• Nov 1, 2007

Did you hear that? It was the sound of fourteen gauntlets being thrown down by import automakers in the halls of Congress. That's the number of foreign car makers including Toyota, Honda, Nissan, and Hyundai that have said they can meet a CAFE standard of 35 MPG -- they just can't do it by 2020 and request "several more years." How many more is several? No one says, but it's a start.

The group in question is the Association of International Automobile Manufacturers, which has decided to stop trying to fight the 35 MPG standard that's being proposed. Mike Stanton, president of the group, has called that figure "a pretty sacred number" on Capitol Hill." That group, though, is different than the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, which is the Big Three, Toyota, and five others. They say the Association's position isn't at odds with theirs, which makes sense because no one is saying that 35 MPG isn't achievable. Everyone just wants more time to do it, and again, the Association hasn't said how much additional time it wants.

The import makers haven't decided whether they still want to fight the merging of car and truck standards into one single standard for an automaker's entire fleet. It will continue to fight Congress' wish that more cars run on mostly ethanol, and it doesn't want to keep certifying domestically-made and imported cars separately. We would tell you that the debate over federal CAFE standards should come to an end later this year as some analysts claim, but we have little faith a final agreement will be reached.

[Source: Auto News, sub req'd]



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  • 59 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      If automakers had a year to do it, I'm sure they would manage to get within the 35mpg in that time.

      http://www.webyaa.com/category/cars
      • 7 Years Ago
      I think its really sad what has happened in the industry. They can do it, they have the know how. Simply put; Let's get away with it for as long as we can and reap in big profits $$$$ from the American consumer. I think its BS that Europe and Japan have all these small efficient cars. Automakers: STOP BUILDING huge and build small. You are no longer selling to a 1970's or 1980's consumer. The market has change drastically.
      • 7 Years Ago
      It's a piece of cake: make cars lighter!
        • 7 Years Ago
        How Sir are they going to make cars lighter? with somany safety features that are mandatory these days....and no using exotic light materials would bring the prices toooo high.....Everyone wants light cars but the minute they get involved in a crash etc the same people that want light cars bad mouths them are being a POS...
        • 7 Years Ago
        How Sir are they going to make cars lighter? with somany safety features that are mandatory these days....and no using exotic light materials would bring the prices toooo high.....Everyone wants light cars but the minute they get involved in a crash etc the same people that want light cars bad mouths them are being a POS...
        • 7 Years Ago
        How Sir are they going to make cars lighter? with somany safety features that are mandatory these days....and no using exotic light materials would bring the prices toooo high.....Everyone wants light cars but the minute they get involved in a crash etc the same people that want light cars bad mouths them are being a POS...
        • 7 Years Ago
        With automated traffic systems, cars could me made of tin foil.
      • 7 Years Ago
      The USA is living in a bubble, The rest of the world drive smaller vehicles and have no problems so why cant we?

      Its all about the mind set, in the 70's we all drove V8's, now are buying 6 and 4 cylinders cars.

      I'm tired of seeing one person in a seven seater SUV or truck that get's 8-10 mpg, Its just wasteful, Ok so they can afford it, But does that make it right, certainly not in my eyes, Small cars are fun to drive economical and would cause less stress on our environment roads and bridges.

      35 mpg is easy, I used to get 40 mpg in my 85 Accord.
        • 7 Years Ago
        what!, do we live in anarchy communism now? where all our portions are rationalized? and mind set what mind set are you talking about? back in the 70's people couldnt afford V8's anymore so whats the next best thing? you downsize.....its not a mind set its base on what we you and everyone can afford....Europe has small cars because europe has expensive gas at 7+ dollars a gallon...Why do American drive big cars because we can afford too and theres no right or wrong its everyones rightful choice of what he she wants to drive, its what this land is about...Your perception is wrong....Not everyone wants to live like you!....and if I work hard for my money you bet your ass I'll be driving a hummer as my daily commuter car because I can, because I want to and it satisfies my needs and wants, its my god giving right...Don't be hating on me, if you want to choose to be a tree hugger then by all means live life as you please but dont impose your ideals onto me.....
        • 7 Years Ago
        Im no tree hugger, I drove big V8s for years, Today I drive 4.3 V6, Im tired of big vans and wasteful V8s, I have no use for such a vehicle, Id drive a smaller van if they were sold here, Its just that simple, I do think large vans have a place, I just wish we had a choice like you speak of, I use a cargo van for my business, I dont
        need an econoline sized vehicle, I drive many miles and it seems pointless to waste gas, its costing me lots of money, I have the money for gas, Id prefer to keep it my pocket instead of giving it to the oil companies.

