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Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid  (Source: Toyota)

Chevrolet Volt  (Source: General Motors)

2009 Chevrolet Camaro Concept  (Source: General Motors)

Pontiac G8 GT  (Source: General Motors)
Toyota applauds new CAFE standards, General Motors not so sure

A new energy bill passed in the House of Representatives last week which would raise Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) fuel economy standards 40 percent to 35 MPG by 2020. The measure passed 235-181 and calls for the standards to be progressively implemented starting with the 2011 model year.

Not surprisingly, reaction to the higher CAFE standards have met with mixed reactions from the automotive industry. Toyota, which has recently come under fire for a faux-green facade, is fully committed to working towards the 35 MPG standard.

"We commend congressional leaders for their diligence in hammering out a difficult deal on fuel economy. We at Toyota have long said that we want a bill this year and now the Congress appears poised to deliver," said Toyota Motor Sales President Jim Lentz. "This bill will challenge all automakers to achieve dramatic fuel economy increases. It represents a major step in the right direction that will result in significant oil savings and reductions in CO2."

Toyota is sitting pretty with a current overall CAFE average of 29.0 MPG (34.8 MPG cars/24.1 MPG trucks), so the comments from Lentz are not surprising. The company already has a bevy of fuel efficient cars including the Yaris, Corolla, Prius and Camry Hybrid. The company is also working on making its entire vehicle fleet hybrid by 2020 and will add a diesel engine to its gas-gulping Tundra full-size pickup within the next two model years.

Commentary from General Motors, however, didn't sound so enthusiastic. "Maximum" Bob Lutz, Vice Chairman of GM, was less optimistic about the plan.

"The minute we have confirmation of the 35 mpg rule, that is the point where we go through all of our forward product plans and probably introduce, frankly, massive restructuring of the product plan," said Lutz to Automotive News. "A 35 mpg fleet mix means there is a bunch of stuff out there that is going to have to be 40 and 50 mpg."

Lutz went on to add, "We will have to take a look at everything because we’re going to have to come up with a plan which gets us to 2015, 2017, gets us part of the way there, and with clarity on how we’re going to get the rest. Then we will have to start raising prices as we introduce the new technology."

Whereas Toyota is sitting at 29 MPG for its corporate CAFE average, GM is further back at 24 MPG (28.1 MPG cars/21.3 MPG trucks).

GM has done much to introduce more efficient vehicles over the past few years including the Saturn Vue Green Line, Saturn Aura Green Line and Malibu Hybrid. The company is also lining up its Tahoe/Yukon Hybrids, Silverado/Sierra Hybrids and the all-electric Chevrolet Volt.

However, Lutz's main worries are with regards to the potential gas guzzlers in the company's current roadmap. The company is on the verge of releasing its high-performance Pontiac G8 sedan which comes with either a 3.6 liter V6 engine or a more potent 6.0 liter, 362 HP V8. Also on tap is a new Impala using the G8's platform/engine, a new Camaro with a requisite V8 engine option and a small RWD Pontiac G6 performance sedan built on the Alpha platform.

Bob Lutz is likely one of the most vocal and most high-profile executives in the auto industry, so his comments aren't too surprising. Other auto manufacturers, however, have remained relatively mum on the new CAFE standard. Those with the most to worry include Ford with a corporate CAFE of 24.3 MPG and [former] Daimler-Chrysler with a corporate CAFE of 23.3 MPG.

Honda and Hyundai-Kia are within striking distance of Toyota with corporate CAFE ratings of 28.7 MPG and 28.6 MPG respectively.

The House energy bill also includes provisions for a $21 billion USD tax on oil companies and will require electric companies to get 15 percent of their energy from renewable sources. The bill is having trouble in the Senate because of these two provisions.

"[Oil] is the most profitable industry on earth and we need to pay for the bill," said Democratic Senator Debbie Stabenow. On the opposite side of the spectrum was Republican Senator John Cornyn of Texas. "This bill could pass in a day if they stripped the taxes out and the renewable portfolio standard" for electricity production."

Tougher fuel economy standards are likely to come down eventually no matter how long politicians and car companies tried to avoid the possibility. It's likely in the best interest of auto manufacturers to buckle down and plan ahead instead of hoping that the "worst thing possible” -- i.e. tougher fuel economy standards -- will never happen.



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Progress vs Status Quo
By gradoman on 12/9/2007 1:00:02 PM , Rating: 1
How long were they expecting to push out these gas guzzling cars and trucks? I guess our American car companies are gonna be crying into their pillows since they're bleeding money like a stuck pig and are gonna have to rethink their focus (bigger, more powerful) if they want to compete. Boohoo.




RE: Progress vs Status Quo
By Ringold on 12/9/2007 1:05:22 PM , Rating: 1
You speak as though their gas guzzlers are what has hurt them, but of course you really are probably aware that their gas guzzlers are some of their best selling most profitable vehicles. The lack of a decent mid-size car has probably hurt them more then trucks & SUVs.


RE: Progress vs Status Quo
By Alexstarfire on 12/9/2007 1:36:10 PM , Rating: 2
He never said that they always hurt them. I believe he's just talking about now. Sure, they may have been popular for a long time, but so was disco, jazz, and the hula-hoop. Things go out of style, and GM and Chevy haven't really moved on yet.

Lack of a decent mid-size car is your own personal opinion. You must be one of those people who thinks you need 200 HP and all the space an SUV has.


RE: Progress vs Status Quo
By Ringold on 12/9/2007 3:13:27 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
Sure, they may have been popular for a long time, but so was disco, jazz, and the hula-hoop.


That'd be a cool little phrase, if not for the fact the three best selling vehicles of 2007 were:
1) F-series pickup truck
2) Silverado
3) Camry

quote:
Lack of a decent mid-size car is your own personal opinion.


It's my opinion, but it is also the verdict of the market, shown by the fact that GM & Ford cars come in near the bottom of the top 10 list, thoroughly beaten by Toyota and Honda's Camry and Accord. Sales fell of the trucks and SUV's, but would you of said jazz as out of style when more people were still in to jazz then they were anything else?

quote:
You must be one of those people who thinks you need 200 HP and all the space an SUV has.


You could've looked up data, as I just did, with 30 seconds of googling, but instead tried to put words in my mouth. Nice. Bite me.


RE: Progress vs Status Quo
By retrospooty on 12/9/2007 3:53:04 PM , Rating: 2
Yup... Cars are definetely the US car makers week spot. They have not had a decent mid size (or small or full size for that matter) car for decades. Constantly outperformed by Japanese cars in price, performance, mileage, style. Generally outclassed in all areas.

Some Great trucks and SUV's , but lousy cars. That may be a matter of opinion, but its also a marketable fact.


RE: Progress vs Status Quo
By JAB on 12/9/2007 8:31:42 PM , Rating: 2
True there just are not any stand out American cars the trucks are good but they will suck you dry with fuel costs and insurance. Ironicly the big trucks and SUV's etc often have a higher fatality rate due to rollovers and difficulty avoiding accidents they just don't have the same handling breaks etc. I have seen plenty of SUV drivers in accidents with smaller card and the person in the small car waled away and the SUV was FUBARD.

The huge car/truck syndrome is no diffrent than the huge wings on the cars in the 50's 60's.
There is a reason GM is no longer #1 people are willing to pay more for quality. Just making cars and SUVs bigger and bigger without improving the quality just makes them dangerous and wasteful. If GM and the other big US companys had not started looking at cars as a necessary evil to make more gas wasters they would not have gotten themselves is so much trouble.


RE: Progress vs Status Quo
By djc208 on 12/10/2007 8:02:48 AM , Rating: 4
There's a couple of reasons for this though. The two biggest ones are first that GM and most of the American auto industry has always had this tiered structure. If you're buying a base Chevy Cobalt you're getting basic transportation, you want a nicer interior then "step up" to one of the other GM brands (like a Pontiac), even their trucks and SUVs work this way. You can buy a base Chevy, or the "better" GMC, or go all out for the "top end" Cadilac. Why would anyone want a high end economy car. Problem is that's changed now, some people do want a nice small vehicle, and GM (and many others) are having a hard time figuring that out.

The second one, and this is one of the biggest problems, is that it's tough to compete financially with the Japanese auto makers because the big three and the UAW have contracted themselves into massively expensive contracts. Paying all those UAW workers $30/hour plus benefits is crazy in this day and age (hence the big shakeup during the last contract negoitation). The Japanese auto companies don't have to do it, they also don't have 100+ years of employees since most of their American plants are much newer.
So if Toyta can produce a car for $5000 less than GM, they can sink $2500 back into the car to pay for nicer interiors, better quality components, and a few extra toys and still make $2500 more than GM off every vehicle. GM still needs to compete on price, and the UAW isn't going to give up their benefits easily, so you get cheaper materials and build quality.


RE: Progress vs Status Quo
By retrospooty on 12/10/2007 12:45:17 PM , Rating: 2
"If you're buying a base Chevy Cobalt you're getting basic transportation, you want a nicer interior then "step up" to one of the other GM brands (like a Pontiac)"

Their lies the problem. If a Pontiac is a step up, no wonder they are losing it all. Pontiac is one of the least reliable POS I have ever seen. At least through the 90's and early 2000's everything they made fell apart.


RE: Progress vs Status Quo
By retrospooty on 12/10/2007 12:47:20 PM , Rating: 2
/edit - I gotta say that Pontiac G8 looks nice though. I hope it hold together better then their recent stuff.


RE: Progress vs Status Quo
By theapparition on 12/10/2007 12:50:43 PM , Rating: 2
FYI,
The G8 is not true "Pontiac".
It is a Holden Commador, badged as a Pontiac. Holden is GM's austrailian subsidiary. The car has been on sale there for a while.

You may know them from the last car they brought over, the Holden Monaro, aka Pontiac GTO.

Holden is also the company developing the new zeta real-wheel drive platform that will be the new Camaro.


