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2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid - Click above for a high-res gallery

As part of the Obama administration's $787 billion stimulus package, the federal government plans to spend $300 million to replace its current fleet of vehicles with more fuel efficient models. About $285 million will be used to purchase some 17,600 new vehicles from the Detroit 3 automakers by June 1. Each new vehicle will be required to manage at least a 10% improvement in overall fuel efficiency to be considered for purchase.

The first wave of orders will be for 2,500 hybrid sedans and will be finalized on April 15th (perfect timing – there ought to be a big influx of tax money coming in, right?). At the moment, we're not sure how the 2,500 sales will be broken down amongst the three automakers. We do know, however, that Ford's Fusion Hybrid is the most efficient midsize sedan available and Chrysler doesn't currently offer anything to compete.

According to a White House statement, swapping the government's current fleet for more fuel efficient models will save 1.3 million gallons of fuel per year and lower carbon emissions by 26 million pounds.

The remaining $15 million will be used for pilot programs focusing on "commercially available compressed natural gas and hybrid buses, and all-electric vehicles." President Obama said that this action will end up "[saving] the government significant money over time." Of course, it's also sure to have a positive impact on the collective pocketbooks of the American automakers. See the official White House press release after the break.

[Source: Detroit News]


President Obama Announces Accelerated Purchase of 17,600 New American Vehicles for Government Fleet

WASHINGTON – Today, President Barack Obama announced that the General Services Administration (GSA) will accelerate its purchase of new cars for the government fleet by investing funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to buy about 17,600 new, fuel efficient vehicles produced by American auto companies by June 1, 2009.

On March 30, President Obama directed his administration to speed up the purchase of these vehicles to increase demand for American auto companies during these difficult economic times. The GSA moved faster than any time in its history to launch this aggressive fleet purchase strategy. By purchasing fuel efficient vehicles from American automakers over the next two months, this move will help stimulate the economy, support the auto industry, and achieve energy-efficiency goals.

President Obama said, "The problems that caused this economic crisis weren't created in a day, and it will take time and hard work to get our economy back on track. But I am 100 percent committed to a strong American auto industry, and we will stand with America's auto workers and their families during these difficult times. As a part of our commitment to the American auto industry, I charged my administration with using Recovery Act funds to purchase a new fleet of fuel efficient government vehicles to increase demand for our American auto companies and stimulate the economy. I am pleased to announce today that my team has moved swiftly to accelerate this purchase and give our American auto industry and our economy a boost. This is only a first step, but I will continue to ensure that we are working to support the American auto industry during this difficult period of restructuring."

Also today, President Obama's Director of Recovery for Auto Communities and Workers, Dr. Edward Montgomery, visited Cleveland, Ohio to discuss the administration's commitment to a strong American auto industry. At a meeting with Governor Ted Strickland, members of the Ohio delegation and local officials, Dr. Montgomery discussed the accelerated fleet purchase and the administration's efforts to stand behind American auto companies and their workers.

Details about the GSA accelerated fleet purchase are below:

The GSA will spend $285 million of Recovery Act Funds to purchase about 17,600 commercially available fuel efficient vehicles for the government fleet before June 1, 2009. All purchases will be made from manufacturers with an existing contract with the GSA, which are General Motors, Chrysler and Ford.

This includes the purchase of 2,500 hybrid sedans that will be ordered by April 15. This is the largest one-time purchase of hybrid vehicles for the federal government fleet in history.

By swapping out less efficient federal vehicles for new hybrid and fuel efficient ones, this strategy will reduce gasoline consumption by 1.3 million gallons per year and prevent 26 million pounds of CO2 from entering the atmosphere.

GSA will also dedicate $15 million to pilot advanced technology vehicles in the GSA Fleet. Pilot programs will focus on commercially available compressed natural gas and hybrid buses, and all-electric vehicles. These orders will be placed by September 30, 2009.

Each vehicle purchased under the GSA's accelerated strategy must have a higher miles-per-gallon rating than the vehicle it replaces with the overall goal of at least a 10 percent increase in fuel-efficiency for the entire procurement.

This accelerated GSA purchasing strategy is one component of the President's overall commitment to supporting auto demand during this period of restructuring in the industry. Moving forward, the Administration will continue to work on several fronts to increase the flow of credit to auto consumers and dealers, and will work with Congress to pass an incentive program for people who turn in older, more fuel inefficient cars for cleaner cars.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      Be sure to say "you're welcome"

      When you see your government officials driving around in new cars every year, when you can't afford to buy one for yourself, because you are paying your taxes, and buying everyone else's houses and cars.

