By on November 20, 2010

Isn’t it great to have the government as your biggest shareholder? Makes for good photo-ops. For the second time, Barack Obama went behind the wheels of a Chevy Volt, with the world press in attendance. Actually, it was the Volt’s European twin, the Ampera.

The Prez. had to weigh national security and time at the NATO summit in Lisbon against checking out the range extended Opel, and the Opel won.

According to Reuters, “Obama found himself acting as salesman-in-chief for GM Opel’s Ampera model just days after he declared in Washington that U.S. taxpayers would get their money back for saving GM in a bailout that was broadly unpopular.”

Then Obama said something that won’t go down well with Opel workers: “This is a car made in America. We’re going to start selling it in Europe.”

Actually, the Volt was designed with heavy input from Saab and Opel engineers. The brains of the Volt were developed at Opel in Mainz-Kastel. The Ampera production had been shopped around by Nick Reilly in Europe to attract government money. For the time being, it looks like the Ampera will indeed be built in the U.S.A., after European government denied to pay to play. At $59,000 MSRP, it probably won’t turn into a volume model real soon.

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32 Comments on “Salesman-In-Chief Hawks Opel Ampera...”


  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    I got a real laugh out of reading this story after seeing a variation of this one while I was online last night.
     
    http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Foreign-Policy/2010/1119/At-NATO-summit-Obama-s-ride-is-talk-of-the-town
     
    Apparently the Europeans are a little miffed at Obama’s motorcade and are calling his limo “the Beast.”  I’m not a registered Democrat or Republican, I just find this sniping so silly.  What did you expect him to do?  Borrow the pope’s VW?

  • avatar
    MikeAR

    Without is teleprompter he is lost. Talk about open mouth, insert foot amd insulting your supposed friends. Nothing but an empty suited idiot.

    • 0 avatar
      Hank

      And then he climbed into his guzzler-truck-disguised-as-a-guzzler-Caddy and burned more fuel than all the other leaders combined on his way to a plane the size of Rhode Island to fight the next eco-green battle.
      D’oh!

  • avatar
    tced2

    The Ford folks are thrilled that they are paying for this publicity.

    • 0 avatar

      Oh, I get it now…some people WANT our President to be at risk of attack, all the better if that attack is successful. If that’s anyone’s honest feeling, that’s pathetic.
       
      SFDennis, I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that you’re talking about jihadis, not your fellow Americans. Outside of moral revulsion at the notion of assassination of a democratically elected official, it’d be terrible for the conservative movement if Obama were killed.  I despise Obama’s policies and most of what he stands for, but the last thing I want is to see is 1964-66 redux when LBJ used the sainted memory of JFK to push through Great Society legislation (some of which JFK opposed in his lifetime).
       
      Obama may be a left winger but he’s not a chucklehead like Biden.

  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    Seeing the article above after seeing this one (http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Foreign-Policy/2010/1119/At-NATO-summit-Obama-s-ride-is-talk-of-the-town) made me laugh.  The non-news that get’s covered as news is astonishing to me.  Although I did have to laugh at calling his limo “the Beast.”  I know the rumor is that the sucker is diesel powered, if it is, isn’t it “greener” than the same vehicle with an equivalent gas engine?

    • 0 avatar
      tced2

      The problem is that “The Beast” isn’t greener than the electric-mobiles the other world leaders are driving.  An 8-ton vehicle (The Beast) will always be less green than a 1-ton vehicle regardless of power source.

    • 0 avatar
      Hank

      No, a vehicle that is flown around the world on an extra plane is neither “green” nor “greener.”

    • 0 avatar
      Educator(of teachers)Dan

      My real point is isn’t the safety of your leader, whether it’s W or Obama or JFK or Regan worth it?

    • 0 avatar
      Hank

      Sure it is, but a safe man can still be a hypocritical man.

    • 0 avatar
      Educator(of teachers)Dan

      Sure it is, but a safe man can still be a hypocritical man.
       
