By on September 10, 2014

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Daimler head Dieter Zetsche called on regulators on both sides of the Atlantic to approve a US-EU free trade agreement, and along with it, called for a harmonization of vehicle safety standards.

Speaking to the Detroit News, Zetsche said

“Take the example of U.S. and European automotive safety regulations. Both are the strictest in the world. However, the crash tests we carry out still vary. On top of that, different required equipment — think of taillights, turn signals, mirrors, etc. — makes the standardization of our cars, SUVs and trucks impossible,” Zetsche said. “Even small differences in safety regulations result in huge extra costs: We do research twice. We develop twice. We tool, procure and certify twice.”

 

The differing standards between the United States and virtually every other world market has long been a sore spot for foreign auto makers, who must deal with the cost issues outlined by Zetsche. Homologating vehicles for America’s FMVSS standards can be extremely expensive, and is often cited as a barrier that prevents America from getting many lower volume specialty vehicles that are sold in other locales. However, others argue that FMVSS contains more rigorous safety standards in certain areas.

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173 Comments on “Daimler Boss Calls For Safety Standard Harmonization...”


  • avatar
    Vulpine

    Interesting how this comes up considering one of the arguments going on in the Strada article.

  • avatar
    dwford

    Can’t they agree to reciprocity on accepting the competing regulations for the time being, then set a date for a harmonized standard at some point in the future, say 8-10 years?

    • 0 avatar
      sirwired

      Reciprocity inevitably means “regulator shopping”; if you have a choice between two standards, why would you ever pick the one that means more work?

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        I’m sure that what he really wants is the ability to go jurisdiction shopping. It’s unrealistic to think that the regulations will ever be the same.

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        Probably getting to crux of the issue. It is building to different standards cost Automotive manufacturers money

        • 0 avatar

          Thats a part of it. Imagine how many BILLIONS are wasted in SO many industries by not being METRIC. And not exporting.
          Was it an 1/8 or 3/16ths? Or 5/32nds? 9/64ths? And your going to explain that in espanol or polish?
          FOUR different length measures. Three different weights. Even the ENGLISH dont use THEIR system. No wonder our kids are behind others that dont get taught this BS, idiot system.
          And our gummint? How bout grams per mile?
          Every 8-year old needs a metric tape measure. (Try finding one at a Home store). Cuz chances are, his teacher might not know if theres 5280 feet in a mile or 5820, and most have NO clue about millimeters.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @fred diesel,
            If the US based manufactures were on the ground floor, this WOULD not be an issue. Yes costs a fortune in lost opportunities globally.At the rate you can see Toyota becoming number I, in the US Sad day for what was the most innovative and dynamic Automotive industry, in the World in the 1930’s now a pale imitation of that time

    • 0 avatar
      dwford

      I’m just suggesting accepting each other’s standards for current models right now, so cars can be sold on either side of the Atlantic without modifications. The automakers aren’t going to change designs to go with the easier one in the short term. Then picking a model year in the future, have one harmonized standard.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        US emissions standards are stricter, with California even more stringent than the federal guidelines. The Europeans won’t adopt that.

        US crash standards are generally higher. The Europeans won’t copy those, either.

        What you’re really asking for is that the US reduce its standards to suit the Europeans. And that isn’t going to happen, either.

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          Given that the US automakers now want harmonization as much as the Europeans, my bet is that it WILL happen, and sooner than you think.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            I doubt that even the automakers are expecting it.

            They don’t want a single standard if it means building everything to US safety and California emissions because that will cost them more money. They don’t want spend that extra cash on European-spec cars if they don’t have to.

            Likewise, the idea of California punting on its emissions program and of NHTSA lowering standards is laughable. It’s not even worth talking about — it won’t happen.

            What the automakers really want is some sort of reciprocity, which allows cars that are assembled in Europe and that are built to European spec to be sold in the US without any modifications. I have my doubts about that happening, but that is the more realistic option.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @dwford,
            Agree with that, but there will be red herring arguments brought by the UAW, to why this cannot happen.Although it will save manufacturers a lot of money

        • 0 avatar
          GOGMGO

          I would respectfully disagree. Through the 80s FMVSS regulations were better than the global standard which is administered by the EU and the UN – and in fact you could see this in highway and road mortality rates. Except for Germany with no speed limit, road deaths were higher throughout Europe than in the US. Since then road deaths in the EU have dropped substantially below the US because their standards have improved dramatically while ours have basically stood still. In fact our crash standards dont make sense in the real world – the European standards are better. And Euro6 emmissions are as stringent as our national standards. And to give you an example of how badly we now trail the Europeans let me compare highway deaths in the UK vs the US for 2009.

          In 2009 there were 220 highway deaths on the motorway network in the UK – a country with 1/5th the population of the US. If you gross up the 220 to a US equivalent you arrive at 1,100 highway deaths in the US. US drivers put 60% more kilometers on their cars than UK drivers so an equivalent number would be 1,760. The US figure for highway deaths in 2009 was close to 17,000 – about 10x the number in the UK and the national speed limit in the UK is 70mph with traffic flowing easily at speeds up to 90-95mph. So no actually I feel much safer on European roads than I do in the US with the mismatch between SUVs and cars, the lethargic speed limits that keep drivers distracted, the lack of roundabouts and too many deadly 4-way intersections; the inability to tell whether the car in front is braking or turning (no amber turn signal requirements); the lack of rear fog piercing lights; the lack of a seatbelt requirement and too many in car distractions.

      • 0 avatar
        MBella

        It’s safety standards, not emissions that are the big hurdle. Most manufacturers only use a few engine families and they are certified on both sides of the Atlantic. It’s the safety standards that require extensive design changes.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          Yup, that’s the way I remember it too, from way back in the 1970s already.

          Euro-spec safety standards were much tougher already back then, than the safety standards of the US-spec cars we brought to Europe from the States with us.

          Not only windshield glass, headlights, brakefluid reservoirs, etc had to meet stricter safety standards, but rust protection, crumple zones and hood-retention during collisions, was higher on the safety mandates than on US cars.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        I agree. Ford wants harmonization with the EU.

  • avatar
    Felis Concolor

    Oh, the irony: Daimler lobbied for this mess in the 80s in order to force its overpriced offerings on the US market, and now it wants these hurdles removed.

    • 0 avatar
      OneAlpha

      Mercedes learned the wrong lesson from the grey market in the 80s. Instead of realizing that there was a huge market for the 500, they decided to complain to Congress about it, because they didn’t want to go higher than the 380 in the US for some reason.

      Though, in the end, I don’t blame Mercedes for lobbying Congress to get a favorable law passed. I blame Congress for passing that law. Congress was the organization with the choice to either act or to not act.

      They chose poorly.

    • 0 avatar
      GOGMGO

      You are right – it was MB that lobbied the US government to stop grey market imports into the US and now they want them removed because they make a lot of money selling their SUVs back into Europe at premiums of 30-70% over the prices they charge in the USA

  • avatar
    JustPassinThru

    Differing sets of regulations sometimes show alternative approaches and allow for statistical evaluations of how one solution (or alleged solution) to a problem works, vis a vis other specification-directed solution.

    Having one monolith of regulation may make manufacturing cheaper – but will KILL innovation.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    No thanks, pedestrian safety laws are rediculous, as are the lighting requirements.
    Funny how easy it is to standardize an American escalade, H1-3, pickup etc. Yet European vehicles can’t do the reverse?
    American vehicles need simple easy changes such as adding reflectors, and it seems euro vehicles need to be completely redesigned?

    • 0 avatar
      heavy handle

      Hummer,

      That’s because most European countries have “low volume” exceptions (which also explains all those tiny European manufacturers), and US emissions laws are much tougher than EU laws.

      The US does not allow one-off imports of (non-compliant) current cars outside of very strict “show or display” rules.

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        @heavy handle,
        Ask someone trying to bring a diesel up to Euro 6 regulations, lot easier to do the US regulations. No low volume exceptions does not include manufacturers, but limited imports from outside EU

        • 0 avatar
          heavy handle

          Not so for diesels. Look at a North American vs. European VW TDI or Chevy Cruze diesel. Both need much more emissions equipment to meet EPA standards.

          If you go back to the press coverage of the US Cruze diesel, you will notice that GM had to heavily modify their EU-compliant engine to meet EPA regs. They wouldn’t do that if they didn’t have to.

