Hello again, everyone! I am so excited for the next couple of days, I can barely type this right now. When this blog is posted, we will be on the verge of the best weekend of the year. No, it’s not Halloween, nor is it Christmas. This weekend is Memorial Day weekend, and for race fans, that means only one thing: racing nirvana. This Sunday, May 27th, race fans will wake up to the Monaco Grand Prix, the crown jewel on the Formula 1 calendar. Concluding the day will be the Coca-Cola 600 from Charlotte, NASCAR’s longest and most grueling event. And sandwiched right between those two is the world’s greatest motor race, the 102nd running of the Indianapolis 500. Now some may argue that the title of “World’s Greatest Motor Race” should belong to France’s 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race, there are some good arguments on that side. But, in my opinion, nothing compares to the history, prestige, and grandeur of the fabled Brickyard. The Speedway is an old, sometimes cruel mistress. She is big enough to allow for mind boggling speeds yet narrow enough to allow ZERO margin of error. To make it 500 miles here requires extreme speed, extreme focus and in most cases, extreme luck as well. As the old racer's saying goes: “One does not simply win Indianapolis. The Speedway chooses the most worthy.”
The Indy 500 has been a staple in my family since before I was born. My parents began attending when they were still dating, and my first experience was in 1997 at the age of 9. This Sunday will be my 22nd consecutive trip to the world’s largest single-day sporting event., and when I walk through those gates with 300,000+ of my closest friends, I will be just as excited as I was that first time. In the following blog, I will discuss some of the major storylines behind the on-track action at the race, and I'll also handicap the drivers, choosing a few favorites and a few dark horses to watch for.
STORYLINE 1: NEW BODY KITS
If you’ve been following the IndyCar Series over the past few years, you’ll know that the cars had a look that only their mothers could love. They looked big, bulky, and had a bunch of unnecessary aero bits that disturbed the air too much and made it hard to run in close proximity. But now, taking styling cues from the early 90’s, 2018 Indy cars are low, sleek, wide, don’t have useless features like bumpers behind the rear wheels and air intakes over the cockpit. They look, in a word, badass. But the question remains: How will they race at Indianapolis? Because a lot of the air flow is directed under the car instead of over it, some think that drivers will be so comfortable running close together that we will see pack racing – think NASCAR at Daytona or Talladega – and the danger level will increase wildly. Others think that because the air is going under the car instead of over it, there won’t be ENOUGH of a disturbance for the trailing driver to catch a draft, and one team that nails the setup will run circles around the rest. Two very different possibilities, but we will know for sure come Sunday.
STORYLINE 2: THE RETURN OF DANICA AND HELIO
Two of the biggest names in motorsport return to the Indy 500 this year: Helio Castroneves and Danica Patrick. Now, for Helio, he WAS there last year, but in 2018 Team Penske boss Roger Penske has assigned him to full-time IMSA sports car racing instead of IndyCar, so this will be his only appearance in the series he called home for almost 20 years. But don’t call him an underdog. Helio has won the Indy 500 3 times, he has finished 2nd 3 times, 3rd once and 4th once as well. He is ALWAYS a factor on Memorial Day weekend and he’s still racing for Team Penske, the most successful team in the history of the Indy 500, with 16 victories.
For Danica, it’s a different story. She announced that the 2018 Daytona 500 and Indy 500 will be the final 2 races of her career. While I was never a huge fan of hers, I do acknowledge the fact that she broke down a ton of barriers for women in motorsports and was a great role model for young women the world over. Hopefully she’ll have a competitive last hurrah. By the looks of things, she will: Danica has qualified 7th in her first visit to the speedway since 2011. Best of luck, Ms. Patrick!
