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Automakers want less stringent standards on work trucks
Michigan still says proposed CAFE standards will cost jobs

Talks between the automotive industry and Washington continue as both sides try to come to an agreement that sees the environmentalists in Washington and the Obama administration happy with the CAFE standards over the coming years. The automakers are fighting for what they consider a more realistic level of improvement in fuel economy they need to build into cars each year.

Delegations from Michigan where much of the automotive industry calls home have raised concerns about the Obama administration's efforts to come to an agreement. The delegation from Michigan wrote a letter to Washington claiming that the proposed fuel economy standards aren't feasible. Automakers fear that the costs of implementing the fuel economy increases will add enough to vehicle prices to decrease sales and thereby force job cuts in the automotive industry.

The letter written by the Michigan delegation said, "With the Michigan unemployment rate standing at 10.5 percent, we are unanimous in our concern about the consequences of an excessive proposal, and we urge you to continue to work closely with U.S. manufacturers who have the most at stake." The letter continued, "[Congress has urged the White House to] sit down promptly and at one time with all three domestic auto manufacturers and the United Auto Workers to work through an acceptable solution."

So far, there has been no agreement between the two parties. The proposed fleet standard for 2025 is 56.2 mpg working out to about a 5% increase in fuel economy each year from now until 2025. The Obama administration figures that the cost of the tech needed to reach that kind of fuel economy will add about $2,100 to the cost of each new vehicle. That number has been greatly contested.

Washington already took a step back from the new fuel economy standards and the increase of 5% in fuel economy each year on light trucks by agreeing to hold trucks and SUVs to only 3.5% increase each year from 2017 to 2021. Washington and automakers are also trying to hammer out a deal on work trucks that would see less stringent standards.



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By BZDTemp on 7/25/2011 12:43:32 PM , Rating: 1
A lot of "work" trucks are hugely overpowered so just scaling back a little will bring fuel savings.

This is not the industry even remotely trying to go forward it's the industry stuck in old thinking. If they are allowed to do little then they will essentially just become further behind their competitors.

Look at how the US car industry has almost no export while both Asian and European car makers are having nice market shares in the US. With the US automakers not making changes then I can only see them lose further sales in the home market and having 0% chance of gaining some sales abroad.

Fx. here in Denmark it's much more common to see a new Lamborghini than seeing a F150.




By 225commander on 7/25/2011 1:01:49 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
A lot of "work" trucks are hugely overpowered so just scaling back a little will bring fuel savings.


OK, maybe in Denmark, but here in the US not so much. We haul and tow a lot of gear, daily. Hit the highways and roads and see the myriad of 'Work Trucks' with all kinds of stuff slung onto them, double stack work boxes stuffed with heavy power tools, farm equipment, welding machines, man lifts, car totes, etc.

Here's the thing, merely 'scaling down' the 'power' will most certainly *not* reduce fuel consumption alone. Read all the articles with people talking about how their corvette gets 30+mpg at 75mph with over 400HP, my personal VW passat (porkly 3,450lbs whip, V6 200HP 5spd)gets 32mpg at 75mph (at sea level), and the newly announced Scion econo-box at 95ish HP gets 35ish combined?

MPG is a function of engine LOAD, i.e. a small engine may *not* necc get better MPG than the same vehicle with a larger displacemnt engine b/c it is working harder to move that vehicle along(injector duty cycle is higher ) vs a bigger engine 'loafing along'. Plus underpowered 'work tucks' don't 'work' here, tell me the last time you saw a Toyota tacoma, Chevy Colorado, Ford Ranger, etc doing anything resembling 'Work Truck' type uses.


By BadAcid on 7/25/2011 2:25:02 PM , Rating: 2
It's just more of the "federal government," a.k.a. the East and West coasts, trying to dictate what's best for the rest of the country without having any knowledge of how things really work.

Just look at how they try to deal with Arizona and immigration laws. It's so easy for them to say it's not a problem from Washington D.C., but to hell if it was ever in their backyard.


By Nfarce on 7/25/2011 6:30:05 PM , Rating: 1
Of course by you saying that, you'll be labeled a xenophobe, hater, racist, teabagger...


By Starcub on 7/25/2011 11:45:53 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
It's just more of the "federal government," a.k.a. the East and West coasts, trying to dictate what's best for the rest of the country without having any knowledge of how things really work.

You mean like the industry execs?

They should have let them die, instead they fed the troll, and likely will again.


By ClownPuncher on 7/25/2011 1:06:47 PM , Rating: 2
Isn't the F150 the vehicle that sells pretty much the most every year?


