Obama said US auto industry must modernize but strongly hinted that there would be no endless bailouts for the Big 3. Obama said that "the nation that invented the automobile cannot walk away from it."

US President Barack Obama has stated his administration's desire to rescue the US automotive industry while strongly hinting that there would be no commitments to endlessly bailing out the Big 3 Detroit automakers.

In his first address to the Congress as President, Obama said, "As for our auto industry, everyone recognizes that years of bad decision-making and a global recession have pushed our automakers to the brink. We should not, and will not, protect them from their own bad practices. But we are committed to the goal of a re-tooled, re-imagined auto industry that can compete and win. Millions of jobs depend on it. Scores of communities depend on it."

Obama said that the US auto industry must modernize and make cars that run on batteries instead of fossil fuels to meet the challenges of the future and also stated that the nation's electricity grid would need upgrading in order to deal with increasing demand for power from electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles.

Another thing Obama said might create a little offense within the fastidious German auto industry.

Obama stated that, "the nation that invented the automobile cannot walk away from it."

Daimler AG and the German people, ever proud of their industrial prowess, may have something to say about that. Afterall, it was Gottlieb Daimler who, along with his partner Wilhelm Maybach, created the first car that ran on an internal combustion engine, the same basic framework used for an automobile today.


Gallery: Obama: America invented the automobile