"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.