    • 0 avatar
      GOGMGO

      With all due respect, European lighting standards are superior – American drivers complained incessantly that they were blinded by the lights from cars with HID – Europeans did not. And why not? Because European headlights come standard with a toggle switch that can move the lamps up or down so that they dont reflect on oncoming drivers. Cars sold in the US dont have that option. Furthermore even the NHTSA has agreed that amber turn signals are safer and cause fewer rear end collisions than all red taillights. And finally, we do not have rear fog lights which are a real life saver in Europe – maybe we dont have fog in the US

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Harmonizing safety regulations will be much harder politically than technologically.

    The discussion will inevitably lead to harmonizing emissions regulations – good luck with that.

  • avatar
    jdash1972

    Standards requirement for all products are a business and represent protectionism in some cases, while some companies benefit from harmonization, others might not. Think electrical standards. UL vs CSA vs various European standards. In many cases you will see a product with multiple approvals but in some cases the requirement are mutually exclusive. Harmonizations committees work fur years to bring standards together but rarely get much done. If your competitor faces a barrier to entry that increases his cost it may benefit done one else and that’s why standardization is just a dream.

  • avatar
    Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

    Safety and emissions standards should be ISO standards at different levels, allowing nations to pick whichever level they want as a minimum requirement.

  • avatar
    George B

    I’d like to see harmonization of some of the testing with the possibility of different requirements for the test. Make it possible to certify that a car passes the more difficult crash test standard also passes the easier standard without having to destroy cars twice. What I don’t want is the imposition of European preferences like tall short length “dwarf proportion” cars with pedestrian-friendly front ends, tiny turbocharged engines, and yellow rear turn signals.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      @George B,
      There is plenty of data collected on road accidents, road related fatalities, etc.

      Every aspect of road safety is carefully tracked, trended and on the net.

      Some will attempt to distort the data.

      Some will also argue that one aspect of a crash test is better than the other. But overall I think just digesting the available data should suffice.

      It’s quite plain, both systems work and work well. They are just different formats. Is an Android better than and Apple? It can become very subjective and political.

      It’s about trade and protection.

      Since most of the world is adopting the UNECE model the US should do the same to reduce the cost of vehicles offered to the consumer.

      Why not allow US citizens to have cheaper cars than they already have.

  • avatar
    Onus

    The EU US free trade will result in Mutual Recognition ( go look it up ). Both sides are behind it.

    The agreement should be done soon. They are really going crazy on getting it done.

    Which pretty much means most new cars will probably built to ECE standards is my guess.

    Harmonization Isn’t going to happen though. They have been trying for decades now. The Europeans have done a much better job in this regard. Like allowing American side markers and such.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      Side marker lights are a European requirement, not an American one.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        Side marker lights were an American invention and requirement, just not placing them in the middle of the car but putting them on the corner of the car where they are actually useful.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          The corner markers help you spot a car at a right-angle. A marker near the center of car is good, but if it’s just inching into the intersection, out of a driveway or into your direct path, you see it that much sooner.

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          I actually like the front fender turn signals. But they probably don’t do much good in a country that has a phobia for indicator usage.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I like a turn-stalk cornering light, and an indicator light on the headlamp cluster and on the fender. Lots of lights, add more!

            Cars with fender indicators have always looked more expensive to me.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          Actually, those side marker lights are quite useful in the ‘middle of the car’, they’re visible at night when the car is parked on the sidewalk on Europe’s notoriously narrow roads. More visible in fact, as they aren’t hidden by the bodywork of the car parked directly behind it. Honestly, it’s a marker lamp that would be highly useful right here in the States–for the same reason.

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          Correct

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      @Onus,
      Actually the NHTSA works closely with the UNECE people in vehicle safety standards.

      I do know that UNECE safety meeting are held in Washington DC.

      So there already is a move to attempt to harmonise.

      The US will eventually have to side with what the rest of the world is doing.

      The only opposition will be from the UAW and maybe one of the manufacturers. I don’t think it would be Ford or Fiat/Chrysler.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @Onus – Canada has been working on a FTA with the EU with reciprocity in regard to safety and emissions. IIRC it will take effect in 2 years.

  • avatar
    OneAlpha

    It’s my understanding that as the situation exists right now, it’s physically impossible to design a car that meets both FMVSS and ECE standards simultaneously.

    Though I might be wrong – anyone?

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      It is easier to take a FMVSS-spec car and modify it to meet the European requirements than the reverse, because the US standards are (mostly) more rigorous.

      The lighting regulations are one exception, in which the Europeans have more exacting standards (mandatory side marker lights on the front fenders, mandatory amber turn signals at the rear, mandatory rear fog light.)

      The Europeans also have stricter pedestrian safety standards, including rules that don’t allow exterior protrusions such as bull bars.

      The radio frequencies used for features such as remote keys are also different. That is due to international regional differences in how frequencies are allocated and will never be harmonized, but it isn’t hard to switch frequencies to suit each market.

      • 0 avatar
        OneAlpha

        Okay, like how Euro-spec cars have standalone turn signals on the fender between the wheel well and door and Japanese cars have asymmetrical rear fog lights.

      • 0 avatar

        “E-Code” lights on European cars are also far better. I do wish the U.S. would adopt them.

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          E-code headlights are much better than sealed beams and their counter parts which is why I run them on all my old cars. Not so sure about the composite lights being better than some of the best of the modern DOT spec projectors though.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          What were those yellow lamps called that France refused to give up forever?

          Furthermore, sometimes when I see Euro cars (like on Top Gear used car challenges) they look like they have black electrical tape over parts of the headlamps in a pennant shape. Why?

          • 0 avatar
            davefromcalgary

            Corey,

            Typically, headlights will have an uptick in the cutoff shape towards the ditch. To the right for right hand traffic, to the left for left hand traffic. To take a LHT vehicle off the island to the RHT areas of the continent, (or vice versa) those tape strips will provide a flat cutoff so that oncoming drivers are not blinded when a vehicle is used in the opposing traffic flow to which its headlamps were designed.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Ahh, thanks!

      • 0 avatar
        OneAlpha

        Bull bar.

        Man, the best name for those things was a term a classmate of mine used – a country guy who could’ve been the modern version of Jerry Reed.

        “Deer Crusher.”

        • 0 avatar
          Hummer

          I don’t see the point in a bullbar

          Lets pay $300+ for a chromed hoop of pretty steel that attaches to the frame with the thinnest sheet metal brackets availible. Obviously the result of such is wrecked bumper, grille, bullbar, possibly hood, possibly air condenser/radiator. Terrible idea.

          There are two ways to do it, use HSS to attach and brace a bumper/grille guard, or just get a appropriately thick steel bumper.
          Wouldn’t be such a problem if manufacturers had continued improving the steel bumpers with integrated rubber bumpers in the 80s. But now modern trucks have to have some added after market protection, less you don’t actually play/work from it.

          • 0 avatar
            Spike_in_Brisbane

            Having been bowled off my wife’s motor scooter by a Suzuki with a bull bar which wrecked my knee, I would be happy to see them banned. At least in urban areas.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            So there motorcycle bars? I can see that, wreck a few knees, dont get scraped bumpers.

            Although I doubt you can prove you would have been fine if the bull bar wasn’t there.

            Bullbars help manufacturers sell collision parts if nothing else.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @PCH 101,
            If you want to stay on topic and post fine, but non topic haranguing going nowhere

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @Pch101
        I don’t think the US or UNECE particularly the standards among most OECD UNECE economies is better than the other.

        I do think your argument is a political one.

        So who do you work for again? ;)

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      @One Alpha,
      No not at this stage, they are very different regulations. US Vehicles coming to Australia , ned to be modified a lot, or in the case of FCA, build Jeeps to UNECE standards and RHD

  • avatar

    Mercedes-Benz was partially responsible for the grey-market regulations from which we suffer. Now the company wants the benefits of that setup (a protected market for its stateside salesforce), without the drawbacks (non-homogenized safety standards)?

    Mercedes-Benz can suck it up as far as I’m concerned…

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    Let’s keep glancing over the EU’s protective tariffs, about 4X what the US imposes on import vehicles. If we don’t start there, there’s no point in moving forward with standards harmonization. Not happening. And it was the EU that created the clusterFU€K of differing standards we now have.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      @Firefly,
      DOT was formed in 1967, remember Lyndon? You know that guy that was a full on UAW supporter.

      The Europeans started in 1954. Hmm…..The egg or the chicken, get it?

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        @Big BAF0 – No, the UNECE was *formed* in ’54. That part’s true. But they didn’t get into vehicle safety standards ’til much after the DOT and EPA were established.

