Hummer Cool in Japan?
How can this be? Americans who wince at the sight of the “luxury-tank,” the Hummer, muscling down their streets, probably imagine that the Japanese wouldn’t be caught dead with such an environmentally un-cool vehicle. But now they’ll have an economic incentive to buy it. Japanese who buy the Hummer H3, which gets 16 mph in city traffic, will receive a $2,779 subsidy from their government for purchasing – here’s the punch line – a “fuel-efficient vehicle.” What made this all happen? Pressure from American trade representatives who felt the countries existing subsidies and incentives for fuel-efficient cars unfairly excluded gas-guzzling American models, especially given that Japanese cars made up half the sales of cars spurred by the American version of the fuel-efficient tax credit.