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Obama Test Drives Volt, Affirms Commitment to U.S. Car Makers

Obama Test Drives Volt, Affirms Commitment to U.S. Car Makers

Jason Mick

August 04, 2010

Two years ago, General Motors and Chrysler stood on the verge of collapse.  No bank in the country was capable of undersigning such a huge bankruptcy.  The only possible resolution appeared to be complete liquidation to repay the companies’ lenders, which would have decimated the American auto parts industry and left Ford Motor Company as the only major surviving America auto company.

Instead U.S. President Barack Obama, along with foreign leaders in Canada and the EU put together a comprehensive bailout, that while paling in comparison to the bank bailout of 2008 in size, was sufficient to carry the U.S. auto companies through bankruptcy.  Today GM is once more turning a profit and Chrysler is also showing signs of recovery.

President Obama appeared in the metro-Detroit area of Michigan today, touring various GM and Chrysler facilities and speaking to his vision of a revitalized auto industry.  Addressing a largely enthusiastic crowd Obama began, “Hello, Detroit. It’s good to be back.”

Obama had some good news to announce — with the turnaround, Chrysler’s Sterling Heights plant, previously scheduled for closure, would not only stay open, but also add a shift.  Obama hailed this news, commenting, “When a plant thrives, that doesn’t just affect the new workers, it affects the entire community.”

Addressing the crowd, Obama fired them up stating, “A lot of people were skeptical. There were many who said we should just let the market take its course. Let GM go bankrupt. Let Chrysler go out of business.  But I had confidence in you.  I will bet on the American worker every day of the week.”

At about 1:15 p.m. Obama visited GM’s Hamtramck plant and jumped behind the wheel of an upcoming 2011 Chevy Volt.  He only made it about 40 feet before secret service agents stopped him.

The President joked, “Some of you saw me drive the Volt about 12 inches; they don’t let me drive much these days.”

The Chevy Volt is the first step in Obama’s vision of a reinvented U.S. auto industry, driven by hybrids, electric vehicles, and fuel cell vehicles.  President Obama has called for over 20,000 electric vehicle stations, 1 million EVs on the road, and bargain EV prices of $10,000 per vehicle to be in place by 2015.

Video of Obama’s speech is available here.

© Daily Tech 2009

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