Detroit – On Wednesday, Barack Obama will launch his pre–State of the Union, economic-victory tour at Ford’s Michigan Assembly plant in order to showcase the fuel-efficient, hybrid-electric cars produced there. The Obama administration claims such vehicles are the transportation of the future and Michigan Assembly was one of eleven Ford plants that shared $6 billion in federal retooling funds to make the fuel-sipping (but coal-fired electricity dependent) vehicles.
Trouble is, the factory will be shut down when Obama visits, due to a lack of demand for its green products, the compact Ford Focus and hybrid C-Max.
The White House says Obama’s speech at the plant will highlight “the workers in the resurgent American automotive and manufacturing sector . . . and the decision to save the auto industry and the over one million jobs that went with it.”
But with gas prices below $2 a gallon and demand for SUVs surging, those workers aren’t making Obama-preferred vehicles at Michigan Assembly. Sales for the Focus and C-Max were down 6.4 and 21.6 percent respectively in 2014. “We are seeing buying decisions swaying more toward SUVs,” a Ford spokesperson tells the Detroit News. “Dealers don’t need the (small car) inventory.”
Indeed, workers are laboring around the clock to churn out more of the big trucks despised by Washington greens. Trucks like the F150 pickup at Ford’s nearby Rouge assembly. Or the Jeep Grand Cherokee — the sport ute that saved Chrysler — at Detroit’s Jefferson assembly plant, where workers are on a three-shift 24-hour schedule to meet demand.
President Obama will tout the billions in tax dollars spent on plants like Michigan Assembly to fight global warming. But those tax dollars might be better spent at Detroit area warming shelters — overstuffed with homeless seeking refuge from this week’s bone-chilling, eight-degree Fahrenheit cold snap.