General Motors' promotion that reimburses some buyers for gasoline purchases is ill-advised for an automaker that is trying to burnish its green image. The program should be dropped, not expanded.
GM executives might like consumers in California and Florida to think of the regional promotion that runs through the end of the year as a $1.99 cap on the price of gasoline.
But it's simply a subsidy for vehicles that burn a lot of gasoline. And it's one more example of GM's tone-deafness on environmental issues.
GM boasts that it has more models that get 30-plus mpg than any other manufacturer. The company brags that by the end of the year it will have produced nearly 2 million vehicles that can burn ethanol fuel.
But GM also has promoted its GMT900 family of full-sized SUVs, and now it subsidizes its customers' gasoline purchases. So GM executives shouldn't cry foul when people claim GM is an environmental hog.
Yes, GM can make vehicles that are as fuel efficient as anybody else's. But it acts as though its future depends on gas guzzlers. This latest incentive to subsidize high fuel consumption is a good example.
Some incentives work better than others. This incentive sends the wrong message.