• May 18, 2009
After years of fighting fuel economy and emissions rules at both the federal and state levels, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers is finally coming out in favor of the new regulatory framework that will be announced by President Obama tomorrow. The biggest sticking point in recent years has been the move to block California and other states from effectively setting their own fuel economy standards by regulating greenhouse gas emissions.

Tomorrow the president is expected to announce new federal rules that will effectively bring CAFE up to the same standard as California's proposal. Because the new rules will retain the footprint based standards from both the California and 2008 NHTSA proposals, it won't completely eliminate larger vehicles. It will, however, be a tough standard, with cars expected to hit 42 mpg by 2016 and trucks coming up to 26 mpg.

The alliance supports the proposal because it will allow automakers to work toward one set of regulations. The next big hurdle will be getting everyone to agree on a common standard for calculating the mileage of plug-in hybrid and extended range electric vehicles. The fuel consumption of those vehicles is highly dependent on the duty cycle, including how often they're charged and how far they are driven past battery depletion. But that's tomorrow's fight. The AAM press release is after the jump.

[Image: Alex Wong/Getty]

Automakers Support President in
Development of National Program for Autos

Washington, DC – On Tuesday, May 19, automakers will join with President Obama, federal agencies,
governors and environmental leaders to announce a commitment to establish a National Program that
will reduce carbon emissions and increase fuel economy.

"For seven long years, there has been a debate over whether states or the federal government should
regulate autos. President Obama's announcement ends that old debate by starting a federal rulemaking
to set a National Program," said Dave McCurdy, president and CEO, Alliance of Automobile
Manufacturers. "Automakers are committed to working with the President to develop a National
Program administered by the federal government."

"What's significant about the announcement is it launches a new beginning, an era of cooperation.
The President has succeeded in bringing three regulatory bodies, 15 states, a dozen automakers and
many environmental groups to the table," said McCurdy. "We're all agreeing to work together on a
National Program."

A National Program is a priority to automakers because a national fuel economy program allows
manufacturers to average sales nationwide, so customers in all 50 states can continue to buy the types
of vehicles they need for family, business and leisure. A National Program also avoids conflicting
standards from different regulatory agencies, and it gives automakers much needed certainty for long-
term product planning. In addition, a National Program delivers overall greenhouse gas reductions
equal to or better than those that would be realized under separate programs by different regulatory
bodies.

EPA and NHTSA intend to initiate a joint rulemaking that reflects a coordinated and harmonized
approach to implementing the Clean Air Act and the Energy Policy and Conservation Act. The
rulemaking is expected to include several elements important to automakers, including:
• Preserving Vehicle Diversity: Harmonized NHTSA and EPA standards would be attribute-
based, or based on a vehicle's "footprint." This approach allows for a range of sizes of vehicles
to meet consumer needs for passenger and cargo room.
• Providing Certainty for Long-term Planning: Automakers would know what standards will
be through 2016, which is critical in an industry where bringing a product to market typically
takes 5-7 years. The National Program is intended to give automakers sufficient lead-time to
incorporate technology as part of existing vehicle design schedules, so manufacturers would
not have to incur added costs from redesigning all their models at one time.
• Providing Flexibility in Achieving CO2-Reduction Goals: EPA and NHTSA would consider
a range of compliance flexibility measures, such as earned credits, credit trading, air
conditioning credits, and credits for using additional technologies that reduce carbon dioxide
(CO2).
"The debate over who sets CO2 and fuel economy standards for autos has been decided, but there is
still more to talk about. We have the broad outlines of an agreement, but we will need to work closely
with NHTSA, EPA and California in the rulemaking process to resolve multiple issues, trying to fit all
the elements together into one program. There is a strong commitment from everyone to move past
any hurdles that may arise as we work through differences in the way these two federal agencies set
standards," said McCurdy.
"We want to finalize a national program so we can move on to policy discussions on what the future of
sustainable mobility looks like and how we can get there faster," said McCurdy. "Alliance members
are supporting measures that reduce carbon dioxide even more, like low carbon fuels, advancements in
battery technology and consumer incentives to get more advanced technology autos on our roads."

Autos represent 17% of all man-made CO2 in the U.S, according to EPA. Carbon dioxide is created
when any fossil fuel burns, whether it is a car burning gasoline or a backyard grill burning charcoal.
Therefore, to reduce CO2, automobiles will need to burn less fuel. That means automakers will need to
sell fuel-efficient technologies that will produce less CO2.

