The Obama administration made a big deal about how it had a long-term plan to green up the federal vehicle fleet back in early 2011. Even with that big target, the overall number of hybrids is going down. And, after spending time buying fuel-efficient US cars, the Obama administration has been turning more to hybrids from foreign automakers – just like the general public – rather than fuel sippers from Ford or General Motors.
Now that the "Cash for Clunkers" bill has passed Congress is ready for President Obama's signature, the next question is: What car should you buy with your trade-in bonus? There were two primary motivations behind this legislation, economic and environmental. From an environmental perspective the idea is to get older, more polluting and fuel consuming vehicles off the road. On the economic side, Congress wanted to stimulate sales of new cars, especially domestically built models.
Toyota has been eying a takeover of Fuji Heavy Industries – Subaru's parent company – for some time now. When General Motors ditched its 20 percent stake in Fuji back in October 2005, Toyota snapped up 8.7 percent and the two have been undertaking a series of joint ventures since.
The Detroit Free Press undertook what had to be an excruciating task - breaking down the content of vehicles from the top six manufacturers in the U.S. - to determine how much of the vehicle Americans are buying is actually "domestic" or "foreign". These are murky waters, even for those of us that work in the auto industry.