It’s cool to be in the car business again. If in doubt, just ask President Barack Obama, who recently spent time sampling and sitting in a number of new vehicles at the 2012 Washington DC Auto Show.
Although as President, Obama isn’t permitted to drive, something he’s lamented in a number of speeches and interviews, that doesn’t necessarily stop him from getting behind the wheel.
During his 20 minute tour of the show, Obama sampled some 18 different vehicles, all we might add, built by the Detroit three, Ford, Chrysler and General Motors. Vehicles ranged from fuel sippers like the 2013 Chevy Malibu Eco and Ford Fusion Energi Plug-in Hybrid, to muscle machines like the Corvette ZR1 and Shelby GT500.
Sitting in a Jeep Grand Cherokee, Obama (shown above during an earlier visit to the Jeep plant in Toledo), remarked to Dodge Brand president Reid Bigland that his first new vehicle was GC and asked him how the current model was selling. Bigland jokingly responded that the President’s former ride would now be worth a lot of money, citing the fact that Obama’s Chrysler 300C is currently listed on eBay for $1 million.
Although the President stated that the “US Auto Industry is back” and the fact that “GM is back Number One, shows the kind of turnaround that is possible when it comes to American manufacturing,” despite, as he believes the fact that some (namely Republicans) were willing to sit back and watch the industry die, there were still a number of automakers who weren’t entirely pleased by the President’s visit to the auto show.
Mike Stanton, president of Global Automakers, which represents Honda, Hyundai, Nissan and Toyota among others, was miffed that Obama essentially ignored a number of US built vehicles from these overseas brands that were rolled out especially for the White House visit.
“We are terribly disappointed that the President did not spend time with our manufacturers who have created jobs, employ more than 80,000 people in the United States, invested more than $43 billion and last year built more than 3 million cars here,” he declared. Ouch. That said, given Obama’s remarks at the DC show and the image above, we can only wonder what the President thinks about Fiat.
[Source: The Detroit News]