Wagoner to Obama: Automakers need research money from feds

After being asked what the next President of the United States could do to help Detroit's automakers, Rick Wagoner, head honcho at General Motors, responded that his company could use an injection of cash for research and development into new, potentially green technology. Also mentioned were additional incentives for consumers to purchase those vehicles once the automakers actually produce them. Neither of these suggestions should be shocking to anybody paying attention to the Detroit 3's recent financial woes. Much of the admittedly meager R&D budget is already being spent on new technologies such as hydrogen fuel cells and electric drive systems, including the extremely important lithium ion battery.
Federal aid in the form consumer incentives would allow automakers to offer eco-friendly vehicles at potentially profitable prices while still being in the target range of many consumers. In the past, tax credits for hybrid vehicles have helped move that technology along when it was in its infancy. This latest meeting hosted by presidential hopeful Barrack Obama once again indicates how important the emerging green-auto sector and health of the Detroit auto industry in general will be in the coming election.

[Source: The Detroit News]

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