Friday, August 13, 2010

“CARS: Getting Recharged”

c. 2010 Rod Ice
All rights reserved

Note to Readers: What follows here is a one-act play about the evolving state of automobile manufacturing. The participants have chosen to meet far away from the glare of media attention in Washington, D.C. or Detroit. In another venue, the group would face much scrutiny from the public. But in northeastern Ohio, they remain anonymous, and safe.

THE SETTING – A conference room at the Perry Nuclear Power Plant.

THE PLAYERS – Lee Iacocca, former chairman of Chrysler Corporation; General Motors; Henry Ford XVI; Antonio Chrysler.

LEE IACOCCA- “I’d like to welcome all of you to Ohio! Today, we are considering a new direction for our industry. One that will finally bring us to a zero-emissions future.”

GENERAL MOTORS – “Ten hut! That’ll make the tree huggers happy!”

HENRY FORD XVI – “Is that why we are meeting at a nuke plant?”

L. IACOCCA – “An increase in our capability to generate electric power will be needed to support the switch from gasoline. So we are here to look at expanding the industry while celebrating America’s smartest new electric car… the Chevrolet Volt!”

ANTONIO CHRYSLER – “Hah! That’s a laugh. You want smart? Have I got a Fiat for you!”

G. MOTORS – “At ease, soldier. My Volt has already won the battle.”

FORD XVI – “Don’t be so quick to declare ‘Mission Accomplished’ – my family has been working on electric cars all the way back to the days of Thomas Edison!”

A. CHRYSLER – “Yeah and you still don’t have one on the road. What does that say? Your brains are unplugged. Bada bing!”

FORD XVI – “Shut up, Tony!”

L. IACOCCA – “Gentlemen, please!”

FORD XVI – “My EV vehicles will rule the market. Just wait!”

A. CHRYSLER – “C’mon, Henry. We’ve waited almost a hundred years! Whatta you talkin’ about?”

G. MOTORS – “Read ‘em and weep, Pilgrim. I hold the winning hand.”

FORD XVI – “What, with a car that goes 40 miles before it needs a charge?”

L. IACOCCA – “Let’s be fair, Henry. The Volt has a gasoline-powered generator that kicks in after the batteries get tired.”

FORD XVI – “So it’s basically just another hybrid car…”

G. MOTORS – “Pay attention, soldier. That’s THE FUTURE you’re looking at!”

A. CHRYSLER – “Nah, Henry is right. You want economy? I got that. A Fiat in every color!”

G. MOTORS – “Nobody wants your surplus scrap, Tony. Time to raise the white flag.”

L. IACOCCA – “Gentlemen! We need to draft a plan to lobby for more nuclear power in America. That’s the only way there’ll be enough juice to go around for our new electric cars. Going ‘green’ is our path to the future.”

FORD XVI – “Okay, Lee. I agree with you on getting away from foreign oil. But the tree huggers stalled nuclear power in this country. How do they turn around and support it now in the name of zero-emission vehicles?”

L. IACOCCA – “It’s the way of politics. Making strange bedfellows…”

A. CHRYSLER – “Hey, I ain’t getting’ in bed with any of you guys!”

G. MOTORS – “Ten hut, I’ll second that. There’s no time for sleep. My Volt will be leading the parade.”

FORD XVI – “For the first forty miles, at least.”

G. MOTORS – “Private, watch your mouth!”

L. IACOCCA - (Exasperated) “Gentlemen! That is enough!”

(Everyone bows their head)

FORD XVI – “Sorry, Lee.”

L. IACOCCA – “Okay. Let’s work on a group effort to promote our new electric cars. How about an ad campaign that says ‘Clean Wheels/Great Deals’ – what do you think?”

FORD XVI – “Buy an EV and the extension cord is free!”

L. IACOCCA – “How about an all-electric series of NASCAR? That would get us a lot of publicity with potential customers.”

G. MOTORS – “I’d salute that banner!”

FORD XVI – “Sure, race for forty miles, then run a halftime show while you get recharged for the second heat…”

G. MOTORS – “Shut up, soldier!”

A. CHRYSLER - “Bada bing! My Fiats don’t need a recharge to keep going.”

FORD XVI – “No, just a good mechanic to keep them from falling apart.”

A. CHRYSLER – “You talk too much, loser!”

G. MOTORS – “I don’t need to talk. My Volt says it all.”

FORD XVI – “Yeah, it says that people will probably buy the Nissan Leaf instead.”

L. IACOCCA – “That’s it! I have had enough!”

(The room goes quiet)

G. MOTORS – “Sorry, commander. We were out of line.”

L. IACOCCA – “The future is here. Oil is dirty and expensive. Plus, it carries geo-political baggage. People want an alternative. If we give them a clean choice, our industry will be strong for generations to come.”

G. MOTORS – (Raising his hand in a salute) “Ten hut. Give the order, and I’ll follow.”

FORD XVI – “I agree.”

A. CHRYSLER – “Hoo boy, you drive a hard bargain.”

FORD XVI – “Well, that’s better than having to drive one of your cars!”

A. CHRYSLER – “You gotta big mouth, turkey!”

G. MOTORS – “I got big batteries. That’ll get me to the finish line.”

FORD XVI – “Or at least close enough to push it home…”

L. IACOCCA – (Out of patience at last) “This meeting is adjourned!”

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