Detroit, Mich. – General Motors, the Obama administration, and Michigan’s Congressional delegation insist that site selection to build GM’s new small “B-car” was made on business factors alone. Never mind that the compact wouldn’t be built in the States at all if the UAW hadn’t demanded — as a condition for approving GM bankruptcy — that the company abandon its plans to manufacture in China.
But when pressed by a reporter to divulge any of the 12 criteria that GM used to select Orion Assembly in Michigan over two other plants in Wisconsin and Tennessee, GM President of North American Troy Clarke came up with this one:
“A very simple one, for instance, would be the cost necessary to bring the plant to a level of environmental leadership. So this is a long term commitment for one of these facilities. Again, as the need exists to conserve energy, have a carbon neutral footprint, the costs that would go in to ensuring that the facility could comply to that and not just in 2011, but in 2020, that was one of the criteria.”
In other words, Orion was selected in part because it had the green credentials to satisfy the Obama administration’s priority of fighting global warming. This “business factor” would seem a long way from making profitable vehicles.