STORYLINE 3: BUMPING IS BACK
Indianapolis fields 33 cars each year for the 500, in those 11 rows of 3 that are so synonymous with The Speedway itself. For a while, IndyCar was riding the struggle bus and barely getting enough cars to fill those 33 spots. So, to be honest, all you had to do was show up with a car, run 4 laps at basically any speed and you’d be in the show. But this year, there were more than 33 cars entered – 35, to be exact. That means 2 car/driver combos would not be able to participate in 2018. The PR firestorm was incredible. Finally, some drama on qualifying day like the old days! How many times will a car try to qualify to make the show? Can they get their last run in before the gun goes off at 6pm EST? Who’s in? Who’s out?! Everyone was ready for the nail biting on qualifying day. But then James Hinchcliffe missed the show…
If you’re not familiar, James Hinchcliffe is the face of Indy Car. He’s got a witty, engaging personality that everyone loves, he is EXCELLENT with the media, fans, and sponsors and he was even a spokesperson for Honda on national TV and radio ads this year. He’s also a damn quick driver. In the first 5 races of the year, he had qualified and finished in the top 10 each weekend and came into the 500 sitting 5th in the championship points. But he got bumped out for Indy. His first qualifying attempt was somewhat compromised because he was the first car to run after a 2+ hour rain delay. He went out on a cool, slick race track and couldn’t post a quick speed. His 2nd attempt to make the field was over before it began, as the tire pressure sensor in his right-front wheel broke off, causing an uncontrollable vibration. And just like that, the most popular driver missed the biggest race of the year. Imagine the Patriots making the Super Bowl, then saying “Oh by the way, Tom Brady got sent home.” Think of the Argentina national soccer team in the World Cup WITHOUT Lionel Messi. That’s how huge this is. I’m still in disbelief.
HANDICAPPING THE FIELD: THE FAVORITES
1 – Josef Newgarden: The 27 year-old Nashville native has been riding a massive wave of momentum for the past 18 months. He’s the defending series champion and he currently leads the 2018 standings with 2 wins out of 5 so far. He’s the lead bullet for Team Penske, which as I mentioned above is the team to beat at Indy. Penske runs Chevrolet engines, which is noteworthy because it appears that they have the upper-hand over the rival Honda-powered cars, at least through practice. Best team, best engine, best driver…don’t be surprised if Newgarden is drinking the milk this year.
2 – Will Power: Another Team Penske driver, with a Top-5 All Time name. This year he is rolling off from the 3rd starting position. He’s had bad luck at The 500 over the past couple years, but he has finished runner-up before and has led a lot of laps in this race. If weird circumstances, like pit road mistakes, don’t hamper his efforts again, Power will have a say in how this race plays out.
3 – Alexander Rossi: He was going to be my number 1 favorite until trouble in qualifying dropped him to 32nd starting position. He has steadily been getting better and better since his IndyCar debut in 2016. In 2018 he is driving like a man possessed. Even though Newgarden leads the points today, Rossi is my 2018 champion prediction. It will take a miracle for him to move all the way from 32nd to a victory, but young Rossi has pulled off “Indy Magic” before: Look up his rookie drive at the 100th running in 2016. Although he is powered by Honda, he is driving for Andretti Autosport, which is the team that has won 3 of the last 4 races here.
HANDICAPPING THE FIELD: THE DARK HORSES
1 – Carlos Munoz: Even though he is not a full-time driver this year it would be very easy to consider this man a favorite to win. He was instantly comfortable at Indianapolis as a rookie, qualifying and finishing 2nd. In 5 Indy 500 starts, Munoz has 4 top 10 finishes, 3 of those within the top FOUR!! Oh, and he’s driving for the venerable Andretti Autosport.
2 – Gabby Chaves: The young Colombian is driving for tiny little Harding Racing, making their first full-season run in IndyCar this year. The team’s first race was one year ago at Indianapolis and Gabby brought the car home 9th. In 3 starts last year, he finished in the top 10 twice. This kid is also very comfortable on the hyper-quick ovals in the series, and has the preferred Chevy power in the back.
3 – James Davison: This Australian is simply fearless, which I guess isn’t a surprise, given his nationality. In 2017, he was a last-minute replacement for an injured driver. He started dead last in a car he only had a few laps in, yet he still lead the race for a while! He was comfortably in the top 10 when a late race multi-car crash put him out. This year, he crashed the day before qualifying in AJ Foyt Racing’s 3rd car and most people thought his car wouldn’t be rebuilt in time to qualify. But the crew hustled, and Davison found some true driver's crash-amnesia, and he qualified a very respectable 19th for Sunday’s race.
There you have it – the good, the bad, the favorites and the potential surprises. IndyCar is one of the few racing entities in the world that are experiencing growth right now and the fantastic races at The 500 over the past 5 or so years are a big part of that momentum. Before you grill-out on Memorial Day Monday, crack a beer and find your favorite spot on the couch to watch what’s bound to be another classic from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Or better yet, come join me and 300,000 of my closest friends at the race this year and experience the magic yourself. If you do go, come find me. I’ll be the guy in the Check Engine Podcast t-shirt.