        Ignorant or Troll, which are you???

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          Can you provide a link DiM.

          How about it this time. It shouldn’t be that hard.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @BAF0 – You claim to be an expert on all things related to vehicle standards, tariffs, etc. But now you’re claiming to be ignorant of such things???

            Kinda convenient, but I’d say the “Troll” descriptive pegs you dead on.

            So again, which is it???

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            DiM
            Just provide a cut and paste.

            You seem to put out a lot of text with little to support your arguments.

            Bye, until you can prove me incorrect.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @Vulpine – it’s in the bibliography. But are you disputing it? Got different #’s???

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @Lou_BC – No documents exist. I can just as well disprove the existence of Bigfoot…

            Since it’s your’s (and SPaM’s) wild conspiracy theory, the burden of proof is on YOU!

            I keep asking you simple follow up questions to your wild stories and you scamper off, every single time. Then you reappear days later, citing links you never got.

            Repeat. Rinse. Do it again.
            .

            I don’t see a difference between you and common troll (BAFO) at this point.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            ” it’s in the bibliography. But are you disputing it?”

            Show me. Give me the page# and subscript#. As I said, in both reading AND using a text search, that statement did not appear. Without proof, I refuse to believe you.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          @DiM
          A cut and paste.
          “The World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations is a working party (WP.29)[1] of the Inland Transport Division of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE). It is tasked with creating a uniform system of regulations, called UN Regulations, for vehicle design to facilitate international trade.

          WP.29 was established on June 1952 as “Working party of experts on technical requirement of vehicles”; the current name was adopted in 2000.

          I do know this is a Wikipedia link, but here’s a challenge out do me.

          You can’t. I do know. Have a read of the site. Here’s a hint it’s in Paris.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Forum_for_Harmonization_of_Vehicle_Regulations

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @BAF0 – Yeah the UNECE set the framework for vehicle uniformity among it’s nations, excluding US/Canada. But what EXACTLY does this have to do with vehicle SAFETY/EMISSIONS???

            Honestly, it’s hard to believe you’re that ignorant. I still say you’re a troll…

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @BAF0 – You’re just talking UNECE ‘uniformity’ early on. If you bought a German car in Munich, and drove it to France, it would be nice to find tires that fit your car, along with headlights (and 6 or 12 volts), bulbs, antifreeze, oil, etc. But this had absolutely nothing to do with vehicle safety or emissions, early on, obviously.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @Big Al From Oz
            Asked him and PCH101 for actual references and websites, on the Strada article non forthcoming. UAW is terrified if their is a harmonisation , potentially a lot of US job losses

          • 0 avatar
            mikey

            The UAW is terrified of losing U.S. jobs?

            How dare they!

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @Mikey,
            There other actions that the Union is doing that are losing US jobs anyway by stifling innovation in the US Automotive Industry. I am still a member of a Union, but not too happy when a General Secretary destroys opportunities for workers by doing something stupid

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Mikey
            It’s wonderful you support jobs. But at what cost are these jobs.

            If the taxpayer has to pay one cent for you to maintain your position, then you are saying I want everyone to have welfare.

            A job is self sustaining without any form of handout.

            What you speak of sound warm and fuzzy, but your argument is full of holes.

            It called welfare what you really are supporting at the expense of fellow taxpayers.

            How selfish are you.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @RobertRyan – You’re really pretending the EU has no tariffs on import autos, simply because you don’t know what they are???

            But BAF0 could ask me himself, if he wanted to know.

            If you two suddenly don’t know how to use a computer, how did you get to TTAC?

            These are well known facts. You know this, but if you want links, here you go.

            scholarship.law.wm.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1317&context=wmelpr

            “The EU tariff is 10% on passenger cars and 22% on pickup trucks.”

            “In 1974, following the initiation or the first true environmental program, the EC reduced the limits for CO and HCs…”

            “…during the late 1970s and 1980s, the countries with strong environmental movements – West Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark – supported stricter standards. Those with weak environmental movements- France, Italy, and the UK – opposed them.”

            “Second, the manufacturers of large, expensive cars, namely Daimler-Benz, BMW, Audi, in Germany and the small British and French manufacturers favored the move to catalytic converters. These manufacturers exported luxury cars to the US and Japan and had already installed catalytic converters for those markets. Adoption of these standards for the EC would reduce these firms’ costs by dropping the separate production lines for dirtier cars.”

            “Ultimately, Germany passed legislation requiring catalytic converters but delayed implementation until 1988 for autos with engines larger than 2.0 liters and until 1989 for all others.”

            en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Highway_Traffic_Safety_Administration

            “In 1966, Congress held a series of highly publicized hearings regarding highway safety, passed legislation to make installation of seat belts mandatory, which created the U.S. Department of Transportation on October 15, 1966. This legislation created several predecessor agencies which would eventually become NHTSA, including the National Traffic Safety Agency, the National Highway Safety Agency, and the National Highway Safety Bureau. Once the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) came into effect, vehicles not certified by the maker or importer as compliant with US safety standards were no longer legal to import into the United States.”

            In the end, it was political pressure from the US, and the expense of EU OEMs needing dual assembly lines, one for cleaner emissions and safer cars bound for the US and another assembly line for dirty and less safe autos for the EU market.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            To be fair, the 22% tariff on trucks in the EU applies only to those with engines of 2.5 liters or more. A 10% tariff — the same as the car tariff — applies to those trucks with smaller engines.

            If people are genuinely interested in this, then it is found quite easily on the EU’s harmonized trade schedule. Someone who is fired up about this subject but doesn’t already know that should become less opinionated, as this is basic information for someone who claims to be knowledgeable of such matters.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @DiM
            This isn’t like which country created the first pickup truck, like Australia did.

            So, your vehicle had catalytic converters before the EU. Whoopie do.

            Just like Australia was the first country with compulsory side impact protection or seat belts.

            What about the Swedes?? They were more advanced than many countries. That was in the early 60s.

            What this is about is the use of a common framework. The laying of the foundation for a system or model. The UNECE model is the model that the globe is adopting, except at the moment the US.

            Your debating style of ‘my c0ck is bigger than your c0ck” style argument is rather lame. Look and comprehend what this debate is about. It about the US adopting what everyone else is doing.

            Your links actually don’t prove much. They are quite baseless. Like I pointed out there are EU countries and even Australia that had more advanced safety than the US.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @BAF0 – So now you’re officially backing away from that whole “The Europeans started in 1954. Hmm…”, when talking safety/emissions?

            Point is, the EU set up their safety/emissions standards and rules AFTER the US, a full step behind, and differed them every way possible, as blatant protectionism. As if that ridiculous 10 to 22% tariff wasn’t enough!!!

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            NHTSA began crash testing cars in 1979.

            Euro NCAP didn’t start until 1997.

            For those who aren’t good at arithmetic, it should be noted that 1997 came eighteen years after 1979. If there are any doubts about who was first, then it’s time to swap those doubts for some Google skills.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @DM that report came out over 20 yrs ago and as your partner in crime PCH 101 pointed out going by that’ report, it only affects vehicles over 2.5 litres. Not US pickups, but much heavier vehicles built outside the EU.
            Pickups are an extreme niche in Europe. Let us get down to real question, how would harmonisation hurt the US? Well it could be a lot, OEM’s are already importing European Vans into the US. That is not going to slow down. European Truck OEM’s are gradually introducing some Cabover models, many of the companies own Mitsubishi, UD etc It will be a gradual process, not to rush so as to alarm. Now gas engine production lines could be seriously affected by an uptake in diesel, something the European companies would love. Something the UAW would loath as that and the introduction of European Vans instead of Pickups for jobs could see members jobs being lost.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Robert, you really need to get yourself some reading skills and a functioning brain stem.

            The 22% tariff applies to US fullsize pickup trucks. They all have engines of more than 2.5 liters.

            In any case, the EU’s 10% tariff is quite a bit higher than the US’ 2.5% tariff. You are aware that 10% is a bigger number than 2.5%, right?

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            PCH 101
            Too much Union good times has shrunken your already small brain. “Pickups are a niche in Europe” your researcher must know that? bit like selling pork in Israel or a Muslim country

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Again, your lack of smarts gets in the way.

            I didn’t claim that large US trucks would be enormously popular in Europe with a lower tariff.

            But the tariff is 22%. Since you care so passionately about such things, this high tax should agitate you greatly.

