TTAC to DC: Let's Kill CAFE!

ttac to dc lets kill cafe

When it comes to public policy, I don't often agree with the automotive industry in general and Motown in specific. That's because the car biz is ready, willing and lobbying to suck on the federal tit whenever and wherever they can. But when it comes to federal Corporate Fuel Economy (CAFE) regulations, I agree: the system is absurd. As the otherwise deeply misguided GM Car Czar Bob Lutz said, it's like trying to get people to lose weight by forcing manufacturers to sell smaller shirts. Anyway, none of the automakers or their camp followers have the balls to simply call for CAFE's abolition. Instead, they continually work to game, undermine and otherwise manipulate the system to appear to support it. You know; in principle. And now The Wall Street Journal reports that even that's in jeopardy. At a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) hearing on a new CAFE draft statement, "The auto industry said federal regulators are pushing too far, too fast in their effort to raise fuel-mileage rules [to 35mpg by 2020]. The complaints from the industry, which had previously voiced support for tougher standards, underscore how economic hardship is affecting a major policy debate.they reversing their former support by claiming hardship." It gets worse. According to Automotive News [sub], "The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers questioned whether the statement was necessary, calling on NHTSA to reserve its right to not draft a statement at all." In other words, can we please torpedo this thing in private, like always? So, anyway, I sent an email to NHTSA.

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  • Chuckgoolsbee Chuckgoolsbee on Aug 06, 2008

    Kill CARB while you're at it. --chuck

  • Morven Morven on Aug 06, 2008

    CAFE is also, IMO, responsible for the awfulness of small, efficient cars in the US. Why? Because these cars exist only to make the CAFE numbers, and the big automakers (especially the US-based) treat them as just that. I also suspect part of the domestic auto industry's support of them was that CAFE penalties were a way to make imported luxury autos more expensive.

  • DenverMike When was it ever a mystery? The Fairmont maybe, but only the 4-door "Futura" trim, that was distinctively upscale. The Citation and Volare didn't have competing trims, nor was there a base stripper Maxima at the time, if ever, crank windows, vinyl seats, 2-doors, etc. So it wasn't a "massacre", not even in spirit, just different market segments. It could be that the Maxima was intended to compete with those, but everything coming from Japan at the time had to take it up a notch, if not two.Thanks to the Japanese "voluntary" trade restriction, everything had extra options, if not hard loaded. The restriction limited how many vehicles were shipped, not what they retailed at. So Japanese automakers naturally raised the "price" (or stakes) without raising MSRP. What the dealers charged (gouged) was a different story.Realistically, the Maxima was going up against entry luxury sedans (except Cimarron lol), especially Euro/German, same as the Cressida. It definitely worked in Japanese automaker's favor, not to mention inspiring Lexus, Acura and Infiniti.
  • Ronnie Schreiber Hydrocarbon based fuels have become unreliable? More expensive at the moment but I haven't seen any lines gathering around gas stations lately, have you? I'm old enough to remember actual gasoline shortages in 1973 and 1979 (of course, since then there have been many recoverable oil deposits discovered around the world plus the introduction of fracking). Consumers Power is still supplying me with natural gas. I recently went camping and had no problem buying propane.Texas had grid problems last winter because they replaced fossil fueled power plants with wind and solar, which didn't work in the cold weather. That's the definition of unreliable.I'm an "all of the above" guy when it comes to energy: fossil fuels, hydro, wind (where it makes sense), nuclear (including funding for fusion research), and possibly solar.Environmental activists, it seems to me, have no interest in energy diversity. Based on what's happened in Sri Lanka and the push against agriculture in Europe and Canada, I think it's safe to say that some folks want most of us to live like medieval peasants to save the planet for their own private jets.
  • Car65688392 thankyou for the information
  • Car65688392 Thankyou for your valuable information
  • MaintenanceCosts There's no mystery anymore about how the Japanese took over the prestige spot in the US mass market (especially on the west coast) when you realize that this thing was up against the likes of the Fairmont, Citation, and Volaré. A massacre.
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