For the first time in a long time, I’m going to come off snarky. There. I said it. Usually that is reserved for some of my co-hosts on this podcast (Editor's Note: HEY! I'm not snarky, I'm cynical.) but today? It’s me. Today, I’d like to discuss why drivers’ education in this country is a joke. Now, some of you may be thinking, “Is he serious? It took me FOREVER to get my license!” And no. I’m not. Being someone who has had the luck and privilege to travel all over this fine country by automobile, I can tell you, again, it is an absolute joke.
Let's start with the fact that the main facet of any drivers education program is classroom based. Then, tie onto it the fact this takes place at 15 and a half years old for most states, and you have a recipe for disaster. Kids suck at classroom learning. Experiential learning is a far better use of their time. Getting young people to sit, read, listen, and retain information is difficult. It’s something that requires years of learning just on the teacher’s part to master. Now, remember, what they are learning (or not learning) will have the ability to ruin them legally, financially, or just physically. Just to add some spice and excitement to this whole process, most kids simply begin driving around with their parents or a driving instructor on PUBLIC ROADS! With other people who have gone through the same process! Now, in the case of driving school cars, at least those are marked with large signs to allow us to avoid them. That… helps? As long as whatever they’re going to destroy can read. Trees don’t care about the student driver plaque on the car. Or deer. Tootle around in your parents’ or driving instructor’s car on public roads for about six months and ta-da! You’re fully licensed to drive whatever car you’d like, at any time of day, with as many people in the car as you can cram in there legally.
No single step of this process takes place on private roads, a track, or even a closed lot. Anything even related to “defensive driving” is an afterthought that needs to be taken at an entirely different place than most regular driver’s ed classes. Especially in my part of the world, that may be the the most glaring omission. We know all about how far from the curb we can be when we back up or that we need to turn left to left, but nothing about the concept of recovering from a skid with a little opposite lock, nothing about keeping track of where our escape points are should an obstacle suddenly appear in the road. Those who are fully licensed may have NO idea about any of these things. That is very dangerous.
Compare all of this information to anything about the process of getting a driver’s license in many European countries. A place that I have some experience with is Germany. And compared to Germany, we are just handing out licenses. German schools have lessons that take place both on public roads (but with full mirrors, pedals, and other controls for the instructor). But they also have more technical lessons that take place in private. If you take your test on an automatic transmission? You’re not certified to drive a manual! They also have to pass a mandatory first aid class! It doesn’t even strictly have anything to do with driving. Now, I know that Germany has places with unrestricted speed limits, etc. That said, German driving schools fail about a quarter of all of their students. A quarter. Think about that.
Now, that’s not say that we need to fail 25+% of all our drivers. We can even aim to pass most of them. But, we could definitely add more actual education to the “driver’s education” idea. Many things prevent us from having things like Autobahns. So, we don’t really need some of the things they have in Germany. We can keep our driving age at 15.5 instead of 18 like Germany. We often need to drive far earlier than Germans because of the sheer size of our country. Any kind of defensive driving (heck my motorcycle safety course even had that!), more extensive instructor control of the learning car, and some more in-depth written testing would go a long way. I would even go as far as to say I’d be happy to RE-certify every few years. We have to pay to renew our licenses, but we don’t really get re-evaluated. Any other thing that involves the potentiality for killing or injuring so many people and damaging so much property always has a recertification process. I don’t think the entire American driving public is a menace. I think most of us do just fine. However, it is the most dangerous thing we, as a country, do on a daily basis. Why not make the testing a little more stringent to allow people to do it?
I know, I know. I've been a little hard on Ford lately. But they're doing this to themselves. I can't be held responsible for their actions. Plus, I really just used their logo in the cover image because they're the low hanging fruit. They're the only company to kill off all their cars in the American market in order to make a full pivot to SUVs, but in reality, every brand is chasing the SUV dragon again. Heck, it's widely assumed that former Cadillac CEO John de Nysschen was fired due in large part to his slowness in reacting to the SUV trend. SUVs are the thing to make; they're the thing to push on consumers under the auspices of the great American ideology of "Choice". "Choice", we're told, is what matters most, the customer's choice most specifically. Speaking of choice, I'm choosing to not play the game of nit-picking the difference between SUV/CUV/Crossover. I can't be bothered, and neither can any manufacturer, as they all tend to use the terms somewhat interchangeably. But anyways, today we're going to be talking all about choice, and whether or not it matters.