            Of course, we know why the 22% tariff doesn’t bother you. You don’t really hate tariffs, you only hate America.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @PCH101,
            Get your UAW researcher to do your reply next time, when they do, it is much more informative.
            So a 22% Tax is going to have little effect on US Pickups. So? What are you complaining about?. I am really starting to understand what Vulpine and Big Al from Oz have against you. You are not very bright, ill informed and paranoid about the evils outside the US., I guess the UAW looks for people like you.
            Denvermike appears to be a lot more cluey. Get your researcher to your post next time, he/ she is much better grammatically, vastly more knowledgeable

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Robert, at this point, you’re just wasting my time.

            You don’t really care about tariffs, you just hate America. You blame the US for destroying the Australian auto industry that you love so much.

            The problem is two fold: (1) There never really was an Australian auto industry, since it was owned by foreigners, and (2) the industry began to fail when your own countrymen started buying more foreign badges once the tariffs started to decline. When the ALP declared war on the subsidies, it was game over.

            If you don’t like how things are, then blame your fellow citizens for buying Mazda3’s when given the opportunity. Just because you like Commodores doesn’t mean that most of your fellow Aussies give a s**t enough to buy them with their own money.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @Denver(DiM) Mike: Exactly where in that ‘scholarship.law’ document does it say, “The EU tariff is 10% on passenger cars and 22% on pickup trucks”? I just read through the entire document and while the subsequent quotes are accurate, through both reading AND using a text search function, the tariff statement does not appear even ONCE! The word tariff itself does not appear even ONCE! And that is the main point of your argument.

            Meanwhile, your link to the wikipedia article comes up with,
            “An example of the market-control effects of NHTSA’s regulatory protocol is found in the agency’s 1974 banning of the Citroën SM automobile, which contemporary journalists noted was one of the safest vehicles available at the time. NHTSA disapproved the SM due to its high-performance, low-glare, steerable headlamps which were not of the outmoded sealed beam design mandatory in the U.S., and its height adjustable suspension, which made compliance with the 1973 bumper requirements impossible; the bumper regulation was intended to control the costs resulting from low speed collisions, not enhance occupant safety,” among other things.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            I think it should be pointed out that while the Europeans did not start “government” crash testing until after the US, the better European car makers were FAR ahead of the US and Japanese car makers in safety for a long, long, long time. Detroit had to be dragged kicking and screaming, while DB, BMW, Volvo, Saab, etc were doing their own testing in-house and making much safer cars.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @DenverMike – odd, you have no problems (all of a sudden) finding a legal paper supporting your side of the debate related to harmonization but you are unable (or is that unwilling??) to find similar papers supporting your side of the chicken tax truck debate.

            @Pch101 – “You don’t really care about tariffs, you just hate America.”

            We finally see where you are coming from.

            You are the last internet bastion of safety from those godless hordes who hate the USA .

            In your case cognitive dissonance exists because your belief of USA supremacy would be challenged by accepting the fact that tariffs, VRA’s and technical barriers to trade exist to protect industry as opposed to the wretched huddled masses.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Odd how the bad research gene is so strong in some people.

            Tariff rates are a matter of law. If you want to know the rate, then a legal source is a decent place to get it.

            If you want to know about car prices, then law school students aren’t a great resource. There are industry trades that publish those prices, and people who aren’t dumb and lazy should be able to look those prices up easily. (Those who are dumb and lazy obviously have a harder time.)

            And once again, prices should be adjusted in real terms, i.e. net of inflation. If you ignore inflation rates during periods of high inflation, then you just end up looking even more dumb than before.

            Anyone who considers US price increases during the late 70s to early 80s and who ignores inflation is just not very bright. A little bit of Googling will make it very obvious why this is the case.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Considering that your “Inflation” you so love to tout was CAUSED by Federal regulations specifically designed to make foreign trucks and other products more expensive to import, the data you’ve presented so far has NOT disproven the simple fact that the so-called Chicken Tax killed them off.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    Bring it on!

  • avatar
    stuki

    The makers may well wish for cost lowering uniform standards, but the leechocrachies involved in all other aspects of the business, will fight to death to avoid being commoditized. Just look at Tesla’s troubles.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      @stuki,
      I did read it costs the US $13 billion dollars a year by not conforming to the UNECE vehicle harmonization regulations.

      If you look at the data on road fatalities countries like Australia that have similar rates of vehicle ownership and distances travelled have nearly half of the deaths as the US.

      So, I don’t really think that the US system is any better than the UNECE system.

      It’s basically a technical trade barrier.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        It’s a “trade barrier” thanks to the UNECE.

      • 0 avatar
        stuki

        Of course the US system is no “better.” There not even a remotely reliable way of measuring “betterness” of such systems.

        Having a uniform system is cheaper and more efficient.

        having 2 or more independent systems, does help provide a corrective to possible excessive group think or regulatory capture at one enforcing body.

        That’s basically the core tradeoff.

        Manufacturers wants as many as possible to be able to afford their wares, so they want the cheap option.

        Retailers, distributors, “safety consultants”, testing labs, government agencies etc. wants to make themselves maximally valuable, to be able to maximize the share of consumer spending on cars that ends up in their pockets.

  • avatar
    mikey

    The Japanese auto makers have been hugely successful since coming here nearly. 50 years ago. Unlike the former big three , they didn’t whine ,and stomp their feet at every new safety/emission regulation. The Japanese learned to adapt . They figured out a way to make it work.

    The former big three learned that lesson the hard way. One would think that Dr Z would have figured that out by now.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      But we’re also talking about Europe here.

      From what I remember when I was there for an eight-year stretch, way back in the seventies, the European safety standards were far higher and stricter than those for American cars. Saab and Volvo had the best protection back then, along with Benz and BMW.

      And the survival rates in crashes and roll-overs were also much higher with European-specced cars than those of the GI’s who brought their American yank-tank cars with them from the States.

      So, with harmonization, who would have to adapt to which higher standard?

      Why would the Europeans want to lower their safety standards in order to be in harmony with the US standards?

      OTOH, how much would it cost in additional MSRP padding to bring a US-specced car up to Euro-spec standards?

      And were not just talking safety-glass and controlled drive-train collapse during a collision. How about controlled zone crumpling and hood retention?

      IOW, big bucks for the non-European brands who never even considered the above European safety standards.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    I agree with Zetsche but what I’d also like to see in an agreement is some kind of exemption/loophole etc whereby low volume models can be sold with a quota. Do we really believe a model which meets Euro safety standards will be “unsafe at any speed”?

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      @28dayslater,
      Would make a lot of sense and you could import a low volume model like they do anywhere else

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        That’s my thinking. You enforce it by a strict quota which also keeps the initial cost high and essentially out of regular “circulation”.

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          @28-cars-later,
          Works like that here, if not compliant a quota is placed on the number that can be imported. One of the more prominent convertors Promaxx has got around that, by changing the F250’s 6.7 diesel to full ADR compliance. Emissions compliance was easier than they thought it would be.as the diesels are on AdBlue and the CO2 levels were tweaked to at least get Euro V compliance(forget about Euro VI, a bridge too far) In the process they changed the shocks to give better ride and handling, got rid of problem parts identified by Ford tech briefings and added more electronic gizmos to the Ford Sync information system End result is a conversion better built than the original from the US. As a result of the compliance, they now can sell in Australia from selected dealers as many as they can sell. Full F250 range available., F350 to F550 coming later.
          Promaxx estimates 80% for “work” and the rest as a SUV replacement. “Work” is towing 5th Wheelers and Large Caravans

  • avatar
    wmba

    The thing I like about the US is its freedom, relatively speaking, compared to other jurisdictions.

    So you have the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety making up crash scenarios and testing against them with no particular regard for what the NHTSA does. Don’t believe there are independent organizations in other countries doing similar work.

    The IIHS is a third-party industry group so the possible harmonization of NHTSA and UNECE standards matters not one whit to them. They’ll continue to crash cars against their standards, and woe betide any European cars performing badly in them, once the news gets out to the general consumer.

    Meeting government minimum standards may allow a vehicle to he sold, but anyone with a brain would check the IIHS results. That’s freedom. I applaud it.

    Now, just to let everyone know, the new Kia Forte sucked the big one in IIHS tests and collapsed like a wet cardboard box. Anyone who buys one is a fool, because there are alternatives and no arguments or apologies to make up the difference.