"All industries will be called upon to reduce carbon emissions," said McCurdy. "Automakers play an
important role. Today, there are more than 50 auto technologies on sale that reduce emissions,
increase mileage and run on clean fuels." Automakers are selling 130 models of automobiles that
achieve 30 mpg or greater on the highway. Consumers can now test drive 35 models of hybrids or
clean diesel in dealer showrooms. More technology is on its way to market.

"We will need to use every engineer we have and every investment dollar available to make our vision
of sustainable mobility a reality. And, we are going to need Americans to buy our clean, fuel-efficient
autos in large numbers in order to meet this climate change commitment," said McCurdy.

The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers is a trade association of 11 car and light truck
manufacturers including BMW Group, Chrysler, Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Jaguar Land
Rover, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi Motors, Porsche, Toyota and Volkswagen. For more
information, visit the Alliance website at www.autoalliance.org.
________________________________________________________________________________

Historical Information

In 1975, the U.S. Congress assigned responsibility for setting automobile mileage standards to the
National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), which is housed within the U.S.
Department of Transportation.

In 2002, the State of California passed AB 1493, legislation which regulated auto carbon dioxide
(CO2) emissions and fuel economy.

In 2004, the State of California finalized carbon dioxide regulations for automobiles. Automakers
challenged the state action in federal court, saying only the federal government can set mileage
standards to ensure a consistent fuel economy program across the country.

In April 2007, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) should
review possible dangers from CO2 emissions.

In December 2007, automakers supported Congress passing the Energy Independence and Security Act
requiring automakers to increase fuel economy by at least 40% to 35 mpg -- thereby reducing CO2 by
at least 30% -- by 2020.

In 2008, the Bush Administration denied California's request for a waiver from the federal Clean Air
Act to implement its own CO2 program.

In January 2009, President Obama directed EPA to review the waiver decision.

In March, NHTSA raised Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards for cars in model year
2011 to 30.2 mpg, and a combined standard for cars and light trucks (minivans, SUVs, pickups) to 27.3
mpg. (The standard is based on what consumers purchase. That is, the standard represents the average
mileage achieved by all vehicles sold by a manufacturer.)

In April, EPA issued a proposed finding that CO2 poses a danger to health and welfare, opening the
door to federal regulation of CO2 from all sources. The U.S. House of Representatives also began
hearings on climate change legislation during April.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 79 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Why are people getting so angry? This will NOT kill fun-to drive cars. They will (probably) still be fun to drive, but lighter and more fuel efficient-370Z engineers have the recipe made...
      This won't even kill the V8. It will make it more difficult in the future to design new V8's, but they won't be killed. (imagine towing a trailer in a Fiesta. Not gonna work. we need V8's).

      Also, Obama...I like you, but remember what engine your 8 MPG Caddy is packing....
      • 5 Years Ago
      If these politicians really want to reduce fuel consumption and dependence on foreign oil, which I support, then have some guts and do it the right way. It's very simple, just raise the gas tax. This way, car manufacture won't get screwed by investing in fuel saving technology, eliminate any loop holes and biggest users pay the most tax. Sure I hate paying taxes, but I think this is the only effective way to do it! Pour all the money raised back into public transportation and infrastructure.
        • 5 Years Ago
        They don't because they know they won't get re-elected if they vote yes on it.
        If I had my way an extra $1 would be on the gas tax starting tomorrow.
        • 5 Years Ago
        i agree. gas tax simply works here in europe.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Retired as it right.... Members of SEMA will just re-tool and use what's available.

      If memory serves, ye old Muscle Cars of bygone era are MUCH SLOWER than some 4 cyliner NA commuter cars... '95 Dodge Neon did the 1/4 in the mid 15's STOCK. There were a HANDFUL of so-called "Muscle Cars:" that ran about that pass and even around the same trap speed (mid 80mph). These were usually your 289 powered Mustang or 327 powered Camaro, the cars they sold MOST of were in fact not that fast at all. Sure a modified version of either engine can make in excess of 400hp stock bore and stroke, yet that's only possible with the lessons learned from 40+ years of Motorsport.

      You don't need V engine to make power, you don't need 8 cylinders either.

      I have been saying this for awhile, in the future, Mustang GT's and the like will become niche cars, produced in low numbers and higher cost. More than likely to offset the cost of building plug-in hybrids and other alt fuel cars/crossovers for the rest of the market, you know they 2 million a year units...

