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E-M:/ New UAW-Environmental Partnership Showcases Fuel-Efficient Vehicle Technologies Made in Southeast Michigan: Press Release



Title: New UAW-Environmental Partnership Showcases Fuel-Effic
PRESS RELEASE
June 24, 2005     

For More Information:          
Charles Griffith, Ecology Center, 734-663-2400 x116
Claudette Juska, Ecology Center, 248-467-9532 (c)
Jim Pederson, UAW Region 1-A, 517-304-2705 (c)
New UAW-Environmental Partnership Showcases Fuel-Efficient
Vehicle Technologies Made in Southeast Michigan

"Green Machines Tour" Promotes New Technologies,
Policies  for Investing in UAW Jobs and Cleaner Environment

CANTON, MI-The UAW, environmental leaders and state officials joined together today in a unique show of support for greater automobile fuel-efficiency.  This unprecedented partnership-known as the Green Machines Tour-showcased a range of new vehicles and technologies currently or soon to be produced in southeast Michigan. These new technologies, said labor and environmental leaders, are key to enhancing the competitiveness of the region's automobile industry.  

"It's important to focus today on the things Detroit is doing right," stated UAW Region 1-A Director Jimmy Settles."  "These new fuel efficient transmissions, engines and vehicles built by UAW members here in Southeast Michigan are essential to our industry staying competitive, helping to create and preserve good union jobs while also improving fuel economy."  Region 1-A hosted the event along with the Ecology Center, a Michigan-based environmental group that spearheaded the Green Machines Tour.

"The new technologies being showcased today represent a win-win for both jobs and the environment," said Charles Griffith, Auto Project Director at the Ecology Center.  "Altogether, they will help increase the fuel economy of more than 2 million vehicles per year by 4 to 20%, while at the same time creating more than $1.5 billion in new investment and creating or preserving more than 2,300 jobs."  "That's the equivalent of putting more than half a million new hybrids on the road each year," added Griffith.

Director David Hollister, of the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Growth (DLEG), also applauded the efforts in Southeast Michigan and encouraged new policies that would increase support for advanced vehicle technologies in Michigan - such as tax incentives and funding for new technology development in the Governor's bond proposal. 

"Michigan is fortunate to have attracted these important new investments in advanced, fuel-efficient technologies," stated Director Hollister.  "But we can and must do more to keep Michigan competitive.  Passage of the Governor's $2 billion bond proposal, as well as expanding advanced vehicle incentives in Michigan's NextEnergy legislation and in federal legislation, would go a long way toward ensuring that Michigan retains its automotive leadership." 

The Green Machines event was held at UAW Local 735 next to GM's Willow Run transmission plant, which begins production this summer of a new fuel-efficient 6-speed transmission.  The new transmission, planned for introduction in a range of new GM vehicles, will provide up to 10% better fuel economy than a standard 4-speed automatic.  GM recently announced an additional $150 million investment to increase production of the new six-speed, resulting in a total of more than 650 jobs that will be retained at the Willow Run plant. 

Other featured technologies being produced in southeast Michigan include:
? A new 6-speed transmission from Ford's Livonia Transmission plant
? Displacement on Demand engines from GM's Romulus Engine plant
? Clean diesel engines soon to be produced at Detroit Diesel in Redford
? DaimlerChrysler's upcoming "World" engine to be built in Dundee.  

"I commend the Ecology Center and UAW Region 1A for their partnership in convening the Green Machines Technology Forum," stated Michigan's Senator Carl Levin, who has been spearheading legislation in Congress to provide a mix of consumer and manufacturer incentives for advanced vehicle technologies.  "This forum will demonstrate that we can have a healthy automotive industry and a healthy environment.  By promoting advanced technologies, we advance the health of our environment while keeping good jobs - and creating good jobs - here in Michigan."

The event was a debut of the Green Machines Tour in Michigan - an educational campaign to showcase fuel-efficient vehicle technologies being made in the nation's heartland, and to build awareness of new policy opportunities that can further enhance the industry's competitiveness in this area.  The Tour was kicked-off last year with the launch of Ford's Escape Hybrid in Kansas City. 

"Not only do these new fuel-efficient technologies offer an enormous potential for revitalizing auto manufacturing here the nation's heartland, they also make positive environmental steps toward reducing emissions of greenhouse gases and America's dependence on foreign oil," said Griffith.  "We want people in the Michigan to know that they can support good paying, union manufacturing jobs and buy an environmentally-friendly vehicle."

The Green Machines Tour is a project of the Ecology Center.  The Ecology Center is a non-profit environmental advocacy organization that works for healthy communities, clean products and clean production.  More information about the Green Machines Tour can be found at: www.greenmachinestour.org

UAW Region 1A is the union's largest Region, covering most of Wayne County, including part of Detroit, and all of Monroe and Washtenaw Counties.

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