"Porsche is Not Like Other Automakers"

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
porsche is not like other automakers

As it currently stands, automakers selling fewer than 10k cars in the U.S. hold a "get out of Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards" free card. As Automotive News [AN, sub] reports, the German automaker that sold 32,447 vehicles stateside last year is busy lobbying the feds to raise the exemption's limit to 64k cars. If Porsche's new, full-time lobbyist "convinces" legislators to widen the loophole, the Sultans of Stuttgart will instantly add $4.6m to their annual U.S. bottom line (the amount of CAFE fines they paid last year), protect their current model line-up (obviating the need to try to sell higher mileage vehicles), protect their current model line's power output (same again) and lower their technology costs (needed to meet the new higher standards). When asked about the move in consideration of the fact that "small" Porsche is about to take over mighty VW, Spokesman Tony Fouladpour simply issued the above headline. The rest of the industry isn't quite so taciturn. "Barbara Nocera, director of government and public affairs for Mazda North American Operations, warned that the redefinition would enable new entrants — such as automakers from China and India — to get a foothold in the United States." The Porsche loophole would also help Land Rover and Jaguar, immediately and dramatically increasing their value to potential buyers.

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4 of 13 comments
  • SunnyvaleCA SunnyvaleCA on Nov 26, 2007

    But if they jacked the Porsches up off the ground to get "light truck" status, then 20 MPG would be just fine? Why should light trucks get a gaping exemption while cars don't? Why not just dump CAFE entirely and go with a fuel tax; let the consumers decide how and what to drive to achieve the goal of using less fuel.

  • Tankd0g Tankd0g on Nov 26, 2007

    Protecting the last revenue stream of the 2.8 would be my guess. I would love to know what happens to that money paid in CAFE fines.

  • Starlightmica Starlightmica on Nov 26, 2007
    jthorner: There's an exemption for Neighborhood Electric Vehicles which doesn't require crash testing as long as top speed is limited to 35mph. The Xebra likely falls under this guideline. Some other examples are the GEM and ZENN. SunnyvaleCA: Isn't that the truth - all passenger vehicles ought to be subject to the same standards. (Subaru Outback Wagon, classifed an SUV?) Now, all we have to do is to define what the heck a passenger vehicle is...
  • Argentla Argentla on Nov 26, 2007

    I would kind of like a Porsche that got 30 mpg, something on the scale of the 356B or the early 911. Not everything needs to have 300 horsepower. I'm not fond of the fact that the current 911 is approaching the bulk of the old 928.