        Gas is $7 in Europe because its taxed highly, the gas costs the same, its the tax that is different, Some of Europes van are just as big as ours, the only difference is they have a choice, we have three vans to choose from they have many different brands, GM and Ford produce around 10 different cargo vans while the states has two based on V8s, Nothing smaller.

        Im not asking that everyone drive small cars/vans just that we have a choice, you can Drive your Hummer, if people want to waste money on gas so be it.
        You and I are lucky enough to be able to afford gas, but I know some people that cant afford it and the price is going up.

        Im still tired of seeing one person driving SUVs and trucks that get 8-10 mpg, but thats just my opinion, when gas supplies get tight you will be happy to drive a four banger.
        Oil is in high demand as China's car industry is expanding, soon we will be fighting for oil, Oh I forgot we already are.
      • 7 Years Ago
      The correct way to increase fuel economy is through the implementation of higher gasoline taxes to pay for the negative externalities of its use. The war in Iraq can be funded by a fuel tax. People will naturally adjust their buying patterns as prices rise.
      • 7 Years Ago
      "How Sir are they going to make cars lighter?" If you look at crash test results you'll find top rated cars that weigh 3200-3500 pounds and others that 5000 pounds and more. What that tells me is that beyond a certain point added weight doesn't mean added safety. What it does mean is added power to make a 2.5-3.5 ton vehicle accelerate as fast as one weighing a half-a-ton or a ton less.

      A lot of the extra weight comes from an increase in size that often doesn't translate into a significant increase in passenger/cargo volume; four-wheel drive systems to give the residents of Phoenix the traction they need to drive in sunshine; seven seats to seat the same size families that five passengers will seat and a larger heavier V8 that will get you to the traffic jam a bit faster, then allow you to creep along using twice the fuel the folks in the 4cyl Civics are using.

      If we needed to regulate cars to make them get better mileage the best thing we could do would be to regulate power or weight. We could exempt pick-ups though not cars built on pick-up frames, establish a weight that allows cars that meet a certain safety standard to go untaxed and tax everything over that weight.

      We could tax power to weight ratios so that anyone who buys a really heavy vehicle either pays a lot more for it or has to accept that it will be slower than a lighter one. What's the point of 4-door sedans accelerating to 60 faster than mid-60's Vettes, E-Type Jags and Ferrari's in the first place?

      Our passenger vehicle fleet is, relative to the way we actually drive as opposed to the ways we fantasize about driving (and relative to what we actually carry in our cars), oversize, overweight and overpowered. And no one's son or daughter should have to risk their lives in the middle-east in order to keep oil cheap enough for us to continue to do this.

      You want a free market? Withdraw our forces from the Persian Gulf and let's see how a really free market will price oil once the people of this country stop subsidizing the price by paying to protect the supply. Now THAT would be a free market idea I'd gladly support.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Davido wrote: "If you look at crash test results you'll find top rated cars that weigh 3200-3500 pounds and others that 5000 pounds and more. What that tells me is that beyond a certain point added weight doesn't mean added safety."

        Weight is a consistent vehicle-safety factor, with no limits. The ratings you refer-to are judged relative to the vehicle's own weight (e.g. the impact-tests employ impactors with the exact same weights as the individual cars they smash).
        http://www.iihs.org/sr/pdfs/sr4204.pdf

        "Status Report, Vol. 42, No. 4, April 19, 2007"

        Page 6:

        INFLUENCE OF VEHICLE WEIGHT
        Driver deaths per million registered vehicle years, 2001-04 models during 2002-05

        CARS:

        2,500 lbs or less: 94
        2,501-3,000 lbs: 115
        3,001-3,500 lbs: 77
        3,501-4,000 lbs: 55
        4,001-4,500 lbs: 38
        4,501-5,000 lbs: 34


        SUVS:

