Are the Detroit Three – General Motors, Ford and Chrysler – fully committed to increasing the fuel efficiency of all vehicles in their respective model lineups? New federal mandates, which go into effect in 2016, require automakers to raise the bar, at least in terms of overall fuel efficiency, but the Big Three's push to improve gas mileage started prior to the announcement of the upcoming CAFE standards. So, are they serious?
Recently, Hybrid Cars outlined five signs that indicate that Detroit's automakers are committed to long-term improvements in overall fuel efficiency, which we've summed up below:
- Automotive execs have laid out plans based on the possibility that gas prices will rise.
- Vehicles are currently being designed to accommodate gas, hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric drivetrains. This flexibility allows for models to be adapted based on consumer demand and fuel costs.
- Factories that previously built trucks and SUVs have been retooled to produce compact cars. Since 2004, the Big Three have shuttered 17 factories that previously built pickups, SUVs and vans, while at the same time investing millions to ready facilities for production of cars.
- The Big Three have cut production costs, allowing them to profit from the sale of compact vehicles.
- GM, Ford and Chrysler fully realize that fuel-efficiency standards will continue to rise. All three automakers have committed to launching additional advanced technology vehicles to meet mandated improvements in fuel efficiency.