Following the unusual step of Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) calling for General Motors’ CEO Rick Waggoner’s resignation, this week will likely be the week that decides the fate of the US auto industry for the next generation.
Bright Automotive took the aggressive step of testifying before a House subcommittee today that federal funds for innovative companies needs to be a part of future action. Bright says they will produce 50,000 new units of a 100 mpg vehicle by 2012. Pricing, distribution and anything more than a vehicle prototype is a long way away.
What’s special about what Bright Automotive did is the simple sales axiom we often forget. They asked for the money. I don’t know if the company can deliver on its promises, but I do know that U.S. lawmakers are speaking with great conviction about transferring several billion dollars to three huge companies in days. A billion here or there, and a VC-led company that claims plug-in/hybrid auto technology is here can likely tap a lot of taxpayer money.
Even if they miss on this particular ask, the job they’ve done today in raising awareness — I learned about them via the Wall Street Journal — is some of the most cost-effective awareness the company could have hoped for. And since they made the ask, the least we can do is help them kick up their awareness a bit more. After all, making the ask is sometimes necessary just to signal your intentions.