By on March 30, 2018

fuel gauge

Rumors are flooding in that U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt will sign a declaration upending the Obama-era fuel economy regulations any day now. New details have emerged claiming Pruitt plans to visit a Chevrolet dealership in Virginia to publicly condemn the existing 2025 targets as unrealistic. Reportedly scheduled for next Tuesday, the EPA head will be accompanied by groups representing both automakers and car dealers.

California is going to be furious. 

According to Reuters, administration officials and several automotive representatives have verified the event as legitimate. However, they noted that the specific revisions to the existing fuel economy standards and emissions limits have yet to be decided. A rollback is guaranteed but nobody seems to have decided by how much.

The EPA mentioned a detailed proposal for the changes could arrive in late May or June, while the Transportation Department is pushing for a tighter timeline. Regardless, an agency spokesperson said Pruitt will autograph something that will open the rules for alteration on April 1st.

Existing rules seek an average fuel efficiency of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025, something automakers initially agreed to but later expressed concerns over once Donald Trump took office in 2017. Meanwhile, sales-weighted data has shown no meaningful improvement in U.S. average economy for several years. While the onus of that rests with consumers more than it does manufacturers, it pokes holes in the argument that higher regulatory standards will have a positive environmental impact.

That said, softer targets are unlikely to be any different. But the practical increase of fuel efficiency may have had more to do with the economy than President Obama’s regulatory mandates. Signed into law in 2011, the existing fuel rules came at a time when gas prices were higher and the average family income was lower.

Leaving corporate MPG targets at the mercy of the market could be risky, and not just because America could find itself unprepared for a sudden spike in oil prices. California and several other states have said they will adhere to Obama-era rules if national standards are lowered. If the rollback occurs, which is practically a guarantee, the Golden State is likely to take legal action against the federal government.

Pruitt weighed in on California’s fueling stance earlier this month. “California is not the arbiter of these issues,” he said, “[The state] shouldn’t and can’t dictate to the rest of the country what these levels are going to be.”

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241 Comments on “EPA Readies Rollback of Fuel Efficiency Regulations...”


  • avatar
    87 Morgan

    A big block for you…one for you, and heck you too Hyundai drop 500 cubes into the 2021 Genesis.

  • avatar
    Stanley Steamer

    Of course he wants to roll it back. He owns too much XOM.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I really wish I had that problem.

    • 0 avatar
      TW5

      XOM wants a renewable source of energy for which they own the patents, and they control the supply. Digging holes in foreign countries is a precarious ways to earn billions, especially when you consider where they are digging.

      Don’t get confused about the differences between oil reserve ownership and oil reserve development.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    California can only dictate its own emissions limits. Let CA burn itself into the ground while its consumers go out of state to buy the trucks that don’t comply.

    • 0 avatar
      wtaf

      Unless they plan on registering them out of state that plan won’t work.

    • 0 avatar
      KixStart

      Last time I looked, California was a big exporter of money to the rest of the US. Has that changed? Probably get worse, now that there’s a cap on the state income tax deduction. MN gets screwed ever worse.

      So, if it burns itself out, other states will lose.

      • 0 avatar
        Sobro

        Last time I looked, California had 1/3 of all US welfare recipients. They like big blocks, too.

        • 0 avatar
          volvo driver

          Doesn’t change the fact that California subsidized all you flyover red States mouth breather. Without California money you’re all fucked.

          • 0 avatar
            rpn453

            I guess if we’re doing the whole name-calling thing here now, I might as well point out that volvo driver is a troll.

          • 0 avatar
            pdog_phatpat

            I know I, for one, am shaking in my boots. OMG Cali is mad about something everyone, we must bow down and obey the big bad California. Signed, JKNoOnesScared.

        • 0 avatar
          stingray65

          California population statistics:
          .1% Hollywood and Silicon Valley billionaires.
          33.3% lawyers suing the Trump administration.
          33.3% illegal immigrants stealing welfare and not paying taxes.
          33.3% middle class packing their moving vans and heading to Texas, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, or any place that doesn’t tax and regulate the crap out of them.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        The state contributes a lot of real products but a large percentage of GDP is due to inaccurate valuations of a fake tech economy. Kind of what happened in 1929 when everything was overvalued.

        “Founded in 2003 by 19-year old Elizabeth Holmes[3], Theranos raised more than $700 million from investors resulting in a $9 billion valuation[4][5][6] at its peak in 2013/2014. Investors and media viewed Theranos as a breakthrough in the large blood testing market, with the diagnostic-lab industry posting annual sales of over $70 billion just in the US.”

        “A turning point occurred in October 2015, when investigative reporter John Carreyrou of The Wall Street Journal questioned the validity of its technology. Since then, Theranos has faced a string of legal and commercial challenges from medical authorities, investors, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, state attorneys general, former business partners, and others.”

        “On March 14, 2018, Holmes, former Theranos President Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani and Theranos were charged with “massive fraud” by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.[11] Theranos and Holmes have agreed to resolve the charges against them. Holmes will pay a fine of $500,000, return the remaining 18.9 million shares that she obtained during the fraud, relinquish her voting control, and is barred from being an officer or director of any public company for 10 years.[12][13] If Theranos is acquired or is otherwise liquidated, Holmes would not profit from her ownership until – assuming redemption of certain warrants – over $750 million is returned to defrauded investors and other preferred shareholders. Theranos and Holmes neither admitted nor denied the allegations in the SEC’s complaint.[citation needed] Balwani did not settle.”

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theranos

        Would you like fake with that?

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          I would question how Theranos becomes relevant to Tesla. By your own quotes, Theranos had its processes examined and apparently found to be fraudulant, whereas Tesla’s processes are physical devices that can be examined and tested as to whether they perform as intended (rather than faking the numbers.)

          While there may be apparent similarities, I find the example different enough to raise questions as to its relevance.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Tesla at least produces something, its the “tech companies” which largely do not. Largest bubble in human history.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          28-Cars-Later,
          And Wall Street, the Banks and Financials are any better?

          Remember Lehman and Bro?

          Come’on man, you Fox and Friend sh!t is quite entertaining.

        • 0 avatar
          el scotto

          @28cars, I do love the irony of you typing on a computer and sending your message via the net to say tech companies are a scam

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        KixStart,
        You’ll find the “lesser” States will belittle California. Looking back over the past Century California has really outperformed most any other State.

    • 0 avatar
      volvo driver

      California dictates emissions for itself and 12 other states that choose to follow California emissions laws instead of federal. Together these 13 states are 1/3 of the US population. Try again, sucker.

      • 0 avatar
        stingray65

        Instead of wasting time and money on lawsuits they are likely to lose, CA and its followers should follow these 5 easy steps:
        1. raise the gasoline and diesel taxes by $7 per gallon.
        2. add a $1 per kWh charge on all electricity not generated by renewables (and “dangerous” nuclear and “fish killing” hydro power don’t count as renewable).
        3. Add a $25,000 energy wasting tax on any new or used vehicle sale that is waived only if the vehicle gets over 53 mpg.
        4. Add a $15,000 zero emission lying tax on any new or used EV that is waived only if the vehicle is 100% powered by renewable generated electricity .
        5. Enjoy the praise from all the environmental groups for your environmental leadership.

