Fields to Trump: Fuel Economy Rules Put One Million U.S. Jobs at Risk

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
fields to trump fuel economy rules put one million u s jobs at risk

Ford Motor Company chief executive officer and doomsday prophet Mark Fields thinks one million American jobs will be placed in peril if the country’s current fuel economy standards aren’t made more flexible.

The alarming scenario was given by Fields to President Trump himself at last week’s private meeting of U.S. automakers at the White House.

According to Bloomberg, Fields said that he did not specifically request to have the economy standards eliminated during the meeting with the president. Instead, he eluded to an alternate timeline resulting in the industry being severely crippled or brought to the brink of collapse if nothing was done.

Semantics aside, the Ford CEO — along with General Motors chief Mary Barra and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ own Sergio Marchionne — are interested in government regulations taking into account consumer demand.

“We think having one national standard on fuel economy is really important,” Fields said at the National Automobile Dealers Association convention in New Orleans. Referencing numerous studies he did not identify, Fields said the million jobs “could be at risk if we’re not given some level of flexibility on that — aligning it to market reality. So that really resonated.”

Fields has been the domestic auto industry’s most outspoken critic of federal Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards.

While consumer trends have shifted slightly toward heavier, larger, and less-economical vehicles, it’s difficult to make a case for consumers clamoring for worse fuel economy standards. Still, some automakers are having a difficult time adhering to regulatory targets and timelines.

[Image: Ford Motor Company]

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  • WDC Insider WDC Insider on Jan 31, 2017

    Do Ford Motor Company executives talk to each other or are they simply hypocrites? Five years ago automakers joined President Obama in increasing new vehicle fuel economy standards from 35 miles per gallon to 54.5 miles per gallon (mpg) by model year 2025. President Obama stated the “historic” 54.5 mpg fuel efficiency standard agreement will save consumers “$1.7 trillion at the pump.” (White House 7/29/11) Ford Motor Company’s Group Vice President of sustainability, environment and safety engineering, Sue Cischke, supporting the 54.5 miles per gallon fuel economy standard said, “This long-term commitment allows us to invest in technology and everything we need...the new standards will compel car companies to develop more diverse technologies in order to supply more fuel-efficient autos.” (Intl. Bus. Times 7/30/11) In addition, Honda’s Executive Vice President John Mendel said the new fuel economy standard is “a huge advantage to the American public.” Is Ford Motor Company backing away from the company’s “commitment” with the previous Administration to significantly improve the fuel-efficiency of their vehicles? What is the real value of a Ford Motor Company commitment to the government and the consumer?

  • Mor2bz Mor2bz on Jan 31, 2017

    Poppycock and twaddle. Horsefeathers. Utter nonsense, and complete bullshit. American automakers have whined, stalled, and refused efficiency standards for about as long as I can remember. It is just a game, and they know that government will comprise, delay, or just relent. Meanwhile the Japanese ask what emission level and how many do you want? We have lip service to electric car and battery development. If the feds are so crazy impatient to save the environment and our resources, why in the hell are they not switching gov. fleet and military vehicles to CNG?

    • Shaker Shaker on Feb 01, 2017

      "Poppycock and twaddle. Horsefeathers." Justice Scalia... is that YOU? Better get used to it, Gorsuch and Tony were fishing buddies.

  • Doug-g Doug-g on Jan 31, 2017

    Anyone else think Mark Fields looks like a Vegas lounge singer from the 70's?

    • VoGo VoGo on Jan 31, 2017

      You should have seen him 10 years ago when he was still sporting that mullet.

  • Voyager Voyager on Feb 01, 2017

    Let's see, relaxing CAFE may sound nice on the short term, but it also means that Detroit will no longer feel pressed to compete with regard to technology to make cars more efficient. Ergo, what already is a dreadful export track record will become worse. Detroit will no longer be able to export cars, for the simple reason that they consume too much, which makes them unsalable. And frugal, foreign cars imported to the U.S. will become more expensive. Nicely done, Mr. T.