is unfortunate that this recent reve-
lation has been overshadowed, for its
long-term political significance may be
far greater than that of the juiciest Wat-
tergate detail.
If these reports are true then it ap-
pears that the American government has
engaged in rather strange political be-
havior for a nation that terms itself a
democracy and the leader of what is
euphemistically called the "free world".
The FBI apparently decided that
groups of American citizens engaged in
legitimate political activity constituted
a threat to the government and should
News: Ddn Biddle, Jeff Day, Mike Du-
wecls, Gene Robinson, Charles Stein
Eiditorial Poge: Marnie Heyn, Eric Schoch,
Chuck Wilbur
Arts Page: Diane Levick
Photo Technician: David Margolick

be crushed with whatever means, both
legal and extra-legal, that were neces-
SOME ASPECTS OF government efforts
to destroy leftist organizing efforts
were obvious. A series of conspiracy trials
was launched by the government against
radical activists. None of these trials re-
sulted in conviction, but the government
did force the left to channel much of its
energy into the courts.
At the same time, covert operations
were used to undermine the left from
within. Undercover FBI agents infiltrated
various political groups both to gain in-
formation and to divide and disrupt. Re-
portedly one function of these govern-
ment provocateurs was the promotion of
pointless violent action that provided
right wing politicians like Nixon and Ag-
new with plenty of ammunition for the
campaign trail.
While it is impossible to attribute the
decline of the New Left solely to this
FBI program, it is clear that such gov-
ernment action succeeded in disrupting
the movement and cutting it off from
possible allies in the American body
In itself this brazen use of federal pow-
er to destroy political opposition is
shocking, but seen in the context of gov-
ernment policies that would relegate con-
stitutional liberties to the National Ar-
chives, it is horrifying.

Arbor was shocked to see slan-
derous, racist, cheap propaganda
printed in - The Michigan Daily
(Dec. 6) in the form of a paid
advertisement. This ad was direct-
ed specifically and intentionally
against the Arabs as a people and
collectively. Upon query, it was
verified that this ad was sponsor-
ed by Hillel, the Jewish student
oundation on campus.
This action can only be viewed
as follows: First, that Hillel h a s
Aone a major disservice to the Jews
>n this campus by lending its
aame to such racist, hateful enter-
prise and has consequently defeat-
ed the noble objectives of its found-
ers. If no public apology is is-
sued by Hillel, the Arab students
and Arab Americans of Ann Arbor
would understand that racism
against the Arabs is a policy of
Hillel and would call the attention
of all minority and nationality
groups on campus to adopt a clear
policy towards Hillel in the future,
since toleration of racism against
the Arabs is a prelude to racisms
towards other minorities and na-
tionalities. Racism in all its forms
should be universally condemned.
SECOND, IN accepting such an
ad The Michigan Daily has set a
dangerous precedent whereby a
generally liberal student newspap-
er becomes the medium for slan-
dering minorities and nationalities
under the guise of freedom of ex-
pression.tIs it acceptable to The
Daily if the KKK were to place an
ad attacking the Blacks? Would
The Daily publish a Nazi ad slan-
dering the Jews? These questions
have already been answered by
progressive and peace-loving peo-
ples and the answer is a firm NO.
Academic freedom means just
that: Academic and not propagan-
da, and freedom to all and not to
a privileged few. To categorize the
rillel'.s ad under academic tree-
dom (as communicated to this au-
thor on the phone by an editorial
To The Daily:
ONCE AGAIN a segment of the
Americanl people is protesting a
regressive, myopic policy of the
Nixon administration. In this in-
stance, it is the truckers protestig
increased fuel prices and reduced
speed limits which seriously under-
mine the trucker's economic v i a-
bility. Whatever wider "game
plan" Nixon has in mind can only
be achieved at the expense of the
least privileged and least power-
ful segments of American society
But Nixon is underestimating t h e
ability of the American people to
resist manipulation in assuming
that promises of 'negotiatiol and
dialogue' will allay people's fears.
The students rose up +o condemn
his policy in Southeast Asia. the
blacks and other oppressed minor-
ities have rallied to combat the
administration's policies of pater-
nalism and benign neglect. And
now, Nixon's own middle Amnei ca
is expressing reservations about
the vision that is presented them.
The old myths are growing dim and
the light at the end of the tunnel is
beginning to flicker.
What is particularly frui :rtii
is not the fact that the truckers

