Still An Important Anniversary

December 23, 1987 will always be one of the most significant days in my life. PLEASE read An Important Anniversary, which I posted on this day last year.


OK, what do these three pictures represent?



The top is a view from my office in our previous home; the bottom two are views from my office now. I wonder if people who were born and raised here or who have lived here a long time take the views for granted. I hope I never do.


So far, about 800,000 people in the US have received the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. That number is about 2.5 million worldwide. I know the MSM has a different take, but I think it’s amazing that in about a year since the virus was discovered in the human population, vaccines have been developed, tested and given to millions of people. (Update: the CDC just announced that the number of vaccine doses administered has surpassed one million.)


What was the best-selling car in the US in 2000 that was made by an American company? The answer is the Ford Taurus, picture below from IIHS:


See the source image


The Taurus was manufactured from October, 1985 through March, 2019 except for a brief hiatus in 2006-07. About 8.1 million cars with the Taurus “nameplate” were produced in total.

The Taurus grew out of an effort to improve manufacturing processes at Ford. My friend Dr S (a PhD in Statistics) will appreciate this: Ford adopted a quality culture employing statistical process control across all aspects of automobile design and manufacture. The Ford Taurus was the first Ford model resulting from this statistical approach to manufacture.

Even 20 years ago, however, the writing was on the wall about the future of vehicles like the Taurus. The top three selling vehicles were the Ford F-Series pickup trucks, the Chevrolet Silverado and the Ford Explorer. The F-Series sold more than twice as many units as the Taurus.

As I have written here ad infinitum, I weep at the trend towards SUVs and pickup trucks. In addition, NO ONE will ever be able to convince me that America’s march to obesity isn’t the primary reason for that trend. More than 70% of American adults are overweight and more than a third are obese. The fact that SUVs have higher profit margins than cars means that automobile manufacturers are only too happy to oblige the trend. Give me one of these any day; oh, I already have one:











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