Ruh Roh! A press release from the Made In USA Foundation [via theautochannel] picks the kind of fight that GM has been assiduously avoiding for years (but especially since the bailout):
General Motors, bailed out by U.S. taxpayers and still owned in part by the federal government, is stripping country of origin labels off of its cars at auto shows around the country, says the Made in the USA Foundation. The Made in the USA Foundation has charged GM with violating the American Automobile Labeling Act (AALA) which requires all new cars that are offered for sale to include country of origin information.
The AALA requires new cars to provide information on the window sticker, including where the car was assembled, the U.S. and other country content, where the engine was made and where the transmission was made.
Joel D. Joseph, Chairman of the Made in the USA Foundation, said, “General Motors wants to hide the fact that, even after the government bailout, it has moved production of vehicles offshore. The Cadillac SRX is now made in Mexico. The Buick Regal is made in Germany.”
GM claims that the AALA only applies to cars for sale at dealers not at auto shows. Joseph stated that he worked with Senator Barbara Mikulski, who wrote the law, and that the intent of the law was to inform consumers about the country of origin of new cars. Joseph said, “Millions of consumers get their first look at cars at auto shows. The law applies to cars that are ‘for sale’ and auto show cars, except concept cars. Identical GM cars are for sale at thousands of dealers across the nation, and display vehicles should include country of origin information. The U.S. government saved GM and still owns one-third of the company. General Motors should comply with the intent of the law.”
GM’s response at torquenews.com
GM spokesman Greg Martin countered that the issue seems like almost a non-issue. At major shows like Detroit, Chicago, New York and L.A., the manufacturers display their own fleet of cars unlike regional shows where the cars displayed are largely from dealer stock and thus have Monroney stickers that would show manufacturing content. Manufacturers are not allowed to sell directly to the public.
“We have the highest manufacturing footprint in the United States,” said Martin, adding that GM has invested $3 billion in factories and brought 10,000 people back to work (with more to come in the first quarter) since coming out of bankruptcy. Production of the Sonic begins later in 2011 at the General Motors Orion Assembly Center in Michigan, which received a $545-million investment in upgrades and retooling, and will help restore approximately 1,000 jobs in the metropolitan Detroit area
Silly scandal, or damning irony? We report, you decide.