Environmental Challenges Top Industry List For First Time
Environmental issues have topped cost reduction as the major concern for the auto industry for the first time according to a survey by DuPont and the Society of the Automotive Industry (SAE) [via CNN Money]. The survey of automotive designers and engineers picked a basket of challenges– from CAFE standards to emissions controls– as the industry's top concern, unseating cost reduction after 14 years. Fifty-three percent of those polled selected environmental concerns vs. 32 percent who went with cost reduction, Some 54 percent also say consumers are most concerned with improvements in fuel efficiency; only 37 percent think improved comfort and convenience float purchasers' semi-metaphorical boat. In less surprising news, alternative fuel-powered vehicles were named as the technology with the greatest impact on the car industry for the fifth year running. Biofuels and weight reductions also climbed in importance in this year's poll, completing the snapshot of an industry in transition.
Saudi Won't Dump Oil On Market, OPEC Sees Weak Demand Oil Minister Ali Naimi said Thursday Saudi Arabia won't put extra crude onto the market to take advantage of high prices as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries' data head warned its monthly oil market report due Tuesday would show weaker-than-expected demand. "I'm not going to dump oil into the market," Naimi told reporters at a Petrostrategies oil summit in Paris. "If there are buyers, then we will sell him more oil," Naimi said. "From my perspective, I believe the market is well supplied. Inventories are building...the world is producing more oil than is being consumed." http://www.rigzone.com/news/article.asp?a_id=59955 Far be it from me to disagree with a man of the oil cloth, but record oil prices say otherwise.
So they think CAFE compliance is an environmental concern? The only reason car manufacturers worry about meeting CAFE is to avoid huge fines...which is a cost savings! (well, a cost avoidance, but still, cash is king). and consumers are worried about fuel mileage? is it the carbon emissions SUV soccer moms are bitching about at the pump? nope. it's the COST. ANY business that doesn't have money as its top priority will fail. then again, that might explain ford, gm, and chrysler...they're not mismanaged, they're just worried about being green!
Local oil company leadership are all rather mystified by the current price of oil. They are all saying that the fundamentals do not support the price. Before some of you go off on a tangent, let me remind you guys of a little factoid. Oil companies that you know the names of are all net buyers of oil. In the US, refining margins are so low that no one is making profit on it. Only the profit from the oil is being made, and this is not ideal for most of them. If there is an oil price conspiracy, it's not Big Oil behind it.
Lifting costs in the house of saud are around 5 dollars a barrel. Even north sea costs don't exceed 18 a barrel. Whoever handles the oil first and gets it into a ship makes all the money.