Obama-Car Trouble

by Henry Payne

Detroit – President Obama’s green Michigan investments are growing red with embarrassment.

Detroit-based General Motors and Holland, Mich. battery producer LG Chem — both the recipients of massive federal subsidies — are falling short of their green tech production goals — in GM’s case, resorting to desperate measures to move its battery-powered Chevy Volt.

The Washington Times reported this week that GM wasn’t telling the whole truth when it trumpeted record monthly sales of 2,800 Volts in August. “Sales rose mostly because of discounts of almost $10,000, or 25 percent of the Volt’s sticker price, according to figures from TrueCar.com,” reports the Wash Times. The news contradicts GM’s claim that the $40,000 luxury Volt’s sales were boosted mainly by California qualifying the car for special access to carpool lanes — a rare designation afforded expensive electric vehicles driven by California’s monied class (ah, the privileges of Obama’s Hollywood One Percent).

“GM’s discounts on the Volt are more than four times the industry’s per-vehicle average,” continues the Times. “GM is losing thousands of dollars on every Volt, raising the question of how long it can keep absorbing the steep losses.” Rich buyers of the Volt like Senator Carl Levin have also received a $7,500 federal subsidy to purchase the car.

The slow sales of electrics like the Volt are also taking their toll on electric vehicle battery suppliers like LG Chem in Holland, Michigan. Despite being a foreign national, the Korean company received $151 million in U.S. taxpayer stimulus for its Michigan facility in 2010 as part of fulfilling Obama’s green dream of 1 million electric vehicles on the road by 2015.

Now, reports Capitol Confidential, ” $133 million of that $151 million has been spent, but since April, the company’s 200 workers have been on ‘rolling furloughs’ because the electric vehicle market has failed to blossom as promised by many.”

Your tax dollars at work.

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