staff member) is as unacceptable
as the spirit of the ad itself. The
Daily is requested to publicly clar-
ify its policy on this issue.
THIRD, A very basic prmciple
has been violated by the Zionists
of Hillel. And that is a whole peo-
ple, and in this case specifically
the Arab people, can be branded in
a collective fashion. The Hilel's
ad claims that "the Arabs as a
people (emphasis added) have one
of the worst historical records on
racism known to humanity." Be-
fore addressing myself to history
and to the records I hold the tol-
lowing contentions as true: That
no single people could be branded
or condemned in a collective man-
ner and that only vicious racists
would find it possible to malign
categorically a whole group cf peo-
The last point reminds us of the
colonialist - imperialist mentality
that described the Africans a: lazy,
the Asians as yellow, . . . etc. The
Zionists of Hillel have thus reveal-
ed their racism, something t h a t
Arabs of the Middle East, and
specifically the Palestinians, have
experienced for some time at the
hands of the Zionists in Palestine
and since 1967 in the occupied Arab
WITH REGARD to the contents
of the ad, it would indeed be a dis-
service to all and unacceptable to
us to trade charges with such pois-
oned writing as appeared in t h e
text, even though the intentions of
the writers can be alarming. I can
only give credence to the accus-
ers if I respond by denial to such
preposterous accusations. Using
out-of-text quotations, unreferenced
figuressand events, the writers try
hopelessly to cloud what is self-
evident and to impose collective
guilt. Ironically, the ;ame tech-
niques were employed by the Nazis
against European Jews. (And the
fate of the Nazis is a common
The tone of the ad and its timing

ire not coincidental. Recents events
explain this relationship quite well.
First, with the mounting propa-
ganda about the energy crisis the
Arabs have been inccerectly and
unjustly portrayed as the perpetra-
IN THE LANGUAGE of interna-
tional politics this can be interpret-
ed as setting the sage Lor a mili-
tary intervention in the Middle
East to secure the Arab oi fields
and to consolidate the Zionit and
reactionary forces in the area. Se-
cretary of State Henry Kis;inger
has already alluded to ;tion a pos-
sibility and Senator !Fulbriyht re-
vealed that option in May 19/3. The
reader is reminded of the pretexts
under which the U.S. intervenod in
Vietnam and Cambodia. The Zion-
ist ad was meant to intensify such
an anti-Arab propaganda.
Second, the ad was a hopeless
effort to recapture a declining sup-
port for Israel in the United States
and a rejection among other nations
especially in Africa. Over 30 Afri-
can countries and many socialist
and progressive countries have se-
vered diplomatic relations with Is-
rael - mostly after the October
war. And among European coun-
tries only colonialist Portugal per-
mitted the U.S. aerial shipments
of offensive arms to Israel through
Portuguese territories.
THE AFRICAN countries n a v e
come to realize the natural rela-
tionship between racist South Af-
rica, Rhodesia and Israel. In fazt,
Israel is the major center of dia-
mond processing, diamonds that
are mined by the exploited blacks
of South Africa. And South African
donations constitute the secund
highest source of donations to
Israel. These are only two of many
facets of the Israeli-South African
interrelationship as clearly docu-
mented in a booklet by the Madi-
son (Wis.) Area Committee on
South Africa: "Israel and South
And finally, the ad's racial over-