RE: Progress vs Status Quo
By retrospooty on 12/10/2007 1:08:08 PM , Rating: 2
It figures... I should have known it wasn't a Pontaic design LOL. its nice.


RE: Progress vs Status Quo
By theapparition on 12/10/2007 12:48:04 PM , Rating: 1
Nothing like your personal experience to speak for the entire brand.

Right now GM is second to Toyota in quality, and ahead of Honda/Nissan/Hyundai/BMW/Mercedes.

Don't let the facts get in the way of personal bias though.


RE: Progress vs Status Quo
By retrospooty on 12/10/2007 1:07:05 PM , Rating: 2
If you READ my post before commenting on it, you will see I said it was through the 90's and early 2000's.

As for recent cars, I cant say, but sales have left and bad history is a tough hill to climb. It will take many years of quality and long term proven reliability before people start coming back. Lets see how they do when vehicles are 5 years old, and again at 10 years. I really hope they do well.


RE: Progress vs Status Quo
By darkpaw on 12/10/2007 2:54:06 PM , Rating: 2
I absolutely agree with this statement. GM's quality went to hell in the 90s. My first car was a 80s Olds, that still ran great at 260k miles until the body fell off.

Got my wife a 97 Olds a few years back and the thing was the biggest POS ever. Only 80k miles before it needed a transmission overhaul and everthing on the car was falling apart by 100k miles.

I'd chalk it up to one bad experience, if I didn't know at least three other people personally with similar issues, including my parents.

Maybe they have fixed their issues as the current results suggest, but after sinking thousands into one bad car I'm not likeily to ever buy from them again. Especially when my last Nissian topped 200k without any major issues before it was totaled, and my current one is pushing 140k.


RE: Progress vs Status Quo
By retrospooty on 12/10/2007 4:34:23 PM , Rating: 2
I know several people that have had the same experience.

One friend with a 92 trans am. and another with a 2000 trans am WS6. The first back to the dealer 5x in the first 2 years, the second back to the dealer 6x in the first one year, including replacing the manifold for a faulty seal.

Dont even get me started on my own Z28... Never again, never ever again.


RE: Progress vs Status Quo
By theapparition on 12/11/2007 8:44:17 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Don't even get me started on my own Z28... Never again, never ever again.

Which gets me back to my original post about GM quality.

You screamed back at me for not reading your post. I did, quite clearly in fact. Yes I saw that you mentioned 90's, but you also put the spin on it for all future car designs.

Your post above just confirms it, you think all GM is crap, when in fact, they have made significant strides, and now are at the top of the pack.

Camaros/Firebirds are notorious for problems, simply because they are low budget-very high performance cars. That's always a recipe for disaster. Ford Mustangs, EVO's, WRX's, et al all fare no better in repair history.

I've had more Camaros and TransAms than can be counted, so I know just a little about them. I've had some that have had no issues, including my current 2001 WS6, and other with some bad issues.

I had a friend with a 90's Honda Accord that rusted and constantly broke down, so should I go around screaming that Honda is crap and they rust out, due to personal experience? Or should I look at the facts that maybe the way he drove it and took care of it were less than optimal? Especially since "overall" the Accord gets good marks and is relatively trouble free for a car. See my point, you can't let a single personal event affect your overall opinion of a brand. All I'm asking is to look at the facts.


RE: Progress vs Status Quo
By retrospooty on 12/11/2007 9:56:27 AM , Rating: 2
Of course I see your point.

Mine was not based on my own experience and that of a few friends, that is just examples I posted to help make a point, but GM had major quality issues on all cars through the 90's and into at least the early 2000's, giving rise to Honda and Toyotas massive sales... It wasnt all me, I only bought 2 of them. People left GM (and ford and chrysler) in droves for better qulaity cars. You seem to be pretty knowledgeable on the issue, so I would say you must know that to be true as well.

As for the future, as I said, many people turned away, and IF GM has turned things around as they say they have (they said that many times in the 90's too, so its hard to automatically believe it) It will take a long time to gain the respect back., not just a few years of good cunsumer reports rating etc... It will take many owners not complaining about failure after failure on a 5 year old car, and a 10 year old as well.

Initial quality is one thing, and as you say, GM seems to be much improved. Lets see after 5 and 10 years how well those cars are doing. If they are doing well, I would easily consider buying. That is my point, and I am sure most the 10's of millions of American Honda and Toyota owners would agree with me.


RE: Progress vs Status Quo
By The0ne on 12/11/2007 9:15:37 PM , Rating: 2
Talking about Quality is one thing, having it actually work is another. I'm a ME/QE/TE myself and it's not an easy thing to change or implement on large companies. Part of this is the culture of the company. Imagine having to change the culture where most of your execs are older and are still stuck in their ways. It's very difficult.

Heck, I'm working with a PCB fab company right now that has great QA numbers for both the PCB fab and Assembly areas. Numbers are 95% and above. Sounds and looks great right? No. Once you start digging into the raw data you find that companies like this has absolutely no clue what the hell they are doing and those yields are due to poor and manipulated data.

GM might have improve in Quality but saying it's near Toyota isn't entirely true. Toyota drastically improve their who company with their QA system, TPS, and it showed in revenues and profits. It's how they're able to buy what they've been doing in the past years. If GM was anywhere near the quality of Toyota what have they to show for it? Numbers is one thing but the actual outcome directly from your Quality improvements is another. Positive result is the key.


RE: Progress vs Status Quo
By retrospooty on 12/11/2007 11:01:52 PM , Rating: 2
Yup... Its easy to manipulate stats, and easy to cherry pick a perfect sample car to send to reviewers... Its totally another to sell 100,000 of them and see how they do. The true test to me, is did I need to take it back to the dealer in the first year? 5 years? After 5 years, is it a monthly trip to the shop to replace another part? This is why it will take a long time of top quality to overcome negative consumer impression. I hope they can do it.


RE: Progress vs Status Quo
By theapparition on 12/11/2007 10:56:57 PM , Rating: 2
I'd move your criticism back a decade. GM/Ford/Chrysler was absolute garbage in the 80's. 90's were improving, but anything in the 2000's is a fine vehicule (except for chrysler, which have yet to figure out how to make a transmission).


RE: Progress vs Status Quo
By FastLaneTX on 12/10/2007 9:31:16 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Paying all those UAW workers $30/hour plus benefits is crazy in this day and age ... The Japanese auto companies don't have to do it,

The top-paid auto workers in the US are at Mercedes and Toyota plants (in right-to-work states, though, where employees can choose not to join unions).


RE: Progress vs Status Quo
By theapparition on 12/10/2007 12:45:35 PM , Rating: 2
One issue with the "top 10" list is that they neglect sales from "platforms".

If you read automotive journals, there was a time when the best selling platform was the MonteCarlo/GrandPrix/Buick Regal/Olds Intrigue(?) even though not a single one of these cars appeared on the top 10 list. Does that imply that the cars are not being sold? Of course not. Rather it instead implies that GM has diluted its brand.

I still think the best selling platform is from GM, when you combine sales from all their divisions.


RE: Progress vs Status Quo
By Lazarus Dark on 12/9/2007 8:20:54 PM , Rating: 1
No, no. I don't need 200 HP.
I need 350+ to 450+ hp.
I'm still mourning the discontinuation of the Pontiac Trans Am/Firebird.
The new Camaro is looking nice though. Thing is, I wouldn't mind at all if ALL new vehicles were hybrid, or better yet, plugin hybrid. Why can't I have all the performance and testosterone of a V8 AND fuel efficiency. The two are in no way mutually exclusive. Electric motor to drive it during traffic and normal driving, but still having the V8 to kick in when I want it (maybe even manually selective). Yes, I want my cake and I want to eat it too.

Alternatively, lacking a V8, how about a 400hp electric motor to drive the rear wheels, batteries charged from a small engine, . Not as much testosterone as a V8 perhaps, but still the performance and power.


RE: Progress vs Status Quo
By JAB on 12/9/2007 8:50:00 PM , Rating: 1
Miata for real racing Camaro for bench racing. TANSTAAFL that big heavy ineffecent engine and the extra weight to support it is always going to put you behind. Yes you can use fewer cylinders but you still have a boat anchor of an engine to carry around that tech is already used. It is good to a point but it cant turn a hippo into a ballerina.

The old Camaro was actually a very fast car unfortunately no one wanted to buy it because it was so uncomfortable to keep the weaght down and expensive to drive the accident rate was pretty insane people wanted to replace skill with a huge engine. The miata is faster than the Camaro on the road course. That big heavey engine doesn't make up for the extra HP. Power to weight is the key not just stupid power that make big clouds of smoke as you spin the tires. You can't win a real race if you crash, break down or simply can not get the power to the road exiting a corner.


RE: Progress vs Status Quo
By theapparition on 12/10/2007 12:38:49 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry, but the Camaro killed the Miata in power to weight ratio. And on a road course, I've never been beaten by a "stock" Miata.

I have the highest respect for Miata's. They are great cars, very light, and with a turbo, and be blindingly quick. On an autocross, they are great, where the camaro/mustangs are not. For a roadcourse, the F-bodies will still kill miatas (stock for stock). Drag racing, where true power/weight ratio's come into play, its a no contest with the camaro so far ahead, you won't be able to read the license plate after 1 sec.

While drag racing gets panned sometimes for not being "true racing" it certainly mimics more of the strait line stop light traffic for the real world. I've had an autocross superchamp Lotus Elise. But when I wasn't autocrossing, I hated driving it. Sold. My friends turbo Miata. Sold.

Specs on paper don't mean crap if you don't want to live with it daily.


RE: Progress vs Status Quo
By iFX on 12/14/2007 2:51:42 AM , Rating: 1
I don't need 200HP - I want 200HP, and some eco-nazi like yourself who is only interested in humans not being able to do anything but plant more trees and clean oil of of dolphins isn't going to tell me I can't have that!