      This is not the death of any "fun" cars. I heard the same nonsense back when Ford and GM introduced fuel injection to the Camaro and Mustang. The middle and rural parts of the country were ready to buy the car, rip off the EFI and install a trusty 4 barrell Holley and Edelbrock Intake. You don't have to do that anymore and it gets less mileage and makes less torque.

      Today more and more Hot Rodders are becoming comfortable with programable fuel injection and turbo-charging.

      Affordable Performance will likely have a small turbo-charged engine. A step up will have twin turbo middle displacement V6 engines and elite cars will have a combination of forced induction and small displacement V8's

      That still won't stop you from building a Dynocorn '69 Camaro and doing whatever engine you want...

        • 5 Years Ago
        Very well said, Anthony.

        Let's not forget that we as car enthusiasts are in the minority. The majority wants to have a car to get them from point A to point B and do so in a cheap and comfortable way. Through our elected officials, we (as a people) have made it clear that we want more efficient cars. However, since CAFE is an AVERAGE fuel consumption, there will be more efficient performance cars next to more efficient mainstream cars. Performance cars will probably become more niche vehicles, but what is wrong with that?
      • 5 Years Ago
      If people really cared about efficiency and an automobile's effect on the environment, they would be buying the small, fuel-efficient cars that are already available. They're not and they're not going to be happy when you try to force them to do it against their will.

        • 5 Years Ago
        You are free to do what you want until it infringes on the rights of others. We all have the right to breathe clean air. However, when you buy your gas guzzler you pump significantly more CO2 into the air, reducing its quality for everyone. Now you are infringing on the rights of others. This is not something the free market is equipped to address. This is why capitalism requires governments.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Dear BoxerFanatic

      Oh man, I don't know where to begin, I'll reply to you following your statements.
      First of all global warming is scientifically proven, just few memers of scientific community denies it, the sun itself has nothing to do with it is the record level of CO2 that don't allow the sun heat to go back to the space, you can close your eyes if you want, but it is a FACT that the poles' ice is melting and it is a FACT that the glaciers are much smaller than 15 years ago, get informed please.
      About diesel. Diesel engines require 30% less fuel than gasoline and the high particulate is successfully trapped by filters, in Europe diesels are cleaner than gasoline cars, in fact recently Porche equipped it's Cayenne with a diesel engine to offer to their cusomers a "eco friendly" car and also to fit to some european mileage standards.

      About the monster litred engines, please stop kidding me and yourself, I'll tell a story, about two years ago I went in Canada and rented a car (4 litres Honda) and travelling on the highway @60 I could see the fuel level go down almost in real time, thankfully gasoline was very cheap because I made 4 KM per litre, last summer I went in France with my Lancia Musa 1.3 litres diesel turbocarged, on the highway @ 110/120 km per hour @1800 / 2000 rpm I made about 20 / 22 KM per litre, travelling in absolute comfort.
      You can call small engines road hazards, but it is a FACT that in Europe engines develop 100 bhp per litre, your engines are light years far from that, you know the next S class (the biggest) Mecedes Benz will be equipped with a 1.8 litres gasoline engine, call it road hazard, but menwhile don't forget that the socialist Europe has some of the biggest and wealthier car industries while the big three are diving, so, how could a republican-socialist goverment (that makes me laugh) don't succeed where old and boring Europe has?
      And BTW, don't hide your statements behind war facts, it's true, you saved Europe twice, but once said it's enough, don't say it in every post, it's boring.
      Thank you for saving us, in WWI and WWII.
      (BTW, I think neither you and me are able to judge if iraquis are now better or not)

      Concerning cars (and enegy in a broader way), the core discussion I think (is this still autoblog?) it is another FACT that you have the worst mileage standards in-the-world, even China is doing better now (concerning cars) and about the energy in a broader way you do waste a lot of energy and resouces, gas, water, food, etc. (I don't know about electicity) and BTW you're not the only industrialized country in the world.

      If you're still not sure about mileage, tell me, why when the gasoline reached over 4 dollars per gallon people stopped buying big cars and begun to buy smaller cars? Do you know how much does it cost the gasoline here now? (one of the lowest levels in recent years) 1.30 euros per litre, 4,2 euros per gallon, 5.8 dollars per gallon, maybe you begin to understand why here we build more efficent cars, if I'm not wrong Chrisler is going to be sold to FIAT because of its better and more efficent cars, not for cash or because italians are good or beautiful, or whatever.

