President Obama said the government was speeding up its purchase of 17,600 new U.S.-made cars for the government fleet by June 1.
The purchases from General Motors Corp., Chrysler and Ford Motor Co. are being made from the $787-billion stimulus package to increase demand for U.S. auto companies during these difficult economic times, the White House said Thursday.
The General Services Administration, the government's landlord agency, will spend $285 million from the stimulus law to buy fuel-efficient vehicles.
About 2,500 of the vehicles will be hybrid sedans that will be ordered by April 15. This is the largest one-time purchase to date of hybrid vehicles for the federal government fleet.
The GSA is setting aside $15 million for the purchase of so-called advanced technology vehicles in the government's fleet, which will include compressed natural gas and hybrid buses and all-electric vehicles. Those orders will be placed by Sept. 30.