m" ad
tones come at a time when the
University's commitments to mi-
norities, especially to blacks, Chi-
canos and American Indians, are
being challenged and reversed by a
small band on SGC. The Arao sta-
dents on campus, who have rlwa.ys
supported the just demands 61
minorities and nationalities on
campus, view this ad also as a
desperate effort to discredit cam-
pus minorities and nationalities.
THE TRAGIC events in the MId-
dle East over the past 25 years
should not be allowed to cloud the
basic nature of the Arab-Zionist
conflict. At no point in the area's
history was the conflict Jew vereiis
Arab. As a matter of fact, the
Arab, Middle East has always beer
a refuge for oppressed minorities
and nationalities (the Armenians,
the Jews, the Kurds, etc.). In
Muslim Spain the Jews enjoyed un-
precedented prestige and self-ex-
pression; and Inquisition was pos-
sible only when the Muslims were
forced out of Spain.
Meanwhile Arab Jews worked to-
gether with the other Arabs for
the betterment of all. Together
they fought the colonialists British
in Egypt, French in Syria, and
Italians in Libya. And together
they will fight other imperialists,
the Zionists and reactionaries un-
til a popular, democratic and se-
cular state is erected in Palestine
and the rest of the Middle East.
Only then would true peace be
Ahmad Beshareb is president of
the Organization of Arab Students
at the University.
Editor's note: The following is ex-
cerpted from the advertising policy of
The Daily, as printed on The Daily's
advertising rate card. All decisions pur-
suant to this policy are made by the
business staff of The Daily:
Discrimination or bias on racial, sex-
ual, or national basis will not be ac-
cepted in advertising. Similarly, adver-
tisements using copy that insults or de-
grades a racial, sexual or national
group will be rejected.



etters to the Daily


many others like it is necessary if
Nixon is to understand that he can-
not substitute himself for the po-
pular will and pursue international
prestige without first confrontir.g
fundamental domestic needs.
-Philip Davies
Dec. 7
double standard
To The Daily:
ONCE AGAIN The Michigan
Daily readership is presented with
an example of the Daily Double
Standard, with the editorial on
"Seeing Through Thieu." One cer-
tainly cannot condone Thieu', re-
pression of dissent and keeping of
political prisoners, but can one
condone the efforts by The Daily to
whitewash the Viet Cong and the
North Vietnamese as a buich
of Nice Guys who are out to cave
the People?
When Thieu violates dissenters'
rights by jailing them this is just-
ly displayed on the front page; but
when the Viet Cong blow up half
of S. Vietnam's oil supply, and the
N. Vietnamese filter in 100,000 or
so men, plus tanks, and start at-
tacking government positions in
large numbers (all some time af-
ter the cease-fire), this is reiegat-

supporting Thieu's policies. It
should be construed as questioning
some of The Daily's policies. I have
certain ties of culture and tradi-
tion with Israel, and would like to
see them come out okay in the
Mideast affair. But can I close my
eyes to the ruthless disenfranchise-
ment of the Palestinian Arab,? The
Daily apparently can. Thieu jails
dissenters, Israel drives t h e m
out. Thieu is condemned, Israel
favored. Why? One is left to spec-
ulate what the Daily's position on
Indochina would be if its staff and
readership contained also a large
number of S. Vietnamese with rela-
tives in range of V.C. rockets.
In short, it seems The Daily,
rather than being a truly free pa-
per, has a position to sell. This is
not in itself wrong; many politi-
cal papers do so. But they usually
list their political affiliations en
the front page or somewhere so
readers will know how many grains
of salt to have handy. As it is not
likely that The Daily will do this,
however, let us hope most of the
readers have not progresse-l (?)
beyond the thinking stage, but will
be able to get further information
elsewhere, and will be able to think
critically in both (all?) darections.
-Thomas Beach

its responsibility to the comniun-
ity. And that ad is quite offensive
to a large segment of the com-
munity. But worse than the fact
that The Daily printed it was the
fact that it was unsigned. It is
understandable that no one would
want to admit responsibility for it,
but should The Daily be a part of
their racist propaganda? I think
-John Ataman
Dec. 7
To The Daily:
THE UNSIGNED advertisement
which appeared in the Daily of
Dec. 6 on "Arab racism, anti-sen-
itism" has come to my attendion
and I found it of great interest.
The Daily of Dec. 7 contains a
clarification that the unsigned ad
was paid for by the Coalition of
Concerned Faculty and 'tdentM
The subject of the ad is of
course of great significance to
current events and Near Eastern
history. It is a subject that needs
public discussion, howev be-
fore that is possible, it wood be
useful if this organization would
identify itself.
-Richard Mitchell

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