        • 0 avatar
          volvo driver

          California will win, impose it’s rules on the rest of the country and there’s absolutely nothing you can do about.

          • 0 avatar
            tinbad

            Lol @stingray65 I assume you got your fantasy stats from the Breitbart comment section?

          • 0 avatar
            slavuta

            California will burn then break from the next big one, then burn some more. It might even become an island. So they better buy boats

          • 0 avatar
            gmichaelj

            “California is not the arbiter of these issues,” he said, “[The state] shouldn’t and can’t dictate to the rest of the country what these levels are going to be.”

            So what’s more likely here?

            1 – Trump and Reps keep control through 2020 or 2024 and impose their will?

            2 – California pols will continue to insist automakers meet CA stds notwithstanding any US Court rulings / elections and that there will be a “Reckoning” mid 20’s?

            If you’re a betting Automaker, it’s probably best to continue meeting standards, since you’ve already planned to do so and you don’t want to be seen as a Polluter a few years from now.

            I’m gonna bet the Japanese Manufacturers stay with CA rules, if nothing else to make the Domestics look bad to Liberal Customers.

          • 0 avatar
            TW5

            @gmichaelj

            That’s based upon the misguided assumption that CAFE will deliver on its promises, and that people will like the end result.

            Neither will be true. Anger and confusion will be the result as popular vehicles disappear or become unaffordable. It is unlikely the hostages will blame the hostage-takers in Sacramento and DC. The automakers’ must fight now.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Christ, you are delusional. I’ll laugh hard when it all comes down and Kalifornia resembles the scenes of Mad Max.

          • 0 avatar
            gmichaelj

            I think many Kalifornians see Trump supporters as pickup driving red-necks.

            And I’ve seen this ad campaign from Ford that airs on SoCal TV stations. It’s not like the ads I see in Georgia.

            Anyway, it goes like this: “Is your SUV smart enough for California? It is if it’s a Ford Edge…” Truck, F-150; Car, Focus; whatever.

            “smart enough for California” ????

            Ford marketing is trying to counter the narrative that Domestics are for Dummies.

            I think this will be seen as a favor to Detroit more so than to the Auto sector, especially given the trade stance of the Administration

            So, I don’t think the Trump admin is doing the Det3 any favors with this one.

            Somewhere else, someone says the CARB states represent 42% of GDP. That’s a big part of the market to not shop “Dumb Domestics”

            Again, because it will be easier for them and b/c they have to do it in China and Europe anyway, the Japanese will tow the CA line. Det 3 should too.

          • 0 avatar
            rpn453

            California will impose it is rules on the rest of the country? What does that even mean, mouth-breather?

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            gmichaelj,
            In all honesty I don’t foresee Donnie Thump making it to the next election.

            He’s actually done some irrepairable damage to the US’ess closet Allies. This will cost the US.

            I do believe when trade is discussed with the EU in the near future the EU will tell Trump to get on his bike.

            His naïve view of the World and particularly trade will take a decade for the US to look back and see where you could of been and not where you are.

        • 0 avatar
          nrcote

          @stingray65

          You’re a poster boy for an Ignore button.

          • 0 avatar
            stingray65

            My my nrcote – no sense of humor? Obviously CA should show the rest of the knuckle-dragging USA how things are done. Don’t sue – do something meaningful for once. State officials need to do what the CA citizens voted them to do – good and hard with major new vehicle and fuel taxes to achieve the environmental paradise that CAFE won’t. Perhaps with enough effort, the Dems can turn CA into another Venezuela where everyone is thin, no cars are driven, and no fuel is burned.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      paraDiM,
      Why are you a Canadian from Winnepeg making a comment like that?

  • avatar
    ttacgreg

    I am not sure if there is anything that will make people stop wanting personal vehicles that are half the size of a medium school bus, so kudos to Trump for making the world safe for the ginormous vehicle crowd. Maybe the limiting factor will be parking space size.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      If most Americans want something, withing reason, even legalized cocaine, the majority should rule. Those opposed can still opt out.

      Of coke, trucks or America.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I am no fan of the gigantic pickups and SUVs of today, but I am also no fan of the sad hacks and crutches attached to tiny motors in order to game EPA tests because of poorly chosen standards. Vehicles are almost always an expense but the equity of one is priceless. I wouldn’t try to keep the current crop of stuff out there long term with your money, so to speak. Stability of ownership and predictability are key for ordinary people, why do you think Camcords and derivatives always top the sales list?

    • 0 avatar
      TW5

      CAFE 2025 is creating the ginormous vehicles. If you want lower fuel economy targets, particularly in the light truck segment, extend the wheelbase, which in turn will probably lead to larger overall dimensions. The opposite phenomenon exists for sedans. The sweet spot is the approximate size of the new Insight.

      This is a brave new world the EPA has created for us. Fullsize truck or Honda Insight. Anything outside of those synthetic, ecologically-irrelevant parameters will necessarily cost a small fortune for hybrid and plug-in equipment or for compliance junk that people hate, like non-defeat start-stop and aero shutters.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    “Pruitt weighed in on California’s fueling stance earlier this month. “California is not the arbiter of these issues,” he said, ‘[The state] shouldn’t and can’t dictate to the rest of the country what these levels are going to be.\'”

    The state has never dictated to the rest of the country what these levels are going to be. But they have the right to dictate what those levels will be IN California and other CARB-signatory states. The Federal government, meaning the EPA and even the President, cannot alter that without breaking Constitutional mandate. The end result becomes one of either building CAFE-compliant cars AND CARB-compliant cars OR building cars that meet the strictest of the two and saving money, which is what the ended up doing last time.

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      If the two standards become too divergent, automakers will just omit selling entire classes of car in Cali. Keeping the $25K, 6 row, 2000hp BOF monsters for more permissive states.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        That hurts those brands’ income in several of the most populous states; remember, more than 20% of the states follow CARB now and those states consist of roughly 50% of the American population. What happens to their sales figures?

        • 0 avatar
          stuki

          The remaining 50% of the population still add up to a market much bigger than the entire Japanese domestic one. Which has no problem sustaining all manners of JDM only product.

          As long as the Fed and CARB regs aren’t too far apart, it’s easier to just pretend they are one and build to that. But if CARB bans ICEs entirely, while the Feds removes all and any regulation governing them….

          The gun industry is already well adapted to deal with state to state regulatory discrepancies. If EPA and CARB starts diverging to a similar extent, there’s little reason to believe the car industry won’t adapt in a similar fashion.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Yup, and Bill did not have sexual relations with that woman, George found the weapons of mass destruction, Barry had all those shovel ready jobs, and The Don enacted the biggest tax cuts and reforms in American history.

      “But they have the right to dictate what those levels will be IN California and other CARB-signatory states.”

      I’m really not up on the legality of all of this, but AFAI understand local fifedoms cannot enforce rules/laws which are contradictory to those above it in state and Federal gov’t. So if the Feds/state develop a blanket standard, a muni can enforce something more specific or stricter.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        “…but AFAI understand local fifedoms cannot enforce rules/laws which are contradictory to those above it in state and Federal gov’t.”

