Why Team Obama is Buying Hybrid Cars Made by Ford

By dancurranjr On April 23rd, 2009

obama-edisonSo let’s pretend for a second that you are directly working for team Obama, and the word comes down from the big cheese himself that you should seriously consider getting a hybrid as your next car.

After all, the Obama administration has made its renewable energy policy central to its core agenda of change.

And let’s also suppose that you are very amiable to the idea of driving one them newfangled hybrids that gets over 40 mpg.

And to be fair you don’t have to suppose any of this because this scenario is exactly what is happening in Washington these days.

In a recent story titled, “Ford Scores Another Obama Hybrid Sale” U.S. News and World Report” says:

“Maybe it’s Ford’s refusal to take bailout money, or maybe the Obama gang just likes the company’s hybrids, but team is a big fan of the car company. The proof: President Obama and spokesman Robert Gibbs drive Escape hybrids. And now, Ford tells Whispers, former Obama campaign manager and adviser David Plouffe is sitting nicely in a Fusion Hybrid.”

So the question that naturally comes to mind is why exactly is team Obama buying Fords?

The answer is pretty straightforward—they have no other viable hybrid choice.

There is no doubt that with over a million Prius sales in America, and a deep model selection of full hybrid cars, Toyota leads the pack with the biggest and most diverse selection of hybrid models.

But even though Toyota manufactures tens or thousands of cars in the United States annually, and directly and indirectly employs ten of thousands of workers here, if you are on team Obama you can’t buy a Prius or any other Japaneses hybrid brand. It is still not politically expedient or wise to buy a “foreign” car.

That rules out a lot of choices. And to be fair the German brands don’t really do hybrids yet. They seem to have gone “all in” on diesel in their home European markets and now to some extent here as well.

So if you are on team Obama that means you buy American, and that means you turn to the big three Detroit car manufactures new car lots in and around Maryland.

1) Chrysler makes some of the best, most fun, and fastest gas guzzling cars on the planet including many Jeeps and HEMI SRT8 models.  These cars, like the 300C SRT8 I recently drove and reviewed HERE are a hoot to drive, but spew enough carbon to compete with a small coal fired steam locomotive.

Chrysler, of course, also sells small cars, and they make the XXL Aspen Hybrid SUV, which works well, but makes the same political statement as driving that small steam locomotive to work.

2) General Motors, before it jumped on the Volt bandwagon, decided that hybrid technology would and could be best used to make their big trucks and SUVs a bit more fuel efficient.  So once again you can go out and buy a big GM hybrid truck or SUV from the General, but in today’s Washington DC that may not fly.

You can also purchase one of GM’s mild hybrid sedans (like the Malibu Hybrid), but these cars basically use electric power the way your spouse uses their electric toothbrush. It may be more sexy, but it’s really not that much more efficient than the traditional tried and true owner operated model.

When GM roles out the Volt (or perhaps if GM roles out the Volt) they may leapfrog the competition with their technology, but currently they are barely on the same page as Toyota when it comes to hybrids offerings.

So that means you have only one clear choice—Ford.

3) Ford has several full hybrid models. The Escape and the Fusion come to mind first, and it looks like the top brass of team Obama have at least one of each.

Ford hybrid cars offer great millage and perhaps a tab more sportiness and performance than similar models from Toyota. The current Ford hybrids can (and do) complete in terms of technology and millage with the current generation of Toyota hybrids, but that’s about to change.

The new Prius, which I test drove a few weeks ago (you can read about it HERE) takes Toyota’s hybrid game to the next level. It easily gets well above 50 mpg, and it can even drive for short periods of time on battery power along.

Honda’s new Insight will most likely undercut the new Prius in price, but not in terms of mpg.

But all this is irrelevant in Washington were politics and policy rule the roost. So that why, at least for now, the only hybrid game in town for team Obama is Ford.

And just in case you were wondering, below are the Top Five best selling hybrids of 2008:

5. 2008 Ford Escape Hybrid
MPG: 34 city/30 highway

4. 2008 Toyota Highlander Hybrid
MPG: 27 city/25 highway

3. 2008 Honda Civic Hybrid
MPG: 40 city/45 highway

2. 2008 Toyota Camry Hybrid
MPG: 33 city/34 highway

1. 2008 Toyota Prius
MPG: 48 city/45 highway

SOURCE: Examiner.com

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