President Obama yesterday announced plans to buy 17,600 American-made, fuel-efficient cars and hybrids for the government fleet, the White House's latest gambit to steer aid to the nation's beleaguered automakers.
The move came in a week when the administration accelerated efforts to revive an industry suffering it lowest sales in decades. Earlier this week Obama dispatched a team of 15 finance experts to Detroit to work with General Motors and Chrysler on restructuring efforts. On Wednesday, the Treasury Department began to release $5 billion in aid to parts suppliers. And yesterday Ed Montgomery, the president's new adviser on auto communities and workers, visited Ohio to discuss what assistance might be needed there.