The Washington Post reported today that,
President Obama yesterday announced plans to buy 17,600 American-made, fuel-efficient cars and hybrids for the government fleet, the White House’s latest gambit to steer aid to the nation’s beleaguered automakers.
A few thoughts:
- In 2007, U.S. car makers sold more than 16 million cars.
- In 2009, cars sales are project to be less than 9 million.
- Obama’s purchase of 17,600 cars is obviously a drop in the bucket compared to the kind of sales increase that is needed.
- Cars sales will pick up when the economy recovers, provided that carmakers are making cars that Americans want and that are profitable — that is, SUVs and light trucks.
- But Obama wants the Big Three to make and sell econoboxes that Americans don’t want.
- Not only are econoboxes small, dangerous and incapable of pulling/carrying large loads/groups of people, Obama plans to tax drivers by the mile they drive — thereby erasing any economic benefit from fuel efficiency.
Bottom line: Obama’s plan is a stick in the eyes of carmakers, workers or consumers.