      Fair point.  The Europeans usually accuse us of that when were trying to tell them what to do in security matters.  (IE: We’re so far away we don’t have to worry about whatever we’re trying to tell them to handle.)

    • 0 avatar
      ixim

      They used to love him; now, not so much. So what? It’s for security, yes, but it’s also to make a show of power, pomp, and circumstance. Just like Air Force One. Why not?

    • 0 avatar
      Sam P

      Most world leaders drive in fuel sucking armored limos, don’t they?

    • 0 avatar
      sfdennis1

      @ Hank

      NAME a modern day President who hasn’t travelled with extensive security measures and a fleet of vehicles…especially in the age of global terrorism.

      Oh, I get it now…some people WANT our President to be at risk of attack, all the better if that attack is successful. If that’s anyone’s honest feeling, that’s pathetic.

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      “My real point is isn’t the safety of your leader, whether it’s W or Obama or JFK or Regan worth it?”
       
      Not if said “leader” in his armed motorcade doesn’t even care enough about the safety of my children’s “leader” to allow him to arm himself to protect them.
       
      Besides “my” leader, my ass! Just another thug with a group of goons protecting and making excuses for him.

  • avatar
    John Horner

    “Isn’t it great to have the government as your biggest shareholder?”
    China, BTW, is home to the largest number of large government owned companies in the world.
     

    • 0 avatar

      You don’t say. I didn’t know that.

    • 0 avatar
      Telegraph Road

      You don’t say. I didn’t know that.
       
      Some sarcasm here from TTAC’s managing editor?

    • 0 avatar
      John Horner

      My point is that Mr. Schmidt makes his primary living arranging business between western companies/countries and those in China. Many of said Chinese companies may be owned in whole or part by the Chinese government as that is commonplace in China. And yet, one never sees Mr. Schmidt criticizing that reality; yet here we have him making snide remarks about the ownership of GM by the US government. Goose, gander and all that.
      Then again, how many businesspeople in China get away with publishing anything critical about the political leadership there?
       
       
       

  • avatar
    ixim

    Well, his “hosts” were giving him a hard time about the Dollar, so he saw a chance to duck that for awhile. The Volt/Ampera is a terrific, world-class piece of engineering, wherever it was done, and “our” GM deserves props for it. Nice bit of globalization there.

  • avatar
    Carlson Fan

    The Chevy Volt won 3 car awards this week so maybe he is a little a pumped up by that. Either way his comment is hardly newsworthy.

  • avatar
    forraymond

    @Hank – Hypocritical beats WAR CRIMINAL any day.

    • 0 avatar
      MikeAR

      Oh, you are wrong and a hypocrite forraymond. Obama is a war criminal too by your standards if you have the guts to apply them equally. Remember the drone strikes in Pakistan. They are all expanded since your messiah took over so to be fair your president is a war criminal too. I though you types were all fair and even and never hypocrites. Grow up and get over yourself, Bush hasn’t been President for two years. Quit blaming him for everything liek another person I see all too much of on a car website.

    • 0 avatar
      probert

      @MikeAr: Your equivalence argument is so obviously flawed i wonder that you don’t blush with shame.  The Bush policies lied and cheated us into unpaid for war and left the country in shambles.
       
      Many people have suffered and died  - and continue to –  because of this skulduggery but you don’t seem care one iota.  Do you hate your fellow citizens to such a degree?

  • avatar
    sfdennis1

    @ “BS”

    Finding it hard to find a pupose for this “hack” post other than to b*tch about the POTUS…

    Is the point you’re trying to make is that saving hundreds of thousands of American jobs is a bad thing? Or are you asserting that preventing the American auto industry from total collapse was an error? Maybe the point is getting our money back from the government’s short-term investment shouldn’t happen, and we should just write it off as a taxpayer loss so TTAC can b*tch more about the bailout?

    Or is it that manufacturing goods IN the USA and shipping them overseas is a mistake? Is your belief that our President shouldn’t promote our corporations and products in foreign media?

    Hack post.


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