News & Resources

Government plans major auto industry financing moves

Jun 06, 2011 Brian Bradley

In recent auto industry financing news, the federal government announced a new plan to increase the number of energy efficient vehicles in use by government workers. Bloomberg reports that the Obama administration is slated to purchase 116 plug-in electric vehicles, including 101 Chevrolet Volts from General Motors and vehicles from Nissan and Think Global AS. According to the General Services Administration, the directive seeks to make sure that all government-owned vehicles are able to use alternative fuels. Steven Chu, the secretary of the Department of Energy, said the new investment was a good step toward the president's plan to invest in innovative technology and reduce energy consumption. "Diversifying our transportation fleet with hybrids, electric vehicles and other alternative fuel vehicles is a critical element in President Obama’s long-term plan to break our dependence on foreign oil and invest in America’s growing clean energy economy," Chu said in a statement. Detroit-based GM was understandably pleased with the administration's decision and said that increasing the number of Volts used by government officials would help people understand the issue's importance. "The Volt is a 'no-excuses' car designed to meet the rigors of daily use with gas-free driving under most circumstances," said GM spokesman Greg Martin in an email with the news provider. Obama has stated that he would like to see 1 million plug-in and hybrid-electric cars and trucks on the road by the year 2015. According to the GSA, out of the 35,000 vehicles purchased this year, 22,000 of them have been alternative-fuel capable. Consumers who decide to purchase the energy efficient vehicles will be able to take advantage of tax incentives. Motorists will receive a $7,500 tax credit off of the $41,000 suggested retail price. Auto industry financing was one of the topics at the 2011 New York International Automobile Show, which drew more than 1 million visitors. Those who attended the 10-day event got to see 61 new vehicles for the first time and had the opportunity to take part in a business-to-business trade event. The show was hosted by the Greater New York Automobile Association and is the oldest event of its kind in the country.