If you don’t think the automotive world is shifting beneath our feet, think again. USA Today reports on a growing trend: car makers and dealers pushing for higher fuel taxes, of all things. The auto industry’s newfound love of eco-friendly policy comes down its need to satisfy increasingly stringent federal fuel economy regulations. If gas prices stay low, the government-pleasing vehicles will continue to languish on the lots and docks, Prius-like. Small car profit margins will disappear, Prius-like. AutoNation CEO Mike Jackson was ahead of this particular curve ball when he called high gas prices a good thing. MJ is now joining the New York Times editorial board (amongst others) calling for increased federal taxes to git ‘er done. (After all, European motorists pay their governments through their nasal passages for the privilege of fueling their vehicles.) One of Uncle Sam’s new BFFs agrees. “GM CEO Rick Wagoner said taxing gas or providing rebates on fuel-efficient cars ‘is going to be the most effective way to move the needle fast.’” While Jackson and Wagoner are of one mind on raising gas taxes (or something), the AutoNation jefe is no fan of all this wild needle swinging stuff. “We watched the consumer stampede to fuel efficiency in May, and now the herd is getting ready to stampede back to their old ways,” says Jackson.
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