California newspaper urges GM boycott, slams decision to abandon Trump plan

By Jamie L. LaReau, Detroit Free Press on

Published in Business News

"California consumers should remember this when deciding which brand of car to purchase. If you wouldn't drive a car with a Trump 2020 sticker on the bumper, why would you buy a Buick, a Cadillac, a Chevy or a GMC?"

A GM spokeswoman declined to comment on the editorial other than to point to a letter Barra sent to environmental leaders last week.

In it, Barra wrote, "We believe the ambitious electrification goals of the President-elect, California, and General Motors are aligned to address climate change by drastically reducing automobile emissions. We are confident that the Biden administration, California, and the U.S. auto industry, which supports 10.3 million jobs, can collaboratively find the pathway that will deliver an all-electric future."

Barra said to "better foster the necessary dialogue," GM was immediately withdrawing from the preemption litigation and asked other automakers to join it.

"Given this shared enthusiasm and the President-elect's call to bring the country back together, we believe there is now a path to achieve agreement on a national standard and complementary policies to accelerate the electrification of the light-duty transportation sector," Barra said.

Biden had met with Barra, UAW President Rory Gamble and other business and union leaders earlier this month as part of his transition. He said GM's choice to work with California is central to his Build Back Better plan, and that innovation and manufacturing issues were discussed as part of the meeting.


In a Tweet following GM's news, Ford CEO Jim Farley praised GM's move to withdraw its support from the Trump administration's attempt to block California's right to set its own clean air standards.

Likewise, John Cangany, a spokesman for Ford said, "We welcome all automakers to follow Ford's lead in standing with California for lower greenhouse gas emission. Fighting climate change requires all stakeholders to come together. We believe that our framework agreement is the best path forward for customers, the environment and the short- and long-term health of the auto industry."

GM has laid out an ambitious plan to eventually offer an all-electric lineup in what it calls its zero emission, zero crashes and zero congestion future business model. Barra told Wall Street that it is increasing the number of electric vehicles it will bring to market. GM will offer 30 new EVs by 2025, up from its previous goal to offer 20 by 2023.

In September, California said all new passenger cars sold in the state must be all-electric by 2035, and no new internal combustion engine vehicles will be permitted to be sold there.

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