This could be one of the major reasons why Ford, GM and Chrysler are begging for bailout help in the US Congress: it's because the US car market is lagging behind Europe and Japan in terms of greeness.
According to automotive data provider Jato Dynamics, the US car market is slower to embrace fuel-efficient and low-emission cars compared to the European and Japanese car market. Poor selection of fuel efficient vehicles coupled with historic larger-vehicle tastes and relatively low gas prices (before) have all contribute toward a slow green transition in the US car market.
Jato noted that US demand for hybrid vehicles such as those made by Toyota and Honda surged mostly because of the higher fuel costs.
But why only blame the car makers? Maybe if US regulators would have been more strict in automotive carbon emissions, it could have force the Big 3 to change their "ungreen ways" much earlier??
This could be a big lesson for the chemical industry as well. Maybe US chemical companies should start implementing green chemistry as soon as possible so as to become more competitive not only in the domestic market but worldwide as well.