Yesterday after taking credit for his administration’s actions bailing out the U.S. auto industry, President Barack Obama spent time observing high points of the Detroit Auto Show including the new Chevy Bolt.
“Fantastic. That’s a nice-looking car,” Obama said as he approached the 200-mile-range EV.
Obama’s photo op was not unlike one taken with the 2011 Chevy Volt when that car was just being introduced, and he also checked the Ford Escape Hybrid, and a display by Chrysler and others.
The show tour was the fun part, but perhaps as satisfying the president took credit for a rescue package he endorsed in his first year in office which he says resuscitated the U.S. car industry.
“The beating heart of American manufacturing was flatlining,”the president told an assembly of United Auto Workers. “We had a choice to make, I placed my bet on you.”
Financial assistance went to Chrysler and General Motors, and it’s been widely said Ford inadvertently benefitted too as suppliers that serve the industry were indirectly benefitted, and thus so was Ford though it received no bailout package.
The White House has since said the car industry rebounded from 2009’s 27-year low water mark to a record high in 2015.
Obama has been a staunch supporter of alternative energy, and vehicles since that time have formed the first start of electrified vehicles intended to wean off of gasoline.
Consumer tax credits and incentives to manufacturers have – as was true of the bailout – attracted praise and ire from various points of view.
For his part, the president said he did the right thing and pointed to the record high as proof.
The Bolt builds on technology spurred during his presidency, and in response to EPA rules but Obama also spied a new Corvette and expressed enthusiasm for it as well.
“That one is juiced up a little more. That looks all right,” said the president.
In his speech also, Obama talked about having to give up his massive armored limo called “the Beast” and he joked about having to browse for a new car at the show.
Actually, Obama is on record for saying in 2012 he would buy a Volt when he leaves office.
If he decides to follow through, the second-generation is now available.