      Think again about GM bankrupcy, and please explain what pedestian safety standards has to do with fuel efficency.
      Cheers.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The only FACT about global warming is that it is a HOAX designed to separate suckers from their money.

        Remember when it was a fact that there were witches among us who needed burning at the stake to save us all?

        200 years from now historians will think as highly of global warming hucksters as they do about the Puritans who lit up those witches.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Wow, you're very perceptive. Why, YES, by using an example of sheer
        stupidity from 400 years ago I was casting the global warming hoax in
        same light - that of sheer stupidity rather than 'science'.

        You really can't see how buying a $100k Tesla instead of a $50k
        Corvette will cost you more money in the long run than you can
        possibly save in gasoline? And you plan to charge your Tesla on that 'magic' electricity that doesn't require coal, oil, natural gas, a giant concrete dam, or a nuclear reaction to generate?

        Energy is inexpensive enough in my city that the cost isn't a factor
        in my decision to buy anything powered by gasoline or electricity. I
        care only about peformance and capabilities.

        As for the global waming hoax, since the projected 'global doom'
        temperature is within the range of historical termperatures on Earth,
        then it really isn't terribly unusual, is it?
        • 5 Years Ago
        errata corrige
        Dear texmln

        you can't compare human stupidity fueled by ignorance and religion to something scientific, that, for definition, is proven (see scientifc method), and you must agree that today's perception of the world isn't comparable to even 100 years ago.
        In fact it is proven that we have record levels of CO2, and because of it the planet is warmer, I can't deny that probably this planet has periods in his life when the temperature rises naturally, but you can't deny that our footprint isn't neutral, since CO2 causes greenhouse effect we are at least accelerating and worsting that process.
        Concerning Tesla, I'm sorry my friend but the example is choosen to substain your statements, you cannot take as example a new born tecnology, always new tecnologies cost a lot because of its low volumes (remember computers 15 years ago?) I was referring to gasoline or diesel engines of lower litreage with more power per litre, and please don't say that diesel isn't that spread in the USA, because it doesn't need special infrastructures, you just need to fill gas tanks with diesel and change the pump's color.
        Anyway I haven't mentioned electric cars on purpose, because I think that they will have sense when electricity will be produced from renewable sources, otherwise, it makes nonsense to burn gas to make electricity to fuel the cars.
        Cheers
        • 5 Years Ago
        texmln
        you sure are an informed person, but you should update yorself, we're in 2009 and may be you could use a scientific-based example Witches? That's a funny topic.
        You know, it is better to shut up and be considered a stupid than to speak and clear all the doubs.
        Furthermore, how wasting (or using, semantics for BoxerFanatic) less energy can separate people from their money?
        Is energy free in your city? or they even pay you to use energy?
        Where do you live? In just-my-dull-opinion-counts-ville?
        Well I live in I-don't-care-about-duffers-opinion-ville.
        Before speaking like a parrot repeating what TV says you to think why don't take a look to scientific reports about GW?
        Cheers
      • 5 Years Ago
      I think you guys are overreacting. Why is everyone so scared of change?(no pun intended)

      1. They are not taking away your current sports cars so and keep what you want. Used cars ARE still available.

      2. The fleet average just has to be high. There will still be some high po offerings for us. And as an added bonus, they should be even more fuel efficient.

      3. If you guys pay attention to reality and not the car world, the vast majority of people dont care about big engines, big horsepower, or big acceleration. This is good because they will buy the average high mpg cars and keep the fleet mpg up so we can have our fun toys.

      4. Lastly, high power isnt necessary to make a car fun to drive.
        • 5 Years Ago
        1. Used cars don't last forever. What high performance coupes exist from 1998-2003? VERY FEW compared to those in the earlier 90s. If no more new cars of a type are made, then the used supply will dwindle eventually.

        2. What does it take to get a high fleet average? 1000 golf carts to one family car capable of traveling across country?

        3. Last I checked, cars, like other products were built based on demand in a free market. If someone wants a gas sipper, there are options. If someone wants a big car, or a sporty car, they should be free to choose. Telling minority enthusiasts or anyone else that they need to conform to the mainstream is not what is called for.

        4. No one has asserted that. However, some people want the option, and under-powered cars are only so-much fun. Is it not the manufacturer, and by extension the designer and engineer's choice, and the customer's choice to buy?

