• Jul 1, 2008
Automakers had until July 1st to plead their case to the NHTSA overlords before the government agency set off to finalize the 2011-2015 CAFE standards. After hearing comments from Detroit automakers, Toyota, Daimler, and others, it seems that the new standards are going to have a sweeping effect on both consumers and auto industry employees. The Auto Alliance states that the cuts would hasten the exit of 82,000 jobs, cost $29 billion for consumers, and raise the cost of your favorite truck by $4,000 or more. The added cost of vehicles will also cut annual production by up to 850k units industry-wide.
Complaints from automakers are in stark contrast to claims from NHTSA, which says the added fuel economy will result in 9,000 more jobs. The two sides do agree that the new standards will cost a lot of money, as NHTSA estimates that the new rules could cost $47 billion by 2015, though automakers estimate it will cost even more. While the Alliance wants some slack in the new rules, Congress wants to see even tougher regulations. The wise guys and gals on the hill say the proposal doesn't reflect $4-per-gallon gasoline, and automakers feel the regulation doesn't reflect common sense. Since the new rules begin to take effect in late 2010, automakers contend that the product cycle is already baked in, and changing at this stage in the game would be like moving an Egyptian pyramid with Two Guys and a Truck.

Whether automakers can meet these stringent deadlines on time or not, the industry is being turned on end. With gas approaching $5 a gallon, automakers don't need the government to tell them that they need more efficient vehicles. Cash-carrying customers are doing that just fine, thank you.

[Source: Detroit News]


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  • 51 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      What a load of BS - You know it, they know it and the NHTSA knows it. The automakers just don't like being told what to do, that's all. They whined and cried the first time CAFE standards were imposed and they'll cry the next time they're tightened as well. It's what they do.

      Of course if we had any kind of rational energy policy in this country over the past 10 years we probably wouldn't be having the conversation but that's another rant.
      • 6 Years Ago
      At this point, nobody wants to buy the gas guzzlers, so the law and it's supposed dire consequences are probably irrelevant. However, The "choice" to buy a big car is a big lie, because when people chose to buy big cars and SUV's, it makes driving small cars unsafe, which takes away MY choice to own a small car and also not die. It's no different from how zoning regulations prevent my neighbor from opening up a tire recycling factory in his back yard. We have laws to make sure that we balance individual choice with the rights of others.
      • 6 Years Ago
      "The Auto Alliance states that the cuts would hasten the exit of 82,000 jobs, cost $29 billion for consumers"

      The Green movement does not care if some Union workers lose their jobs and their families suffer. Just collateral damage. The ends justify the means!
        • 6 Years Ago
        Exactly.

        Greens do not care about human rights. In fact, they are decidedly anti-human. Many of them want to see humanity go away and let nature take over.
      • 6 Years Ago
      There has to be a point, somewhere, where standards are 'good enough' in terms of safety. They constantly raise the bar, which results in heavier, fuel sucking, less nimble vehicles.
        • 6 Years Ago
        The problem with that nataku83, is that you just described two very small cars.
        • 6 Years Ago
        The '07 / '08 Yaris with SAB is rated extremely well for safety, and comes in at around 2300 lbs. The '07 / '08 Fit is also rated extremely well for safety and weighs more like 2400 lbs. I think you can design a car to be safe without making it extremely heavy. I think more of the weight in modern cars comes from extremely rigid frames, drivetrains designed to deal with higher loads and power output and all of the sound deadening material.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The automakers should stop whining, the CAFE standards have been overcome by events.

      Any automaker planning to stay in business will have to meet 35 mpg for cars by 2012, three years before they are required to do so by the Government.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Same old cover story, we heard it before, in many ways from multiple corporations. They always go on to make a decent profit for the shareholders. More than generous salaries for the CEO, BOD and other top management. The public stupidly still buys into what's good for GM is good for Americans, While the reality all this time has been what's good for Americans is good for GM AND America.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I think that these standards are the best thing the government could be doing. Now, the next best thing would be giving a major tax credit to dealerships that retire vehicles older than ten years and give tax breaks to people that trade in older, significantly less fuel efficient vehicles for newer, more fuel efficient ones. If some guy wants to trade in his mid-80s Cadillac El Dorado for an 06 Honda Civic, (appx 35mpg), then we should reward him for that. On the flipside, if people choose to keep older vehicles as daily drivers (say, 5000+ miles per year), and they get less than a certain MPG (say, 25 mpg), then they should be forced to pay additional taxes when they register it. Everyone wins. Imagine if suddenly the average fuel economy in America jumped by 10-15 MPG? The price of gas would plummet. At the same time, we could continue to invest in alternative energy, such as hydrogen and electric (I omit ethanol, because the corn it's made out of would be better served feeding the hungry around the world).
      • 6 Years Ago
      But Global warming will kill half the population of Earth by next year, so who cares about 82,000 people losing their jobs?
      • 6 Years Ago
      The automakers should stop whining, the CAFE standards have been overcome by events.

      Any automaker planning to stay in business will have to meet 35 mpg for cars by 2012, three years before they are required to do so by the Government.
      • 6 Years Ago
      DG, that is the most ridiculous argument for regulation I have ever heard. Every single physical good you buy removes some of the supply from everyone else. That is how supply and demand works. Every physical thing in the world is scarce, and those willing to pay the most for any single thing, should get that good. It is called the efficient allocation of resources.

      By your logic, every single industry that produces a scarce good, produced a good which uses a scarce good, or uses a scarce good in producing a good should be regulated.

      Sorry, other people's choice to use gas is just their problem. If you can't afford something, that is too bad. Your choice to wantonly spout communist rhetoric affects all of us.
      • 6 Years Ago
      "cost $29 billion for consumers"

      I'm willing to say that staying hooked up to oil for transportation would cost us more, way more.

      Now, if only they'd give the same kind of emissions standards to recreation vehicles (not RVs, but ATVs and the likes), generators and lawn mowers, an ICE on this stuff pollutes for like 10 cars, and don't tell me you can't see it or smell it.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Let's see, I ride a motorcycle to work whenever its not raining (its actually equipped with primitive emissions controls, even though 27 years old), and mow my lawn about once every 2 weeks (my lot is about 8000 sqft). Between the two of these vehicles I use up about 25 gallons of gas a year, or one fill-up in a truck or SUV. Is it really worth worrying about how much smog, CO or NOx my alternative vehicles are putting out?
      • 6 Years Ago
      "and raise the cost of your favorite truck by $4,000 or more"

      But with Dodge/Ford/GM/Toyota throwing $5000+ on the hood, that shouldn't matter quite so much.
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