        2,501-3,000 lbs: 131
        3,001-3,500 lbs: 74
        3,501-4,000 lbs: 67
        4,001-4,500 lbs: 65
        4,501-5,000 lbs: 65
        more than 5,000 lbs: 47


        PICKUP TRUCKS:

        2,501-3,000 lbs: 96
        3,001-3,500 lbs: 115
        3,501-4,000 lbs: 104
        4,001-4,500 lbs: 93
        4,501-5,000 lbs: 55
        more than 5,000 lbs: 81
      • 7 Years Ago
      I have the solution! Instead of trying to get under 35 MPG by making more fuel effiecient cars or using light weight materials, let's just change how much "a gallon" means. Double it! That way, everything can stay just the way it is!
      HotRodzNKustoms
      • 7 Years Ago
      CAFE is just politics and a attack on us enthusiast. It's unnecessary legislation. If the market moves towards more fuel efficient vehicle the car companies will provide us with those products. Right now we still want what we have so we get what we want. Despite what some of you may think but we're not going to get 400hp CAFE friendly sedans.
        • 7 Years Ago
        @HotRodzNKustoms
        ^What? Yes it does. The government forces auto companies to pay out the nose for a car that doesn't meet their standards.

        In this day and age, in this economy, the government has no business regulating the fuel efficiency of a vehicle. The market has shown it was interested in fuel efficiency, and the suppliers responded by investing in several technologies, long before politicians started to shake the environmental stick.

        So, instead of getting a mix of hyper-fuel efficient cars and trucks, with a few performance vehicles in the lineup, we get no performance at the cost of jobs and product development.

        I'm all for raising the CAFE standards, if Congress wants to fork over a few billions to pay for the cost they're artificially placing on us.
        • 7 Years Ago
        @HotRodzNKustoms
        Why is it that so many people look at legislation and think that congress is attacking them?

        Enthusiasts are a pretty small part of the car market (thankfully). CAFE is not an attack on enthusiasts. CAFE does not prevent you from buying a car for the track and burning as much gas as you like. If you can afford it, go for it.

        PS: An enthusiast is NOT someone who commutes to/from work in a Viper.
        • 7 Years Ago
        @HotRodzNKustoms
        CAFE has been around for what 25 years or so. Some pretty HOT cars have come out in that time. Pretty much shoots your 'attack on enthusiasts' garbage down eh?
        Interesting that some posters blame the left. if this is a left issue, why didn't the republicons change the rules when they were in control for 6 years? I will tell you why, They could care less. The ‘little people’ pay those things.
        Several posters stated it was 'political'. DUH! It is Washington. Everything that goes on there is political in one way or another. You think the automakers are not political. Read the article.
        As far as higher fuel taxes go, many people KNOW it is the best way to conserve fuel and promote a healthy environment. But ANY new or increased tax if the political third rail and very few people are going to touch it.
        MK, shouldn't you be at Powerline or something? In case you did not see the title it is 'Auto Blog'. We kinda like to talk about cars mostly and politics only when they affect cars. I do not see anything remotely touching on cars in your remarkably unbiased (SNARK) post.
        Some automakers already build compact, not small, cars that get WAY OVER 40 mpg right now. And that is in town. They are not some high-tech hybrid or ethanol burning joke. They use technology that is over 80 years old and you see all over the roads and rails today. It’s the good old diesel engine. And with the advent of clean and bio diesels, it only gets better.
        My 1984 VW Diesel Bunny got 45 mpg in town and 55 mpg on the highway. My friends 2005 Jetta TDI does the same, while hauling 4 asses and a bunch of gear at 80 mph for 600 miles between fillups.
        It can be done.
      • 7 Years Ago
      This stuff about light weight cars being unsafe is bunk, I could build you a 2200 pound civic out of titanium, aluminum alloy and carbon fiber that would cut through a 5000 pound sheet-metal suburban like butter in a pile up. Titanium is cheap these days, or would be if the military wasn't sucking it up like Cops on Doughnuts.

      And since this thread has turned political davido, Congress's approval ratings are in the toilet because the people who put them there, the Democrats, are the ones that disapprove of their failure to do the job we put them there to do, rain-in George W. Bush and get us out of the Iraq quagmire. Every time you turn around their passing another Bush friendly bill. Looks like it's going to take another revolution to get this country back on track.

