President Obama kicked off a three-day trip with a visit to a Ford plant in Detroit yesterday. There he touted the auto industry’s dramatic resurgence over the past few years, due in no small part to the auto rescue, higher fuel efficiency standards and manufacturing investments such as the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing (ATVM) Loan Program. The lede that has been buried in many news stories about this comeback is that while we’re building the next generation of globally competitive clean transportation technology in America we’re also making landmark steps forward on the environment and energy security.
"And some of the most high-tech, fuel-efficient, high-powered, heart-pounding, good-looking, well-designed, fuel-efficient cars in the world are once again designed, engineered, forged and built not in Europe, not in Asia, right here in the United States of America," said President Obama.
Clean technology and the comeback
Having “globally competitive clean transportation technology” means that the vehicles rolling off U.S. assembly lines are breaking new ground technologically; exciting, high-quality vehicles that appeal to customers worldwide. And, these vehicles are effectively reducing fuel use and achieving deep carbon pollution reductions.
The auto industry has added 400,000 jobs since June 2009 and auto sales in 2014 hit 16.5 million. Beyond that, significant public investment galvanized tens of billions annually of private reinvestment in the sector. Higher fuel-efficiency standards mean drivers save tens of billions on gas, and they have the added benefit of achieving deep greenhouse gas emissions reductions, helping reduce related public health threats such as heat waves, floods, and local air pollution. It would be foolish to take the success of the auto industry’s success over the past few years for granted.
As President Obama said, “Because everybody came together here and worked together, folks are better off. And some of the most high-tech, fuel-efficient, high-powered, heart-pounding, good-looking, well-designed, fuel-efficient cars in the world are once again designed, engineered, forged and built not in Europe, not in Asia, right here in the United States of America.”
Redefining U.S. manufacturing successes
If the U.S. is going to continue to make cars and trucks that are in demand for a long time to come, they can’t just be fast, or cool looking or fun to drive. The cars of the future must be all of above and fuel efficient. Fortunately, we’re proving that can be done.
The cars manufactured in the U.S. today and tomorrow are the most fuel efficient in a generation. It’s not just the economy; the environment is also getting a leg up as the auto industry continues to make a triumphant return.