Lutz: CA Will Win Battle Over Tailpipe Regulations
In an interview with Auto Motor und Sport, GM Car Czar Bob Lutz said proposed California tailpipe regulations are "an absolute mistake" that would be "impossible to meet." And yet, Maximum Bob predicted that The Golden State is likely to win the court battle over the stricter standards. "The judges aren't scientists," Lutz said. Maximum Bob warned that diesels would not be an easy route to clean air compliance. "We can currently meet 50-state Bin 5 standards, which is six times stricter than the Euro 5 norms, with our existing particulate-catalyzing systems. But these new California standards are not achievable in my opinion." GM's Veep of Global Product Development said that high diesel fuel prices and the $2k premium for oil burning engines made diesel-powered passenger cars unpalatable to American consumers. In other words, diesels and California regulations are a crock of shit.
BKW: I believe California is #8 on the list of the world's largest economies. And your point is a good one. The state has a lot of economic clout and it isn't afraid to use it. And what reason would anyone have to be surprised at Lutz's can't do attitude? Meanwhile the Japanese companies will quietly get on with it and comply, while GM continues to spin its wheels trying to bring out the Next Big Thing.
Lutz is a useful tool (besides being just a tool) for prognosticating the future. Whatever he forecasts you can immediately strike off the list of possible futures.
GM was once THE innovator in the auto industry. Today, it's the reverse. Y'all know that for the first time since 1984, the EPA has changed their testing methods inre to estimated MPG figures. The new MPG figures are in place now (2008). Only one company objected to the EPA testing change, lobbying Congress hard = they lost. GM