Obama’s plan for the auto industry

Car manufacturing plants are already being restructured. Can a new plan return prosperity to American automotive companies and their workers?
By Plant Engineering Staff August 8, 2008

According to an Associated Press report, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama laid out his plans to reestablish Michigan’s manufacturing facilities to produce alternative energy products. The plan would retool empty factories to produce wind turbines, solar panels and other energy products. He also intends to provide loans and tax credits to American auto plants and manufacturers to retool their factories to produce fuel-efficient cars, and a $7,000 credit to motorists who buy such cars.
Although some car companies have already begun retooling their plants , added benefits and incentives can help spur the process. The senator spoke encouragingly of higher mileage cars such as the Chevy Volt. Comparing his new vision of the auto industry to the one from a century ago, he said, “At the turn of the 20th century, there were literally hundreds of car companies offering a wide choice of steam vehicles and gas engines. I believe we are entering a similar era of expanding consumer choices, from higher mileage cars, to new electric entrants like GM’s Volt, to flex-fuel cars and trucks powered by biofuels and driven by Michigan innovation.”