    I’m all for standardizing things like turn signals and bumper height and pollution standards. After that, crash performance is all that matters – look how Honda changed the new Fit to meet the small offset IIHS crash test after making only 350 vehicles. Honda wants NO bad publicity, Kia doesn’t give a darn. The word will eventually get around.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      @wmba,
      Similar independent testing authorities do exist elsewhere

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      Global NCAP is a non-profit. Some of the branches get government support, others don’t. Some of them, such as Latin NCAP, are intended to get the governments in those countries to do something about their car designs, given how poorly they compare to elsewhere in the world.

      What’s unusual about the US is having a government agency and a non-governmental organization each conducting completely separate tests. That places a lot of pressure on automakers to keep making improvements, as bad results are bad for business.

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        Not unique, you have independent testers for other things elsewhere

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @Pch101
        Here’s are some questions for you and I would really like to hear the UAW slant to this;

        1. Why is it that every other country in the world hasn’t adopted the US model, if it is a great as you state? Remembering there are many wealthy nations outside of the US.

        2. Why is it that the US hasn’t adopted what every other advanced nation is doing?

        3. Why do you feel the world must adapt to the US model, considering the US only represents a fraction of the automotive market globally?

        4. What impact on the US auto industry would there be if the US actually aligned to the UNECE model?

        5. What is the true cost to the US consumer by not adopting the UNECE model (with links attached. (Don’t furnish I’m Pch101 and what I state is true response)

        6. UNECE vehicle harmonization covers, safety and emissions. Do you think the emissions side of the argument will adversely affect the Big 3 in Detroit?

  • avatar
    petezeiss

    Another ridiculously exothermic tussle with the Aussies, this time in the service of German arrogance and whining. Why are you guys their lapdogs?

    As has been noted here, Japanese car makers don’t whine, they just adapt and produce.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      The two Aussies have hard-ons for the US. Robert blames us for the death of his precious Holden; Al’s just a fruitcake who could use some English-language training and some hobbies.

      If Zimbabwe made cars, those two would be defending Mugabe. It’s not really about trade, it’s just a bizarre form of American bashing (which isn’t entirely unusual Down Under, but rarely does it involve the subject matter of this website.)

      • 0 avatar
        petezeiss

        “which isn’t entirely unusual Down Under, but rarely does it involve the subject matter of this website.”

        Yeah, Australia would need, like, their own auto industry for that to happen.

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        @PCH101
        I could discuss gun control and the attack on Pearl Harbour if you like but your red herring answers are more entertaining. This topic is about harmonisation of regulations between Europe and the US, if your UAW researcher has run out of ideas how to justify their objections to that happening fine. It could lead to the loss of many jobs in the US be warned

        • 0 avatar
          petezeiss

          “the attack on Pearl Harbour”

          Oh, wait! I know that one!

          All those Zeros, Vals and Kates were holographic projections accompanied by sound effects over the PA systems. The “bombs” and “torpedoes” were actually shaped charges placed beforehand by American operatives. The ensuing carnage and full-scale war made this the grandaddy of all false-flag operations. Cheney wasn’t merely speaking metaphorically when he pined for a “new Pearl Harbor”.

          How’d I do?

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          For you, this topic is about that big ol’ chip on your shoulder against the United States.

          If you care so much about tariffs, then you’d be upset about the EU’s 10% tariff on cars (four times higher than the US tariff) and 22% truck tax (similar to the “chicken tax.”) But you obviously couldn’t care less.

          Canada has a tariff of just over 6%. But you never whine about that one, either.

          Or you could just focus on the country in which you reside, which has a car tariff that is double that of the US (5%), plus has a luxury car tax that was invented to protect the Commodore and Falcon from foreign competition. You’re actually impacted by that one, yet it doesn’t bother you at all.

          The common denominator here is that you always have something American to complain about. This has nothing to do with tariffs, which you clearly know nothing about, anyway. Your lack of knowledge on this and pretty much every other automotive-related topic is not impressive.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        @Pch101 – the “hate” argument. Yeah, that works better than proof.

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          The hypocrisy is pretty obvious.

          They aren’t upset about everyone’s tariffs. It’s only the US tariffs that bother them. Which is sort of amusing, because they don’t have to pay them, while the tariffs in their home country are even higher.

          If you don’t want to be accused of hypocrisy, then don’t be a hypocrite. It’s not hard to do if you aren’t a hypocrite.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            Pch101 – now its “they” and “them”.

            Hypocrisy……….

            How the mighty have fallen.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Your comments are as vapid as usual.

            Have you Googled “inflation 1980” yet, or is that still too complicated for you to figure out?

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            Pch101 – vapid?
            A Freudian slip on your part since that sums up your rebuttals to date.

            Denver gets a gold star for trying to find scholarly papers to back up his argument, perhaps you can emulate your buddy.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            It’s odd that you think that a law school student has expertise in tracking car prices, yet you have no interest in getting that data from a trade publication that specializes in it.

            It’s also odd that you wouldn’t want to index those prices to inflation so that you’d have some context.

            This tells me one of two things:

            1)You’re even less intelligent than I had thought

            2)This chicken tax thing has so much religious value for you that you can’t stomach the truth, i.e. that truck prices at the time increased at no more than the inflation rate of the time

            Ah, hell, there’s no need to choose. Both of those things are true. You’re a zealot, and not a smart one at that.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Yup, and it has proved my point and disproven yours.

            Those rising truck prices were PART of the inflation, not the result of it.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @Pch101 – insults do not constitute proof. If the papers I posted can be refuted by a simple paper explaining inflation then why was it not done? and why can’t you find such papers?

            Professional journals exist to post research evidence and to discuss the validity of that research. Part of the process is reproducibility.

            The law student angle is laughable at best.

            A Ph.D. student posting their Doctoral Dissertation is supervised. Add to that fact a Ph.D. program concludes with the successful defence of the dissertation findings before a faculty committee that includes the advisor.

            A lowly law student isn’t going to get their paper published in a law journal unless the former criteria are met.

            “successful defence of the dissertation findings before a faculty committee that includes the advisor.”

            I posted that part a second time just in case you missed it buried my reply.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            The Bureau of Labor Statistics is the federal agency that calculates US inflation statistics.

            They write plenty of papers and operate a website. Stop being so lazy and go look it up.

            In any case, this period of double-digit inflation was a regular news story in the US at the time. People were feeling the pain and every news outlet talked about it. It is no secret.

            Or perhaps you should just admit that you are in over your head and don’t understand what I’m talking about.

            This is very basic stuff. The fact that you can’t figure it out after it has been explained to you several times just indicates what a halfwit you are. This should not be this difficult, but it obviously is for you.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @Pch101 – if your proof is simple stuff then why haven’t you been able to post expert evidence refuting my side of the debate?

            That law article you keep slagging was titled:
            “The Multi-Purpose Vehicle Reclassification and Minivan Dumping Disputes Between the United States and Japan and Their Consistency with United States Obligations Under the GATT”

            Japanese auto companies dealing with VRA’s were maxed out under those import restrictions. They chose to take the 25% hit on small SUV’s and minivans by importing them into the USA as trucks. VRA’s did not apply to trucks.

            When imports dropped below max VRA quota levels due to a strengthening Yen and building factories in the USA they chose to dispute the classification of minivans and small SUV’s as trucks.

            The Japanese companies won.

            If the chicken tax was an ineffectual barrier to imports why did:
            a. the Japanese companies ask for a reclassification
            and
            b. Why did the USA auto industry try to get it reinstituted under “anti-dumping” laws?

            “The Clinton Administration faces the difficult task of balancing its concern for the welfare of the United States auto industry with implementing free and fair international trade policies.7 This comment examines the use of protectionist trade measures, such as the reclassification of multi-purpose vehicles, sport utility vehicles, and minivans, and the United States auto industry’s efforts to bring anti-dumping actions against Japanese minivans. This Comment also addresses whether such a
            reclassification is illegal under the GATT and examines the consequences of bringing an action before a GATT dispute settlement panel.”

            “In 1980, the United States “applied”the “chicken tax” tariff to imported Japanese trucks and cab chassis, which then became subject to a 25% tariff rate. 8 In 1984, the Japanese automobile industry challenged the United States classification of lightweight trucks and cab chassis as finished trucks because the new classification significantly increased the tariffs on Japanese imported lightweight trucks and cab chassis.’ The Court of International Trade upheld the cab chassis classification and the 25% tariff and the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed the decision.’ Once again, the cost to consumers was dramatic: over the next three years, this tariff led to more than a 23% increase in imported truck prices while the price of American-made compact trucks increased by 29%.” Ironically, the Japanese auto industry remains the principal target of this tariff despite the chicken tariff’s rather limited purpose and even though Japan imports more United States poultry products than any other country”

            http://digitalcommons.wcl.american.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1443&context=auilr

            BTW – The author had the title of “Juris Doctor” when he penned this article.

