Toyota not Invited to Energy Policy Meeting at the White House

By: RyanThomas

On the 25th of March, Reuters reported that President George W. Bush invited representatives of the auto industry from the U.S.' Big Three to discuss energy policy. However, Toyota was not included in this meeting of minds.

The absence of Toyota in the lineup of car makers that will talk about energy policies has received mixed reactions from experts in the field. Some auto industry specialists think that Toyota should be present at the meeting since the company is providing jobs for Americans and is the leading company in the campaign for fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions reduction.

General Motors' Rick Wagoner, Ford's Allan Mulally, and Chrysler's Tom LaSorda will be present at the said meeting with the U.S. President. The meeting is a part of Bush's administration's dedication the country's energy independence. It can be remembered that on January of this year, President Bush outlined his administration's goal to reduce fuel dependency on foreign countries.

As a part of his commitment to the said initiative, he also recently visited assembly plants of both General Motors and the Ford Motor Company. The President is pushing for "Twenty in Ten", which is the reduction of fuel consumption by as much as 20 percent in ten years time. The meeting will also be the venue for talks about the impact of Asian car makers such as Toyota, Honda and Nissan.

Last year, it can be remembered that the President did not do to well in comforting the ailing Big Three in saying that they should be building more relevant products. This year though, it seems that the President has softened up to the three biggest U.S. car makers. All of the three companies have already slashed down the number of their employees, closed facilities and reduced shifts on some plants.

The Ford Motor Company even went to the extent off selling one of its luxury car brand Aston Martin to generate enough money to support its other businesses. This year, it seems that the Big Three will be receiving much needed help from the administration.

While the talk about energy policy is a good step, some experts still think that Toyota should not be treated like a and not be invited at the meeting. Toyota is the leading manufacturer of green vehicles and the company will surely provide the administration good insight on how to formulate policies regarding energy independence. The Japanese outfit has already taken over Ford's spot as the world's second largest car manufacturer. In the United States, the company is expected to overtake Ford and General Motors before the end of the year.

This is one of the arguments raised by auto industry analysts who think that Toyota should be present at the meeting. Peter Morici, the economist and business professor, summed up the thoughts of Toyota sympathizers by saying that "Toyota is gradually going to become the Number Two automaker in the United States. We should be cultivating them."

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