Detroit talks biofuels in Washington

Three of the biggest bigwigs in the three biggest US automakers, GM, Daimler Chrysler and Ford, went to Washington yesterday to talk to Bush and Cheney about biofuels. According to an NPR report covered by the Thomko Petro Chemical Blog, the three talked about how the industry plans to save the planet…

The Big Three are doubling their production of flexible-fuel vehicles, capable of running on blends of up to 85% ethanol, by 2010. The industry could seek tax breaks and other incentives from the Bush administration to encourage the building of alternative-energy vehicles

Tax breaks! What an unusual idea! Clearly the big three are about as imaginative as their marketing departments…

But some environmental and consumer groups fault U.S. automakers for failing to take the lead in fuel efficiency. They credit Japanese automakers’ success, in part, to their focus on vehicle fuel economy rather than size and engine power — the emphasis of the SUVs and trucks coming out of Detroit.

Lets not get into innovative working practices, but may be the Japanese makers understand that producing less powerful and more efficient autos is one way of reducing their impact on the planet. Could it be that using ethanol or biodiesel in more efficient cars might be the basis of a successful marketing strategy? Do you think Detroit will get the idea? Or is that a silly question? Let me know. You could also check out Lou Minatti’s blog about the visit.

Here’s a little comparative media studies

I rest my case

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