            Please see my comment concerning Doctoral Dissertations.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Because you aren’t very sharp, you have real trouble knowing what information is relevant.

            There weren’t many trucks for sale back in 1979, the year before the cab-chassis ruling came into effect. You can look them up on the NADA website (they are the EXPERTS in this case, since they collect MSRP data from that era), and list those prices in a spreadsheet.

            Then you can use the same website to list the prices in 1983 (which is the timeframe provided by your law school student) and list the 1983 prices in the next column of the spreadsheet.

            Then we can use arithmetic to calculate the price increases of these vehicles.

            Now get ready for it — we can use the BLS inflation data to adjust these from normal to real (inflation adjusted prices.)

            This is very easy…well, except for you, of course.

            Your law school student’s figure is probably close to being correct. But it ignores the double-digit inflation that the US had at that time, and fails to put the prices into context.

            For example, the base MSRP of a Toyota pickup increased from $4748 in 1979 to $5998 in 1983, a bump of 26.3%. That sure sounds like a lot, doesn’t it?

            But during the same period, US consumer prices increased by 37.2%. Compared to 37.2%, the increase in the price of the Toyota truck was actually low — it didn’t keep up with inflation.

            In real terms, that MSRP for a Toyota went DOWN in the three years following the end of the cab-chassis exemption. Not up, but down. It didn’t keep up with inflation.

            Again, this is very easy stuff, but you have to learn how to do research to figure it out. Get the CPI from the BLS, and the car prices from NADA. If you stop babbling and learn how to Google, then you can compile this information yourself in about five minutes.

            The BLS is the EXPERT on calculating inflation and NADA is an EXPERT in tracking pricing data, so you should be very happy.

            Of course, if you don’t understand inflation, then you won’t get it. And it is painfully obvious that you don’t understand inflation. You’re just not very smart, and I can’t fix that problem for you.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @Pch101 – when one pens a document for their Doctoral Dissertation they have to cite the sources of information. Those numbers he cited came from other sources and they have to be validated by corroborating data.

            Say all you want, unless you can prove that you are an expert on the subject at hand, I’m not going to assume you know how to interpret data.

            Post your proof.

            Where are your scholarly articles backing your claims?

            I have looked for rebuttals or articles refuting my evidence.

            I’ll let you know IF I find anything that wasn’t penned by special interest groups.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            We’re talking about price increases, not astrophysics.

            In any case, your law school student got his factoid from some other lawyer. Read the footnote.

            And as I pointed out to you, your inability to understand inflation is a basic handicap here. If you don’t understand a concept this simple, then nobody can help you. You’re just not very sharp, and no one on the internet is going to fix that. You obviously like being the way that you are, which is sad.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            Pch101 – you didn’t answer my earlier questions:

            If the chicken tax was an ineffectual barrier to imports why did:
            a. the Japanese companies ask for a reclassification
            and
            b. Why did the USA auto industry try to get it reinstituted under “anti-dumping” laws?

            “The Clinton Administration faces the difficult task of balancing its concern for the welfare of the United States auto industry with implementing free and fair international trade policies.7 This comment examines the use of protectionist trade measures, such as the reclassification of multi-purpose vehicles, sport utility vehicles, and minivans, and the United States auto industry’s efforts to bring anti-dumping actions against Japanese minivans. This Comment also addresses whether such a
            reclassification is illegal under the GATT and examines the consequences of bringing an action before a GATT dispute settlement panel.”

            His comments about the Chicken Tax were part of his Dissertation concerning reclassifications of minivans and SUV’s.

            IF the Chicken tax was ineffectual at curbing imports then why would the Japanese auto industry seek reclassification for SUV’s and minivans?

            That point you avoid like the plague.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Now you’re trying to change the subject.

            Of course, the automakers who have to deal with these rules don’t like them — why would they?

            But that’s not relevant here. So let’s stay on topic, shall we?

            You keep claiming that these tariffs raise prices. It’s obvious that they haven’t.

            When the prices of the vehicles fail to keep up with inflation, then their real prices fell. That’s what happened with the compact trucks during this era, but for Datsun which squeaked out a modest increase that didn’t come close to being equal to the increase in the tariff rate.

            Tariffs sometimes end up pushing prices for the consumer. In this case, that didn’t happen. But you need to understand inflation, which you apparently don’t.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Lou_BC
            Refer Pch101 to the bottom thread I have entered in this article.

            It summarises nicely the US’s position regarding it’s vehicle manufacturing stance.

            To sum it up, ‘Pickup Protection’. Without it the Big 3 will die in the ass.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            Pch101 – Ok. I bit the bait. NADA has some interesting data.

            You focused on inflation AND price increases alone.

            Why?

            Here is what NADA showed.
            I split my look from 1975 to 1879 then 1980 – 1981. 1980 was when the chicken tax chassis cab loophole was closed.

            From ’82-’84 car companies transitioned to their own trucks so that would not give a real reliable trend in pricing. I also left Dodge out of the picture because they did not have a small truck as long as Ford, GM and Toyota.

            1975-1979 (trucks base model regular cab long box 4×2)

            Ford F150……37% increase
            Ford Courier…54% increase
            ……………17% difference

            Chevy C1500….42% increase
            Chevy Luv……44% increase
            ……………2% difference

            Toyota………39% increase

            Everyone saw similar price increases whereas the Courier price grew 17% faster. If your inflation theory was correct the Courier would of seen price increases inline with everyone else.

            Cue 1980 and the chassis cab import loophole closure.

            1980 – 1982
            Ford F150….23%
            Courier……37%
            ………….14% difference
            Chevy 1500…9%
            Chevy Luv….43%
            ………….34% difference
            Toyota…….26%

            In 2 years the price of small trucks grew 14-34% over large trucks. (Average 24%)

            1975-1979 domestic badged small truck prices also grew faster (2-17% – average 9.5%)

            Your inflationary theory does not hold water since small truck prices grew faster than large trucks. The difference in grown was significant between small and large trucks.

            WHY?

            Inflation does not account for that gap BUT tariffs do.

            I posted a link showing the economic costs of tariffs that were applied in the 1980’s. It was a nominal extra cost for those making over 60K per year but was a massive cost for those making under 60K since that group was more dependant on imports for things like textiles, sugar, and automobiles.

            Tariffs contributed to inflationary pressures at that time.

            Care to show me more of your data sources?

            NADA was very useful.

            Thank you very much.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Congratulations. You’ve just proven yet again that you still don’t understand inflation.

            You’ve had weeks to figure it out, but you have failed. At this point, perhaps this video will help to teach you the difference between nominal and real prices and why inflation matters:

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YXWr2cEIhI4

            If large pickup trucks didn’t keep up with inflation during the early 1980s, then that actually proves my point, not yours. The chicken tax had no effect at all on large or small truck prices during this period. They couldn’t even keep up with inflation (except for Datsun, which just barely kept up with the CPI increase.)

            Now here’s the funny part:

            The price of a chicken tax free Pontiac Firebird increased from $5,530 in 1979 to $8,774 in 1983, a 59% increase.

            The price of a chicken tax free Volvo 2-door increased by 53% over this same period.

            The MSRP of a Ford Thunderbird increased by 50%.

            Those increases were far above any of the compact trucks of that era or the overall inflation rate.

            This chicken tax thing was obviously for the birds. It had no impact on vehicle prices at that time.

            The OEM’s must have taken the hit, since we can see in the sticker prices that they were unable to pass on the tax to their customers. This would suggest that the market for trucks was quite competitive, so that none of the OEM’s could afford to increase their prices too much as they would have lost too much business as a result.

            The chicken tax had the impact of reducing profits for the OEMs, but it did not raise consumer prices. Not great for the automaker, but the customer was unaffected.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            Pch101 – Interesting deflection.

            When the chicken tax loophole was closed small truck prices in 2 years grew 14-34% faster than large trucks.

            That does go in line with the law article’s numbers.

            Keep the insults coming………….

            all that does is prove you lost.

            Bwahahahahahahahahahahahahaaaaaaaaaaa.

            I’m not going to bother with any subsequent posts from you…………….

            UNLESS you have any scholarly dissertations that back your argument.

            Good luck……….

            I haven’t found any.

            BWahahahahahahahahahaaaaa.

            It’s been fun, real fun……

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Pch101,
            Just provide links to support your side of the argument. If what you state is ‘common’ knowledge then it should be easy to find on the net. Where is your proof?

