The Greening of the American Auto Industry

The momentum for going green has shifted as concerns about rising gas prices, climate change and U.S. dependence on foreign oil increasingly influenced consumers' vehicle buying decisions.

Published: 10-Jan-2008

LOS ANGELES -- In a city where smog-choked skies loom over highways nearly as wide as a football field, the environmental movement has long been center stage.

Now the ideas championed by some green-minded Californians have gone mainstream. And Detroit's Big Three and other automakers are scrambling to adapt to the sea change in attitude as the American public embraces green ideals.
The push to produce fuel-saving, environmentally friendly vehicles has become a cause that is at once trendy, politically savvy and increasingly profitable.

"People are realizing green business isn't something you do just because it's nice or what the government wants," said Steve Westly, a former eBay executive now working with a Silicon Valley venture-capital firm. "This is someplace where you can make a whole heck of a lot of money and feel good doing it, too."

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