First, if we're going to talk choice, we have to talk about the primary mythology behind SUVs. After all, choice is king, right? Well, did you know that in an SUV, you don't HAVE to choose? You can have the fuel efficiency of a car and the utility of a truck! You can have the space of a minivan and retain your need for performative masculinity! You can re-landscape your backyard AND take the wife out for a nice dinner! You can choose not to check the weather, because you can do 80 on any road in any conditions! You can be safer in your vehicle, and become an absolute menace to other drivers! YES! YOU CAN HAVE IT ALL! Those myths have also become the sales pitch of the SUV. It's a car, but more. It's a truck, but more. It's a van, but more. The reality is, of course, that SUVs are all of those things, but less. They take a bit of the best traits in each segment and combine them into one melange, the signature sauce of the Fine. They are less fuel efficient than cars. They are less useful in work and off-road scenarios than trucks. They are less capable people movers than vans. But, to be fair, they can do all of those things with reasonable success all within the span of a few minutes, and without any additional cost to the owner, other than the extra running costs, of course. This same mythology of choice has followed SUVs from their truck chassis roots, through the "stretched car" Crossover evolutionary stage, and now to the "just a high-up car" CUV terminal stage we find ourselves in today. Yes, you can now have the convenience of a car footprint AND the space of an SUV! Never mind that problem had already been solved by hatchbacks and wagons. Never mind that many small SUVs actually are hatchbacks and wagons, and never mind some manufacturers just throw a little lift on a regular hatch and declare it a SUV in the USA because American consumers are only marginally more aware than the actual products they're buying. Hey! Don't read about the passenger space in the Mazda 6! Look at this CX-5! It's an SUV! The Buick Regal TourX isn't a wagon it's a Crossover NO DON'T LOOK AT THE EUROPEAN VERSION! Don't look at the cargo space in the Elantra GT, look at this Kona! See? It's bright green!
Now, here's another thing to stop and point out. The Kona is actually built on a smaller platform than the Elantra GT, the Elantra is a compact, and the Kona is a sub-compact. However, in terms of price-point, the two cars are direct competitors across the model range: The base Elantra GT is $19,350, the base Kona $19,500. The Elantra GT Sport starts at $23,250, and the Kona Limited starts at $24,700, both models featuring Hyundai's turbocharged 1.6L Gamma engine, and all the niceties of a top-trim car in 2018. Hyundai is far from alone in pitting their small car and small SUV segments against each other, but they are my example here, because I know the brand quite well. See, this practice positions the Kona, and other small SUVs like it, in a very significant place on dealer lots. When the two car-buying key demographics (baby boomers and millennials) come to the lot, no matter what car they come in to look at, there's always an SUV for just thismuch more. And then the SUV mythology/sale pitch kicks in on its own: "Well, I could buy the Elantra, but look at this Kona! Think of all the possibilities the SUV gives me! Look at all the space it has!" By the way, I wasn't joking around when I said the Kona has less cargo space than the Elantra GT. That's actually a fact. And I know the Kona is being sold as the roomier car because I heard that exact pitch made to my wife when we stopped at the local dealership to look at the two cars.
I'm not mad about that factual error. I don't blame the salesperson at all. I don't even think that she was being intentionally deceptive about the Kona. I just think she thought it was a bigger car because it's an SUV. It is impossible that pitch is an isolated incident, and it's impossible that Hyundai dealerships are the only place where things like this are happening, because this is the reality of the current car market. It's move SUVs or risk dying out. Thus the myth continues to build. Shit, I never even looked into the space claim the salesperson made until I went to write this article. Because that's the power of the mythology behind the SUV. It affects every single person who has shopped for a car in the last fifteen years, even us. To blow up his spot a little bit, when Tristan bought his new car, he got an Outback. Since the purchase date, he has stridently been declaring the advantages of the modern SUV: How well they do in the winter, how much space they have on the inside, the freedom of choice he kept by not going back to a sedan or a wagon, all that stuff. We even got into a fight about it at Road America last year, simply because I kept saying that I didn't think it really was an SUV. I thought it was more of a wagon with a lift. But very specifically, Tristan was focused on how the Outback must be a SUV because it has more ground clearance than the Jeep Grand Cherokee, per Subaru's sales pitch. However, there's a problem with this line of thought. The Subaru Outback is not a SUV.
