It’s been another big week in Detroit thanks to a visit from POTUS.
The President toured the Detroit Auto Show Wednesday to do what he called, “a little browsing.” President Obama does say goodbye to the presidential limo next year, after all, so he’ll need a new set of wheels.
Despite the browsing comment, it’s safe to assume Obama wasn’t exactly car shopping at the show. He was there both to highlight Detroit’s recent automotive successes as well as to check out autonomous vehicle technology, hybrids and all-electric cars like the 2017 Chevy Bolt due out late this year.
New vehicle technology is something Obama addresses in his next budget. He proposes spending $4 billion on autonomous vehicle development, research and testing.
“I believe that every American should be proud of what our most iconic industry has done,” said President Obama during his visit.
Obama is one of three U.S. Presidents to visit the auto show in Detroit. President Bill Clinton visited NAIAS in 1999 and President Dwight Eisenhower toured the then-Detroit Auto Show in 1960.
Wednesday, the President also stopped at a joint General Motors-United Auto Workers facility where he talked about the comeback of the Detroit auto industry since its government bailout. He also touted his administration’s rescue of the auto companies.
At the beginning of his presidency, GM ad Chrysler were teetering on collapse. The administration effectively forced both into bankruptcy and loaned them money to survive. Since the bailout, both have repaid their outstanding loans to the U.S. Treasury.
“What’s true of Detroit is true of the country,” President Obama said. “I want people to remember how far we’ve come.”
U.S. auto sales hit a record in 2015. Sales hit $17.47 million, toppling the previous record of $17.35 million set in 2000.