A quick thought. We miss diversified car companies. We miss diversified retailers. We miss when our car companies did amusing things.
- We liked Ford when it made Fordson Tractors, Tri-Motors and Philco Televisions.
- We liked General Motors when it made Electro-Motive engines and Frigidaire appliances.
- We liked Chrysler when it made Chrysler sailboats (long live the Buccaneer) and Chrysler Marine engines. We liked Chrysler when it sold engines for Eero Saarinen’s Mobile Lounges at Dulles.
We still like all these companies, but they were so much more interesting and adaptable when they were in different lines of business.
All companies are more interesting when they are diverse. All companies are more adaptable when they are diverse.
While it is awful to see a conglomerate with unrelated parts (that is what is pitiful about some of the GE ventures of the 1980s and 1990s), it is good to see industrial companies make things that relate, sort of, to what they do mostly. It keeps them flexible. So when a downturn comes, they don’t get stuck.
That being said, it is GREAT that Electo-Motive and Frigidaire are no longer with GM. At least they weren’t tainted with the mess.