No, honestly, it's the absolute truth. The Subaru Outback is not a SUV. That's the pitch, that's the marketing campaign, but the IIHS has Subaru classifying the Outback as a 5-door hatchback. While that may seem to be an arbitrary distinction, remember that the IIHS absolutely must know the manufacturer-determined class of the vehicle in order to properly assign safety ratings to the car, because every vehicle class uses different metrics to determine the safety score. The same holds true in the European NCAP ratings, where the Outback is classified as a large family car. Ditto the JNCAP ratings in Subaru's homeland of Japan, which has the vehicle classified as a station wagon. All of those safety evaluators have at least 2 SUV classes, and Subaru doesn't actually put the Outback in any of them, in any market. Maybe it sounds a little bit like I'm trying to dunk on Tristan here, but I'm not. I was shocked when he told me that the IIHS had the Outback rated as a hatchback, because it's never, ever sold that way. Hell, Subaru barely even deigns to sell the Outback as a wagon in the US, they just sell it as a straight-up SUV. After all, it has more ground clearance than a Jeep Grand Cherokee, haven't you heard? Think of the choices that gives you!
By any stretch of the imagination, then, the Subaru Outback cannot be an SUV...yet it remains one. By any measurable standard, the Kona does not have more "ulility" than an Elantra GT...yet it is sold that way. I mean, hell, you can't even put a trailer hitch on the Kona. But you can put one on the Elantra GT. Yet still, always that same refrain returns, always that same idea that if you choose a SUV, you've chosen not to ever have to choose again, because you chose the most choices and that's what matters. But is it really consumer choice that matters in the SUV market? I think not.
Now, we addressed this a little bit in the Ford Emergency Brake. Ford's execs have been shockingly transparent about their pivot to SUVs, specifically saying that this switch is aimed to please the shareholders. By definition, this is greed: Money is driving the direction of the business, not consumer choice, not consumer desires, not even the long-term health of the business itself, just earnings, and earnings right now. While Ford loudly and continually speaks on the death of their cars and pumps up their all-SUV future, it has to be remembered that this transition is exclusively about getting the most money imaginable from each consumer, to the exclusion of all else. I even have receipts. We've already talked about how far down Ford's car sales are, 15% down in April of this year alone. SUV deliveries were actually down almost 5% in April as well, but there's a golden egg in that shit goose: Ford reported that in April 2018, their average transaction prices rose $26,300 PER VEHICLE over 2017 levels.
Yeah, you read that right. As SUV sales rise, so does profit per vehicle, as highlighted by the Kona/Elantra GT comparison from earlier, and triple underlined with nine exclamation points by Ford in that last statistic. That's the real truth behind the pivot to SUVs. It doesn't have anything to do with choice. What the consumer wants doesn't matter to Ford at all, all they're looking at is the bottom line. No, the line below that bottom line. Ford wants to ensure that they can take every single person who walks onto their lot for as much money as possible, regardless of what that consumer's actual want and/or need is. If you want a small, affordable car, you get a small, less affordable SUV. If you want a midsize family car, you either get a compact SUV or spend out for the midsize SUV. If you want a big, luxurious car, you get a big, luxurious SUV. And everything in between. With help from Edmunds, here are the per-vehicle transactional price differences between cars and SUVs by segment as of January of 2018. In all segments, SUVs are the more expensive option, and it must be remembered that nearly all of the class-sharing vehicles also share a chassis and/or platform: Subcompact, $8,242. Compact, $8,005. Midsize, $12,288. Full-size, $28,465. Luxury (entry-level luxury sedan vs. midsize luxury SUV), $41,043. Ford's report of a $26,300 transactional increase doesn't seem so insane now, does it? This also explains why subcompact SUVs compete with compact cars: Even though they're a class down, they cost half again as much as their subcompact car platform siblings, so they can't be sold as competitors with the vehicles that share their platform. It's madness, frankly, because does anybody really believe they're getting a third more vehicle when they buy an SUV?