        SINCE WHEN IS THIS THE GOVERNMENT'S PURVIEW to handicap and strangle the automotive industry, especially now that they control a couple of players?

        This has gotten way the hell out of hand. Welcome to hope for mediocrity, and change to that very effect.
        • 5 Years Ago
        BoxerFanatic: Please, take a moment and logically consider what's happening here... In the meantime, please allow me to point out a few things.

        1. Used cars don't last forever...VERY FEW compared to those in the earlier 90s.

        BF: The fact that there are fewer Sports Cars has more to do with demand than any regulations that popped up since then. For all the chest thumping, the enthusiast market isn't that stout, otherwise, cars like the Camaro/Firebird, RX7, Supra, NSX, Eclipse (yeah, I know, but the current one doesn't count as anything more than a poseur mobile), 3000GT/Stealth, etc. would have survived during a time that was supposedly such a great one for all of us. Nothing to do with regulatory nanny-ism.

        2. What does it take to get a high fleet average? 1000 golf carts to one family car capable of traveling across country?

        BF: Contrary to common assumptions, CAFE's not based on sticker rating. In fact, if you have a car that shows 23MPG Combined on the sticker, the reality is that the impact on CAFE (avoiding the volume component) is more like 28MPG (REALLY!)... The fact is that most OEMs don't have much trouble right now getting close to 32MPG Car and, with emerging tech, should be able to get over 35.5MPG by 2016.

        3. Last I checked, cars, like other products were built based on demand in a free market. If someone wants a gas sipper, there are options. If someone wants a big car, or a sporty car, they should be free to choose. Telling minority enthusiasts or anyone else that they need to conform to the mainstream is not what is called for.

        BF: See above... does it mean much that Prius has outsold Mustang the last couple of years (some of the stoutest Mustang years in recent memory)? And, frankly, along with stuff like Prius, OEMs understand the market need, if only as relatively low-volume "halos" that image vehicles like 'Stangs & Camaros fill. In fact, it could be that we end up with a better breed of Pony because of this kinda thing (GDI V6 Camaro, anyone?). The fact is that performance cars usually rely on stuff that can make for better economy, such as powertrain tech, trannies (DCT, 6+ speed MT, etc.). Go right ahead and buy what you want but, if it's not there for the choosing, you might consider the power of the free market as the reason it's not there (as I have for recognizing why I would never have been able to get a G8 Wagon V6 w/ 6MT, even if it'd made sense for Pontiac to survive).

        4. No one has asserted that. However, some people want the option, and under-powered cars are only so-much fun. Is it not the manufacturer, and by extension the designer and engineer's choice, and the customer's choice to buy?

        BF: I work in the industry, for more than 20 years, and I can tell you that anybody that tells you that efficiency can't be fun and fun can't be efficient, even in the realm of a pony car, is hiding their own inadequacies. It's a horribly limiting generalization that is only used by people who have political axes to grind (and I'm not only talking about Red-Blue national politics).

        SINCE WHEN IS THIS THE GOVERNMENT'S PURVIEW to handicap and strangle the automotive industry, especially now that they control a couple of players?

        BF: As much as I'm frustrated by the contraction in the domestic market & local OEMs, I think it's important to ask whether or not the industry could survive without protective cover from the Feds. There were/are a lot of people who think GM/Chrysler should be allowed to "die" yet, to do so would put alot of people, industry & companies at risk. Is it better for the government to do nothing? Yet, rather than a bottomless pit, they're forcing the companies to fix themselves through managed negotiations &, likely, CH.11 (as with Chrysler). The alternative might have really cost us, as a country, more (though I'm not sure the scale). Will the Feds control GM long-term? I hope not and I believe that nobody in government wants to have GM as a longterm albatross, hence the negotiations & likely CH.11 coming next month.

        This has gotten way the hell out of hand. Welcome to hope for mediocrity, and change to that very effect.

        BF: I think we're talking about mediocrity leading to where we are now, settling for the same as it's always been, not trying to improve (or, worse, being handicapped by conditions to the extent that companies couldn't do what they had to do, like shut down brands that were redundant, to get healthy).

