California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger pulled no punches Wednesday in telling Detroit automakers to "get off your butt" and increase the fuel efficiency of their cars and trucks, saying they are "still lagging behind."
Schwarzenegger's comments came as he responded to a billboard that went up last month along Interstate 75 in Detroit that criticized him for mandating vehicle emission caps in California that will be costly for Detroit automakers to meet.
The billboard, from U.S. Rep Joe Knollenberg, R-Bloomfield Hills, reads: "Arnold to Michigan: Drop Dead." It features Schwarzenegger's photo and drew widespread attention.
"Now, there's a billboard in Michigan that accuses me of costing the car industry $85 billion," Schwarzenegger said at a speech in Washington. "The billboard says, 'Arnold to Michigan: Drop dead.' The fact of the matter is what I'm saying is, Arnold to Michigan: Get off your butt. Get off your butt and join us."
Bankrate: The Hummer Army
You're famous, fabulously wealthy and governor of California. What do you drive? If you're Arnold Schwarzenegger, it's the Hummer, a General Motors product derived from the original Humvee military vehicle that saw action in the Gulf War. The Hummer, which comes in the huge H1 model or the smaller, trendier H2 developed a cult following when Schwarzenegger convinced then-manufacturer AM General to sell a consumer model back in 1992. In December 1999, AM General sold the rights to the Hummer brand to GM, which markets the H1 and the smaller H2, which is built off the bones of a Chevy Tahoe.
Schwarzenegger, who got a new H2 model for his birthday, calls the vehicle "an incredibly precise and forceful machine."
These days, Arnold sits high and mighty in his collection of eight of the rugged three-ton, 110-mile an hour supercars.
So join Governor Schmaltzenegger in fixing the planet by buying the least efficient vehicles on the road and then complaining about fuel economy. The states should be sure to follow California's land use, mass transit, and speed enforcement lead as well.