The fates of Detroit, Michigan and the U.S. automotive industry are in the hands of 18 individuals. Wonder what vehicles they drive? The Detroit News has been so kind as to rummage through public records to find out for us. We're just crossing our fingers that this list bears no indication of how the members of the Presidential Task Force on the Auto Industry feel about cars - or the Detroit three.
The co-chairs of the task force, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and White House National Economic Council Director Larry Summers, drive a 2008 Acura TSX and a 1995 Mazda Protégé, respectively. Geithner also previously owned a 1999 Honda Accord and a 2002 Acura MDX, public records show. Interestingly, Geithner's maternal grandfather, Charles Moore, was a vice president at Ford - but Secretary Geithner was never very interested in cars, his father said. Summers previously owned a 1996 Taurus GL.
Peter Orszag, director of the Office of Management and Budget, owns a 2008 Honda Odyssey and a 2004 Volvo S60. He previously owned a 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee and a 1982 Datsun.
Carol Browner, the White House climate expert, said at the Washington Auto Show earlier this year that she does not own an automobile. According to public records, she once drove a 1995 Saab 9-5 SE.
Energy Secretary Steven Chu also doesn't own a car, according to his wife, Jean Fetter.
EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson owns a 2008 Toyota Prius and a Honda Odyssey.
No vehicle information was available for transportation Secretary Ray LaHood or Christine Romer, head of the Council of Economic Advisors.
In addition to the eight members, the Detroit News also looked at records for the ten policy aides that are assigned to the task force. Among the current vehicles owned by the aides are a 2004 Toyota Highlander, a 2008 Lexus RX 350, a Volvo C30, a 1991 Harley-Davidson, a 1998 Subaru Legacy Outback, a 2003 Mini Cooper S, and a 2005 Honda Odyssey. One aide drives a 2003 Lincoln LS, and one a 1998 Cavalier. One of the aides doesn't own a vehicle.
In summary, there are only three members of the board that drive cars built by one of the Detroit three - one of whom owns a 1998 Chevrolet Cavalier - and three members who don't own automobiles at all. As there seems to be little familiarity with the automotive world on this task force, we hope these guys and gals have some serious business and economic savvy.
Source: The Detroit News