In light of these numbers, I'd like to revisit the question of whether or now Ford is evil for fully cloaking themselves in the SUV hype in order to make more money per customer. I think the answer has to be maybe. They're definitely greedy. They're definitely intentionally creating a market scarcity while trading on their own brand loyalty to force people into paying more money for a car they might not have otherwise chosen, if they still had a choice to make. Meaning, there are still car brand loyalists out there, a lot of them. Ford is intentionally abusing the loyalty of those people, and daring them to either change brands or buy something they might not truly want. That, at the very least, is an extremely shitty thing to do. It's the very antithesis of choice, shielded in the illusion that Ford wants to give all consumers more choice by, uh, I guess, removing the buyer's agency to choose at all. Is it evil for Hyundai (and indeed every other brand) to upsell subcompact and compact SUVs against cars a class above, even though they are often smaller and less "useful"? Maybe. Again, it is a deeply shitty thing to do, as most people still don't do much research before going to buy a car. It's certainly deceitful, at least to my eyes, because all of these brands understand that by merely calling something a SUV, CUV, or Crossover, they sell more, regardless of the reality of the vehicle.
To conclude, I still believe that choice matters in a way that Ford has quickly abandoned. I believe that cars should not just be for the rich, and I believe that if you have money, you should be able to choose to spend some of that money on a car. I believe that it's important to have a whole range of vehicles for people to choose from, including SUVs, no kink shaming and all of that. Most of all, I believe in choosing to stay informed. This blog isn't about getting people "woke" or any of that shit. This is just something I've been ruminating over after reading these facts on Automotive News, Edmunds, and some other sources. By now, everybody needs to understand to their core that companies are in business solely to make money, and they will allow their customers to do anything they like, especially things like going broke or into massive debt, in order to make the most money from every person who walks in their doors. I'm not asking for the death of the SUV, nor a major shift in the current car market. If you want an SUV, go get it. But don't choose one because of what you've heard, don't choose one because of what you saw on TV, don't choose one because of what the sales representative told you. Most of that is lies, and all of it is marketing. Choose your car because you like it. Choose it because it makes you feel something. Hell, choose it because it's all you could afford at the time, but choose it for a real reason, a real reason that's all your own. That's the choice that matters, no matter what any company wants you to believe.
UPDATE: This blog was originally written May 9th, and on May 10th, Bill Ford jumped into the fray with some absolutely wack nonsense that I'd like to directly address. According to Automotive News, during a shareholder's meeting, Ford CEO Jim Hackett and Ford Ford-Person Bill Ford were asked quite a few questions about their decision to kill off Ford's cars in the US. Which, NO SHIT. Hackett and Ford apparently took exception to this, starting with Hackett lowkey denying that anybody could possibly see a problem with not having the choice to buy a small Ford car in America: "This doesn't mean we intend to lose those customers, we want to give them what they're telling us they really want." He went on to say that Ford is "reinventing the American car." The second part, obviously, is a blatant lie in that Ford isn't reinventing any kind of car at all. Explicitly. Per their own press releases. And to the first part I respond "We'll see." I believe that this very obvious backlash that Ford is already experiencing, and the savaging they're getting in the press, clearly demonstrates that actually, nobody wants this change. Fortunately, Bill Ford is here to check in with how he thinks this plan is being received: "I wish the coverage had been a little different." (Oh, he's one of THOSE guys...) "If you got beyond the headline, you'll see we're adding to our product lineup and by 2020 we'll have the freshest showroom in the industry. The headlines look like Ford's retreating. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth."
Bill Ford. You are retreating. Categorically. You are categorically retreating from categories. You are intentionally depriving loyal Ford customers of a whole slew of vehicle segments that they care about. The same car segments that saved your sorry ass from actual bankruptcy just ten very short years ago. But Jim Hackett doesn't care about any of that history, and neither does Bill Ford. They don't care about their loyal fans and customers either. They barely care about how the brand is received in the public eye, in that they only care enough to blame "the media" for reporting on the bad stuff they're doing, a diseased Trumpian maneuver designed to play on whatever sympathy might remain inside the loping husks of their brand zealots, so that they can be manipulated even more grotesquely. Never, ever forget: All of this is targeted towards getting Ford's stock price to go up, right this second. That's the only end game these guys have in mind. I think it's completely pathetic. But you know what? If this works, then nobody will even remember that it was an issue. In ten years, they might be making a statue of Bill Ford and Jim Hackett giving the whole world the middle finger. And I'd go see it. Probably even rent a Ford SUV to make the trip.It's a good choice I hear.