RE: Progress vs Status Quo
By gradoman on 12/9/2007 1:51:31 PM , Rating: 2
No, no, don't get me wrong! I know they are, but do we really need an increase of HP or Torque or displacement? Why not better safety or fuel-efficiency?

You've got people buying these vehicles that are sold as "rugged" and "powerful", yet how many do you see on a regular road, occupied by 1 or 2 folks, with an empty bed, nothing being towed, with spinners! LOL. All for show, I'm thinking. Do we really need them?


RE: Progress vs Status Quo
By Spuke on 12/9/2007 2:08:43 PM , Rating: 2
Most people, if you bother to ask them, will tell you they buy SUV's and trucks for practical purposes. These are multipurpose vehicles for families that can't afford three or more cars (or even two cars). So they'll do commuter duty, grocery shopping, hauling the kids, or the night out for dinner.

EVERYONE that buys one says they like the high seating position and the larger sizes give them a feeling of safety. Lots of husbands raise the safety issue as a reason to buy their wives SUV's. My wife and I don't like SUV's but we own a truck. It's very hard to tow a horse trailer and load a few hundred pounds of hay into the trunk of an Aveo. Our other car (actually my car..he he) is a Pontiac Solstice GXP (that gets 28mpg even with my lead foot).

On a side note, direct injection should be standard on ALL gasoline cars. You get the best of both worlds, lots of hp with great gas mileage.


RE: Progress vs Status Quo
By lco45 on 12/10/2007 4:19:09 AM , Rating: 2
I never understand why people think they need an SUV for grocery shopping. Do they only go once a month or something?

I live in London and have a Peugeot 307CC convertible. The hard-top roof folds into the boot (trunk), yet even with the roof down I could easily fit a heaped trolley-load of groceries into the back.

In fact it's crazy to say, but sometimes convertibles can carry more than a regular car, because you can drop the roof, put the item in, then raise the roof again. Very handy :-)

Luke


RE: Progress vs Status Quo
By ElFenix on 12/10/2007 8:42:16 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I never understand why people think they need an SUV for grocery shopping. Do they only go once a month or something?

ever been to costco or sam's on the weekend?


RE: Progress vs Status Quo
By The0ne on 12/11/2007 9:21:38 PM , Rating: 2
I think you just proved is point. It seems people go grocery shopping like once a month and packed up. I shop almost every week and have little to carry with. Store is just down the road. I can understand if you're way out there and there's no market close by but buying a SUV because you're shopping once or twice a month is not a good reason lol. If anything the driver will most likely pass a market on the way to something. At least plan to stop by and shop.


RE: Progress vs Status Quo
By ThisSpaceForRent on 12/10/2007 8:55:31 AM , Rating: 2
One of things that floored me about my Civic SI was the huge trunk space. Easily enough for two, possibly even three, dead hookers. Now that's a nice feature in a relatively small car! The car is also an annoying combination of crappy city mileage with decent highway mileage (God bless the mighty 6th gear).

What's funny is that it's slower than my old BMW 325is, and gets slightly worse mileage.


RE: Progress vs Status Quo
By Ringold on 12/9/2007 3:17:12 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Do we really need them?


This is where we split off. I don't see that its your right or my right to question what anyone else needs or wants; if they've got the money, which they or their family legally acquired, then it's not anyone elses business how they spend it. If they like big vehicles, good for them! If they buy a Prius, well, good for them as well!


RE: Progress vs Status Quo
By A5un on 12/9/2007 3:32:32 PM , Rating: 2
So, what you're saying is basically I can buy whatever I want even if it may endanger other people unproportionally? However much gas a car or a SUV uses really doesn't concern me. What does concern me is the fact that when a SUV crashes into a normal car like a Civic or Corolla, the individuals in the little cars are at a much greater risk. So, your driving of a SUV on the freeway automatically increases the chances of someone else dying during a collision. It seems only fair then if SUV drivers are required to have an additional license or if they get harsher punishments for traffic violations. Because when they do get into an accident, the damage they cause is really unproportionally higher.


RE: Progress vs Status Quo
By Ringold on 12/9/2007 3:44:34 PM , Rating: 1
Okay, if you want to take that route, that of public safety, lets do what politicians are supposed to do and compromise.

You probably don't care for SUV's, for example. But we all love beer, whiskey, rum, wine, etc.

According to MADD, 1.4 million drivers were arrested for DUI in 2004, and 17,602 were killed in alcohol-related accidents on the road in 2006. Not to mention the other more obscure social costs enabled by alcoholism, such as devastated families and children with life-long psychological effects.

Meanwhile, how many SUV's hit other cars and killed people who wouldn't also have been killed if it's been an Prius flying like a bat out of hell instead?

When we bring back prohibition, which clearly would seem to have (if well implemented) vastly superior social benefits, then I'll agree to back government mandated football helmets -- er, I mean, hand-holdi-- I mean limits on the size of privately owned vehicles.

How's that sound? :P

Almost a rhetorical question, not aware of too many people personally that would ever vote for a pro-prohibition candidate, but just making a point of the futility of running a nanny state that seeks to protect us all from everything all the time.


RE: Progress vs Status Quo
By Doormat on 12/9/2007 4:40:47 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
According to MADD, 1.4 million drivers were arrested for DUI in 2004, and 17,602 were killed in alcohol-related accidents on the road in 2006.

MADD (nor the govt) are valid sources for Drunk Driving/DUI statistics. MADD considers an accident alcohol related if the driver was sober and the passenger in the car was drunk. They do this of course because bigger numbers are better for their agenda.


RE: Progress vs Status Quo
By Ringold on 12/9/2007 7:57:32 PM , Rating: 2
MADD is no less biased as a source of data in DUI accidents then the UN is as a source of data on anything, and yet we use the UN willy-nilly when it comes to global warming analysis. I'll rest my case there. :)


RE: Progress vs Status Quo
By Doormat on 12/9/2007 11:00:24 PM , Rating: 2
WTF did global warming have to do with what I said?

All I said was that MADD is not an appropriate source of DUI statistics.

(I left a "not" out of the first sentence, but it should be obvious what the intent of my post was)


RE: Progress vs Status Quo
By Ringold on 12/10/2007 5:36:28 PM , Rating: 3
Global warming is the primary underlying cause for all of this BS about SUV's and fuel consumption in the first place.

Actually, it's plane wealth envy and class warfare, but we'd never admit to that. Safer to play the GW card. Since IPCC's data is political, I knowingly chose a political source for my own data. Propaganda vs Propaganda!


RE: Progress vs Status Quo
By NullSubroutine on 12/13/2007 3:11:56 AM , Rating: 2
Yes, we the proletariat battle class warfare against you bourgeoisie by writing our congressman to take away your big SUV's while letting you run our country through corporate monoplies, lobbying laws, and picking which canidates you want to be our King?

The workers of the world will unite when we get every gas guzzling oversized grocery getter off the road! Yah, thats it....

PROGANDA!! ::rolls eyes::


RE: Progress vs Status Quo
By A5un on 12/9/2007 5:09:04 PM , Rating: 2
It really isn't about prohibiting people from driving SUV's. I mean in order for you to operate a school bus, you need an additional qualification. In order for you to operate a 18-wheeler, you need a different type of license. This is done to restrict unqualified persons from operating machineries that intrinsically have a greater degree of risk involved.

My point is that not everyone who has a drivers license is fit to drive an SUV. Safely driving an SUV deserves further scrutiny and perhaps further qualification given today's traffic laws.

Now, obviously all of whatever I said wouldn't matter if today we limit the momentum a automobile can carry (ie, mass * velocity). With a set maximum electronically limited momentum such that given a regular collision time period the impulse would be survivable at a head-on collision, people can drive whatever they want.


RE: Progress vs Status Quo
By AlexWade on 12/9/2007 10:04:36 PM , Rating: 4
I'll take it a step further. I believe no less than 50% of the people with a driver's license should not be allowed to have one. There are too many slow drivers on the road, there are too many drivers who only care about themselves on the road, too many people who drive in the left lanes of freeways, and there are too many people who drive in a daze, for lack of a better word. People who drive in a daze don't pay attention, they just follow the same routine.

For example, recently here in Raleigh the state was making a by-pass for US-64. To do that, they had to change the ramp layout. Basically, the ramps reversed, if you had to go right, you now went left, and vice versa. The state put up 2 orange signs, but that didn't matter. Many people went the direction they were used to and got lost. They were in a daze, they weren't paying attention.

But, of course, we are Americans. Cars are our God given right. Carpooling ... that is for wusses! Never mind if we carpooled we would save a ton of money and have less traffic and pay less taxes because we wouldn't need to expand the road infrastructure as much. Oh no, we are Americans. Furthermore, as Americans, bigger = better. Super size fries are better. Bigger houses are better. And bigger cars are better. Bigger is our culture. Even when gas goes to $5 a gallon, Americans will still drive their big vehicles. The only thing that will stop it is if gas ran out tomorrow.

Now I'm not coming down on SUV's per se. They have their uses. What I'm coming down on is people using SUV's when a smaller car would be better. 9 times out of 10, SUV's hold 2 people or less. A car can address that need much better. If you lived in a place where you need SUV's, have at it. The SUV isn't the problem. The problem is people wanting SUV's when other options are better. SUV's aren't safer, which is why concrete dividers on highways are bigger. SUV's were jumping the smaller dividers. SUV's are dangerous in different ways. The same rule applies to trucks too. However, in no way do I think we should regulate what people drive.

If you to make SUV's unpopular, call them station wagons. Really, both are the same. A station wagon has 5 doors. A SUV usually has 5 doors. A station wagon and a SUV both have the same rear end idea. But station wagons are uncool. SUV's are cool.


RE: Progress vs Status Quo
By gradoman on 12/9/2007 11:57:52 PM , Rating: 2
I lol'd at the carpooling. I recall driving with my cousin in the HOV lane and at that time, the police were looking into the cars to be sure the passenger wasn't a dummy! Hahah, that was in Maryland. I found it to be quite sad that some folks couldn't find someone on the way to work to carpool with and decided to try to construct and employ a dummy.