        —- You just pointed out the loophole, 28-Cars. One that could increase OEM costs no matter which way it goes. Why? Because the EPA rules, up to now, have stated, “no less than… (economy).” Since CARB rules are tighter than CAFE, that means in general that CARB demands greater economy than CAFE. The only way to avoid this is to word the EPA/CAFE rules to between a very tight pair of specifications, based on vehicle size (as it already is) which now means that the OEMs dare not exceed minimum OR maximum mileage rules–making engineering even more expensive.

        Literally, the EPA cannot override CARB but CARB can override EPA in the affected states.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          Vulpine,
          With the push back against Trump I would not be surprised if more States sign up to CARB.

          Donnie Thump a climate change denier, who is also spending millions on protecting his Gold Club in Scotland from inundation of the North Sea will force this to occur.

          Donnie Dump might even manage to get the States to work closer together.

      • 0 avatar
        Astigmatism

        California has the ability under federal law (Section 209 of the Clean Air Act, in case you’re curious) to impose their own fuel economy standards that are stricter than the nationwide standards, as they have for decades, and other states are allowed to use California’s standards. Which means that if automakers want access to the largest and third-largest markets for automobiles in the country, they need to either meet those standards or create California-specific versions that do so (remember all those cars on The Price Is Right that were billed as having “California emissions”?).

        • 0 avatar
          tnk479

          California could levy whatever tax it wants on gasoline and push fuel economy higher that way could it not? Either way, it’s a government mandated push for smaller, cleaner burning engines.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            By the way, CARB is not a mileage legislation, it’s a pollution legislation. As I recall, they recently upped the ante by stating that no fewer than 20% (or was it 25%) of new cars must now be ZEVs?

      • 0 avatar

        It’s. A bit of an open question actually. States regulate insurance more then feds for instance. It depends on how you read the interstate commerce rules. I take it that a state can’t ban an out of state company from doing business in their state but they can have more rigorous product saftey standards then other states.

    • 0 avatar
      TW5

      California has a responsibility not to frivolously disrupt interstate commerce, as if they were a foreign intelligence agency for a country who will remain nameless. Russia. I hope I didn’t say that out loud.

      The feds can pummel California if that’s what California chooses. No thinking person believes in the tree-oxygen-apocalypse, and it won’t hold up in court, either, not even in the 9th. Furthermore, controlling the vehicles available for sale is not closely related to the sales mix or fleet economy of a particular state. California has no argument and no standing.

      This neoconfederate uprising will be quelled. It is counterfactual, unscientific, and antithetical to the notion of commonly-shared constitutional liberties.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        Now if only you were right; you’d be one of the richest people in America.

      • 0 avatar
        Astigmatism

        “Greenhouse gases fit well within the Clean Air Act’s capacious definition of “air pollutant.’ …
        That EPA would prefer not to regulate greenhouse gases because of some residual uncertainty … is irrelevant. The statutory question is whether sufficient information exists to make an endangerment finding.
        In short, EPA has offered no reasoned explanation for its refusal to decide whether greenhouse gases cause or contribute to climate change. Its action was therefore ‘arbitrary, capricious, … or otherwise not in accordance with law.\'”

        The United States Supreme Court, ruling in Massachusetts v. EPA, 549 U.S. 497 (2007).

        Good luck, TW5.

        • 0 avatar
          TW5

          @ Astigmatism

          The EPA will struggle not to prove endangerment in this case, since the projections for CAFE 2025 are already deteriorating. The changes in the sales mix essentially verify dozens of hypotheticals that have already been posited (and ignored by the EPA) during the regulatory comment period. Plus, the costs of compliance are well-known.

          The CARB neoconfederates seem to have the same proclivity for violating civil liberties as their 19th-century predecessors.

          • 0 avatar
            Astigmatism

            “Proving endangerment” is no longer an issue. The EPA issued its endangerment finding on greenhouse gases way back in 2009, following the order of the Supreme Court in Massachusetts v. EPA.

            https://www.epa.gov/ghgemissions/endangerment-and-cause-or-contribute-findings-greenhouse-gases-under-section-202a-clean

            And yes, the costs of compliance are well-established – as are the benefits. There’s ample court record on all of this. I’m not sure what gave you the idea that the Trump administration was going to waltz into court and find a receptive audience.

          • 0 avatar
            TW5

            @ astigmatism

            They will use the endangerment argument against CAFE because CAFE is failing to generate the intended results and it will continue to fail as the standards become more stringent.

            If you care about the environment and public safety, you are against CAFE 2025.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            “If you care about the environment and public safety, you are against CAFE 2025.”

            Or not, if it pushes them into BEVs and other energy alternatives instead of fossil fuels.

      • 0 avatar
        ttacgreg

        What exactly is “tree-oxygen-apocalypse”? ? ? Did a search on the term to avoid inconveniencing you, but found nothing.

  • avatar
    KixStart

    Reducing the mileage requirement, in the long run, hurts the lower income classes.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      How?

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      Yeah, the poor will really suffer from being allowed to buy a new car that is not a Tesla….

      No law that increases costs of anything, “helps” the “lower income classes.” Mandating $Xk of expensive tech to allow a car to be sold, will always hurt those for whom X is a larger share of what they can afford, more than the rest.

      • 0 avatar
        volvo driver

        Don’t forget to breathe retard.

      • 0 avatar
        dwford

        @stuki: exactly. The poor end up buying used. So what kind of used cars will there be in 10-15 years? Hybrids with dead batteries, washed up turbo cars, cars with expensive 8-10 speed transmissions to replace, etc. All stuff that the poor won’t be able to afford to fix. This will just keep even older, easier to fix cars on the road longer.

        • 0 avatar
          stingray65

          Hey – the poor can take that high speed rail – who needs cars?

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            WHAT high speed rail? In the US we only have maybe two routes that use them and both of those are in major megalopolis areas. How about enabling passenger rail in the rest of the country?

            (Oh, right… too expensive to develop.)

          • 0 avatar
            TW5

            @ Vulpine

            Why pays hundreds of billions to put the airlines out of business with a rail transportation system that is susceptible to terrorist attack?

            High speed rail exists because few nations have a viable aerospace industry, and Europe certainly didn’t have one after WWII wiped out their economies. Plus, we only have one corridor where it makes sense (Boston to DC), but Amtrak can barely keep the lights on, even with millions in taxpayer money.

            Light rail in urban areas is a much better use of money, and it doesn’t require coordination between local, county, state, and federal authorities.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            “Why pays hundreds of billions to put the airlines out of business with a rail transportation system that is susceptible to terrorist attack?”

            —- And the air transportation system isn’t?

            A) Air transportation any more is fraught with “hurry up and wait” conditions just to get to the plane;
            B) Aircraft have become so crowded that a passenger can hardly move unless they’re willing to pay for higher-class seating which tends to cost 2x-4x as much;
            C) In the amount of time it takes from arrival at the airport to takeoff, the train could have traveled up to 300 miles (two hours, high speed rail.)
            D) Train seating is very open and relaxed, even to allowing the passengers to walk the length of the train for exercise (if desired) or visit the dining or club cars;
            E) While slower for extended trips, the total time on board a train may be no longer than that spent, terminal to terminal, on a flight of 500 miles, especially if it is a high-speed train.

            Clearly this wouldn’t be an effort to bankrupt airlines but it would make short- to medium-distance travel easier for passengers by reducing crowding on the planes and increasing public means of travel between cities.

