China Hearts Gas-Guzzlers

Frank Williams
by Frank Williams
china hearts gas guzzlers

The DOT wants to raise CAFE standards even higher. To meet the new standards, automakers will have to downsize and lighten everything they offer. However, their expertise (and profit) is in large trucks/SUVs. Whatever will they do? Well, there's always China. The Associated Press reports China's nouveau riche auto buyers think size does count. They're going for gas guzzlers like large SUVs and luxobarges; they're the fastest-growing market segments in the People's Republic. And the automakers know it. The star of the GM display at the Beijing Auto Show is the Escalade, which they'll introduce to the Chinese market next year. Mercedes says China is the second-largest market for the S-class (the U.S. is the largest), R-class sales are up 110 percent in the first quarter and the M-, G- and GL-class sales are up 100 percent. Remind me again why we're raising our mileage standards to cut fuel consumption here? Oh yeah. We're giving up our gas guzzlers so the most polluted country in the world will have plenty government-subsidized fuel for theirs. Got it.

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  • Landcrusher Landcrusher on Apr 22, 2008

    AKM, The apology is nice. I don't have any problem with insulting politicians, but I am a bit tired of what has become too common on both sides of the aisle: the subtle, unsupported jab. As for the socialism comment, I stand by it. Socialists get a weird pass from the environmental movement in spite of a terrible track record on the environment. I believe if you took the actual results of the Bush administration (outperforming almost all Kyoto signatories on the Kyoto standards), and somehow credited them to a socialist leader in a survey, that most environmentalists would give him a passing grade based on the curve. If at the same time, you took the performance of the best of the socialists and attributed them to Bush, they would grade the performance as an F without reflection. All they need to hear is "Bush" and they pull out the flunking grade. You would do well to use more objective sources for links. Neither is non-partisan. That commondreams thing would have been more convincing if they didn't try to hide their agenda to support Kerry.

  • Qusus Qusus on Apr 23, 2008

    Alright, I can't believe I'm going to say this but I agree with Landcrusher on the Bush-environment issue. (And this is crazy because I'm pretty sure we disagree on everything.) The actual results of the Bush administration on the environment are no worse than the Clinton administration or any democratic President. Arguably, it's even better. Not saying that it's good; they're all bad on environment but I this Bush has been targeted more harshly by environmental groups relative to more liberal presidents who are just as bad if not worse on the issue. (Won't comment about the socialists getting a free pass or whatever, seems like a strange argument though?) As for the article itself... I mean seriously? Is that last line supposed to be a joke? Sometimes I feel like TTAC is just baiting me. AKM has already made all the relevant points as to why cutting fuel consumption is a good idea so I won't go any further about that. But c'mon guys, stop baiting me. I love TTAC and would hate to get my IP banned so please, for my sake, give me a break.

  • Golden2husky Golden2husky on Apr 23, 2008
    Qusus NO baiting intended, but relative to other presidents in recent times, the only president with a worse environmental record is Reagan (I will admit to his many other virtues, and his obvious value to a morale starved America circa 1980). President Reagan openly stated is dislike for environmental regulation; only congress prevented him from dismantling the EPA. (a little irony here: What was the first agency to occupy the new office building named after President Reagan? Yup, the EPA). Anyway, there is always a need to establish a balance with the need for growth and the possible implications created when you write regulations/restrictions that MAY result in a slowdown in economic output or higher costs. Often the protections offered, whether they be clean air, safety, job protection, make the economic cost worthwhile. The idea is to balance the economic AND social (there's that word again) costs. Sadly, IMHO, President Bush always errs on the side of Big Business. His record is quite clear in this regard. Clinton was not perfect either, but it seems to me he had way more balance in his policy. Bringing this back to cars, it can't be stated that the Clinton/Gore ticket did not show concern about fuel consumption and mileage standards because they did. However, they were banned from doing so. When the Republican Party took control of Congress, the Department of Transportation attached a rider to the Highway appropriations bill forbidding the administration from even studying fuel mileage issues, let alone floating the idea of raising them. A total bone tossed to the fat cats in Detroit. That bone is real tasty now, isn't it?
  • Landcrusher Landcrusher on Apr 23, 2008

    Qusus, Thanks for your support. Perhaps I need to find a good example to use so you guys will get the socialism thing. The bottom line is that much of the environmental movement is more concerned with defeating capitalism than helping the environment to the point that they will let the earth rot to get rid of capitalism. G2H, Reagan was against the EPA for very good reasons. Mostly, property rights. He did not feel the EPA was doing enough positive work on the environment to justify it's damage to the country. This specific example aside, I do not believe that wanting to dismantle a large government department places someone against the thing that department regulates. The best example is the Department of Education. Getting rid of it would be, IMO, pro education, pro students, pro family, pro America, and pro teachers. The EPA has been much reformed, though still problematic. I believe that creative destruction is an ingredient that most bureaucracies would benefit from. I am concerned with results. The process over progress problem with our government has gotten so bad that most statistics we get out of them are contrary to reality. My most recent favorite is household income. Household income is down, not because wages are down (they are up) but because households are now smaller on average. Yet we never hear any of our leaders talk about this in proper context because they either don't get it, or want to misrepresent it to grab power.