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Concession would make fuel economy standards easier for large trucks  (Source: Dodge)
Concession would reduce the yearly increase rate for new standards for large trucks and SUVs to 3.5% per year

The Obama administration wants to significantly increase the CAFE standards that govern fleet wide fuel economy for automakers. The problem is that there is a huge amount of backlash from those in the automotive industry. The backlash is so far keeping the Obama administration and automakers from coming to an agreement on proposed fuel economy standards moving into the future.

The Obama administration has put a concession forward in an effort to woo the Big 3 automakers to agree to the economy standards. The concession would see the makers of big trucks and SUVs forced to move to the higher fuel economy standards at a much slower rate than makers of cars and light SUVs. Hopes are high that the agreement between the Obama administration and the Big 3 will be made by early next week. 

Washington wants the CAFE requirements to be set at 56 mpg by 2025. The concession would allow the Big 3 to adopt the CAFE standards for the larger, gas guzzling vehicles, at a rate of 3.5% per year rather than the 5% annual improvement rate that the Obama administration wants for light trucks, cars, and light SUVs.

CAFE standards are currently targeting 35.5 mpg fleet wide by 2016 and that number will grow to 56 mpg by 2025 under the proposed regulations. The final rules are hoped to be ready by September.

However, automakers outside the Big 3 are not happy at all about the proposed concession. Carmakers that do not produce large SUVs and trucks see the concessions as giving the Big 3 an unfair advantage. The companies feel that the concession would encourage consumers to buy less efficient vehicles. 

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By KaptinB on 7/15/2011 5:18:54 PM , Rating: 2
Unless by Big 3, you are referring to the 3 largest sellers of vehicles in the US market - GM, Ford, and Toyota. Last time I checked (, Toyota has a pretty fair sized stable of gas guzzling trucks and big SUV's (Tundra, Sequoia, LandCruiser - all currently averaging 20 MPG or less on the highway) that will be helped every bit as much as GM, Ford, and Chrysler. I'm also sure Nissan's not exactly crying either as they try to figure out how to get the Titan and Armada fuel economy to meet government regulations. Nissan and Toyota just don't sell as many full size trucks and SUV's as the Detroit 3.

Automakers build and sell the cars that people want to buy. Maybe not what YOU want to buy, but a pretty sizeable(though shrinking) chunk of the American public still want their pick-em-up trucks. And if people want big gas thirsty trucks well than the automakers are only more than happy to build 'em and charge huge margins for them. The desire to make obscene amounts of money on high margin trucks and SUV's is NOT limited to U.S. based automakers...

Blame the Detroit 3 for losing focus on making cars in the 90's when they were too busy raking in money hand over fist selling trucks and SUV's. Don't blame them for cashing in on the SUV craze that started in the 90's.

By shin0bi272 on 7/17/2011 8:31:28 AM , Rating: 2
You know why they were selling SUVs? they actually made a profit on them and people were buying them left and right because that's what they wanted... SUVs replaced the minivan and with the profit margins that the union labor put on GM that was the only way they could keep in the black. Then gas prices go over $3/gal and people want more fuel efficient cars. So the automakers retool and start making them but they cant charge you 45,000 for an escort or cobalt so they end up losing money on each car they sell. Causing them to flounder especially when no one buys their poorly put together ugly looking vehicles (i.e. the volt) for 29k when they can get a toyota camry for 19k and get 26% higher resale because of a lack of union labor.

If the big 3 built tiny cars when people wanted big ones theyd lose money fast. I dont know where you and the rest of the leftists got the idea that profits are evil but profits are what make companies grow and expand and survive. Its only non-profits and churches that live off of government and/or the people's hand outs.

By Willhouse on 7/18/2011 9:45:36 AM , Rating: 1
The problem is that the desire for profits have caused corporations to do shortsighted and outright amoral things that hurt people. We can look to Enron as exhibit A.

In the current example, the push for profits may have caused the big 3 to reduce innovation in the late 90s and fall behind when gas prices went up. Hence the heavy layoffs, plant closures and bailouts. Again, people are hurt.

Without regulation, the corporations are reactive and not proactive, and often can't react fast enough (example: the bailouts again). So I'm for the setting the mpg standart to 55mgp in 14 years. If we're still running on gasoline, we going to need to start to conserve it at some point, or otherwise, we run the risk of energy shortages in the future and I don't think that would be good for anyone.

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