            And no, we don’t have just one corridor (I happen to live on the one you mention.) There is one running between Buffalo, NY to the Chicago area (not high speed, however,) and more than one running along the Pacific coast, with a relatively high-speed trainset between San Francisco and Los Angeles. Additional train travel is available from Philadelphia and DC to Chicago (utilizing some of that Buffalo to Chicago trackage), DC area down to Florida, NY to New Orleans, Chicago to New Orleans, Chicago to Seattle, Chicago to San Francisco and Chicago to Los Angeles, all by different routes. Most of these trains travel with a full passenger load but with the exception of a few, they are weekly routes vs daily or multiple daily runs.

            Oh, and you’d be surprised how much local, county, state and Federal coordination is required even for light rail, especially if it encompasses interstate loading.

          • 0 avatar
            TW5

            @ Vulpine

            Why do I need to explain the simplicity of derailing a train compared to the difficulty of bringing down an airplane? Seems like that should be inherent knowledge to all sentient beings, especially after several recent train derailments and accidents.

            I’m glad you like trains, but we’ve wasted enough money on long-distance passenger rail. Maybe someday Amtrak will be profitable and we can revisit.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Ok, how easy is it to derail a train? Tell us all the juicy news.

    • 0 avatar
      TW5

      The lower-middle classes are the people who will be most hurt for multiple reasons. First, it will raise transaction prices for new vehicles. Since the cost of hybrid equipment is more or less fixed, the incremental increase in vehicle costs will be much higher for low-MSRP vehicles.

      Also, if the standards cause new vehicles to become relatively undesirable, or if desirable current vehicles no longer exist under the new standards, people may delay new car purchases or new car sales will decline. This will cause supply shortage in the used market similar to Cash for Clunkers.

  • avatar
    anomaly149

    On one hand – kudos to the Feds for knocking California down a peg, they need to harmonize their regulations with the rest of the country. Regulatory harmonization saves a lot of money for everyone.

    On another hand, also good on the Feds for recognizing that CAFE, as currently written, is kinda crap and needs a rewrite.

    On the final hand, this current administration isn’t the brightest. They’re probably just going to blow it wide open, rather than fix the structural pro-“truck” and anti-“sedan” features of CAFE that have essentially created the cute-ute boom while maintaining reasonable fuel economy demands.

    • 0 avatar
      TW5

      CAFE’s success is as a fail safe. In other words, it prevents humanity from sliding backwards into addictive habits. When the price of oil collapsed in ’86, fuel economy only retreated to the CAFE minimum, rather than returning to 1970s paradigms.

      This is how CAFE should be adjusted. Raised gradually over long periods of time to reflect changing consumer habits and resource supply. CAFE cannot chart a course and lead humanity to a bright new tomorrow. It will fail miserably in that endeavor as it is doing currently.

      • 0 avatar
        anomaly149

        CAFE in its current form was purpose-designed to push SUVs/trucks.

        An entire wave of cars that cost a few hundred more to build than a sedan, but can get substantially worse gas mileage and buyers will pay thousands? And the Big 2.5’s trucks will be protected? It’s incredible!

        The target number started accelerating enough that it made the auto industry sweat, and so CAFE falls, but man, she was a thing of…. something…. while she lasted.

  • avatar
    azmtns

    It may not be that big of a deal. Car manufacturers will still have to meet CARB requirements which are in a way, fuel economy requirements. European manufacturers still have to meet EU standards and many of those engines are sold in the US. China is pushing electrification, which makes those standards less important. It just might be that forces other than the EPA will be driving fuel economy.

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      Obama wanted to let his voter base (Wealthy liberals in NY and SF) drive 500HP cars tax free. As long as they could afford to pony up for a Tesla. Which his support base could. Those who couldn’t, should take the bus, shut up and be happy and grateful that the government provided those for them.

      Trump wants his voter base, Appalachian coal rollers, to be able to drive 500HP cars tax free as well. Just as in Obama’s case above, that’s how votes and donations are bought. But Trump’s peeps can’t afford Teslas, so Trump has to make less sophisticated V8s a realistic alternative.

      Probably annoying for the Teslati that “those people” can now afford fast, powerful cars as well, but then again I’m sure it annoyed Trumpeian gearheads to no end that they were being outdragged by pencilnecked dweebs flashing Pelosi stickers as well.

  • avatar
    Astigmatism

    California is likely to be more litigious than furious.

  • avatar
    bullnuke

    California will do what it wants just as it has in the past. That is why that state got vehicles such as the gutless Corvettes oh, so many years ago while the other 49 got any vehicle desired. Suing the federal government about this makes no sense – shouldn’t affect CA laws at all as they’ve had a more restrictive California Emissions Requirement for vehicles sold/registered there for many years. Perhaps it is time to leave the current regulation in place for an extended period to allow tech to mature and catch up with reasonable ways to reduce fuel usage/emissions. Start/stop (which is ridiculous except on golf carts), motorized radiator flaps, electric power steering, et al are the smog pumps of modern days and further matured tech advances should make this use of stop-gaps disappear.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      @bullnuke: You forget that the California rules are now adopted by a total of 13 states, roughly half of the total American population. At that rate, which is cheaper for the OEMs? Build CARB-specific models for those 13 states and CAFE for the rest or just make them all CARB compliant from the outset?

      • 0 avatar
        Astigmatism

        35% of the country by population, but 42% by GDP, as it happens.

      • 0 avatar
        bullnuke

        True if those 13 states remain with CARB regulations. Some may decide to continue with or decide to separate from CARB if choice of vehicles is affected due to unavailability of certain models in some of those states. The point of diminishing returns is close on this issue and there may be a time when reevaluation of CARB’s ever tightening rules will be made for sensibilities of current times though not likely as many bureaucratic rice-bowls are being filled by CARB regulation and inspections.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          Three of those states have been aligned with CARB rules since the beginning, the other 9 signed on about 4-5 years ago. One of those made it specifically possible to operate a factory-owned dealership in that state–on the condition that factory had •no• ICE representation what-so-ever in that state.

          Don’t be so sure any of those signatory states will just bail out of CARB because things look a little rough.

      • 0 avatar
        ttacgreg

        Some commenter on this site weeks or month ago also made this point. The Chinese and Europe have similar fuel efficiency requirement going forth, the vehicles they build will be more in line with what California mandating.
        So it is kind of like 37 states vs Cali and the world.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      bullnuke,
      More States will sign up to CARB and for the EPA’s hand.

      As the US urbanises more and more you will find more pressure will be placed on elected officials to clean up the place.

  • avatar
    Sub-600

    “Solyndra is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to shovel-ready, green jobs” – B. Hussein Obama

    • 0 avatar
      TW5

      “If you like your vehicle, you can keep your vehicle”

      – B Hussein Obama

      • 0 avatar
        Ce he sin

        “If you like your vehicle, you can keep your vehicle”

        – B Hussein Obama

        That’s a very interesting comment. The gentleman in question would usually be referred to as Barack H Obama, but you’ve chosen to stress his middle name, which would suggest that you’ve an issue with that particular name. In fact, I think I get a whiff of something nasty about your post. Am I right?

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          The funny part is that Hussein is like the Arabic “John.” It’s such a common name that if someone draws attention to it there’s no other explanation other than its linguistic origin.