I also seriously think we need better testing when it comes to licensing. It's really not funny when there is a big stonking stop sign and maybe 1 or 2 people in a line of 20 actually come to a complete stop while you're trying to cross..


RE: Progress vs Status Quo
By lco45 on 12/10/2007 4:23:44 AM , Rating: 2
Just because you have two problems doesn't mean you shouldn't fix one of them.
That's like saying there's no point putting a fence around your pool because your child might get run over on the way to school anyway...
You're saying that there's no point getting people to drive safer cars until we have prohibition to stop them driving drunk. Why wait?

Luke


RE: Progress vs Status Quo
By ElFenix on 12/10/2007 8:55:59 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
Why not better safety or fuel-efficiency?

you do realize that those two goals are almost mutually exclusive, right? a big part of the reason that mileage ratings have been stagnant for the last decade is that cars have gained a lot of weight. much of that weight is in safety systems. airbags, steel door beams, seatbelt pretensioners, etc., all weigh something. add it up and it's several hundred pounds.


RE: Progress vs Status Quo
By gradoman on 12/10/2007 2:19:03 PM , Rating: 3
That's why I used Or, not And. I guess the Euro market fails utterly to have safe cars that get good mileage.


RE: Progress vs Status Quo
By Parhel on 12/10/2007 2:09:32 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
The lack of a decent mid-size car has probably hurt them more then trucks & SUVs.


I agree with that. I'm a mid-sized sedan customer, and I'm very disappointed with what the American manufacturers have to offer. I only like the Grand Prix, and I only sort of like that, and even that is largely because of the available HUD.


RE: Progress vs Status Quo
By SLEEPER5555 on 12/10/07, Rating: 0
RE: Progress vs Status Quo
By ElFenix on 12/10/2007 8:44:33 AM , Rating: 3
as usual, there is a way to keep the high horsepower cars and our government is too pussified to pursue it (gas taxes are a less market distorting remedy than CAFE ratings)


RE: Progress vs Status Quo
By icemansims on 12/10/2007 9:19:23 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah....I'm calling Bullsh*t. Not to your post particularly, just in general. I owned a 1979 T/A with a 403 c-in engine. It got 19-21 mpg in town, better on the highway. I've had several other cars since then, including an '87 Monte Carlo with a 4.3L V6 (the 403 metric equiv is 6.6L), and it got, drum roll please.....19-21mpg in town. 8 years later and 2/3's the size and the same fuel efficiency? Yeah, we're making a lot of progress.


RE: Progress vs Status Quo
By littlebitstrouds on 12/10/2007 11:18:24 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah gotta say, seems like for 30 some odd years we saw no fuel efficiency change. Prices spike and in a year we're getting 30% more efficient vehicles. You mean to convince me that technology wasn't available earlier? Problem is we Americans are to dumb and have to be told 3,000 times to actually wake up and take a look at the problem of gas consumption is a problem better looked at now, than later. In a consumer driven world, the only thing car makers had to improve was ride and interior and we'd be happy. Sadly I think the responsibility lies in our own hands. I mean after all, we don't buy gas guzzling vehicles and they'll stop making them.


RE: Progress vs Status Quo
By The0ne on 12/11/2007 9:27:22 PM , Rating: 2
It's not just not the US. Other countries like England have had cars that average 50-60mpg. Our Engineering Director had one. A diesel car, forgot name, that got 50+mpg. This 35mpg is a joke when compare to other lesser known vehicles that are outpacing it already. Consider Toyota's plan for near 100mpg Prius in the near future. Now that's funny.


They always forget
By SavagePotato on 12/9/2007 3:06:26 PM , Rating: 3
The thing that seems to get forgotten in the drive for tiny fuel efficient cars, is basicaly the entire rest of the market that doesn't have the luxury of always cruising around on paved city streets.

Companies like GM will always have their average brought down by their fleet of trucks and suv's. Unfortunately these vehicles despite people downing how un-neccesary they are, make the world go round. People are going to pull their camper with a yaris? haul a welder around to job sites in it?

There is just that inescapable market of working vehicles that are integral to making our society work. You can stick the majority of a large city in an itty bitty hybrid but those big gas guzzling trucks are still going to be there bringing the average down.

Hell even IN a city here in Canada driving a yaris all winter would be an excercise in frustration.




RE: They always forget
By EuroGamer on 12/9/2007 3:20:24 PM , Rating: 4
There is a fundamental difference in between North America and Europe I guess becase honestly, I'm shocked to see what I've read.

People in Europe (the continent) don't have SUVs or Pickups or anything and yet, we pull our horses and trailers fine with our cars.

We have winters and we live fine in our Yarises so I don't see why our more powerful cousins in the US and Canada can't do the same.

I have two major questions, what's the advantage of a SUV for a family versus a MPV (a van)? I mean, seven seats, plenty of space, more than enough power for a family, etc. And what does a V8 SUV offer over a fourpot diesel BMW or Merc (or many cheaper companies)? Both have plenty of power to pull heavy loads (the torque is plentiful in diesel) so what gives?

The LARGE majority of the world lives fine without SUVs and Pickups (which by the way only sell well in North America) so why can't you guys too? (just wondering)


RE: They always forget
By Ringold on 12/9/2007 3:31:29 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
(which by the way only sell well in North America)


Actually, that's wrong. Demand for American-style large vehicles, like Hummers, in places such as China are exploding.

http://english.people.com.cn/90001/90778/90857/908...

When people have money and don't feel the oppressive foot of government regulation on their necks, such as in Europe, they want what American's want. Luxury.


RE: They always forget
By EuroGamer on 12/9/2007 3:55:05 PM , Rating: 3
If they want luxury, I'm sorry they don't buy American goods. Especially when it comes to cars! Europe when it comes to cars has way more relaxed regulations which give us the most famous cars in the world.

Given that you were taking about luxury, I can't think of any American car that would fit that criteria. A Buick? A Cadillac? A GM? If I recall well, Mercedes, BMW, Rolls Royce, Bently, Aston Martin and all were selling like real hotcakes in China (I'll have to search for the linky again).

China might be into the craze of the SUV now but they aren't (at the moment) a very important car market and even so, I doubt they'd buy pickups (which, for your information with Ford's F150 is the most successful car sales wise of the US in recent history).


RE: They always forget
By Ringold on 12/9/2007 8:14:51 PM , Rating: 2
Fair point. Perhaps GM and Ford do so well in China because they can't yet afford some of those European luxury names.

However, it's clear they appreciate size, not little toy cars like Toyota's Yaris, not when they can afford larger ones. That was my point.

The general trend in China is also fairly obvious with sales growth numbers that large; you can continue to ignore Chinese (and Indian and other BRIC nations) trends at your own investment peril.


RE: They always forget
By andrinoaa on 12/9/07, Rating: -1
RE: They always forget
By Ringold on 12/9/07, Rating: 0
RE: They always forget
By andrinoaa on 12/10/2007 3:26:24 AM , Rating: 1
Just forming a government is social engineering.
Letting the market do the social engineering is plain stupid.Thats what you are endorsing.
Trying to make transportation more efficient is repression?
Trying to minimise the amout of fuel imported from unstable regimes is repressive? The less reliant you are on imports, the less the chance your skinny little ass aint going to war. Is this repressive? Grow up. They are trying to save you from yourself. If you think this is stupid, then I suggest you repeal all laws because thats the what you are saying.


RE: They always forget
By Ringold on 12/10/2007 5:39:31 PM , Rating: 2
You completely don't understand what markets do then if you think markets do social engineering.

As Friedman said, markets give the people simply what the people want, and underlying arguments against markets is based either on not understanding that simple fact or a desire to give the people something other then what they want, but what you personally consider is best for them. Do you see the difference, or does Brussels cloud your vision? :P


RE: They always forget
By Ajax9000 on 12/10/2007 7:24:42 PM , Rating: 3
The markets giving the people what they WANT is the problem half the time! With monotonous regularity most people don't think carefully about what they NEED.

To get away from cars for a moment ...

Letting the market give people what they wanted lead to the Savings & Loans disaster of the 1980s -- i.e. people wanted mortgages, government relaxed the rules, S&Ls lent too much, bubble bursts. And to the current sub-prime fiasco -- i.e. people wanted mortgages (often beyond their means), too much was lent to people with not enough oversight of their capacity to pay, bubble bursts.

Althought they have different mixes of consumer nedds/wants, regulatory failures, and corporate governance failures, both are cases where freely giving people what they WANT has lead to disasters.

Personally, I like my markets regulated ... but not too much. :-)


RE: They always forget
By rdeegvainl on 12/12/2007 7:28:06 AM , Rating: 2
But the problem is they aren't "Trying to make transportation more efficient" or "Trying to minimize the amount of fuel imported from unstable regimes." If they wanted to do that, they would do research for more efficient transport, and set a limit on the amount of fuel that is imported into the country.
They are forcing others to make transportation more efficient, with the penalty for failing being, not being able to be in the market. Also, when transportation becomes easier or cheaper, populations spread out, and travel more, using more fuel.


RE: They always forget
By andrinoaa on 12/10/2007 3:31:03 AM , Rating: 2
PS The government isnt doing what you suggest because of attitudes like yours. DOH They are in the business of getting elected so dont want to frighten the bunnies !


RE: They always forget
By Ringold on 12/10/2007 5:42:33 PM , Rating: 2
Because of attitudes like mine? That's got nothing to do with it. The rest of what you said is correct; they care only about lulling people like you to sleep, getting you to buy in to all their Keynesian "daddy knows best", so that they can get re-elected. Your attitude, on the other hand, is exactly why France has stagnated to the point it's at now for decades -- until someone, that is, with an attitude like mine (Sarkozy) won an election. How about that, eh?


