Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Detroit Area Mayor Rallies Residents to 'Buy American'

- 2010 Chevy Camaro-

Mayor Rallies Municipal, School Employees to Purchase Detroit Big 3 Vehicles

Warren, MI - A suburban Detroit, MI mayor whose city is home to two General Motors Corporation facilities and two Chrysler LLC plants is expanding his efforts to get people to buy American cars.

Mayor Jim Fouts tells the Detroit Free Press and The Detroit News that he wants municipal and school officials in the region to require their staffers to buy Detroit Big 3 vehicles. This week, more than 200 letters were mailed to Detroit-area cities, townships and school districts to prompt residents to buy American vehicles.

“Over the summer, Fouts issued an executive order calling on his appointees to buy the Detroit Three's vehicles. And he's now in talks with union leaders to expand that policy to other city workers.

Fouts also wants to lure GM's headquarters from downtown Detroit to Warren.”

As this Daily Tribune article also reports, the Detroit area appears to have a champion for the working class in Mayor Fouts, as he also supported a local rally to back the Big 3 and buy American products back in January.

President Obama’s ambitious push for revamping automobile design en masse to improve fuel efficiency standards and to reduce CO2 emissions is underway, raising challenges for American car manufacturers to compete with Japanese designs along with a few “green” contradictions. For example, claiming to “go green” for buying a brand new Toyota Prius hybrid is in some ways counterproductive to saving the environment. Not that the goal is not worthy. While hybrids release less CO2 emissions than the average gas guzzling sedan or truck on the road, manufacturing new cars still requires the use of vast amounts of nasty chemicals used in paints, mercury, petroleum as water becomes polluted. Another significant factor is the huge amount of dwindling, precious, natural minerals necessary to produce the steel. But the most significant contradiction is the push for American automotive manufacturers whose management chooses to offshore their development for cheaply manufactured cars and then ship them back to the U.S. consumer to pay comparatively through the nose for.

So why not just build the damn things here and reduce the massive, marine cargo polluting emissions? 2009 is the year of the Great American Hybrid Rollout, as this report takes a closer look at what’s under the hood of the Ford Fusion and Mercury Hybrids:

“Hybrid versions of the Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan are expected in 2009. Ford’s first hybrid sedans will use a 2.5-liter engine to yield 200 horsepower. The entire 2009 Fusion lineup will receive a design refresh, including new headlines and front grille and a complete redesign of the interior. More importantly, the cars will return 39 miles per gallon on the EPA city cycle, said chief engineer J.D. Shanahan, and highway mileage “at least 6 miles a gallon better than Camry Hybrid”—which would be 40 mpg or higher. This beats the mileage for the 2008 Camry Hybrid, at 33/34 (city/highway). Other impressive statistics for the Fusion Hybrid include pure electric speeds as high as 47 miles per hour, up to 2 miles of continuous electric-only driving, and a range of 700 city miles on one tank of gasoline.”

As long as cars are used by millions of Americans who spend on fuel to drive across town to the mall to buy Nike apparel made in Indonesian sweatshops and then on to the grocery store to buy food items shipped from China, cutting out overseas shipping emissions by producing goods locally is one first step toward rebuilding local economies. Spare the air, spare a job? OK. So polluting plants are still a problem and toxic emissions scrubbing technologies are in demand, but why should the Chinese take all the credit for being the world’s greatest polluter?

Another announcement today reveals that Ed Montgomery, Obama’s “director of recovery for auto communities and workers” will be in Detroit next week to meet with local leaders and hold a workshop on how to apply for federal Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants. The report states that earlier this month, Montgomery visited Flint, Warren, Grand Rapids and Detroit for meetings with officials and community leaders.

Detroit area residents are fortunate to have a champion of workers’ rights like Mayor Fouts, who is serious about improving labor conditions for the residents in his local community as Detroit’s Big 3 evolve to step up to the challenge of 21st century car design production standards.

But for those concerned about the near to long term environmental impact of hybrid batteries’ toxic waste in the landfills who are trying to recapture the “glory days” of sporty cars gone-by, there’s always the revival of the most successful of the neo-classic pony cars, the 2010 Chevy Camaro.



warren m. spuchs said...

i like the camaro.
too good for the nozeytailed knuckledraggers from centerline who deserve at best the rickshaw.

The Gay Swami said...

Camaro? Oh no, no, no. I'll have the Fisker, the quiet and stealth car for the Al Gore set.


GM has taken its last bath and is now going bankrupt but does anyone have any idea who is *behind* the behinds of Detroit's new make-over?