        Personally, the CAFE news today doesn't change what I do except for add a bit of clarity and stability to a market that's been crazy lately.
      • 5 Years Ago
      whatever, I'm going to buy from companies who'll ignore the CAFE and pay fines for it.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Good, judging by their declining market share, Mercedes needs your dollars.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I guess V8 cars could get more rarer now.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Isn't this corporate AVERAGE fuel economy? All the cars don't have to be 35 mpg, you just need a bunch of econoboxes if you make gas guzzlers to average out.
        • 5 Years Ago
        CAFE is calculated using pre-2008 *and* unadjusted mpg. A light-hybrid Malibu, for instance, gets 40 mpg CAFE - combined!

        The 3800 lb Equinox 2.4 DI, which gets 22/32 mpg EPA consumer, gets 35 mpg (combined) CAFE.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Why is the Auto Alliance in favor of this?

        Because the speculative gas panic of a couple years ago drove them to sink all their R&D money for the coming generation into slow, cramped, high mileage vehicles which consumers hate and only settle for when they can't afford something better.

        Now that oil prices are reasonable again their next cycle of product is going to fail miserably without government interference.


      • 5 Years Ago
      I understand why those outside of America aren't understanding why people like me dont want the government meddling in any industry, but to the Americans cheering this mess on, shame on you.

      In the name of safety, government regulations for seat belts, air bags and automobile design were passed giving untold power to the Feds over the automotive industry. This had a large impact on the price. Now most people will agree that a safe auto is a worthwhile purchase for your family, but shouldnt you be able to buy a cheap car that skimps on safety features? "No!" says big Government! "We need to keep you safe, comrade, at a higher price! We will tax you to pay for congress to come up with the rules, tax you more to test the cars and then the manufacturers can tack the added cost of materials onto the final price tag!"

      The truth is, as long as the Government doesnt ban motorcycles, the safety of vehicles should be irrevalent to anyone but the consumer. As for operation defects (exploding gas tanks, etc...) consumer reports and other free market based consumer awareness groups can handle the testing. Let the buyer beware right?

      So this relates directly to Government enforced fuel economy by showing A) How effective the government is at hurting the consumer for the sake of the so called "common good" and B) How ignorant the masses are about the free market. Folks it is very simple, watch me:

      Don't regulate squat. Allow the market to set the price (what people are willing to pay essentially) on everything from cars to fuel. Allow the market to set the demand (do more consumers want big SUV's or Econoboxes?). Then watch the good businesses cater to the largest areas of demand as well as respond to other market factors (The bad ones fold and their assets bought by smarter people). They do this by watching the gas prices go up because of shortages and respond by producing more fuel effcient cars. While this is going on they fill niche areas like sports cars and other "fun" vehicles. Money is made and thanks to lack of regulation the people have more money to spend on cars and those cars cost less. More are bought and people get to keep their jobs. Win.

      BUT WHAT ABOUT THE ENVIROMENT!?!?!?!?!?!?

      Enviroment is a local matter to be handled by local governments. Los Angeles is within their rights to regulate emissions. The Federal government is not, because by bringing car production up to the standards of California emissions they hurt those in Georgia where the air is clean and the trucks are friggin huge. Alot of states and metropolitian areas have or lack vehicle inspections for this reason. Out in the sticks (country, hills, redneck land) a vehicle with a intact stock exaust is less of a problem than the city, everyone knows this and it works well. So why make it a production standard?

