U.S. Automakers Spend $70 Million on Lobbying

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
u s automakers spend 70 million on lobbying

Wondering why politicians are considering bailing out the D2.8 to the tune of billions in subsidies and tax breaks? Wonder no more. The Center for Responsive Politics [via The Detroit News] reports that the auto industry spent a record $70m bribing lobbying congress last year. The General lavished $14.3m on its legislative campaigns, with Ford’s Capitol (capital?) efforts racking-up $7.2m. Toyota dedicated $5.9m to its lobbying team. Much of the money was spent [unsuccessfully] fighting recently-increased CAFE standards. A GM spokesman justified this a noble battle as “proportional to the potential competitive and economic impact that proposed legislation could have on our business.” It’s not like their $14m could have been better spent heading off other competitive challenges or paying an executive’s salary and bonuses. Anyway, don’t expect CAFE hikes to diminish GM’s enthusiasm for politics. They’ve already spent $4.1m on lobbying this year, not including $25k spent on The Governator’s re-election campaign (in unfulfilled hopes that he’d “hasta la vista, baby” to California’s new emission standards). Ain’t democracy grand?

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4 of 11 comments
  • Driving course Driving course on May 02, 2008

    An interesting statistic would be to compare US and Japanese automakers and the ratio of spend: R&D to Lobbying... Maybe automaker is an out of date term for some US companies... autoschmoozers might be more appropriate!

  • Shaker Shaker on May 02, 2008

    Only 4 Million to date? Wow, GM must be in trouble! They're going to have to spend a lot more than that to get US government funding for the proposed Hydrogen pipeline from the Sun...

  • William442 William442 on May 02, 2008

    When I worked at Packard Electric Division, managers were required to give to the republican party. So the actual amount the pols. get is probably greater.

  • Tankd0g Tankd0g on May 02, 2008

    That's why the CAFE number is 35mpg and not 45, but if they had spent a little more, they could have gotten it to go down to 25mpg. Oh well, there's always next year.