U.S. Gov makes $285-million order for Detroit-made vehicles

Looks like American automakers have found at least one more buyer for their vehicles. The U.S. government is planning on the purchase of $285 million worth of fleet vehicles that get better gas mileage than the current fleet. Under the plan, the General Services Administration will purchase more than 17,500 vehicles as a part of their existing deals with Chrysler, Ford, and General Motors.

U.S. President Barack Obama, and his administration, have said the purchases will take place by 1 June. Although it is unclear what will happen to the older fleet vehicles being replaced, many will likely be sold at government auctions.

The purchase is hardly a surprise. In the much talked about stimulus package approved by Congress, $300 million was included for the automotive purchase. This is not a gigantic purchase in the grand scheme of things, as the Big Three sold a combined total of 380,000 vehicles for March 2009. Still, the move may help to bolster confidence in the sector, while even a marginal increase in revenue would be welcomed by the automakers.

More than 14% of the vehicles will be hybrid sedans. 2,500 orders for the vehicles, which will likely include the Chevy Malibu, Ford Hybrid Fusion, and Saturn Aura, will be placed by the end of next week.

Of the deal, 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% committed to a strong American auto industry, and we will stand with America's auto workers and their families during these difficult times." His statement was released earlier today by the White House.

The General Services Administration is the supply chain, transportation, and building management arm of the U.S. Government. It manages a federal fleet of nearly 650,000 vehicles worldwide. The scandal-plagued office has been rocked by the perjury and obstruction felony convictions of its former Chief of Staff David Safavian. At the same time, a GSA administrator was trying to cut the budget for fraud investigations. The same administrator, Lurita Doan, was also accused by the U.S Special Counsel of playing politics with the GSA. Since the GSA is supposed to be independent and nonpartisan, Doan was pressured to resign after several investigations into her conduct.

Source: freep.com
Published Apr 10th, 2009 6:03pm By Zack Newmark

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Comments (9)

radmeister radmeister
Every country that has an auto industry buys cars from their country....Not something new. I cry a little inside when i look at the Chargers we have and Impalas and Crown Vics, thinking of all the other cars we could of had for the same price.
Apr 14th, 2009 11:28pm
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Michael Michael
That looks like a measure specific to a centrally planned economy, not to the free market Americans used to promote. And yes, socialist countries have centrally planned economies. The right thing to do for the American government is to buy such cars which comply with certain general competitive criteria (American, Japanese, German etc.), and not only cars produced by the Big 3 from Detroit. Keep it that way and very soon American goods exported overseas will get the same treatment from other countries.
Apr 13th, 2009 6:33pm
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Andres2007 Andres2007
European companies have been promoting those "buy local" ideas since years ago, especially when it comes to bio fuel and agricultural goods. So if we complain about these US policies we might as well see that governments from both sides of the Atlantic are to be blamed. The American government has the right to buy whatever brands they please to. Do you seriously think taxpayers will be happy if they announce "we're buying cars that complain with certain competitive criteria, and that includes German and Japanese vehicles"????????? I do not think so. As far as your last statement goes, that's true. It's the problem with inward-oriented policies. They set a chain reaction that ultimately hurts world trade and therefore the world's economy. But let me remind you that it would hurt others more than it would the American economy, as much of the stuff the US exports (ultra high–tech machinery including weapons and aircraft and vessels and production equipment) has few competition compared to what it imports (consumer goods).
Apr 14th, 2009 11:42am
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GermanCarsRule GermanCarsRule
The american government represents turbo-capitalism and modern imperialism. As long as the american economy was hughely profitable, the USA started wars and embargoes.At the present day, in the days of a worldwide financial crisis we have to determine that the expansive monetary policy failed. The government is goin' to buy - taxfinanced - thousands of american cars. That's state control and a national economic planning. This has nothing to do with an open and free market. It would be socialism too if the american government would buy german cars. Centrally planned economy is Socialism.
Apr 13th, 2009 3:17am
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zeniac zeniac
Apr 13th, 2009 2:50am
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GermanCarsRule GermanCarsRule
that's true socialism
Apr 11th, 2009 5:02pm
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v6s_stink v6s_stink
It is some kind of a mix of socialism and fascism. I throw is fascism since that is what a partnership between the government and a few large corporations to control the economy and production is called. The groupies in the media won't be talking about this, though.
Apr 11th, 2009 10:09pm
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Andres2007 Andres2007
I really do not see how that is socialism. What is the government supposed to to then, GermanCarsRule, buy $300 million in German cars? Or go back to walking instead of driving? Or just hold on to their old cars?
Apr 12th, 2009 12:42pm
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joshg_5 joshg_5
The problem is that the American public are going to buy the auctioned vehicles before they buy new cars from the US manufacturers...
Apr 11th, 2009 9:26am
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