RE: They always forget
By andrinoaa on 12/12/2007 2:39:12 AM , Rating: 2
i HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH France. LoL
How old are you son? You keep coming up with shallow arguements that have nothing to do with what I say.
Why do you ASSUME? Why do you chant mantras?
I agree with the supply and demand theory.
I am self emplyed.
However, I don't believe in a free for all market. What history has shown is that with no rules, people get hurt. Now show me anytime in history that no rules has worked.
What I am on about is self preservation LONG TERM.
For this long term, I think that a few well planned rules will make most people happy.
I AM NOT ADVOCATING COMMUNISM OR SOCIALISM. But I can think and reason. What we have at the moment is a disaster waiting to happen. We have time to DO something. Your attitude suggests we do nothing.
Maybe you missed science classes?
I repeat, your ignorance is showing.


RE: They always forget
By lco45 on 12/10/2007 4:51:54 AM , Rating: 3
I know this will sound bad, and feel free to flame away, but it has always amazed me when I'm in the US as to how old fashioned and just plain dull American cars are.
My honest theory is (sorry folks, I loveya all) that Americans just don't have much taste in cars, and it seems that if anything the Chinese have even less.

I'm not trying to be a Europe fanboi (i know i know, I live in London), but seriously Europe has Mercedes, BMW, Audi, Porsche, Astin Martin, Peugeot, Citroen, Renault, Fiat, Lambo, Ferrari, Lotus, Mini etc...
These companies make some seriously cool cars, including high performing cars like the BMW M3/M5, plus lots of interesting smaller convertibles like my funky-ass Peugeot 307CC, cute little things like the Fiat 500 or Mini Cooper, slightly crazy little things like the Smart.

Aside from some seriously sweet muscle-cars what are the American companies offering? Oh oh, can I please get a Chevrolet Monte Carlo? Imagine parking one of those in front of the Monte Carlo casino? Passers-by would just vomit all over it...

Luke


RE: They always forget
By djc208 on 12/10/2007 7:41:50 AM , Rating: 2
Oh I don't know, I still love the looks of the LX cars from Chrysler (300/Magnum/Charger/ and soon the Challenger), the PT cruiser (and it's GM copy), and of course the Viper.

The new GM RWDs are all pretty good (Solstice/Sky and the new Camaro) and the Corvette has always been cool looking. The newer Cadilac's with their edgy styling are unique, and are finally starting to compete with BMW/Mercedes again quality wise.

Ford's got the fewest, the limited edition GT-40, the no-longer-produced Thunderbird, the Mustang (but there are so many it almost doesn't count any more) the Edge is kind of unique but that's about it. They've had some great concepts but no real follow through.

Then you look at the smaller groups like Saleen and Shelby, while others are collaborations (Tesla, with it's American engineering and European design), as well as the companies that allow you to build customs (all the Boyd's, and Fooses, etc.)

Problem is most of these breathe a rarified air or are divisive in their design. People either love or hate most of the cars I listed above. The rest, well they just want transportation, they want something nice but practical, therefore you get the appliance look.

The same would probably go for Europe. As for the rest, of the versions we get in America most aren't that exciting (Mercedes is elegent but not unique, I've never seen a really unique Audi either, BMW is always sexy but so often emulated they're far from unique).

Besides, the great part about America is our diversity, we can get most of the brands you listed, as well as the options from Japan and China. As for the rest, well most tried and just couldn't cut it in the American market, it's not an easy place to compete.


RE: They always forget
By SavagePotato on 12/9/2007 6:19:37 PM , Rating: 2
It is a way of life, personaly I would love to see a yaris pull some of the holliday trailers people use around here.

But that realy isn't the point. The point was there are working vehicles that haul around all kinds of things, from oilfield parts, to other machinery. North America is a very different place than europe, most noteably with huge travel distances. Some people in this area might for example drive 100 miles to work daily.(and yes that seems crazy to people here too) Many of the towns around here are oil towns, half the trucks driving around are 13 foot tall lifted up, one ton diesel 4x4's, and these people do make use of them. Sure there is frivalty in some, but the payloads getting carried around by them on a daily basis aren't going to be hauled by a 70mpg hybrid.

Does a soccer mom need a V8 suv to take her kids to school in. She could probably do it without, but then thats the lifestyle, part of what's considered a freedom over here.

Tightly packed european countries don't realy understand just how rugged some areas are out in the less civilised parts of the world.


RE: They always forget
By Spuke on 12/9/2007 7:10:14 PM , Rating: 2
I live on a dirt road and the houses are all relatively new (most built in the last 12 years). There are no plans to pave the roads as the local town can't afford it and no one wants it anyways (likes the rural feel). I personally would rather have it paved. My Tundra (2004) is slow enough with one horse and it's designed for that purpose not to mention I might lose 2 mpg in the process even with two horses. A Yaris isn't designed for any towing and would more than likely suck gas like it's going out of style in the process.

The US is mostly rural not urban. Most of us are middle class and don't work in cubicles. Our lifestyle is different than most Europeans. We're all spread out. My immediate family lives on the other side of the country. I'm in California and my siblings, mother and father are in Pennsylvania and Maryland. That's 3000 miles and yes I driven it before. My wifes immediate family lives in Arizona (~450 miles) except one sister that lives close by (20 miles). We visit her family a lot and may end up moving there. My commute is considered a short one by California standards and it's still 60 miles round trip and I'm still in the same area (no city commute for me).

What I mentioned is a rarity as most people commute to LA and the surrounding cities which is 60 miles ONE WAY at a minimum not to mention having to drive in some of the worlds worst traffic (YUCK!). People out here vacation en masse to Las Vegas (350 miles from me but add 50 miles or so for the LA dwellers) and the deserts mostly.

I doubt that anyone in Europe matches the above patterns.


RE: They always forget
By lco45 on 12/10/2007 4:59:26 AM , Rating: 2
Dude, 3000 miles?
So at say 25mpg, 6000 miles round trip, $3/gallon, that's gonna cost you 6000/25 x 3 = $720 just in fuel.
And if you can pull off 1000 miles a day that's 6 days of driving, ie. 6 days of lost pay, plus 6 nights accommodation.
Gotta cost you a grand to do that trip.

Still it ain't all about the money, and that would be an awesome trip.

Luke


RE: They always forget
By andrinoaa on 12/10/2007 3:36:43 AM , Rating: 2
How is it that I get the impression that all americans have a need for a truck yet the rest of the work gets by just fine? Is it just me?


RE: They always forget
By Spuke on 12/9/2007 6:46:16 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
People in Europe (the continent) don't have SUVs or Pickups or anything and yet, we pull our horses and trailers fine with our cars.
Ummm I call BS!!! My two horse, basic trailer weighs 3500 lbs empty. My two horses weigh 1200 and 1500 lbs respectively. I'll do the math. That's 6200 lbs total without food or water. There isn't a car on this earth that is designed to safely tow that kind of weight (nope, not even in Europe). You advocate putting peoples lives in danger for the sake of refusing to drive a truck or SUV? Here in the US, you will be pulled over, ticketed and have your vehicle towed away for improper towing.


RE: They always forget
By SavagePotato on 12/9/2007 9:07:04 PM , Rating: 2
Oh I don't know something like a 1979 lincoln would probably tow a trailer like that. But then again that sort of defeats the purpose of fuel efficiency with 7mpg engine in a 4000+ pound car.

Not exactly a yaris.


RE: They always forget
By Amiga500 on 12/10/2007 7:56:28 AM , Rating: 2
LOL.

Your trailer weights 1.5 tonnes empty? PMSL

6200 lbs total is nearly 3 tonnes, for a trailer and 2 BIG horses (talking 16 hands for the biggest)! Our tractor weights around 3.5 tonnes!

Methinks you've got your trailer empty weight very wrong. Chances are thats nearer the loaded weight.


RE: They always forget
By SavagePotato on 12/10/2007 9:37:29 AM , Rating: 2
His numbers are just right, the average 16 foot stock trailer is over 3000 pounds empty. The average big dopey percheron that thinks it is a giant dog generaly starts at 1200 to 1500 pounds, and 16 to 19 hands.

My father had many of them. I remember the time his half ton ford truck burned up on the side of the road because the trailer he was pulling with two of them in it was damn heavy, and it was a +40 day. Equaled a transmission overheat which made the lines explode and burn the engine compartment up with flaming transmission fluid.

I would like to see how a toyota car would fare pulling that same trailer.


Just what we needed
By Shining Arcanine on 12/9/2007 2:39:56 PM , Rating: 3
"The House energy bill also includes provisions for a $21 billion USD tax on oil companies and will require electric companies to get 15 percent of their energy from renewable sources. The bill is having trouble in the Senate because of these two provisions."

Now there will be higher gasoline prices so we pay this new tax. On top of that, unless nuclear power is considered a renewable energy source, which it would be if nuclear reprocessing was not outlawed, electricity is going to be more expensive as well. Lovely.




RE: Just what we needed
By LumbergTech on 12/9/2007 3:33:13 PM , Rating: 2
wouldnt it be smarter to suffer the transition now instead of waiting for a catastrophic failure of our economy because consumers/employees cant afford fuel to continue doing business the way we normally do?


RE: Just what we needed
By s12033722 on 12/10/2007 7:32:14 PM , Rating: 3
You are absolutely right, we should hike fuel prices by placing a $21 billion tax on fuel so people can afford fuel...

Did you honestly say that? Turn your brain on....


RE: Just what we needed
By Ringold on 12/9/2007 3:34:12 PM , Rating: 1
Republican's in the Senate are getting back to their 1994 roots, what they do best; running interference and keeping the left from making things worse. It'll never pass with that in it, Democrat's can't muster enough to stop a filibuster or override the certain veto.


RE: Just what we needed
By Ratwar on 12/9/2007 5:38:15 PM , Rating: 2
That and soliciting gay sex in airport bathrooms...


RE: Just what we needed
By onwisconsin on 12/9/2007 6:14:01 PM , Rating: 2
Larry Craig would like to take this time remind you that he is not gay.