        • 0 avatar
          TW5

          I can call him Barry Soetoro, the Indonesian prince, if you’d prefer. Or maybe we should all refer to him as Renegade, the call sign given to him by Secret Service. You should look up what that word means, and the origin of the word Renegado.

    • 0 avatar
      TwoBelugas

      Note that BHO drove a Hemi powered Chrysler 300 before getting his fleet Cadillac. That car will never be allowed to exist under CAFE2025

    • 0 avatar
      vehic1

      Sub-600: Get ready to blast them dang ol’ lib’ral Democrats again, unless mr. Stable Genius somehow manages to get his approval going in a consistently upward direction, for a change.

      • 0 avatar
        Sub-600

        I’m not a fan of the Stable Genius. Instead of building the wall like he was elected to do, he’s embracing “dreamers” and kowtowing to leftists on the 2nd Amendment. Ronaldus Maximus is spinning in his grave.

        • 0 avatar
          nrcote

          > “… Instead of building the wall
          > like he was elected to do…”

          ROFL You’ll love Mike LGBTrouble Pence once the “Stable Genius” has been committed. Unless…

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          “Ronaldus Maximus” was deeply pragmatic.

          So pragmatic that he signed into law the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, which looked much more like “amnesty” than any of today’s reform proposals that everyone on the right is losing their sh!t about, to get increased border enforcement.

          So pragmatic that he signed into law the Tax Reform Act of 1986, which dramatically raised taxes on investment income in exchange for dramatically lowering them on most wage income, to get spending cuts out of a Democratic Congress. Today’s right-wingers would call the TRA communism (and do so with much more moderate proposals to increase capital gains tax).

          “Ronaldus Maximus” would have to run as a moderate Democrat in today’s world. His actions as President looked more like what Hillary Clinton was proposing than what Trump has done.

          • 0 avatar
            tinbad

            My European ass always tries to explain to my American friends how much more socialist the US is than they like to think. It usually doesn’t end well and somehow really gets their flames on, but if you look at some major socio-economic US policies of the 60’s all the way through 80’s many of them are straight from the social democratic playbook.

          • 0 avatar
            TW5

            @ tinbad

            Claiming the US is more socialist than people think is dangerous because the US isn’t socialistic at all. Our “socialists” tend to be some of the greediest, most vain and most self-obsessed people in the developed world. They couldn’t care less about the collective good. They care about cultivating their own moral and political right-of-way, which guarantees access to resources and comforts regardless of contribution to society. That’s how we’ve ended up with the G20’s worst entitlement programs. It’s why our “socialists” cling to things like defined-benefit public pension, while the rest of the world has more or less transitioned to defined-contribution. It’s why our socialists think that exorbitant per beneficiary medical spending is the key to social justice, rather than the number of people covered.

            This country is becoming increasingly less socialistic, regardless of the political themes used by people in Washington to make it look like their lefty constituents have a conscience.

  • avatar
    TW5

    The existing rules don’t really seek a designated fleet mpg. It was estimated that 54.5mpg would be the result of the fleet sales mix remained constant. Consumers are already repealing the projected fuel economy ratings by changing their buying habits, a predictable outcome to everyone outside of the Obama administration. Given the current sales mix, the fleet will probably struggle to reach 48mpg by 2025 under the current regulations. CAFE is failing. Nefarious parties are using this as an occasion to argue that the standards are being attacked by earth-killing barbarians. No surprise. They make similar claims every time one of their poorly designed programs visits misery upon the populace. Hopefully CAFE 2025 will be neutralized before it takes full effect.

    Consider the following anecdote as a microcosm. If you currently drive a Charger, your vehicle will more or less be outlawed by a set of standards that require it to reach 37mpg (sticker) by 2025. Your options are a hybrid Accord, if you want a large sedan, or a fullsize crew cab truck, if you want to keep your oversized powertrain. Either decision is a perversion of the objectives stated by the Obama admin. The Accord is smaller (violates the NHTSA mandate against downsizing) and the fullsize truck will be less fuel efficient than today’s fullsize family sedans (violates the EPA mandate for absolutely higher fuel economy).

    There is no legitimate argument on behalf of the current standards, particularly not the 2022-2025 augural standards, which are not finalized. The regs are already failing, and the real pain hasn’t even begun.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      “Given the current sales mix, the fleet will probably struggle to reach 48mpg by 2025 under the current regulations. CAFE is failing.”

      I suggest you consider the ever-growing number of BEVs that are getting added to the mix between now and 2025. A BEV tends to offer an 80mpg equivalent or higher (some already at 120mpg or better) which WILL have an effect on fleet-wide economy.

      • 0 avatar
        stingray65

        You are assuming BEV subsidies will continue, and if subsidies expire the sales are likely to tank. Unprofitable vehicles that require expensive subsidies to maintain a niche share do not have future success guaranteed. Tesla is soon toast.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          Whose subsidies, stingray? Tesla’s will probably start their phase out later this year, no matter what. GM and Ford are already lobbying for extensions as they, too, are nearing their limits. Meanwhile, Europe and Asia both are now marketing BEVs in the States who, even if the subsidy is left as it is, will see no fewer than two years of $7500 “discounts” (off of customer income tax payments) before they, too, start seeing those subsidies fade. The only way such subsidies can continue (outside of some all-new brand introducing them) would be for the government itself to extend the limit from 200,000 cars to 1 million or more; which would by necessity apply to ALL BEV manufacturers equally, including Tesla.

          • 0 avatar
            stingray65

            Almost 10% of Tesla’s sales in 2017 were in little Norway, and they are planning to phase out EV subsidies – they were supposed to 2 years ago, but $50 to $100K subsidies are hard to take away when dealers and customers get used to them. Denmark and Hong Kong also cut EV subsidies and had major drops in EV sales. Individual US states have also offer EV subsidies, and some like Georgia cancelled them to the great detriment of sales. EVs need the subsidies, but broke governments around the world are going to struggle justifying subsidies to rich people so they can buy shiny new electric cars.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Of course, you are unaware that some of those, like Hong Kong, have subsequently renewed their subsidies specifically because of that drastic drop, right?

          • 0 avatar
            stingray65

            Almost 10% of Tesla’s sales in 2017 were in little Norway, and they are planning to phase out EV subsidies – they were supposed to 2 years ago, but $50 to $100K subsidies are hard to take away when dealers and customers get used to them. Denmark and Hong Kong also cut EV subsidies and had major drops in EV sales. Individual US states have also offer EV subsidies, and some like Georgia cancelled them to the great detriment of sales. EVs need the subsidies, but broke governments around the world are going to struggle justifying subsidies to rich people so they can buy shiny new electric cars.

            But perhaps the biggest EV subsidy of all is the lack of taxation on EV fuel. Put some tax on EV electricity, and that is going to do some damage to those EV cost savings payback calculations.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Don’t bet on those dropped European subsidies, Stingray; Germany is reinstating theirs for Tesla, which suggests that Norway may yet change their mind about dropping it.

            Oh, and how would you tax that “EV fuel”? I can guarantee that there will be taxes but not necessarily in the way you imagine.