      Just keep spending money you don't have, and never earn, government... it'll all be accounted for eventually. By our great grandchildren.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @BoxerFanatic... I absolutely agree! Americans can't afford to be buying cars for themselves, so how can our government afford to be buying cars with our money? The only thing more ridiculous than Obama's stimulus here is how our bloated, overspending, incompetent congress grilled the automakers and demanded they become financially viable. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.

        • 6 Years Ago
        While the government does buy new cars every year they don't simply replace the previous year's cars. Like a business they depreciate their vehicles and then sell or auction off the fully depreciated ones. Given the type of use government vehicles get, after 5 years these cars are almost all high mileage units with low residual values.

        It seems reasonably responsible to me. Anti-government hyperbole always amuses me as it seems the proponents never seem to fully consider the alternative they seem to want: anarchy. I think I'll refer to them all as anarchists from now on. (see, hyperbole can work for the other side too)
        • 6 Years Ago
        Mr Oak, the car they pictured is built in Mexico, uses a Japanese platform......

        Why should my tax dollars go to save those jobs?
        • 6 Years Ago
        I think you need to retune your sarcasm detector. . . I thought "hyperbole" made it pretty clear.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Actually, the jobs that these cars will save, generate income, that pays REAL Taxes.

        So, instead of having to send these thousands of people UNEMPLOYMENT checks, the government collects "Tax" dollars from them.

        The fuel and maintenance savings of the new cars versus older ones, also pays a dividend.

        Take a step back and really think this one through. The cost of buying these cars could possibly SAVE the government money in the long run.

        Small minds only sees the narrow view.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I never called for anarchy.

        I always call for government to be held to it's enumerated powers limitations, and to do it's necessary job.

        You wouldn't know that, because you want the government to do and be everything for everyone.

        Thomas Jefferson had something to say about that. "A government strong enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have."

        I have no problem with the government doing the things it NEEDS to do, under the mandates and limitations of the constitution. That does require some operations funding. That is fine.

        But the federal government, at more than 3 TRILLION dollars per year in budget, and TRILLIONS MORE in deficit spending EVERY YEAR, is bankrupting our future, and enslaving our children to work to pay off debt, or to be destitute if it collapses.

        Buying more hybrid cars is just another gimmick of the fallacy of logic that is Keynesian principles that government can spend itself out of a fiscal hole.

        The government buying a bunch of cars, or paying out money to private corporations, no matter WHAT they do as their business, and calling it TARP, Loans, Stimulus, or whatever they want to call it... is lunacy.

        It takes much more out of the private sector, much more buying power OUT of the hands of the citizenry, than it ever puts back, and it continues to flout market forces, it does the opposite of returning the economy to it's natural functions.

        -But, by all means, bow down to your government overlords. Give away your freedom, and your productivity, and your children's, to them. They have your best interests at heart... [/sarcasm]

        For Samurai Jack....
        "Those who give up liberty for the sake of security... deserve Neither." - Benjamin Franklin. I don't think he was talking about anarchy.

        Get a clue people. Your freedom is evaporating, and some of you are asking that it be taken from you.
      • 6 Years Ago
      This gov't support won't buy much if you do the math:
      $285 Million / 17,600 vehicles = $16,193 per vehicle isn't going to buy a $29,000 Fusion Hybrid or Chevy Tahoe Hybrid at $45K either. So just what kind of vehicle is the gov't going to get for $16K each, a stripped Focus?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Gov't buys vehicles at fleet prices, not @ retail that u and I pay. They won't be paying $30k for a Fusion Hybrid.
      • 6 Years Ago
      This is how Ford gets the job done! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N4c4hvMAxd0
      • 6 Years Ago
      Isn't the Fusion hybrid made in Mexico on the Mazda 6 platform? It might add to Ford's bottom line but does it keep Americans employed or does it promote more jobs leaving the states?