            You can’t provide it as it doesn’t exist.

            I do think Lou has proven you incorrect………………again!

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            You still don’t understand inflation or the difference between real and nominal prices, even after the video.

            If the video can’t help you, then this is a pretty hopeless exercise. I don’t think that anything is going to help you; you’re too dumb to recognize how dumb you are.

            Again, if the large truck prices couldn’t keep up with inflation, either, then it proves my point, not yours. I’m assuming that both you and your clueless bogan buddy will not grasp why that is. Explaining it again won’t help, obviously.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @Big Al – it is rather amusing the depths of absurdity people will attain to prove a viewpoint and discredit an opposing view.

            It is clear that NADA data supports the points made in that law review dissertation.

            Inflation is a convenient red herring and like any dead fish left out too long starts to stink.

            I’ll close with a quote:

            ” Causes of Inflation: Market Power

            First, the economic agent could have market power. This means they have the ability to avoid (at least to some extent) competitive pressures. It is the latter that forces firms to please consumers. Adam Smith wrote in 1776 that we cannot trust the undertakers of business to look out for anyone but themselves, and so we must handcuff them. But not with markets, per se, with competition, and the two do not always go hand in hand.”

            That was from Forbes.

            Tariffs stifle competition and contribute to inflation.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Just when I thought that this couldn’t get any worse, it did.

            If you think that the chicken tax caused the 1970s-80s US inflation, then you’re even more hopeless than I had thought. (And trust me, I didn’t have much hope for you before.)

            The source of this truck jihad is becoming clear: Lack of intelligence is the common denominator. It’s not a difference of opinion, it’s a lack of knowledge.

            And again, the fact that truck prices couldn’t keep up with inflation is a good indication that removal of the tariff didn’t impact prices. These claims that the tariff raised prices and boosted the domestics are obviously wrong, as none of them had the pricing power to pass on the costs to their customers.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Pch101
            How can you make such a ridiculous comment that the chicken tax caused inflation.

            Can you cite exactly where Lou stated the chicken tax caused inflation?

            And don’t place the “Pch101 slant” on your explanation. Again I want you to provide evidence for your stupid remark.

            There is no inference made by Lou that the chicken tax created inflation.

            But, the chicken tax did inflate the prices of pickups.

            Why would the chicken tax be around if it doesn’t affect pickup truck imports and sales?

            Why would the US be essentially the only country to use it’s system of vehicle design?

            It’s called protectionism.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            All that it proves, Pch101/Denver Mike, is that you don’t understand economics nearly as well as you thought you did. And there were far more tariffs than just the ‘Chicken Tax’ that contributed to that inflation.

            Consider this: Since the mid-’70s, home computer prices have gone DOWN, not up. The average laptop computer today can be purchased for 1/3rd the non-adjusted retail price of a portable computer 30 years ago. Taking inflation into account, that means a modern laptop starts at less than 1/10 its original, adjusted, price. THAT is what competition does.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @Vulpine – I don’t consider myself a fan of any size or class of truck. I buy what I think most closely fits my needs at the time of purchase.

            I do tend to be a dog on a bone when something does not sit well with me. The whole “tariffs has no effect” theory is one of those things that does not sit well.

            Everything that I have researched proves that tariffs have had an impact on shaping the truck market. Even looking at NADA data lends credence to the articles I have posted.

            Odd how the one side of the debate gets labeled as Jihadists and one’s intellect gets questioned and attacked when the opposite side cannot offer proof to support their beliefs.

            “Where’s the BEEF?”

            My detractors offer a ton of bun and absolutely zero meat.

            Oddly enough, that slogan came out in the early 80’s.

  • avatar
    RobertRyan

    @petezeiss,
    All that was missing was ” I will never buy a Jap car, after being told what they did in WW2″ Red Herring Central. Yep let us talk about miffed Aussies ,but NOT harmonisation of standards, that the UAW opposes

    • 0 avatar
      petezeiss

      How do you get from Earth to Mars like that?

      You really should share that with the rest of us.
      Or at least tell Elon.

      Your steady mantra of UAW accusations makes no sense to me. Nothing manufactured by UAW labor will ever sell in Europe and nothing European could possibly threaten UAW’s domestic bread & butter lines.

      Besides, in the long term the European automotive market will be about as significant as Australia’s now is. But America will at least have hispanics to continue our growth.

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        @petezeiss
        “nothing manufactured by UAW, will sell in Europe” Correct and that would be obvious from the shoddy stuff they have been putting out
        Oh yes it will, the Econoline is going to that big Van Cemetery in the Sky, being replaced by the European designed Transit, the Turkish built Transit Connect, the Travato(Promaster), Mercedes Sprinter
        All your sedans are rehashed versions of European/Japanese and now Korean designs.
        European Market is rebounding . 80% of US Heavy Trucks are produced and owned by European companies etc.
        I cannot see the US market getting larger , it will start to contract.
        So why not adopt Global Standards as well, makes sense

        • 0 avatar
          petezeiss

          “the shoddy stuff they have been putting out”

          Nothing to do with shoddy; it’s about big vehicles on big roads burning cheap gas. That template is still a winner here, it never was in Europe.

          C’mon, man. I’m a DINK Japanista and even I would challenge you to drive an F-150, Silverado, Charger, Challenger, Enclave, Surburban, Camaro…etc. and tell me they are shoddy.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @Petezeiss
            I have been down some very tiny roads in Wales up to the Midlands in
            Wales, frightening in a pug 308′ hate to be in anything larger. No US cars have not had a great reputation for build quality it is improving… Slowly

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Jeremy Clarkson himself called the Ford F-150’s construction “shoddy” on a very well-known TV show called Top Gear. Plus pointing out how impractical it is because of its bloated size. Sure, he loved the power and performance of it, but when it came down to everyday driving he stated, “it’s impossible”.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            The show is scripted for the most part, but that F-150 had an aftermarket RHD conversion. Jeremy was going on and on about the “atrocious” dash, either not knowing it was heavily modded, or playing stup!d.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Look again, Mike; it was a left-hand-drive model.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @Vulpine – OK, lets watch it together…

            youtube.com/watch?v=0klZpwlgwOw

            You need glasses?

            And they have to overstate absolutely everything. Not everyone in Europe lives in a Medieval village.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Ok, I was wrong on the left-hand drive. I was also wrong on his description; it wasn’t “shoddy”, it was “rubbish”, even worse. Or did you miss the part where he spoke about the “huge” gaps between body panels?

            And not everyone in America lives on a farm, either. Quite a few American towns in the original colonies (and elsewhere) are VERY tight for a full-sized truck–just like the European villages.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @Vulpine – Yes fullsize trucks aren’t known for micro panel gaps. Everything is bigger proportion. Who cares?

            And “rubbish” happens to be Jeremy’s favourite word. Almost half the cars he review are “rubbish”.

            Even in his small village, parking spaces are roomy enough for fullsize pickups, no problem. Watch again in slo-mo.

            It’s not that fullsize pickups are to big for ancient villages. Or NYC. Or beach communities. It’s that drivers of compact cars aren’t used to the size. Even in their tiny cars, they think they need more space than they actually use.

            With a tiny car, drivers don’t have to center the car in a parking space or a traffic lane. They park crooked or drive way off center. They’re too inept to drive anything bigger.

            It love driving my F-150 to big cities and the ocean. And guess what? I’m not the only one…

            But do you really think fullsize pickups and fullsize SUVs aren’t nearly as popular in big cities as Berlin Flats, Idaho?

            You REALLY do need glasses!!!

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Vulpine-

            Are you really using a 10 year old Clarkson review of a chopped up, RHD conversion F150 Lightning, that was already out of production by the time he reviewed it, to prove that full size trucks are poorly built?

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            I just watched the video again, and the dash is absolute hamburger meat. Completely hammered! Forget about the factory. There’s no way that dash could’ve left the conversion company that bad. The show is “reality TV” so who knows what the heck happened to it. The show’s a joke anyways, when it comes to car reviews. Great storytelling though. Awesome cinematography too. But come on…

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        That’s another area our Aussie mates make absolutely no sense. The UAW has the most to gain from harmonization. We already have every German nameplate and most European brands we can physically stand.

        The ready and set to sell, UAW cars and trucks for Europe, would also benefit from one world standard. Simply put normal UAW cars/trucks on a boat bound for brand new markets they’ve only been to as “grey market” imports, even if in niche, low volume capacity in Europe.

        Obviously the UAW and US OEMs have the most to gain from harmonization.