RE: Just what we needed
By bobbronco on 12/9/2007 6:25:13 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Republican's in the Senate are getting back to their 1994 roots, what they do best; running interference and keeping the left from making things worse.


You're right, because it's apparent they can't actually write any legislation that's actually worth a shit or actually represents their constituent's interests. It's much better to play defense, continue sulking over their election losses in 2006, and make sure that nothing gets accomplished. -Pretty much the status quo with the GOP.


RE: Just what we needed
By Ringold on 12/9/2007 8:04:53 PM , Rating: 2
It's not that bad; they abhored government expansion, but once in power, became corrupted by unlimited power in just the same way their rivals had. I don't get the point about bringing up 2006 either; the Democrat party has been sulking, screaming, and throwing a general tantrum since 2000. :P

I have been more pleased with them this year then any year since Bush has been in office, though, thats for sure.


RE: Just what we needed
By FITCamaro on 12/9/2007 4:50:31 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly what I was going to post. This will do nothing but make US consumers pay more, not the oil companies or power companies. So we will all get to enjoy paying even more at the pump and more on our electric bills.


RE: Just what we needed
By TomZ on 12/9/2007 9:43:50 PM , Rating: 3
Exactly, plus as Lutz was getting at, the cars are going to cost more, too. Higher MPG requires more tech which costs more money. When this becomes law, the cost to the consumer will be tremendous.


RE: Just what we needed
By bobbronco on 12/10/2007 1:04:08 AM , Rating: 3
What will the per gallon price of gasoline be in 2020? If you can answer me that question, then I'll just as easily say that this legislation, all by itself, will be the whole reason for future increases in the costs and ASPs of future cars in the US.

The cost of cars in a growing economy will increase regardless. It's called inflation. As automakers make their vehicles safer, more feature laden, and more efficient they end up charging more for them to cover the costs of manufacturing and development. If they don't cover their costs, they will go out of business (or at the very least kill off specific models of cars that are not profitable)... plain and simple.

I'm not going to completely disagree with you by saying that some costs won't increase because of this legislation. But it won't be "tremendous" as you are suggesting. Auto manufacturers costs went up when the government instituted safety requirements for all vehicles sold in the US too, and that cost was passed along to consumers just the same. So what?


RE: Just what we needed
By TomZ on 12/10/2007 1:45:51 PM , Rating: 2
My point is that car costs will increase way beyond inflation because of these regulations. I'm not saying it's a bad thing - it's actually good for the car companies and hopefully good for consumers.

But you also have to think about the affordability on the other side. Government regulation has already added a tremendous amount of cost to cars over the years, and this impacts the average family's ability to afford a quality car. The most likely outcome of this will be to increase the market share of lower-cost, lower-quality vehicles.


RE: Just what we needed
By andrinoaa on 12/10/2007 3:41:52 AM , Rating: 1
Disk head, consume less and you pay less. That's the fucking point!!!


RE: Just what we needed
By FITCamaro on 12/10/2007 6:51:20 AM , Rating: 1
What? If you're trying to say get a more fuel efficient car so that I use less gas, no. I have a car and can't afford to go buy a new one whenever Congress is going to be stupid and impose taxes that raise the cost of gas. And as far as electricity, I already try to keep my usage to a minimum. But yes I have a 360, a HDTV, etc. and I'm not going to stop using them.


RE: Just what we needed
By ChristopherO on 12/10/2007 2:36:31 PM , Rating: 4
This was becoming known as the "Pelosi amendment". The original bill that came out of the conference committee didn't have this phrase and as a result it was going to pass with huge bi-partisan support (were talking virtually unanimous). Unfortunately her amendment works like a poison pill and guarantees a veto.

A few problems. The renewable category doesn't include hydro or nuclear and is calculated on a state-by-state level. What happens if your state doesn't have adequate wind or solar exposure? Well, too bad. Some consumer's rights groups (even Democratic ones concerned for low-income families) expected that this could increase the cost of a home utility bill by as much as 60%.

The tax on oil companies also isn't what you think. It's a tax on domestic drilling ... Yes, you heard me correctly. The "energy independence bill" would cause big oil companies to source more oil from foreign sources. The tax doesn't apply on importation. It's a back-alley way to keep them out of ANWR. Even if ANWR passed congress, production in Venezuela or the Middle East would still be cheaper. Environmentalists are freaking out about this potential, as the price of gas increases, more and more Americans have no problem with more Alaska drilling.

Most Republicans and many Democrats are furious with Pelosi on this bill. The House tends to be the most partisan of Congress, so there was a lot of supporting Democrat votes where they really weren't happy but had to follow their leadership. Going against the leadership is very, very dangerous. Unless you are a big name, you can get slapped pretty hard when you need your party in the future.

It is commonly speculated this amendment was added precisely so that the Republicans would vote-down the bill (and get vetoed) so it could be used against them in the election. Remember, sound bites are important... Who cares about minor details?


A good step
By Highbuzz on 12/9/2007 12:45:44 PM , Rating: 2
None of this is a hard to reach plan for any of the car companies. It's just now they have to do it and now we see who doesn't want to actually put effort into fuel efficiency. Not surprising that an American company is the one complaining. That means they'll have to create... economy cars! Oh no!




RE: A good step
By Ringold on 12/9/2007 1:02:31 PM , Rating: 2
The problem is.. GM customers don't want a sissy Yaris. They want that sweet lookin' new Camaro.

This is simply a government mandate that attempts to make Camaro's, for example, illegal, or legal only if extraordinary measures are taken on other models to offset the damage to the fleet average. If the people wanted more efficient cars, they'd buy them of their own free will -- and many already clearly do.


RE: A good step
By Spuke on 12/9/2007 1:55:08 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The problem is.. GM customers don't want a sissy Yaris. They want that sweet lookin' new Camaro.
That's not it. None of them think it can't be done or are unwilling. It's just that it will cost the consumer more money to do it. People are already complaining about the cost of current cars. This just puts the price of cars even higher than today. I can afford it so I don't really care but how many people out there are going to be able to afford a $35K Camry or Accord?

I posted the following in a car forum:
The bread and butter cars like Camry's and Accord's will go over $30K and their old spots ($20k-$30K range) will go to cars like the Civic and under $20K will be cars like the Aveo. Trucks and SUV's will be more expensive too but not much more, IMO, because the automakers won't be able to get large boosts in fuel mileage from those. We'll probably see more diesels in the 1/2 ton and small pickups.

This may drive MORE consumers towards SUV's and trucks because they'll be virtually equal in price and people will see more "value" in SUV's and trucks. Why buy a "smaller" sedan when I can get a SUV or truck for the same price? Since sports cars are a niche market anyways, they will remain unchanged for the most part. They might even get less practical to keep sales down.


RE: A good step
By Ringold on 12/9/2007 3:20:22 PM , Rating: 1
I agree with all of that, though I'd question if it really can "get done" or be considered a victory if consumers have to sacrifice that additional money to get equivalent specifications in a car of the future.


RE: A good step
By Spuke on 12/9/2007 6:15:37 PM , Rating: 2
My only problem is the added cost to the consumer. We're looking at a $3000 to $5000 increase in vehicle prices (not including inflation). You'll see less new cars on the roads as a result, IMO, which is not what is wanted. Older cars generally pollute more and are generally less reliable than newer one's. This may hurt future sales of new cars but may not hurt profits because of a possible INCREASE of new truck and SUV sales (see my post above...my theory). I wouldn't consider it a victory at all either as the politicians and lobbyists aren't really getting what they wanted which is lower fuel consumption.


RE: A good step
By andrinoaa on 12/10/2007 3:50:17 AM , Rating: 2
Wood from the tres.....
If you cannot afford the petrol, why the hell are you going to buy a big SUV, just because its bigger for the same money AND uses three time the amount of fuel? If you buy a vehicle using this logic, you deserve each other!
twisted logic me thinks. We had bumper stickers some time ago
" Own the car, still paying for the petrol" LOL


RE: A good step
By Paul G on 12/9/2007 1:13:20 PM , Rating: 2
It's not hard to do, and in fact most of these American companies have foreign subsidiaries that would probably meet this requirement now. For instance, GM own Vauxhall/Opel in Europe and the UK, and there are already larger cars in that fleet able to return an average of 48MPG. Now that's a diesel, granted, but even a powerful V6 returns 25MPG. So what i'm saying is Ford and GM especially already sell products overseas that meet this criteria. It wouldn't take much in the space of 13 years to meet this target. If anything I'm disappointed. They could have met a 40MPG target or 35MPG by 2015 if pushed. Other companies are in a similar position, with Nissan, Honda and Toyota all selling cars that pretty much meet the targets today.

What the US needs to meet this more easily is embrace the diesel.


RE: A good step
By mmatis on 12/9/2007 2:40:15 PM , Rating: 1
If you want to buy a friggin' pedal car, go ahead and get one. Just keep your GD nose out of my gas tank. The putrid swill maggots will spew their Bull about "not legislating morality" and then they pull this pile of crap. Filthy GD maggot swill!!!


RE: A good step
By dubldwn on 12/9/2007 3:45:19 PM , Rating: 2
If I understand your post correctly, and I think I do, I agree with you in that I also feel like my interests are being attacked (read:Camaro) with this type of thing. On the other hand, in 2006 Honda had a hybrid engine with 253HP @ 6000 and 232 lb-ft @ 5000 and 28/35 MPG. I guess I think that 13 years from now we should have the tech to do much, much better. So, GM will have to make a lot of sissy cars for the little girly men out there so they can hit this 35 number the government pulled out of their ass, just so long as they have a least one car for those of us with a respectable amount of testosterone.


RE: A good step
By Spuke on 12/9/2007 6:19:21 PM , Rating: 2
Sports cars are a niche market and really won't affect the overall CAFE requirement. I wouldn't worry about it. The Corvette already gets 26mpg and with some techie bits (like direct injection) it should be able to hit 30mpg with ease. I think the hardest hit will be regular cars (not trucks or SUV's).


