Lutz: "Forcing us to alter the fleets to hit some theoretical average won't change what consumers want, or what they'll buy."

After the Energy Security Leadership Council, made up of "prominent U.S. executives and retired military officers," called for a four percent annual increase in CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) standards, Bob Lutz spoke out. He said that the proposal is akin to "fighting the nation's obesity problem by forcing clothing manufacturers to sell garments only in small sizes."

Lutz claims on an Internet posting that the U.S. buying public dictates what the automakers build. American drivers usually prefer vehicles with larger engines, often in vehicles larger than they really require; trucks and SUVs have been a large seller for both American manufacturers and imports. However, many import brands have "credits" stored up from previous years that help them meet the current CAFE requirements that the domestic brands do not posses. The CAFE standards currently peg any given automakers trucks at 20.7 mpg, with cars at 27.5 mpg.

General Motors has been playing a game of catch-up lately with hybrid vehicles, selling far fewer than Toyota, Honda or even their Detroit rival Ford. Additionally, many of the latest vehicles released by the automaker have been SUVs and their new line of trucks -- vehicles which make up the majority of vehicles sold in America. Toyota is poised to release the newest version of their full-size pickup, the Tundra, in the coming year. However, Toyota sells far fewer trucks in America than does General Motors.



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