RUSH: The other day I sort of chided Motor Trend magazine for jumping on this bandwagon of the Chevrolet Volt, and the guy at Motor Trend has responded to me very nastily. He said I should drive one and that I have probably never seen one. I should ask General Motors for a loaner and they’d probably give me one for a weekend but I probably couldn’t fit in it. Well, the thing is I have seen a Volt. I’ve seen a Volt. They showed me a Volt after it was on the assembly line. I took a trip to Michigan. I spent a long afternoon with Bob Lutz of General Motors. They showed me the Volt. I saw the thing. They showed me how it was gonna work. I read how it’s gonna work, 40 miles to the charge and 375 miles on the backup gasoline engine. They’ve reviewed this and it’s not even on sale. You can’t even go buy it, and yet of all the cars out there, it’s the car of the year. I find it strange. I’ve always thought, ‘Can Consumer Reports be bought off?’ Because some of the things that they say are the best value… you know, as a consumer, I’m well versed on this stuff, and this isn’t the case. And there are some people that think — not me, I’m not saying they have, but I read the comments to the story at Motor Trend, and there are some people that think Motor Trend’s been bought off by somebody to promote this thing, General Motors, General Electric, or what have you.
Speaking of all this, President Obama — and I called this one — President Obama’s administration has bought almost 25% of the Ford Motor Company and General Motors company hybrid cars sold since he took office, accelerating federal purchases as consumer demand wanes. In fact, the headline, it’s a Bloomberg story: ‘Obama Bolsters U.S. Hybrid Automobile Sales in Waning Consumer Market.’ Nobody wants one. Hardly anybody wants one. So the regime is out there buying them for itself so that other members of the regime can run around and drive these cars.
‘The U.S. General Services Administration, which runs the government fleet, bought at least 14,584 hybrid vehicles in the past two fiscal years, or about 10 percent of 145,473 vehicles the agency purchased in that period, according to sales data obtained by Bloomberg under a Freedom of Information Act request. In fiscal 2008, hybrids accounted for less than 1 percent of government purchases.’ Now it’s up to 25%.
‘The government is boosting investment in a technology that has failed to win broad acceptance after more than a decade in the marketplace.’ Do you ever get a discount buying an iPhone? A discount buying an iPad? Does Apple have to pay you to go out and buy one of their products? Well, the Volt, they’re gonna pay you half of what it costs you in a form of a credit and the other hybrid deals. The government’s buying them up to make it look like there’s volume purchases. In the case of GM Obama is just buying the cars from himself. The consumer demand just isn’t there for these cars, and they’re having to trump it up. They’re gonna force us into these cars if they have the time and if they have the wherewithal.
‘Jeff Schuster, director of forecasting at J.D. Power & Associates in Troy, Michigan, ‘At some point, the reality is that for this technology to be accepted, it needs to be done without a government crutch. But without a huge gas-price increase or further government demand, the natural demand just isn’t to be there.” Now, about 3,100 of the hybrids purchased by the regime were paid for out of the Porkulus package. (laughing) So the regime bought its own hybrids from the Porkulus spending. In one pocket and out the other. ”This is the beginning,’ said Sara Merriam, a spokeswoman for the GSA in an interview. Another 5,600 were bought with proceeds from selling older cars in the government fleet, she said. A majority of fiscal 2009 hybrid sales came after Obama took office in January 2009.’ So there you have it. Very popular technology, so popular that the government is buying 25% of these things, a waning consumer market.