Toyota Rejects Industry Lobby, Embraces CAFE

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
toyota rejects industry lobby embraces cafe

With California’s Air Resource Board and the EPA set to unleash new 2016-2025 CAFE standards, the Alliance of Automotive Manuacturers, which represents foreign and domestic automakers, is lashing out, telling Automotive News [sub]

We all want to put the most fuel-efficient vehicles as possible on the road, but for the 2017 rulemaking, policymakers still need to gather and analyze much data to determine the maximum feasible fuel economy standards that avoid negative impacts on affordability, safety, jobs and vehicle choice. No one knows what the 2025 target should be yet, and the data needs to drive the rulemaking.

But not everyone in the industry is on board with the AAM’s CAFE-skepticism. Already, Hyundai Motors USA CEO John Krafcik tells TTAC his firm plans to “Overcomply” with the coming CAFE standards, and now Toyota is joining Hyundai in breaking ranks, with Jim Colon, VP for Product Communications saying

The administration is engaged. That’s the direction Toyota is already going. Whatever goal they establish, Toyota will be prepared to meet. If it’s 62 miles a gallon, we’ll be able to achieve that.

For too long now, the auto industry has allowed itself to be seen as an enemy of emissions regulation without ever taking the initiative to propose its most viable alternative to CAFE, a gas tax. By embracing CAFE, Toyota and Hyundai are weakening industry opposition to the up-ramped standards, and in the process the two firms have carved out important marketing high ground. And with good reason: given that consumer demand tends to vary far more dramatically than fuel prices themselves, even a relatively small spike in fuel prices could have consumers demanding more vehicles that achieve CAFE minimum efficiency levels or better. In the absence of industry leadership to do anything other than drag heels and complain about interference from the government that recently saved a large sector of the industry, Toyota and Hyundai seem to be headed in a positive direction.
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  • OliverTwist OliverTwist on Jan 28, 2011

    The irony is that nobody has either gut or consideration to push for the harmonisation of automotive emission regulations between the US EPA and EU. Many countries have adopted the EU regulations as the de facto standards. Even Japan and Australia who have discarded many of its "unique" regulations to harmonise with ECE and EU as to reduce the manufacturing cost and to increase the variety of models, body types, motor and gearbox choices, and so forth. China has even adopted the EU standards. While EPA and EU are very similar in scope, they disagree on the techniques of measuring the emission and procedures of certifying the vehicles. Time is now to force the United States to comply with the international de facto standards!

    • See 2 previous
    • Tosh Tosh on Jan 29, 2011

      China has auto emissions standards?

  • Wsn Wsn on Jan 28, 2011

    Let's see, Toyota, Honda and Hyundai has no problem with it. GM spent all the AD money spamming how great their highway MPGs beat Toyota models and the 200+ MPG from the Volt hybrid. SO, GM SHOULDN'T HAVE A PROBLEM WITH A NEW STANDARD THAT EVEN THE STUPID TOYOTA CAN ACHIEVE, RIGHT? As for Ford, the supporter have always claimed that Ford is superior to GM, so they have no problem. And Chrysler is supposed to have super efficient Fiat models; Nissan has leaves. Exactly who is complaining?

  • Brett Woods My 4-Runner had a manual with the 4-cylinder. It was acceptable but not really fun. I have thought before that auto with a six cylinder would have been smoother, more comfortable, and need less maintenance. Ditto my 4 banger manual Japanese pick-up. Nowhere near as nice as a GM with auto and six cylinders that I tried a bit later. Drove with a U.S. buddy who got one of the first C8s. He said he didn't even consider a manual. There was an article about how fewer than ten percent of buyers optioned a manual in the U.S. when they were available. Visited my English cousin who lived in a hilly suburb and she had a manual Range Rover and said she never even considered an automatic. That's culture for you.  Miata, Boxster, Mustang, Corvette and Camaro; I only want manual but I can see both sides of the argument for a Mustang, Camaro or Challenger. Once you get past a certain size and weight, cruising with automatic is a better dynamic. A dual clutch automatic is smoother, faster, probably more reliable, and still allows you to select and hold a gear. When you get these vehicles with a high performance envelope, dual-clutch automatic is what brings home the numbers. 
  • ToolGuy 2019 had better comments than 2023 😉
  • Inside Looking Out In June 1973, Leonid Brezhnev arrived in Washington for his second summit meeting with President Richard Nixon. Knowing of the Soviet leader’s fondness for luxury automobiles, Nixon gave him a shiny Lincoln Continental. Brezhnev was delighted with the present and insisted on taking a spin around Camp David, speeding through turns while the president nervously asked him to slow down.
  • Bobby D'Oppo Great sound and smooth power delivery in a heavier RWD or AWD vehicle is a nice blend, but current V8 pickup trucks deliver an unsophisticated driving experience. I think a modern full-size pickup could be very well suited to a manual transmission.In reality, old school, revvy atmo engines pair best with manual transmissions because it's so rewarding to keep them in the power band on a winding road. Modern turbo engines have flattened the torque curve and often make changing gears feel more like a chore.
  • Chuck Norton For those worried about a complex power train-What vehicle doesn't have one? I drive a twin turbo F-150 (3.5) Talk about complexity.. It seems reliability based on the number of F-150s sold is a non-issue. As with many other makes/models. I mean how many operations are handle by micro today's vehicles?