It looks as if some manufacturers could be getting at least a partial "Get Out Of Jail Free" card for the new national greenhouse gas regulations announced by the Obama administration back in May. The EPA and NHTSA won't issue final rules until later in the fall, but it seems as though automakers that sell fewer than 400,000 cars a year could get a break. Apparently, up to one-quarter of a qualifying automaker's fleet would receive a four-year exemption, which would allow companies such as BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz to sell high-powered M, RS and AMG models without those sales affecting their fleet CO2 emissions numbers.
If passed, this set of proposed rules would give the automakers less of a respite than the California regs that would have exempted their entire fleets for seven years. Nonetheless, these foreign automakers would still have an advantage over a company like General Motors, which competes directly against them with some cars such as the of the Corvette ZR1 and Cadillac CTS-V.