NYPD Goes Hybrid…and Foreign


The New York Police Department’s effort to go green could backfire.

The NYPD has deployed 40 Nissan Altima Hybrids to be used as patrol cars in areas with heavy stop-and-go traffic. Twenty-two of them will be unmarked.

Mayor Micheal Bloomberg says:

These new patrol cars will help fulfill the goal of reducing City government’s carbon footprint. Through savings in fuel, these Altimas can quickly cover their additional cost, from then they will save taxpayers money – another example of how going green is good for our environment and our pocketbooks.

While no one can argue that going green is good for the environment, there are many who will argue that going foreign is bad for the country. 

How did the NYPD overlook America’s own 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid? Maybe they just don’t pay attention to the automotive press that’s gushing over the Fusion, which gets 41 mpg in the city, compared to the Altima’s 35. While the Altima Hybrid is a fine vehicle, the Fusion hybrid is better across the board.

Plus, the positive PR generated around the NYPD’s choice to go American could have helped fuel the rebound for U.S. automakers and given more credibility to Ford’s hybrid technology. Instead of reaching out to Detroit, though, New York’s men and women in blue looked toward Japan.

In my mind, the NYPD’s choice to go green has been overshadowed by its choice to shun American technology.

What do you think about the NYPD buying 40 Nissan Altima Hybrids instead of American hybrids?



  1. Colin is right, and this is the same problem that’s existed for years when people try to label cars by their origin. When I’ve been down on GM in the past, I thought I’d never buy one even though they were clearly sourced from abroad (mostly), and the reverse surely holds true.

    In 1991 I had an Acura Legend coupe, great car, and worked in Washington at a large labor union. The guys in the garage wouldn’t let me park it there–“no foreign cars in this building!” So most of this is about political correctness and chauvinistic bias.

    tgriffith is still right, however: They should have bought Fusions, for practical and political reasons.

  2. I’m not sure how I feel about this. I was curious so looked into where each car is built. The Altima Hybrid is build in the US at Nissan’s Smyrna, Tennessee plant. The Ford Fusion is built in Hermosillo, Mexico.

    Which is better? Buying a car from a Japanese company that is built in the US by Americans, or buying a car from an American company that is built in Mexico by Mexicans?

    In the end the most politically correct move would have been for the NYPD and NYC to buy 40 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrids – An American company and built in the US (Michigan).

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