      More of that trickle down economy stuff...
      • 6 Years Ago
      Maybe this will encourage Chrysler to release the one of the cool diesels they sell only in Europe; Grand Voyager, Caliber, Avenger... any one of those could meet the needs of this project.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I think Chrysler's contribution could be the Jeep Compass. Perhaps the US Navy could buy the Compass and catapult them at the pirates. It would be nice to see Jeep return to military duty.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Will, you win for best comment ever.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Best. mental. picture. ever. :)
      • 6 Years Ago
      Don't read too much into this. The government already buys plenty of D3 products every year. Those Suburbans that escort Obama around didn't make themselves. How much of this is simply what the government would be purchasing anyways?
        • 6 Years Ago
        The government doesn't always make purchases that large. The last time Chevrolet had a top-seller in the US was 1985, and it was the Chevy Celebrity. I have high beliefs that the ONLY way they moved that many cars was in fleet sales to the federal government.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Frylock, I'm afraid you are wrong. The military bought thousands of Celebrities.
      • 6 Years Ago
      This is quite funny actually. Rather than buy a sedan that will actually add to the Ford's bottom line (like their most profitable platform...the Panther), the Govt. will buy a silly hybrid sedan (or SUV) that Ford actually loses money on each one sold (to retail no less...they will hemorrhage at fleet prices).
        • 6 Years Ago
        Errr...do you have any links where Ford says
        they are losing money on each Fusion Hybrid?

        All electric vehicles are money pits right now, but
        on this hybrid I'm pretty sure they are breaking even....
      • 6 Years Ago
      Does this mean there will be a large amount of used governement vehicles going to auction soon?

        • 6 Years Ago
        I would like my free car now.

        Apparently I've already paid the money.

        • 6 Years Ago
        Yeah, old rental-quality Malibus and Uplanders. WOOHOO!
      • 6 Years Ago
      matt i knew it could not last for more than a day you would be back to bashing ford.did your dad run off and leave you .he must have been driving a ford.
      • 6 Years Ago
      "We do know, however, that Ford's Fusion Hybrid is the most efficient midsize sedan available and Chrysler doesn't currently offer anything to compete."

      Assuming you are talking about mileage efficiency, the mid-sized Dodge Avenger is rated at 21/30 mpg (24/32 under 2007 EPA standards), with the four-cylinder engine. It also cost $18,895 in 2008. So what's not to like from a cost point of view? The mileage is pretty good and the cost is very reasonable. Remember the new vehicle is supposed to get 10% better mileage than the old one, not best in class. Of course the car is not as good as the Fusion but that usually doesn't matter to government accountants. Oh and Hybrid will be a lot more expensive than a base 4 cylinder model from any manufacturer.
        • 6 Years Ago
        "[Fusion hybrid] You can't compare the Avenger to that for urban areas. You just can't."

        Uhh, that's because I wasn't. Re-read my post. If you go by numbers ONLY, then all midsixe government vehicles should Fusion hybrids, no exceptions. But you know the government is not going to buy all Fusion hybrids, they're not gonna buy all Fusions even wehn they purchase mid-size cars.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Frank, you do realize that the Fusion hybrid will likely be closer to 40MPG city, right? You can't compare the Avenger to that for urban areas. You just can't.
        • 6 Years Ago
        No, I'm commenting on the bloggers statement that when it comes to mileage Chrylser has nothing to compete with the Ford Fusion Hybrid (neither does GM). But if you just want a vehicle to do 10% better than the previous one and the models available are all within 2-3 mpg's of each other than yes, you have a choice of several "cometitive" vehicles - from a fuel economy perspective, which is what Autoblog was alluding to.
        • 6 Years Ago
        So...you're saying because the Avenger's gas mileage isn't all that bad, it should be bought over cars whose mileage is better?

        The Avenger may have had a sticker price under $20,000 once, but no longer. $21,655, according to Dodge's web site. The Fusion, which gets 23/34 instead of 21/30, starts at $19,270.

        "Good enough" isn't really good enough when you can get something better without any sacrifices, except perhaps business to an automaker which has already admitted publicly that its midsize sedans are substandard.
        • 6 Years Ago
        But what makes the Avenger competitive against the Fusion? Being close yet demonstrably worse isn't the same as being competitive.

        "Better in every way" is a phrase used far too often on the internet, but I'd say it would actually apply to Fusion versus Avenger, especially if you only look at factors that would apply to a federal fleet-mobile, which takes out Chrysler's optional techno-goodies.

        Why would the government or anyone else buy an Avenger over the competition, in your opinion?
      • 6 Years Ago
      I am not a fan of the current administration however, this is a very good move on Obama's part. I applaud him for taking a step to actively support the D3.
        • 6 Years Ago
        1.3 million gallons at $3 a gallon is 3.9 million dollars.

        Spending 300 million dollars to save 3.9 million dollars a year. Federal financial responsibility at its very best.
        • 6 Years Ago
        If my math is right (its prob not) and if gas is $3.00/gallon for the next year, that means these cars will save $390 million potentially (assuming 1.3 million gallons is accurate)?

        And year two it probably gets much better.
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