      • 0 avatar
        anomaly149

        @Vulpine: B/P/HEVs are still a fairly small market segment, ~3% AFAIK, and that’s not really set to change within the current model cycle. There’s not a whole lot of wundertech in the pipeline, just a lot of very smart people slowly whittling away at the problem. I’d expect to see at least another major model cycle (i.e. 7 years) pass before they’re high-volume enough to noticeably impact CAFE.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          I suggest a little research, anomaly. VW is planning no fewer than 22 battery-electric models by 2025, which will include Porsche, Audi and other VWG brands. Mercedes is suggesting something like four or five models; BMW is suggesting several models, including the entire MINI lineup. etc.

          • 0 avatar
            stingray65

            Yes lots of electrified vehicles in the pipeline, but that doesn’t mean they will sell in high enough volume to change EPA numbers substantially.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            You might be surprised at what can happen in the course of seven years.

    • 0 avatar
      ttacgreg

      Better than CAFE, just tax gas and diesel in line with or greater than Europe.

      • 0 avatar
        TW5

        @ttacgreg

        Fuel excise tax offers the illusion of simplicity. It would be much more difficult to coordinate because of its regressive incidence on taxpayers and its deconstruction of federalism by crowding out state gasoline tax revenue.

        However, the longer this awful CAFE regime plods forward, the more amenable I am to arguments that motor fuels excise is less awful than the CAFE alternative.

        Regardless, Trump should pitch the idea publicly because California will be forced to reject it, and the eco-ruse will be revealed in broad daylight.

  • avatar
    Sub-600

    CAFE 2025, like everything else that hapless buffoon shoved down America’s throat, is an epic fail. He should have stuck to organizing bake sales or whatever it was he did.

    • 0 avatar
      ttacgreg

      A little dislike there much?

      • 0 avatar
        Sub-600

        When your most successful initiative is (CARS) cash for clunkers, your administration was an abject failure. CARS wasn’t even a raging success, just Obama’s best effort.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          “CARS wasn’t even a raging success, just Obama’s best effort.”

          —- Actually Bush’s. Obama simply signed off on it very shortly after taking office. He had no active role in its creation.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      Sub-600,
      The US should just adopt the UN vehicle regulations then have the government use fuel tax to alter FE culture.

      I bet you would not have these issues right now.

      What Donnie Dump (POTUS) is doing is equivalent to reducing taxation on fuel. Look at it this way.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      Oh, Sub-600,
      He’s doing the equivalent of reducing tax on fuel, but with no monetary savings.

      Is this smart or dumb?

  • avatar
    ajla

    Section 209 of the Clean Air Act does not grant CA the right to make its own fuel economy standards.

    That part of the law allows CA to apply for a *waiver* that preempts federal standards. But the waiver is approved by the EPA and there are ways within the CAA for the EPA to deny or revoke these waivers.

    The waiver that allows CA to regulate *greenhouse gas emissions* is relatively new as it was approved by Obama. The GWB administration actually denied it for several years and although CA filed lawsuits about that nothing was ever ultimately resolved in the courts.

    The other option is to amend the CAA itself to explicitly state that section 209 doesn’t extend to greenhouse gases or regulation of fuel economy.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      • Amendment X.
      The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

      This means that the States have the right to create their own laws so long as they do not reduce the effectiveness of Federal law.

      • 0 avatar
        Sub-600

        States Rights pretty much went out the window after the Civil War.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          The amendment still stands; it has not been revoked by any subsequent amendment, unlike the 18th which was revoked by the twenty-first.

          • 0 avatar
            Sub-600

            I’m in favor of States Rights, I was just pointing out that it’s been out of favor since the Civil War. Any mention of it can get one labeled as “racist”. The favorite ploy of the left.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        “so long as they do not reduce the effectiveness of Federal law.”

        I think it’s a likely argument that CA having its own greenhouse gas regulations would reduce the effectiveness of federal laws over those emissions. Heck, most the comments on this article are claiming something to that effect.

        Plus, just historically speaking, 10th amendment arguments rarely work in situations like this. If that is CA’s plan then they need another one.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          “I think it’s a likely argument that CA having its own greenhouse gas rules would reduce the effectiveness of federal laws over those emissions.”

          —- Please explain to me how strengthening these rules reduces their effectiveness.

    • 0 avatar
      Astigmatism

      That waiver is not discretionary; it’s a “shall issue” standard, and the only way for the EPA to refuse it is if it makes certain findings – e.g. that California’s standards are arbitrary and capricious – that it’s not going to be able to prove in court, based on its record so far.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        “that it’s not going to be able to prove in court, based on its record so far.”

        We’ll see what happens if it gets to that. That’s why we have trials and judges.

  • avatar
    dwford

    We don’t need to lower the standard, just extend the deadline to let the tech catch up. So many cars these days are a motley collection of engineering hacks designed to game the tests. There is still a lot of room for improvement in the basic gas engine. Look at Toyota’s new 4 cylinders, Mazda’s Skyactiv-X engine, Nissan’s new 4 cylinder.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      You are right, but not every person wants a 4-cylinder vehicle. For them bigger engines, more cylinders, more valves per cylinder, all adds up to more desirable.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      dwford,
      I don’t see any need to “catch up”, as most of the rest of the World is outstripping the US in FE.

      Why this catch up if it’s already occurring elsewhere, just do what others are doing.

      How much extra does a US consumer want to pay?

  • avatar
    slavuta

    What I would do, I would include energy spent and emissions generated to produce a vehicle into this EPA program. This way hybrids will not run away from fact that they are more energy-consuming to produce.

    • 0 avatar
      TW5

      Do you remember what happened when the Spinella report was released? Let’s just say people of a certain political persuasion were outraged that economic science suggested a Toyota Prius was less energy efficient than a Hummer H2 over the course of manufacture, operation, and recycle.

      Anyway, the fatal flaw in this sort of analysis the inevitable finding that featureless econoboxes are the most environmentally friendly. Econoboxes are generally the lowest margin vehicles offered by the manufacturers. They don’t want to encourage their purchase by consumers.

      No country for good science I’m afraid.

      • 0 avatar
        slavuta

        Thats the problem. Cars no longer a transportation. They are air conditioned lounges with luxury leather chairs and entertainment of night club quality. How much emissions can we cut by regulating car features? Lets say aluminum wheels. Producing aluminum is very electricity-incentive. Why not just make steelies for everyone and no hubcaps? Sounds communistic but it is going to save the world! or will it?

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          And because of the reasons you outlined, buyers should be able to buy what they want even if the vehicles they choose are not as efficient or “clean” as greenweenies want them to be in 2025.

          For many people a truck is not a truck without a V8.

        • 0 avatar
          TW5

          @slavuta

          I’m with you. Personal transportation should be the purpose and focus of automobile manufacturers, not accoutrements and in-car infotainment.

          However, we have access to simplistic vehicles with steelies, and almost no one buys them. Of course, they are overpriced and they only exist to create the illusion of value in the higher trims, but they exist. Furthermore, the luxury manufacturers have discovered that they can sell overwrought wealth-destroying machines to upper-middle class sycophants, and since the mfgs have limited production capacity, those high margin vehicles will naturally be the first off the assembly line.

          The people have spoken with their wallets, according to the game they’ve been presented. The only way to change the market is to change the game, which requires regulation or lack thereof.

