FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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Consumers Demand Clean Cars
Environmental Groups Rally at Entrance of
North American International Auto Show in Detroit
(January 5, 2001-Detroit, MI) . . . On Sunday, January 7, 2001 at
the entry drive to the North American International Auto Show
an EVent of a different sort occured; one meant to capture the
attention of the "Big Three" automakers. Honda Insight and Toyota Prius
owners drove their convoy of environmentally-friendly,
fuel-efficient gasoline-electric hybrid cars in a continuous loop in
front of Cobo Hall, drawing attention to the need for American auto
manufacturers to build cleaner cars, and the growing demand for them on
the part of consumers.
At 10:30am in the Plaza Room A & B at the Ponchartrain Hotel
(Larned at Shelby Street) a press conference was hosted by a
coalition of environmental groups united under the Green Car Campaign
http://greencar.. Prominent environmentalists from national and
Michigan-based organizations (Environmental Defense, Natural Resources
Defense Council, Union of Concerned Scientists and the Michigan
Environmental Council) offered information on where American auto
manufacturers stand in regard to producing environmentally superior
autos that are practical and affordable. They l also discussed the
impact of American Auto Companies(Big 3) not having these vehicles
available, will have on the U.S.
"Cleaner car technologies are primed and ready to go," said Jason Mark,
Clean Vehicles Program director at Union of Concerned Scientists. "With
the Japanese carmakers' hybrids enjoying brisk sales, one wonders,
'Where are the American automakers?
Waiting lists for the Toyota Prius and Honda Insight, the only hybrids
currently available, are up to six months long. Displaying growing
demand for environmental choice, a coalition of 18 environmental
organizations collected over 150,000 signatures from people challenging
automakers to produce cleaner vehicles. The pledges call for
automobiles that deliver 50 percent better fuel efficiency when compared
to other vehicles in the same class, meet California's super-ultra low
emission vehicle (SULEV) standard for smog-forming pollution and are
cleanly manufactured using non-toxic, recyclable materials.?"
"These "pledgers" are challenging auto makers to offer appealing
vehicles that meet the standard in every market segment. They represent
the tip of the iceberg of consumer demand for cleaner vehicle choices,"
said Kevin Mills, a senior attorney with Environmental Defense.
Owner/drivers of the morning's convoy were available to discuss their
experience with the new hybrid vehicles as well as offer interested
media a test ride.