No, it's not a new Bourne movie. Mayor Ballard and the city have found themselves in some hot water over the decision to put some non-pursuit vehicles on the roads as Toyota Hybrids.
First of all, I applaud the move by the city of Indianapolis to save money by going to hybrid cars. Hybrids do save gasoline, and they are more efficient than the gas guzzlers that have been prowling our streets for years. That's not really all this story is about, though.
Indianapolis still has a large stake in the auto/transportation/manufacturing industry. Many of our families have had something to do with the American auto industry. My father, for example, made extra money in the summers in younger days by working at the Allison's Plant on West 10th St. My grandfather was a tool designer for International Harvester until the day he died in 1972. I have a great uncle that worked for Chrysler. I have other friends that work for Chevy.
With that in mind, it was the city's decision to go with a foreign nameplate over an American nameplate at a time that the auto industry that, in many ways, helped to build this city needs any help that it can get. The city passed over the Car of the Year, the Chevy Malibu, in favor of more expensive Toyotas claiming that the car is more fuel efficient and will pay dividends in the future.
That may be a good argument, and, again, I salute the city for going the route of the Hybrid, but it just smells wrong. I know that many Toyotas are put together right here in Indiana, but these are non-union jobs. Our union workers need the help right now. Unions have helped build this country by advocating for strong member economic benefits. It's just sad that our city would choose a foreign nameplate over one that has been as American as apple pie for years.
Makes you wonder what will happen at the ballot box next time...especially if all those General Motors workers and UAW members have long memories.
I looked at cars this past summer, and, after driving Fords, Toyotas, and Chevrolets, I chose the Chevy Malibu. I've been extremely happy with it. Chevy is making good cars now. It's a shame that the current incarnation of Chevrolet and General Motors is saddled with that stigma of the past. Our city had a chance to put its support behind the slumping auto industry, and Mayor Ballard...YOU FAILED!