      I could go on forever justifying the free market approach but just remember folks, money talks. Recycling will become part of everyday life when its profitable for the average consumer. Green cars become popular as energy becomes more scarce. Its all about money and if you disagree get your parents to cut you another check from the trust fund so you can buy a Prius and feel better about yourself.
        • 5 Years Ago
        But that's just it, the free market wouldn't have lead to so many safety advancements, so even if the consumer wanted it they would have been unable to ever purchase it because the automakers would have gotten sales regardless of whether they upgraded the safety since you'd basically have a choice of no car or car without seatbelts/airbags/crumple zones. Deifying the free-market while demonizing all government regulation is retarded, and I'm a big supporter of free-market capitalism since it's by far the best way to grow economies and make people wealthier. But at the same time if there were zero regulations it'd almost always lead to a monopoly and stagnation of competition and thus advancement.
        Back in the day you basically had your Big 3, and without government making them improve stuff they wouldn't, since you'd have to buy their cars anyway. Just like you had no choice but to pay Ma Bell huge amounts of money to make a phone call, etc.
        The government should thus regulate lightly, but always try to keep companies advancing. And setting higher minimum standards is one way to force them to compete with each other (since whatever company makes the standards won't have to pay the fines, etc.) and competition is the key to why the free market works.
        It's silly to think that you don't need any sort of government regulation, who do you think stocks oil reserves to make sure supplies are stable, builds and maintains those roads you drive on, and stops fuel companies from putting lead in the gasoline? Leaded gas is what you get without government regulation-do you think the free market would have ever gotten them to stop using lead? Gimme a break.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Dear BoxerFanatic,
      excuse me if I hurt your sensivity, a person who calls himself a fanatic surely it's the most appropriate person to talk about balanced comments.
      Anyway, I admit, my post might sound kinda aggressive, but it is just for "your"(at large) stubbornness, always criticizing thigs that would put you on the levels the rest of the world is and besides not just americans have to work and to move around family.
      About the "red herring", I don't know where you live but surely you should have heard about CO2 and global warming, they way a concept is stated shall not impede to understand the core meaning.
      BTW what I was pointing out is that you don't need a 6 litres engine in a car, here in Europe big cars and SUVs are usually equipped with a 3 litres engines (mostly diesel) and they're very, very powerful cars.
      Big car must not mean necessarily big engines (though here a 3 litres IS a big engine), I'm not saying that everyone have to buy a small car or tha SUVs are evil, this is not relevant, my comment was to criticize an approach that made you one of the worst auto industryes in the world, and it is hardly di deny, since every Detroit Big is going to bankrupt or very near to it.
      Or is not possible to criticize the USA since you saved Europe in WW2?
      Want to talk about the democracy you brought in Iraq? Don't boast on action you didn't.
      Just answer this question: do you really think that America can continue wasting so much energy?
      Do you really think that since USA is double than Europe (geographically) american have to drive unefficent cars?
      Why do you think General Motors is going to be the third biggerst automaker behind Toyota and Fiat ?
        • 5 Years Ago
        What most Americans have to drive is larger vehicles than in Europe. Geographically, we're more spread out than more densely populated Europe, and I say this from first hand experience as my family hails from Malta. We, in the USA, have more than half of our population living and working in suburban areas that are so spread out, that public transportation is impractical. As a matter of law, in almost all fifty states, it's illegal to have a child under twelve years old occupy the front passenger seat, and depending on their age, all children under twelve have to be in either an approved car seat or booster seat, all of which take room and add weight to the car. I can't speak for Europe, but nearly all of our children need backpacks or rolling book bags the size of carry-on luggage to haul their books and homework back and forth from home to school. Between that and after school activities, smaller vehicles and underpowered vehicles are unusable. There's only so much efficiency that can be designed in to larger vehicles without drastically increasing the costs to the consumer.

        More over, diesel was never very popular here, and even if you could convince consumers to accept them, our infrastructure for refueling is built around distributing gasoline, not diesel, and transitioning gas stations to more diesel is a daunting task financially and environmentally.

        And we're not the only ones in the world like this. Even my parents homeland of Malta, a country with an excellent public bus system, is becoming crowded with consumers buying as large and powerful a car as they can buy, wiht only the driver occupying the car 90% of the time.
        • 5 Years Ago
        You are desperate enough to attack my username? nice move, Fabio.
        I don't begrudge ANYONE the option to buy the products that they want or need. YOU are the one asserting that it should be restricted. If europeans need big cars, let them buy big cars. They should be able to, as anyone should.

        Global Warming is a red herring, and it is a political movement, not a scientific one. It is more about getting political power and grant money than actual scientific methodology. Global warming hasn't been happening in 10 years. The globe constantly heats and cools due to a giant nuclear reaction... called the SUN.
        
BTW what I was pointing out is that you don't need a 6 litres engine in a car, here in Europe big cars and SUVs are usually equipped with a 3 litres engines (mostly diesel) and they're very, very powerful cars.

        You talk big about global warming, and your solution is Diesel??? High-particulate and un-burned hydrocarbon emitting diesel? Don't get me wrong, I think diesel is fine, for what it is... but hardly cleaner output than more-refined gasoline.

        BTW, I never said that anyone NEEDED 6 liters. But I don't begrudge people the option, if they WANT it. I don't want it, nor do I have one. I have two 4-cylinder cars, one turbocharged, and both cars are comparatively SMALL in their segments. How does that feed your stereotyping?

        Big cars with small engines are called road-hazards, without enough power to actually get out of their own way, in any sort of emergency maneuver. That doesn't mean they need 6 liters, though... Not like a Mercedes Benz, or anything...

