Bob King, President of the United Auto Workers, is adding his voice to those who have already chimed in with support for the new Corporate Average Fuel Economy standard of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. In what might be a historic break from the union's contentious past, King is throwing in for the new fuel efficiency rules because he thinks it will mean jobs for his members as the auto industry reacts to the mandate.
In the past, such a decree could have meant much wailing and gnashing of teeth from both the automakers and labor unions. Instead, The Detroit News reports King told a meeting of representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency and Nathional Highway Traffic Safety Administration "We are excited about the new green technologies that are being developed in the United states and produced in UAW-represented facilities." King went on to praise the rules as a change that will save people money at the gas pump and reduce pollution.
The proceedings in Detroit weren't all smiles, however. Don Chalmers of the National Automobile Dealers Association expressed worry that the technology to make the fuel efficiency goal possible will tack on between $3,500 to $5,000 to the price of new vehicles, squeezing buyers with low cashflow or difficult credit inordinately. Still, the surprising bout of rainbows and puppy dogs that this latest CAFE requirement has engendered may be a harbinger of a new attitude all-around, as long as dealers can figure out how to put buyers into the newly efficient cars that automakers and labor leaders are so pleased to be creating.