RE: A good step
By FITCamaro on 12/10/2007 11:12:52 AM , Rating: 2
6.0L Corvette's are rated at 19/29 mpg with the 6-speed. The Z06 is rated at 16/26 mpg. Many 6.0L Corvette owners report over 30 mpg highway. If you keep your foot out of it, they get as good or better mileage than many V6 sedans.


RE: A good step
By blaster5k on 12/10/2007 10:58:21 AM , Rating: 2
Some of us are confident enough in our sexuality that we don't need high horsepower vehicles to compensate for anything.


RE: A good step
By Chris Peredun on 12/10/2007 11:38:01 AM , Rating: 3
And the rest of us are confident enough that we can drive whatever we like, and don't care what canned insults people throw out with regards to "compensating."


By Nik00117 on 12/9/2007 12:32:26 PM , Rating: 2
I'd turn this into a PR stunt.

I'd say, by lets say 2017 we have been told that year of cars from us has to be 35 MPG.

Well we here at (insert car company name) believe that to simply meet the requirements does not sastify our customers, or the enviorment. Therefore we took this standard and made it higher by (insert number higher then 5) MPG in order to ensure that our customers put less gas into their cars saving them money, and to ensure that tomorrows generations will have that much of a cleaner enviorment.




By EntreHoras on 12/9/2007 12:41:50 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe this is Toyota's plan.


By Nik00117 on 12/9/2007 1:49:20 PM , Rating: 2
They would be wise to do it, simply because of the fact that they are already looked upon green, why not go ahead and improve that fact.


By FITCamaro on 12/10/2007 6:54:14 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah that new Tundra of theirs is a poster child for fuel efficiency. The 4Runner isn't any better nor is their larger SUV. Chevy has always led in the mpg department with trucks and SUVs.


By shabby on 12/9/2007 12:43:20 PM , Rating: 6
"Now, it's up to you whether or not you want to just do the bare
minimum. Well, like Brian, for example, has 37 pieces of flair. And a
terrific smile."


By treehugger87 on 12/9/2007 2:46:20 PM , Rating: 2
MMMMmmmmm ya, I'm going to have to ask to come in on saturday to revamp our future product line-up for fuel economy, mmmkk


By Gnoad on 12/9/2007 3:07:29 PM , Rating: 2
A well deserved +6.


CAFE Not the Way to Go
By Slaimus on 12/10/2007 11:27:57 AM , Rating: 2
I still do not understand why a company as a whole needs to average a certain fuel economy. The EPA has pretty clear class deliniation, so why not do average fuel economy by class?

What if it's a startup that only builds hotrods or trucks? Since Honda does not sell any 8 or more cylinder vehicles, they pass easily when grouped with others who do.




RE: CAFE Not the Way to Go
By JohnCHolmes on 12/10/2007 1:19:59 PM , Rating: 2
Well stated.


RE: CAFE Not the Way to Go
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 12/10/2007 1:44:10 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Since Honda does not sell any 8 or more cylinder vehicles, they pass easily when grouped with others who do.


That comment doesn't hold much water considering that Toyota has a whole stable of V8 powered vehicles and is at the top of the CAFE list. Off the top of my head, I can think of the following Toyota/Lexus vehicles with a V8:

Tundra
4-Runner
Sequoia
Land Cruiser
IS-F
LS460/LS 600h L
GS460
SC430


RE: CAFE Not the Way to Go
By Andrwken on 12/10/2007 7:51:30 PM , Rating: 2
Now elegantly state the percentage that these vehicles make up of Toyota's total sales.

Toyota's bread and butter is corrola's and camry's. the rest you listed is niche. BTW, why did you leave out the tacoma?

FUD


RE: CAFE Not the Way to Go
By Andrwken on 12/10/2007 7:53:16 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry, I misread the part of vehicles with a v8, so now I know why you left it out.

Andrew


RE: CAFE Not the Way to Go
By The0ne on 12/11/2007 9:31:00 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe they are using "average" to even out the playing field for everyone :) So crappy companies can look mediocre or good and good companies can look a little bit worse and market their better products for more sales :) Win-Win


Go....government?
By daftrok on 12/9/2007 1:58:10 PM , Rating: 2
I'm glad this bill has passed. Some of these numbers are shocking to me...that is until I saw this:

http://www.toyota.com/vehicles/modelselector/mpg.h...

It shows how desperately far behind the US is in automotive efficiency, because this company supposedly has the highest mpg rating. At this point, Toyota can do one of two things (or both):

1) Try to cut down the types of SUVs and Truck down. They are clearly the reason as to why their rating is 29 mpg and not 35 mpg. They can simply have three categories for their trucks: small, medium, large. As for SUVs, the Sequoia and Land Cruiser can basically be the same vehicle. I see a lot of places where some vehicles can be dropped to up the mpg rating.

2) Push Hybrid technology! For trucks and SUVs, they can use hydraulic hybrid technology (http://tyler.blogware.com/hydraulic.bmp). This allows them to keep the current models without drastic modifications. This can leave the hybrid synergy drive for ALL of their cars, giving them the push they need.

Toyota is in a good place to get up to 35 mpg, but I wonder what will happen if other car companies cannot reach to 35 mpg by 2020? Will they be banned from selling their vehicles, even those with 35 mpg+ cars?




RE: Go....government?
By Spuke on 12/9/2007 2:28:57 PM , Rating: 2
I hasn't passed yet. It's been stopped in the Senate. Go read the article.


RE: Go....government?
By Ringold on 12/9/2007 3:23:53 PM , Rating: 2
You're right, though it probably will pass, just without the socialist oil taxes.

Unless the Dems stick to their guns, eat a fillibuster, and ultimately add one more piece of legislation to the growing mountain of bills that didn't get passed due to beautiful congressional deadlock.

Going off on a minor tangent, but I think I agree with those that say deadlock is good for America; Democrats havent been able to screw anything up this year, nor have Republicans!


Gas cars?
By Doormat on 12/9/2007 4:46:32 PM , Rating: 1
Does anyone expect to be driving a gasoline vehicle in 2020? I'd hope that I'd be driving an electric car by then, or maybe gas/electric where I get 50 miles on electricity and the gas kicks in after that.




RE: Gas cars?
By JoshuaBuss on 12/9/07, Rating: -1
RE: Gas cars?
By napalmjack on 12/9/2007 10:26:42 PM , Rating: 2
A couple of things:

(Granted, it's only for cars, but...)
Have you ever heard of the "Gas Guzzler" Tax?

Perhaps we should expand the tax to non-commercial trucks, then use the money to repair and/or expend our aging, decrepit highway infrastructure.

And what does "luxurious" mean to a person that doesn't own any four-wheeled personal conveyance? It's all about frame-of-reference, and I don't want the government determining the definition of "luxurious" for me (remember when the courts defined "obscenity"??).


RE: Gas cars?
By Doormat on 12/9/2007 11:09:59 PM , Rating: 2
My state does that already sorta - vehicle registration is based on the value of a vehicle - so luxury cars and SUVs get taxed at a higher rate than say, a Toyota Camry.


RE: Gas cars?
By wookie1 on 12/10/2007 5:51:31 PM , Rating: 2
A better question might be if anyone expects to be driving an electric car (esp. in Cali). California already experiences rolling blackouts WITHOUT many electric cars needing to be recharged. Since they also don't want to build new power generating facilities so that they can claim they are green while buying power from neighboring states, where will all of the additional energy come from?


By Targon on 12/9/2007 6:43:19 PM , Rating: 1
If people have the money for a SUV, then they should be ready to pay a special tax that those with small cars do not need to pay. Hmmmm, how about $2000/year as a start? Figure that the money taken from such a tax could be divided up between those who have smaller cars. It would make those who NEED an SUV think about it, but it would also encourage people to buy smaller cars.

If you think about it, these gas guzzlers are raising the price of gas due to increased demand caused by poor fuel efficiency. Sports cars fall into the same category, but are not as common so are the not focus for many people. If the extra gas taken by SUVs is increasing the cost of gas by 40 cents per gallon, then SUV owners really should be paying those with smaller cars.




By Ringold on 12/9/2007 8:25:17 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
If you think about it, these gas guzzlers are raising the price of gas due to increased demand caused by poor fuel efficiency.


You're driving up the price of food by continuing to eat. What's your point? We can buy what we want as long as it's irrelevant?

Actually, I just stumbled on a good example. Ethanol is driving up the price of food, and so is 'organic' food. Instead of subsidies for one and ignoring the other, both should immediately be taxed by huge margins, with the revenue going to lower tax rates. Chinese construction is also driving up the cost of construction in America, but we really can't tax them, so perhaps we should just bomb them. By your logic, anyway.


By Spuke on 12/9/2007 10:53:54 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
If people have the money for a SUV, then they should be ready to pay a special tax that those with small cars do not need to pay. Hmmmm, how about $2000/year as a start?
They've been trying to do that in California for the past few years. Never could get it past those pesky voters though.


By darkpaw on 12/10/2007 3:31:13 PM , Rating: 2
Yah, that is one retarded idea. Charge everyone that owns an SUV a huge fee regardless of what they use it for?

I have a Pathfinder that sits in the garage usually 5 or 6 days a week, because I can take mass-transit most of the time. When I need it though, its really good to have that space. Even as it is, with all the baby's stuff, I usually have to be really picky on what we pack for weekend trips to fit everything in.

I'm sure like most people, I couldn't just run out and buy a new cheaper to drive vehical anyways. A big fee like that would screw over so many people it isn't funny.


not high enough
By Rickl3r on 12/9/2007 3:57:26 PM , Rating: 3
I don't see how this is a hard standard to meet. All they need is 25+mpg diesel trucks and 45+mpg cars. They could do this today if they wanted. 35 CAFE is just too low for 2020.