By Manch on 7/25/2011 2:25:24 PM , Rating: 2
#1 selling truck. I think the camry takes top honors for vehicle sold


By dubldwn on 7/25/2011 3:26:16 PM , Rating: 2
Nah F-150 outsells Camry (and any other car) by a wide margin (think 2:1).


By Solandri on 7/25/2011 3:26:28 PM , Rating: 2
No, F-series trucks are nearly double the Camry's sales. It's just that the F-series' sales are broken up into a myriad of size models and engine options so they almost never crack the top-10, while all the different models of a Camry are still classified as a Camry (except for the Lexus variant).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_F-Series#Sales
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toyota_Camry#Sales

In terms of overall sales, truck + SUV sales pretty much equal car sales.

http://online.wsj.com/mdc/public/page/2_3022-autos...


By toyotabedzrock on 7/25/2011 1:41:30 PM , Rating: 2
They export to Europe, China and Australia, they just rename it so Europeans and Australians don't know.

And they sell trucks with v6 engines. But remember we are a big country and construction is common and many people are always in a rush and have to drive far.


By theapparition on 7/25/2011 3:06:33 PM , Rating: 2
No kidding, talk about the OP being uninformed.

Although there is little export. Most other countries have anti-competitive import taxes, so the US manufacturers (notably GM and Ford) make them in foreign factories.

Many of the brands and models change names, but some stay the same. For instance, Buick is one of the best selling brands in China.


By Solandri on 7/25/2011 3:31:19 PM , Rating: 2
In Germany, Mercedes and BMW are slightly upscale regular cars. In the U.S., Mercedes and BMW are luxury cars.

In the U.S., Buick is a slightly upscale regular car. In China, Buick is a luxury car.

It's all about market branding.


By lagomorpha on 7/26/2011 7:53:05 AM , Rating: 2
The BMW and Mercedes dealer networks in the US certainly enjoy the luxury perception. GM may be attempting to convince people Buicks are slightly upscale cars but really they're cars driven exclusively by geriatrics. If you don't have arthritis I'm not sure they'll even sell you a Buick. And as far as I can tell by the drivers, part of the price increase of buying a BMW is because when driving one you're no longer expected to use turn signals or obey traffic laws.


By cruisin3style on 7/25/2011 2:55:46 PM , Rating: 2
Making these trucks less powerful might not be the answer.

I picked up one of those AMD Fusion E-350 processor/motherboard combos because I almost always have my computer on and wanted to save on electricity. This is basically a laptop part that uses a lot less electricity than most computers. By selling my old computer parts, this made a lot of fiscal sense.

And it works amazingly well for most tasks, and especially when the computer is just sitting unused. But if I'm doing something that requires a lot of processing power, it takes a lot longer than say any Intel Core processor to do this task and ends up using 1/4 to 1/3 more electricity getting there.

So while I don't and probably never will own a work truck, I'm envisioning a similar problem might exist if you underpower them for the tasks they are meant to perform.


By Solandri on 7/25/2011 3:43:56 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I picked up one of those AMD Fusion E-350 processor/motherboard combos because I almost always have my computer on and wanted to save on electricity.

I just went through the exact same purchase for a 24/7 home file server. I put together an E-350 box which drew 20 Watts at idle according to Kill-a-Watt.

Then I learned that the newer Intel CPUs have very low power draw when idle. So I returned the E-350 system, and put together a much more powerful 3.1 GHz i5 system. At idle it draws 24 Watts. Yeah if I push all four cores to max it peaks at 86 Watts (vs. about 30 W for the E-350). But it'll finish the task almost 10x quicker, then go right back to idle.

Same thing is true for car and truck engines. While the peak power output does negatively impact efficiency at cruise, it's not as big an impact as most people think.


By Spuke on 7/25/2011 4:04:14 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Same thing is true for car and truck engines. While the peak power output does negatively impact efficiency at cruise, it's not as big an impact as most people think.
What holds trucks back from good fuel economy is aero. You're never going to get a brick to cut through the air like a piece of paper. Just not going to happen. And about lowering power. Current Ford Super Duty diesel's have 400hp/800 lb-ft of torque. My 06 Super Duty makes 325hp/570 lb-ft of torque. The new trucks are 6.7L V8 diesel's and mine is a 6.0L V8 diesel. Weight is similar. Fuel economy takes a hit because of newer, more stringent emissions requirements not power (actually Ford got some fuel economy back with the 6.7L versus the previous 6.4L). Some dude hypermiled the 6.7L and got 30 mpg (the article is on the internet).


By mindless1 on 7/25/2011 8:09:54 PM , Rating: 2
You spent more money for a system with higher idle power, when a home file server will never come remotely close to maxing out a E-350 platform.

In doing so you also needed a more robust power and cooling subsystem. It was the wrong choice.


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