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Auto industry financing options for fuel-efficient cars

Sep 17, 2011 Matt Roesly

The auto industry in the United States has certainly experienced its fair share of ups and downs over the past few years. With the economy suffering a downturn and costs outweighing revenue, many companies were forced to take money from the federal government in order to stay afloat. With consumers having less money to spend and many people losing favorable credit ratings, auto industry financing became a primary issue for those wanting to get behind the wheel. One of the ways that the industry has tried to lure customers is by putting new technology into automobiles. As the price of fuel continues to rise, many have looked toward electric or hybrid cars to save on gas and also help the environment. Both General Motors and Nissan have jumped on the bandwagon by introducing the electric Volt and E.V. Leaf, respectively. Yet, according to Reuters, it may be difficult for the automakers to convince people to purchase the cars- both of which are priced over $35,000- even with a tax credit of up to $7,500 for the first 200,000 sold. In an interview with Climate News, Sam Ori, policy director for the Electrification Coalition in Washington, D.C., said that people would begin to buy the fuel-efficient vehicles if the benefits outweighed the negatives in the long run. "They're interested in the total cost of ownership. That's their number one priority," he told the source. "If you can show there is a value over six to seven years, you've got a foot in the door. By fleets being first movers, they can help scale up the battery industry in a significant way in the early years of the electric vehicle industry." Workers in many U.S. regions have benefited from the production pf fuel-efficient vehicles. A report sponsored by the United Auto Workers, the National Wildlife Federation and the Natural Resources Defense Council called "Supplying Ingenuity: U.S. Suppliers of Clean, Fuel-Efficient Vehicle Technologies," revealed that 150,000 people work in the renewable energy sector. Massachusetts has benefited from the increase in sector production, with 11 facilities employing 776 people.