RE: not high enough
By Spuke on 12/10/2007 1:01:41 AM , Rating: 2
I guess no one reads the entire comment section before making a comment. It's not hard to do just costly... FOR US ! They would need to develop some more engines to get it done and, given the timeframe, it could be done by 2020. BUT it's going to cost US more money for our vehicles. See my other posts.


2020?!
By vhx on 12/9/2007 8:17:34 PM , Rating: 2
Anyone else agree this is basically too little, too late? By then we should have more efficient cars than 35 MPG. We are having massive gas price increase already in 2007... 13 years from now? More like 3-5 years from now is more what is needed.




RE: 2020?!
By andrinoaa on 12/10/2007 4:07:08 AM , Rating: 1
I can't believe the dickheads on this site. This is a tech site where we EXPECT the next best thing every week, yet when it comes to cars they seem to think any old shit so long as its big! Man , I expect the next revolution in cars tomorrow. Just cant believe these boat anchors


RE: 2020?!
By lco45 on 12/10/2007 5:48:18 AM , Rating: 2
Agreed. I would have thought that people who follow the latest tech trends would be eager to see new tech in cars, but people seem to get upset at the thought that there's more to life that yet another 6-8 cylinder engine....

Luke


By Chris Peredun on 12/9/2007 1:11:50 PM , Rating: 2
Going by the current EPA numbers, even the Highway numbers for a lot of vehicles are under that magic number of 35.

Does anyone have the actual text?




What progress?
By andrinoaa on 12/9/2007 3:49:21 PM , Rating: 1
This sets the standard for 2020!!!! Hello, thats 12 yrs from now, if they can't meet the standard by them, they desrve to go bust!
This is just bulltish from GM. They are just trying to delay with spin. Toyota is just playing smart spin.
Let the games begin Lol




RE: What progress?
By Targon on 12/10/2007 8:19:39 AM , Rating: 2
GM is in the worst position of all car companies when it comes to this though. Have you looked at the gas efficiency for the non-SUV/non-trucks in the GM lineup?

Ford isn't in as bad a shape as many people seem to think. Unless things have changed in the past year or so, Ford has 60% of Mazda, and the engines from Mazda are pretty good.


RE: What progress?
By Christopher1 on 12/12/2007 2:14:00 AM , Rating: 1
I have to agree with that statement that if they cannot meet this standard, they deserve to go bust. Really, foreign cars over in Britain get a MINIMUM of 40 miles to the gallon (people cried about the high gas prices and made the car companies increase gas mileage in compensation when they first started with high gas prices).
GM SHOULD be able to keep up with gas mileage standards even into the...... 50 gallon range in the next 25 years. What we really need to do is limit all cars to a maximum of 65 miles per hour (in order to allow passing on roadways) and have mandatory maximum speed limits of 55 miles per hour (the sweet spot of gas consumption vs. power vs. mileage).


Naive
By JohnCHolmes on 12/10/2007 10:00:25 AM , Rating: 3
It seems exceptionally wishful to think that a $21 B tax increase on gasoline will not be passed on to consumers, considering that is the natural history of tax increases dumped onto business--they are ultimately borne by the consumers, but disguised to not look like direct tax for political purposes.

It also seems that the fleet standards will not be helpful for our struggling automotive industry. Considering a large portion of the MI economy relies on this, it could be very harmful to the midwest and beyond. For better or for worse, American auto companies are not well positioned to compete with the Japanese with these fuel standards, which puts America at a competitive disadvantage. It seems strange that American politicians, who support unions so fervently are voluntarily knee-capping an industry so in need of help and so dedicated to the politicians swinging the club at the patella.




RE: Naive
By andrinoaa on 12/12/2007 2:57:17 AM , Rating: 1
Its called an "Incentive". DOH
If gas gets to the point that the cost hurts, you will get a smaller car. Simple really. AND you will find life goes on HA HA HA
The industry needs a big wack over the head. THEY created the demand for trucks and stuffed their faces on the profits. Now, they either innovate or piss off.
Sorry, unions is a red herring. They are complacent.
Look at it this way:
European/Japanese cars = intel Q6600
American cars = pentium 4

Which do you want now?


Truck companies?
By Oregonian2 on 12/10/2007 5:02:51 PM , Rating: 2
So what do truck-only companies do, ones like John Deere or independent truck making companies? 35 mpg will be tough for a combine, I should think.




RE: Truck companies?
By andrinoaa on 12/12/2007 3:01:52 AM , Rating: 2
How many combines travel to work down the state highway every day?

Sorry, but it was pretty obvious YOU ASKED FOR IT

LOL LOL LOL LOL
Sometimes my hand is faster than my brain too.


Sad state of affairs
By mylicon on 12/10/2007 1:43:10 PM , Rating: 3
if the stream of comments on this thread is indicative of the driving pool then we are in trouble. on one side we have the people flaming whatever type of car the other driving. people have the right to drive whatever they want. it is pointless to try and "debate" this topic.

the other side doesn't even seem to bother researching (googling) what the CAFE regulations are. This does not mean -every- car/truck has to be rated for 35MPG, it is a sales weighted average. So even if a company has a kick-ass SUV that is all the rage, the CAFE regs force that auto company to not only come up with a more fuel efficient sedan, but a better selling one.

it seems like there's a pretty apparent pattern to most of the issues at hand in the US. we spend more time finding innovative ways to blame instead of innovative ways to fix the problem.




Typo
By Highbuzz on 12/9/2007 12:43:40 PM , Rating: 2
"On the opposite side of the spectrum was Republican Senator John Cornyn or Texas."

Don't you mean "of"? Not trying to be a grammar nazi, just helping fix a typo. :)




By ZJammon on 12/9/2007 1:55:32 PM , Rating: 2
and Toyota is now for the CAFE standards?

http://www.dailytech.com/Environmentalists+Target+...




This can only be a good thing
By lco45 on 12/10/2007 5:02:14 AM , Rating: 2
In my other posts I'm pretty much just bagging out American cars (sorry), but this CAFE35 thing has got to be good for the American car industry.

It will encourage the American car makers to compete against eachother on style and technology grounds, rather than just cubic feet of interior space.

This should lead to some much more interesting and exciting cars in the American domestic market, which sounds like a good thing to me...

Luke




gimme a break...
By troublesome08 on 12/13/2007 9:27:39 AM , Rating: 2
2020???? 2020? Simply not good enough, this is just proof that the almighty dollar will continue to dominate logical thinking. How long can we possibly keep this up? Their might not even BE much gasoline left in 2020 and they are worried about 35 MPG? We should be investing in hydrogen cells and the like, not trying to further refine the archaic internal combustion engine. What ever happened to progress?




Oh Gawd, Where to begin?
By serajadeyn on 12/13/2007 1:20:00 PM , Rating: 2
Good article, nice information.

...as for the replies, most of you are misinformed statistic-mongers! Lutz vocalizes his objections, not because of the fuel standards necessarily. He's not vocalizing his objections because of losses. He IS, however, vocalizing his objections because it will have a drastic effect on their plan(which is currently working very well) to reinvent the company portfolio. Their CAFE stats are somewhat misleading as well. Their Large Cars, (Impala, Grand Prix, Lucerne) all give superior space at a competitive price, power, and MPG rating to anything Toyota or Honda has out there. A base impala, has more HP, Tq, interior space, at a cheaper price than the equivalent Camry, with only a SLIGHT (31imp vs 33cam) detriment to fuel economy. Personal opinions aside, Toyota sells its cars these days on reputation, NOT from actual tangibles. Consumer reports recently yanked it's reccomendations for several toyotas in fact thanks to their recent problems. GM isn't exactly guilt-free, but these days they're putting better cars to the road. Saturn Aura and chevy Malibus are winning awards and comparing more favorably over "camcords" on a class-basis, and when was the last time you had a REAL performance model from those two? 1998? well, maybe the S2000, but my point stands when you compare its credentials to the history and prowess of a Corvette. You're also forgetting something that needs to be taken into account. CONSUMERS WANT BIG, FAST, POWERFUL cars! What's everyone clamoring for? Trucks, according to one poster's list. the new G8 is generating alot of hype, even from people who wouldn't consider the brand otherwise. It's high time you wash away your preconceived notions of what an American car is like. Even the Chrysler 300C received HUGE response from the crowd when it was introduced, winning car of the year, and hot enough sales to keep an otherwise terribly performing Chrysler alive, despite the fact that it's fuel economy rates somewhere around the 30yr-old Crown Vic's. CAFE standards is not about the public demanding teeny little fuel misers that some of you seem to think. Trust me, we would have gotten smart cars about 5 years ago if that were true.

The Bottom line is that Bob Lutz wants to continue offering hot cars that people want. It's going to take an arse-load of R&D to shoe-horn the efficiency this new standard sets into those offerings.

PS-Don't start with me on the whole HP:displacement debacle, not everyone wants their ponies from a pencil sharpener. An LS2 has been repeatedly commented to be capable of fuel economy in the 30s with as much torque as 2 camry engines.




I don't care if this gets made red
By bfonnes on 12/14/2007 9:07:03 PM , Rating: 2
GM, Ford, Chrysler, etc. can all go to hell as far as I'm concerned. Not only are they ruining the environment with their polluting cars, but they've been destroying the economy for years with their elitist and careless attitudes. Who else would sell cars with exploding gas tanks and then call it an acceptable risk or externality, i.e. comparing the cost of a human life with the amount it would cost to make the car safer and then deciding in favor of cutting costs, (Ford Pinto)? There aren't many people my age (29) that probably know about this stuff. The American car industry has continually shot themselves as well as everyone else in the foot for years. The main reason we have this problem is the continued and ongoing deregulation of the corporation. If you're interested in learning more, read http://www.waderowland.com/greed-inc/




Good job!!! ...
By marsbound2024 on 12/13/2007 4:44:21 PM , Rating: 1
Sweet, we'll hit 35MPG just as the climate goes into an irreversible nosedive into hell.




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