        Now whether the EU will drop or equalize their extortionist tariffs is a different story.

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          @DenMike,
          Strangely the UAW is putting all the roadblocks to harmonisation. Diesel German cars and some European brands, have been imported in the US, but complying to US regulations . What Daimler is complaining about

          However, the Detroit-based U.S. auto industry and the UAW union have expressed strong opposition.
          http://fas.org/sgp/crs/row/R42676.pdf

          Harmonisation is agreement on safety and emission regulations, nothing else and in this case far from harmonious, from all the negative posts and articles on the subject. The UAW has much to lose, maybe like VW has done in their Chatanooga plant put in alternative Union more ameniable to changing the situation for harmonization?

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @RobertRyan – I just stated simple facts. The UAW’s stance may be to protect the jobs of its members. Period.

            If the UAW inadvertently wants to prevents growth into new markets, I didn’t say they aren’t stup!d. Especially since there’s not much Europe or the world could bring to challenge the UAWs best selling vehicles.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @Denmike,
            You are taking in many European sourced Vans, your cars are rehashed versions of European/Japanese and Korean cars. Europeans own 80% of your heavy trucking Industry.
            It would a lot easier and cheaper to except their standards

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @RobertRyan – Any lost US (Detroit) OEM market share (on US soil) due to harmonization is more than offset by the opening up of new markets, around the would.

            The biggest losers would be the OEMs already deeply entrenched around the world. Toyota, Honda, Mazda, Nissan, VW, etc. What’s in it for them to have new competition here in the US?

            Simply accepting EU standards would be good enough for me. But it’s logical to take the best from both standards. Besides, changing the standards (for complete harmonization) is a small hiccup compared to the huge gains from then on.

            If the US loses more vans and heavy trucks to foreign OEMs, so be it. That was going to happen regardless. Nor is that where most profits come from.

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          The UAW would have something to gain if harmonization resulted in more US exports.

          They would have something to lose if it resulted in EU imports substituting for American-made products.

          Given the nature of Detroit 3 production, I doubt that they have much to gain or lose, either way. What would help them most are low oil prices, but this subject obviously has no relevance to that.

  • avatar

    Tbis would work to enthusiast favor. Today, we look at all the other engines and manuals we don’t get. We don’t get them because a car maker has to do a business case for how many folks will choose the manual. Unless you are BMW, you don’t do it, and even there, you don’t go all the way due to certification costs. One standard would allow a lot more choice for us.

    Don’t lose the amber turn signals.

    Lastly, Aspherical mirrors do what techy blind spot monitors do for little money and no complexity. All my Euro cars have them and they’ve saved me at least a thousand blind spot incidents…..

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    @Lou_BC – My reply is above, half way up. My phone slices off the right side and the reply buttons of long threads.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @Denver – you have posted a ton of replies……. kinda vague. let me post my original question;

      ” odd, you have no problems (all of a sudden) finding a legal paper supporting your side of the debate related to harmonization but you are unable (or is that unwilling??) to find similar papers supporting your side of the chicken tax truck debate.”

      Still waiting for that answer……… it has only been……. what?…….. 3 years!

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        @Lou_BC – Again, you’re asking for facts and figures disproving a conspiracy that’s completely dreamed up, out of absolute thin air.

        The burden of proof is on you, the conspiracy thuther. And tell us how 9-11 was an inside job…

        You can’t just spout off nonsense and demand us prove you’re not crazy!!!!

        Life doesn’t work that way…

        I ask you simple, straight forward questions, like I would some one claiming Bigfoot exists (just out of curiosity and I like to keep an open mind) and you scamper off every time, only to pop up later, claiming you never got any links disproving your little conspiracy theory.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          @DenverMike – I don’t recall EVER using the word conspiracy.

          You are the one that says tariffs have had zero effect upon the truck landscape.

          I cannot accept personal interpretations as fact.
          You know how to find scholarly papers, you posted one a while ago.

          I’m waiting for you to post evidence that you are correct.

          It isn’t hard to do unless of course you cannot find any proof that you are correct.

          If you think that I am crazy then the burden of proof DOES lie upon your shoulders.

          To quote Pch101 – vapid response.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @Lou_BC – 9-11 Truthers don’t consider themselves insane either… But if the Fed conspired to kill off small trucks in the US, that’s not a conspiracy? That is what you’re proposing, isn’t it?

            I never said tariffs had zero affect on the US pickup landscape. We may have an extra fwd pickup or two. Niche, same as before. A tiny market, hardy worth attacking. And it’d have more of an impact on compact cars. VW and Plymouth had them, and they went nowhere. They were US made too, on the same assembly line as their compact car cousins. VW gave up on their Rabbit pickup a year before the Rabbit car was killed off.

            And it was never the Chicken tax that killed the deal with Mahindra.

            But are you now eating your words that it was US policy and US regulations that killed off small pickups in the US???

            But similarly, niche cars from around the world have a hard time entering the US market or staying in it. Why don’t you cry for them.

            The US is a tough market, over all. Foreign OEMs have to be appalled by how little Americans are willing to pay for something that’s not a fullsize pickup. We spend too much on those, and there not much funds left over for much else, as far as transportation goes.

            A VW pickup is the kind of thing to buy used, unless they make the deal on a new one as sweet. But other parts of world might take one seriously. Not here. Not in Canada either.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    @Vulpine – EU OEMs had absolutely no problem having slightly different cars for different markets. They still don’t. Citroen was a tiny niche OEM then, to the US. Do you think the US market was worth the expense of changing the bumper and lights? Profit had to have been very thin.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      Now think VERY HARD on your response. Think as an auto manufacturer. Your car has steerable headlights and a pneumatic/hydraulic ride height system–both complex and expensive systems. Now, please tell me how it is CHEAPER to modify a car with these systems already on board to a set of fixed headlamps and fixed bumper height.

      Now, bear in mind that an AMERICAN had designed a car to do many of the same things that was considered safer than ANYTHING on American roads–only to be shot down after building a mere 5 examples because the established brands didn’t want the competition. Strangely, over the following few decades, nearly every one of that creator’s safety technologies were incorporated into those same non-competitive brands.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        @Vulpine – Yeah it’s way cheaper to build a car simpler with headlights that don’t wag and regular coil springs. You’re the one that claims making the parts slightly smaller saves a tremendous amount of money. This way they’d delete shopping carts full of parts on each car!

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    What I do find odd are the people attempting to justify the US’s stance have yet to furnish evidence to back their claims.

    1. The UNECE model was created to incorporate many nations, hence, it is better and fairer for international trade.

    2. It assists the manufacturers in reducing the costs of motor vehicle manufacturing. The consumer wins out in the end.

    3. It is flexible to allow nations the ability to maintain there specific markets, ie, Australia, has larger motor vehicles in comparison to the EU.

    4. The UNECE model doesn’t only cover safety, it covers all aspects of vehicle design, ie, emissions. Again making it cheaper to manufacturer and have international trade in vehicles.

    The US’s position regarding vehicle design, including, safety and emissions, etc is the only system of it’s type globally. It is an insular system that doesn’t support fair trade. This is why the world is moving towards the UNECE model for the harmonisation of vehicle design.

    The US is also prepared to enter into trade arrangements with the EU in vehicle trade. The US on the other hand is having difficulty making trade arrangements with Asia. Why?

    Well, the Asian market is the second or if including China the largest market for pickups globally.

    If you study all of the US’s regulatory controls and tariffs they all protect the ‘geese that lay the golden egg’ for Detroit. The profit makers, full size pickup trucks.

    Detroit is desperate not to have the ‘invasion’ of cheap Asian pickups again, like in the late 60s and 70s.

    The US is that protective of the pickup market it even has extended a 25% tariff, termed the Chicken Tax. This has been in place for 60 years and created a situation in the US that if this tariff is removed there will likely be a dramatic fall of the Detroit Big 3.

    The US must wean its reliance on this tax and other technical barriers, like it’s refusal to join the globe in fairer trade. This will ensure the future of the US vehicle industry.

    Who and what is the biggest proponents of this insular market?? Guess??

    • 0 avatar
      petezeiss

      You keep sending us all these electrons.
      Don’t you need them for something over there?

      Oh, yeah… Australia.
      My derp.

    • 0 avatar
      GOGMGO

      I was born in Detroit, drive only Cadillacs and Chevys, but agree totally with big Al from Oz – our FMVSS standards are insular, dated and should be harmonized with UNECE standards which are the better and safer automotive standard.

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