• Sep 21, 2007
Domestic automakers may be losing market share, but it appears their clout is intact. The Department of Health and Human Services issued an apology for a recent newsletter that suggested only Japanese and South Korean vehicles in a list of 12 "green" vehicles for their 67,000 employees to buy. Domestic automakers took exception to the seemingly biased message, and the 15 Michigan members of the house wielded their power to get the HHS to apologize.

That all the vehicles listed in the HHS newsletter were of Asian origin doesn't bother us much at all, but the fact that a government department that admittedly has nothing to do with auto policy is "suggesting" that its workforce buys certain kinds of cars just pisses us off. This is the United States of America baby, viva la choice!

[Source: Yahoo via GM Inside News]




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  • 25 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      How does someone else's suggestion limit your choice?
      • 7 Years Ago
      We should put up or shut up.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I think the basic problem here is the fact there was a list in the first place.

      I'm sure the employees of the HHS are a smart bunch, just like the rest of us. I'm sure they have been able to make decisions about purchasing things they need without the government's hand-holding and direction.

      I applaud the Michigan lawmaker's efforts. the bottom line here is only about not recommending certain model vehicles; it's about HHS keeping their nose out of business that isn't theirs.

      if the "small timer's bible", Consumer Reports, wants to spout their drivel, that's different. it's a private publication, and they can say what they want. the government isn't in the business of recommending anything.

      ...and DriftPunch, your analogy with restaurants was well-taken, and right on point.

      AZMike
      • 7 Years Ago
      Wow! Amazing! So let me get this straight....the GOVERNMENT guarantees its citizens the right to free speech. The right to have ANY opinion they wish without fear of retribution, but the GOVERNMENT turns around and censors ITS OWN EMPLOYEES over something that is completely irrelevant! O...M...G! And, in doing so wasted who-knows-how-much taxpayer money. Like others have pointed out, time, money and energy that would have been much better spent on REAL issues.

      As for claims that the newsletter's "suggestion" implied anything other than what it was intended to be (a simple, helpful list of the more fuel efficient cars), that's absolutely absurd! This was printed in a NEWSLETTER, not a government memo, mandate, rule book, guideline or anything else official. It's no different than me sending an email to my company saying, "Hey, I know that many people are concerned about both the rising costs of fuel and the damage to the environment, so I compiled a list of the most fuel-efficient vehicles available that you might consider if you're in the market for a car: ....." WHAT'S THE PROBLEM?? The problem is, the Big 3 can't handle the truth - they're not quite up to par in this category yet. And IMO, the fact that they cried to their mommies in congress just brings about even more negative opinions towards them. I have a suggestion, Big 3: quit crying and blaming everyone else in the world for your problems and build a product that speaks for itself.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Why? The best made small fuel efficient cars tend to be imports. Most are made in factories in the US (with exception to the Hybrids). You can buy a 40mpg standard Civic made in Marysville, OH with 5 start crash safety and leading edge design and mechanics.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I remember this story, and I do not know why anyone would be surprised that a Federal Bureaucrat would possibly favor imports. Many of our elected and unelected officials favor imports all of the time - imports like terrorists, socialists, communists, illegal immigrants - anything at all that undermines the fabric of our country.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Funny how the feds have time to wield their power to force an unnecessary apology for American auto makers, but can't seem to to wield that same power to fix education, national debt, outsourcing jobs, broken levees, etc., etc., etc. At least Japanese and Korean auto makers open up shop in the U.S. to give honest people a place to work when "The Big 3" continues to shut down their U.S. plants.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Please tell me you're not implying foreign automakers employ anywhere near the number of U.S. citizens as the domestics. If you are, you'd best go check the numbers.
        • 7 Years Ago
        If only fixing our education problems, healthcare issues, etc. were as easy as making the HHS apologize for a memo they should never have sent in the first place...

        The only reason the import brands are setting up 'shop' here to appear "American" and be able to say, "look at our wonderful new [insert car name], it's made in [insert southern state]". It's marketing, a sale pitch, and way to sidestep certain import tariffs. Never mind that the profits go back to Japan or that they employ a fraction of the number of Americans that the Big 3 do... that Camry was made in Kentucky! Yeah, just wait, if the unions ever get their claws into those import assembly plants, just watch how quickly the shut them down and move production south of the border.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Nobody can see anything wrong with a U.S. government office telling workers to buy foreign brands when our whole system of government is based on tax and spend? I wonder how the U.S. government would feel if those same workers put out a newsletter recommending to all employees not to pay taxes? They are cutting there own ignorant throat (budget) by telling employees to buy foreign products because there WILL be less tax money for them.
      • 7 Years Ago
      people have the right to buy foreign.............we wonder why our economy isn't on it's way back up and we're looking at a recession in the near future. if we keep supporting foreign companies we are just gonna keep losing American jobs. No matter how much the foreign fanboys don't wanna believe it........toyota, honda, nissan, kia, etc don't employ nearly the number of Americans as the domestics.
        • 7 Years Ago
        the auto industry is the largest industry in the US. so when negative things happen, such as supporting foreign companies and badmouthing domestics, it isn't good for the economy. I'm didn't say this was the only factor however it is a major one.

        do you really think supporting foreign companies doesn't hurt domestic job security?
      • 7 Years Ago
      Apology was unnecessary. Instead of whining about it, American automobile manufacturers should look at this as a hint to build better products.
        • 7 Years Ago
        "Go to Hell Idiot. We are building BETTER products."

        Who's we?
        • 7 Years Ago
        Go to Hell Idiot. We are building BETTER products.
        • 7 Years Ago
        If only American automobile manufacturers knew what "BETTER" means...
        Somehow the word got lost in translation.
          • 7 Years Ago
          Indeed.

          With everything about American automobile manufacturers in the media, you can tell they have the devotion, they just need to focus on different things.

          • 7 Years Ago
          Indeed.

          With everything about American automobile manufacturers in the media, you can tell they have the devotion, they just need to focus on different things.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Exactly
      • 7 Years Ago
      What was the South Korean vehicle(s) in the list?
        • 7 Years Ago
        Entire list of vehicles recommended:

        Honda Civic GX
        Toyota Prius
        Honda Civic Hybrid
        Nissan Altima Hybrid
        Toyota Yaris
        Toyota Corolla
        Toyota Camry Hybrid
        Honda Fit
        Kia Rio/Rio 5
        Hyundai Accent
        Hyundai Elantra
        Honda Civic
      • 7 Years Ago
      The Dept of HHS doesn't have anything to do with automotive policy, but it is charged with protecting the health (The "H" in HHS) of US citizens. Isn't recommending the purchase of autos that pollute less than others consistent with that mission?

      I don't see anything wrong with the original HHS recommendations. I'm more ticked off that Michigan lawmakers used their power to bully the department into apologizing.
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