Field of Science

Detroit fudged data to sell more SUVs

Words aren't enough to express the disdain I have for people who lie like Walter McManus.

When he worked for GM, he said the data showed that people didn't prioritize fuel efficiency very highly. Now, as a professor, he comes clean and admits he fudged the data because it suited his purpose at the time.
Detroit routinely insisted throughout the past few decades that their consumer studies proved the American buying public wasn't interested in fuel efficient vehicles, and preferred big, profitable SUVs and pickups, as reason for Detroit's truck-heavy product lineups.

Now former GM economist Walter McManus, now a professor and chief of the Automotive Analysis division of the Transportation Research Institute at the University of Michigan, said that the opposite was true--and he, along with others, helped fudge all the data.
Again, words fail me. This hurt people and the environment, and they did it for profit.
As Edmunds's Green Car Advisor reports, GM often received outside data during the 1990s showing that consumers were interested in fuel economy, but that McManus routinely dismissed it. "The survey would estimate that people would estimate fuel economy fairly highly," said McManus in the report. "Being a good economist, I said, 'No, they don't,' and I changed the results," because it wasn't in line with auto industry beliefs.

In fact, "there was a systematic bias against such results," he continued in the article. "Our job was not to seek the truth, but to justify decisions that had already been made. [Those decisions are] being made by upper-middle-class white males, by and large. They don't understand that the customers are not the same as they are."
A thousand curses!

Fuck those basterds in Detroit, and fuck those idiots who hired him as a professor. No one should ever hire anyone as a professor that deliberately fudged data. Piss.

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