        Speaking of bankrupt, Daimler is not scott free after raiding chryslers's coffers for the cash, and then leaving them derelict with not good or future product development. Thanks a bunch.

        If GM goes down, it will be because government and unions are too much like socialized europe, and GM managment caved to that pressure, and dropped the ball. Thanks AGAIN, for setting such a fine socialist example.

        Last I checked, we participated in TWO world wars in the last hundred years, both taking place in Europe, the second one of which, we put down this sort of nationalized socialist regime.

        I never said that America was beyond criticism, and I am a vocal critic myself. But your earlier post was baseless and completely insulting. Don't dish it if you can't take some rebuttal.

        And also, it seems that Saddam Hussein's rape rooms and political prisons are closed, and mass graves are no longer being filled, and Iraqis are better voting for their own government, and doing pretty well for themselves, all things considered. And while American troops outnumber others, it was a coalition of forces, before some governments decided to bow out, politically, like Spain.
        
Just answer this question: do you really think that America can continue wasting so much energy?

        I reject your premise. The US doesn't waste any more energy as a percentage than any other industrialized country, and perhaps, we waste less. We may USE more energy, but we also use it to be more productive than any other economy on earth, and to provide foreign aid and military defense for countries like YOURS, all over the world. When you want to take your own defense completely on your own shoulders, without the US safety net, via NATO, UN, or whatever else, let us know, we'll be happy to save some money, considering how fast our government is printing it otherwise.
        
Do you really think that since USA is double than Europe (geographically) american have to drive unefficent cars?

        I never said that larger geography meant that our cars are unefficient, and you have yet to prove that they are unefficient. Even your vilified 6 liter engines get pretty good cruising mileage, because they can cruise effortlessly for thousands of miles, at 2500 rpms, and get good mileage while doing it. and smaller engines than 6 liters, which is MOST of them, do even better.
        But a 1.8 liter engine doesn't do that, especially in a car larger than EPA's Compact class, with safety regs, like EUROPE's Stupid as hell pedestrian crash regs, and others, that raise hood heights and reduce aerodynamic efficiency, and increase weight. A 1.8 to 3.0 engine, without a turbocharger (which drinks more fuel), has a hard time pushing a barn-door that weighs 1.75 tons or more.

        As to your last question about GM being third... again, I answer that GM is failing because the US is getting too much like socialist europe, with government regulations pitted against themselves, like efficiency versus safety/weight, and rampant union activity, and corporate management dropping the ball under pressure from those two increasingly socialistic groups. Maybe if our government, unions, and corporate managers
      • 5 Years Ago
      And my hatred for California and the current government continues...i am going to miss those high performance cars which wont be able to make those standards.

      first government ruins cars by continuously adding safety and weight, and now they ruin the engines by making the so efficient. o well....by then ill be shopping the used car lot for a nice c6 corvette coupe.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Very true, Look how much crappier cars got post '80s, I miss the true performance cars, and times when nothing American made could eclipse 400hp.

        Wait. No. Take ur sky is falling doom and gloom elsewhere.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Come on folks, we can get over this. The government has mandated these kinds of changes before (from seatbelts and airbags to fuel consumption) and we have risen to the challenge.

        I refuse to believe that we (as car enthusiasts) are so set in our ways that we cannot change. The same thing was said about emissions control and the advent of FI: "it's the end of the performance days." But look at us now. We can change ECU maps on the fly. Cars are faster now than they were 10 years ago.

        Yes, it was hard. Yes, it took work. The lates 70s and early 80s were particularly dark days for performance cars. But that's the price of progress. How else can we expect to be a scientific wold leader? How else can we expect to put people to work?
        • 5 Years Ago
        What a typical "What happened to MY America" load of kneejerk claptrap. What EXACTLY are you going to miss? Have you noticed that all over the world there are high performance cars that get decent gas mileage and don't belch crap out? Guess what? A whole lt of them are American.

        I think it is the height of unpatriotic behavior to think that an American company can't not only meet some technical barrier, but vault over it. Do you and your nattering nabobs of regressive negativety not remember what country is the only one to put men on the moon? 1st Jumbo jet? The internet? We could go on.

        Get over yourself.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Easy to hate on Cali, I agree. But it's better to have one standard instead of 16, even if the standard is tough. Now if they could have one standard for a gasoline formula, we wouldn't have artificial shortages because the the refinery making gas blend A was knocked offline by a hurricane, while there is plenty of gas blend B, but you're not allowed to sell it where A is sold.
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