2006 Toyota PriusEnlarge Photo
No matter what the political leanings of the North American executives at Toyota, a vote for John McCain may be the right choice for those looking to maintain job security.
Both John McCain and Barack Obama have stated their political stance on most of the major issues, and this includes the current state of the auto industry. While both candidates are for improving fuel efficiency and lowering vehicle emissions, each has varying strategies for accomplishing this goal.
Obama's platform has heralded alternative fuels such as biodiesel as the wave of the future. He also plans to influence automakers to limit SUV production and build more 35-mpg vehicles.
On the other hand, John McCain is more interested in the benefits of electric power. He has even gone so far as to offer a $300-million prize to anyone that can develop "a battery package that has the size, capacity, cost and power to leapfrog the commercially available plug-in hybrids or electric cars."
Whether or not McCain will be forced to shell out said fortune is pure conjecture, but his stance on hybrid and electric vehicles would likely mean increased purchase incentives fuel-saving vehicles. This means that demand for the Toyota Prius, which is already one of the best-selling vehicles in America, could continue to skyrocket.
Tax cuts previously awarded to Toyota Prius owners have long since expired. John McCain has already made it known that he is in favor of liberal incentives for high-mileage cars. As the Prius is currently the most efficient vehicle available in the U.S. market, with an astounding 48 mpg in the city and 45 mpg on the highway, it is reasonable to believe that it will be the first to benefit from such incentives.
Senator Obama is proposing a much broader incentive program -- a solid $4 billion in subsidies for Detroit automakers that beef up production of compact cars. This broader "go green" tactic would still benefit Toyota Prius sales, but it doesn't specifically raise awareness for electric- and hybrid-powered vehicles.
With a highly anticipated and newly designed 2010 Toyota Prius design expected to hit the market in late 2009, an endorsement by John McCain would just be more fuel to fire of the Prius' popularity. Of course, with a fuel efficiency that could top 50 mpg, that extra fuel could potentially be enough to allow the Prius to coast into the number one sales spot of any vehicle in the coming years.