          • 0 avatar
            slavuta

            TW5,

            this is exactly what I said. Regulate car features – steel wheels, not more than 17″ in size. No more than 20 light bulbs in 1 car. No leather – since animals produce methane. No more than n-pounds or rubber per tire. No more than 1 head per engine (this will eliminate V-engines and boxer engines). There is so much resource demand cutting that can be done by regulation.

  • avatar
    vehic1

    Leave it to this “farsighted” administration (which, fortunately, can be reversed before terribly long – considering its lack of popularity) to encourage the grossly wasteful squandering of fossil fuels that took millions of years to form (so that future generations will be forced to find other sources for plastics, other manufactured materials, etc.) – and continue the rapid warming, glacier-melting, desertification, coastal flooding, etc., that they try to pretend is simply our imagination, or some forever-mysterious-and-unknowable-to-mortal-man process at work.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      That is exactly why it is so important that this current administration gets as much done as they can within the shortest period of time.

    • 0 avatar
      TW5

      Why don’t the manufactures make fuel efficient vehicle now? It’s mainly because consumers don’t really want or need a fleet of vehicles that make 40mpg. Therefore, high-mpg vehicles naturally have lower profit-margins.

      Sane people look at the situation and see the easy fix. All we have to do is pay people to produce and sell fuel efficient vehicles. This will unlock the positive externalities associated with fuel efficiency, and the manufacturers will earn profits for helping address the apparent market failure.

      Dangerous morons look at the situation and see an opportunity to make things worse. They outlaw high-margin vehicles and mandate low-margin vehicles because the market is destroying the planet and needs to be punished. Then they spend money on fuel efficiency, but only if fuel efficiency arrives in the form of PHEV’s and BEVs that are generally purchased by wealthier Americans. This will keep their donors and constituents happy.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    As long as 2025 Pickups/SUVs/etc sold in California run clean enough emissions-wise, mpg doesn’t really matter.

    California wants to require whatever “cleaner emissions” that would’ve come along with 2025+ vehicles meeting the 54 mpg EPA (or 40 mpg EPA “sticker”) average, or whatever that translates to from the tailpipe.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      We’ve been all through this in the past with the CA emissions versus the 49-state emissions.

      So OEMs have the option to sell the dirty, nasty, heavily polluting vehicles in the 49 states, just not in CA.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        Automakers were forced to build California specific cars, but eventually built them all with CA emissions for the economics of building them to a single standard.

        That’s simply not gonna work this time, except I feel CA is bluffing and or can’t follow through legally. But it would take a CA specific lineup of vehicles, loaded with hybrids, electrics, CNG and the like.

        Today “emissions” aren’t as much as a detriment to car’s performance, but it’s deja vu with current diesel pickups. Yes they all come with full CA diesel emissions, but even in CA owners are un-choking their diesels with “delete” setups/programmers, straight pipes and whatnot.

        In many states that’s perfectly legal.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          “Today “emissions” aren’t as much as a detriment to car’s performance, but it’s deja vu with current diesel pickups. Yes they all come with full CA diesel emissions, but even in CA owners are un-choking their diesels with “delete” setups/programmers, straight pipes and whatnot. In many states that’s perfectly legal.”

          But not all, and I happen to live in one of them. Rolling coal is a pullover offense and EVERY vehicle newer than 1996 has to be checked for emissions on a regular basis. And yes, they physically look for any form of bypass such as plug-in programmers, straight pipes, etc.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            They wouldn’t want to draw attention to themselves, but deleted/bypassed/tuned diesels don’t “roll coal” unless they’re set for that. They still run fairly clean, as far as visible smoke goes, compared to old mechanical injection diesels that always smoked.

            I’ve been pulled over by the DOT for excessive smoke (commercial truck) way back in the pre emissions, early 90s.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @DM: That doesn’t refute what I said about the regular emissions checks; and until that law went into place, we had a LOT of pickups “rolling coal” around here. They quite pretty darned quickly.

            And yes, even my li’l ol’ Ranger gets called in for those checks. And it’s a gasser.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            I think new diesels are exempt from emissions testing for the first few years. But btw, when are trains scheduled for full DEF diesel-emissions, if at all?

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        “So OEMs have the option to sell the dirty, nasty, heavily polluting vehicles in the 49 states, just not in CA.”

        37 states; you forget the other 12 that have also signed onto CARB.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          “37 states; you forget the other 12 that have also signed onto CARB.”

          Thank you, Vulpine. I did forget.

          I’m on the ‘net only sporadically these days and have missed much of the discussions.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @hdc: I will note that most of the states that have adopted CARB have done so to reduce pollution; there is statistical proof that pollution can cause some weather events, such as the weekend rainstorms that used to be very, VERY common in the northeast due to coal smoke and other particulate exhaust from unfiltered coal-fired power plants and diesel engines. Once these emissions were filtered and limited, the number of weekend storms seemingly growing out of nowhere faded away.

            But we still have issues, especially in hot weather, where we have what I’ll call, “asthma alerts”, where the combination of heat, humidity and other vapors increase the incidence of asthma attacks in children and elderly (not even mentioning those who are asthmatic all their lives.) I’ve lived in other parts of the country where such isn’t as prevalent due to a reliance on other energy sources such as nuclear and hydro-electric, even when humidity levels are similarly high. (I am one of those asthmatics.) One of the areas where I had the fewest problems was Las Vegas, NV (lived there for roughly a year) and another was Denver, Co (where I lived roughly four years.) Low humidity and reduced pollution does make a difference. But that pollution needs to be reduced more because, like California, the Northeast has a very high concentration of vehicles that can still generate a visible smog under the right (wrong?) conditions.

  • avatar
    PentastarPride

    California has every right to enforce their fuel efficiency and emissions laws. Fine.

    So how about this: automakers, stop shipments to California. Then they’ll have it their way, they’ve got nothing to choose from other than the fully electric Prius, Volt, Leaf and Tesla, since it wouldn’t be long before vehicles with ICE would be outlawed there anyways.

    Are you a contractor and need a pickup? Too bad. Do you have some extra cash to play with and want to treat yourself to a luxury car or fancy sports car with a big engine? Too bad. Can’t afford a Tesla or don’t have anywhere to plug it in? Too bad. Need a minivan to take the kids and their friends to soccer practice? Take three trips in your Nissan Leaf.

    Meanwhile, just for a little arm twisting of the California legislature, why don’t trucking and rail companies band together and dump the cargo off at the state line, you know, to keep things green? California can figure out how to move it to where it needs to go, like, I dunno, using a pack of mules. Same goes for those massive cargo ships, leave the containers on the ports. Use the mules, but by all means, don’t let them flatulate, because that would be against state environmental laws.

    • 0 avatar
      gmichaelj

      “So how about this: automakers, stop shipments to California.”

      You do understand that auto manufacturing is a capital intensive business?

      Capital-intensive industries use a large portion of capital to buy expensive machines.

      How could they hope to recoup their investment by not selling to 1/8th of the US population?

      • 0 avatar
        PentastarPride

        A little short term pain for long term gain. Stop shipments, I would give it a week (maybe two weeks for the legislators and regulators that are like a baked-on, stubborn mess) before the California legislature would cave in and roll back their regs or at least “meet in the middle” after facing mounting pressure from all sides: manufacturers, dealers, industry associations, banks, the buying public, voters, and even all kinds of unions. Bingo, back to shipping and selling cars. It just takes a little arm twisting is all. Over a week or two of no sales in CA, manufacturers would heavily benefit from increased leverage over regulators and less expense in satisfying complex, expensive regulations.