      It's sad that anyone can argue against a 35 mpg standard today, because whenever you come to autoblog or autoblog Green, there are standard cars and utility vehicles that get 60 to 70 miles per gallon being highlighted. I guess some of you just aren't interested in reading these posts.

      Audi A3 TDIe crosses Australia at 71.3 mpg!
      http://www.autobloggreen.com/2007/11/01/audi-a3-tdie-crosses-australia-at-71-3-mpg/

      Peugeot's 69 MPG 308 Hybride HDi Concept
      http://www.autoblog.com/2007/08/31/frankfurt-preview-peugeots-69-mpg-308-hybride-hdi-concept/

      Of course we can't get these cars in America, because of the oil companies are acting in collusion with the car manufacturers, and that traitorous worm in the White House. They're doing everything in their power to prevent progress, so these thieves can keep making record profits making sure the American people burn as much oil as humanly possible. Christ a 400 hp Corvette gets 29 MPG on the highway, time to slap that fuel management system on Chevrolet's 150 hp 1.8 L vehicles. That's about all it would take.

      And when are the people who claim to be conservatives, and who should be pushing the doctrines of conservatism, going to start living up to their responsibilities? I'm tired of all this apologist foot dragging lip service coming from these pseudo conservatives, where are the real conservatives?


      • 7 Years Ago
      Dude, I wish I could clone you 535 times and then get you all elected to Congress.

      *sigh*, but if your clones were in Congress, they would probably be corrupted by the idea that they could buy votes to keep them in office by stealing from hardworking people.
      • 7 Years Ago
      If they raise those standards, how am I going to bring home my 15000Lbs+ trailer of hay bales from the field? How am I going to bring a load of 6 cows at 2000lbs each to a sales? let along 10 or more? With a Prius? Or a Jetta TDI?
      What about guys that tow around trailers with BobCats for construction?
      Better solutions would be to start charging enormous amounts of Road TAX, based on vehicle weight. Not only will that help to pay for the roads by those who abuse the roads with their weight, it will also make people think twice about buying a suburban or any other gas guzzling SUV. Anyone who needs the vehicle for their business should be able to get some kind of tax refund.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Don't you already get to wrtie off the depreciation of a vehicle used for business as it is?
        • 7 Years Ago
        It's called "a cost of doing business." Somehow, European agriculture (the scale is different, but it does exist), construction and transport industries seems to manage while paying more than double what the their American equivalents do. Heck, even Canada--that has a similar geography and much higher fuel prices--manages to sustain these industries.

        Perhaps, if we didn't:
        Build energy-inefficient suburbs like mad, fragmenting agricultural land
        Truck food across the continent instead of buying locally.
        Build houses, drive cars and tow equipment way above our needs
        ...then this wouldn't be such an issue. We, as a society, are living beyond our environmental and economic means and it'd be better to voluntarily scale back now then be forced to when things become untenable.

        I've personally seen compact cars towing loads in Europe that North Americans would use a full-size truck for. How do they do it? They drive slowly.

        I've seen contractors haul around equipment in Piaggio Apes (think three-wheeled motorcycle with a pickup bed) that a North American could use an Econoline for. How do they do it? They don't bring their whole workshop to the job site, and they're not building McMansions.

        Finally, I've seen ranchers in the Italian Alps herd cattle with the assistance of what looked like a small diesel Mitsubishi 4x4. How do they do it? Beats the heck out of me, but they were managing somehow.

        I'd advise you to find a way to cope with less now, before $7/gal fuel forces your hand.

      • 7 Years Ago
      Lets just say you're right, lets just for a minute say we could have 35 mpg CAFE standards any time we wanted (I don't think its possible but I'm playing along). If Americans all of a sudden tomorrow had these options A) not everyone would buy them because most people still like trucks and SUVs, and B) the people who buy the more efficient cars will most likely drive more and negate any fuel savings because thats what American consumers do. So in the end you're really not winning me with this argument. CAFE standards are just a Washington political buzz word. It sounds like governments doing something, but in the end they're really not. I work with the AAM, and CAFE is just a way to make noise and place costs on nonvoters - it doesn't even do anything about all the cars already on the road.
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