        Of course there would be a group of crazies in the legislature that would no doubt stubbornly resist and refuse to compromise on lessening the chokehold on the grounds of “the environment!” but when dealers have no inventory and people can’t buy what they want and there are looming economic repercussions as a result of their actions, the fate of that term being their last would be sealed. I think even the moderates on the left would get tired of the BS enough to vote for someone else the next go round.

        • 0 avatar
          gmichaelj

          Those stupid Kaliforniks will cave in only 2 weeks! Brilliant!

          You should call Bill Ford or Mary Barra and tell them your plan. I am sure they will see the genius in it and hire you right away.

          You’ll probably get an industry award.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            It’s classic bullying, and I’m positive CA will cave. I doubt they’re stupid enough to press forward. I’m certain (CARB’s) Mary Nichols is leading the charge, and she’s a world class, ball buster from way back.

            She threatened California businesses, putting many out-of-business, scrambling to update their fleets of preexisting (grandfathered), pre-emissions diesels, to meet CA “DEF emissions” deadlines, despite something called The US Constitution.

            She backed down at the threat of lawsuits, class actions, etc., but it was too late for the companies put under. Do you think she cares?

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Of course it it bullying.

            CA wants to be relevant and undoing the current mandates makes CA irrelevant because the OEMs will just sell the underpowered, choked-down versions of vehicles in CA while the 49 states enjoy the souped up, heavily polluting versions of the same vehicles.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      PentastarPride,
      California, if it succeeded from the US would be the 5th or 6th largest economy in the world. California would then adopt what the rest of the world is doing and expand.

      You might end up driving more midsizers than full size pickups, but you’ll have a larger selection of higher tech vehicles than the “US”.

      California, Oregon and Washington should become the Western Holy ‘Murican Empire! Remember Rome burnt and the Easter Holy Romans went on for a few more centuries.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        @BAFO – Midsize pickups are on the chopping block just the same as fullsize. More so since midsize experience much tighter FE scrutiny, thanks to the “footprint” nonsense.

  • avatar
    jacob_coulter

    The poverty capital of America, and mpgs are what concerns California.

    http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-jackson-california-poverty-20180114-story.html

    So glad we got someone in the WH to stop the CAFE nonsense, no way auto companies could hit that absurd target.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      It’s not MPG that concerns California and the other CARB states, it’s the pollution. They’ve raised the bar when it comes to the number of ZEVs they want sold in those states.

  • avatar
    craiger

    I’m going to take the contrarian position and argue that the manufacturers like high CAFE standards. Why? Because it allows them to get away with putting inexpensive turbo fours in their high end models instead of beautifully sonorous NA 8s, 10s, and 12s. Sadly, I think that even if CAFE were to be eliminated, we’re stuck with small turbo engines. Most customers don’t care as long as the engine is powerful. Truth be told, I drove a rental F10 with the four, and while the car had nothing on my dear departed E39, it was reasonably quick.

    • 0 avatar
      jacob_coulter

      Turbo drivetrains cost more than equivalent naturally aspirated engines.

      But if the upcoming CAFE standards were just about fitting turbo 4’s instead of V6s, that part would be easy.

      Getting a fleet standard of 54.5 mpgs is going to take a lot more than just turbos. Most hybrids can’t even hit that target.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      It won’t matter, because the USA isn’t the only worldwide car market.

      One of the reason turbo fours are popular is because of displacement taxes abroad. Because they need powerful small displacement motors, the manufacturers have to develop that powerplant anyway.

      As long as they have to have dnalk displacement turbo engines, they might as well slap it in the US models too — and save themselves the trouble of developing multiple engines.

  • avatar

    Yeah, why not. Detroit can breathe a little more freely knowing that Trump’s ultimate goal is to slap on higher tariffs on more frugal import cars. Which will also make Made in the USA built cars sell even less on export markets.

    • 0 avatar
      TW5

      Why would they be upset, if their vehicles continue not selling abroad, while domestic production is protected? If they are upset at all, it’s because they can no longer fire Americans and Canadians, and hire Mexicans.

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        Because the US car makers are global companies, now.

        Cleaving their business into US-only and ROW efforts is going to be an expensive and messy process.

        My guess is that it would take longer than to reorganize these companies are ND that idea than Trump has in the white house.

  • avatar
    ernest

    I have nothing to add to this, other than to point out that it’s been 44 years since the first energy crisis, and we’ve yet to come up with a coherent, logical energy policy. The only saving grace is technology and good old fashioned know-how saved our sorry butts while the Middle East goes up in flames. That 44 yr timeframe includes politicians of all stripes and persuasions, so this isn’t a comment directed towards a specific Party or philosophy.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      ernest,
      You have quite a simplistic and generalised view here. The US will lose out on technology and progress to remain competitive in the bigger picture.

      You state you play the markets. So, what do you look for when buying shares? A quick overnight buck, or a longer term solid investment?

      • 0 avatar
        ernest

        I do tend to keep things simple. My own opinion is that we tend to over think things, and that does not add clarity. I’m also a deep seated pragmatist- I prefer to see the world as it is, not as I’d like it to be.

        As I see it, we are in the midst of seeing the US becoming energy independent. This has huge Geopolitical implications going forward, both for our allies and our enemies. It also has huge implications on domestic policy going forwards. Any thought of “America First,” or whatever name you wish to tag to this train of thought, would be impossible without that key component. My crystal ball is cloudy as to how this will all play out, but we are seeing the beginnings of some fundamental policy shifts. This is going to be extremely uncomfortable for the rest of the world to watch, as they learn to deal with shifting American priorities.

        At the same time, the Environmental Movement in the US has been forced to the courts after repeated defeats on the political front. This shift is relevant to this thread, as we are watching this play out first hand. While California cannot be dismissed due to sheer size and economic clout, they are also becoming increasingly marginalized in the halls where political clout really matters. And it pains them deeply. Again, not sure how this plays out, but it won’t be pretty.

        RE: Stocks. I’m an investor, not a trader. And I’m smart enough to know that picking individual stocks is a crap shoot, so I prefer index funds. Other than some Canuistani energy stocks I picked up a few decades ago, when everyone was chasing the latest tech craze. That worked out quite well, actually.

        It’s important to remember that we (the US) are presented with a different reality than what is faced in other parts of the world. And honestly, if the big one hit tomorrow, where else would you rather be? Geography has been kind to us, giving us a variety of riches (farmable land, natural resources, 12 month seaports, navigable rivers…. I could go on, but you get the idea). This won’t change in the foreseeable future.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          ernest,
          Thanks for your comment, it has been done with thought.

          I agree with most of what you stated, but tend to disagree with the role the US will play in the future. It will be significant, but significant as it moves towards a less influential economy.

          I’m hoping in the longer term you are factoring this in as this is relevant on how you invest.

          Geopolitically, the US will remain strong, but again with diminishing influence.

          Fortuneately or unfortuneatly the world is moving from NA – EU centre of power towards a EU – China – NA centre of power with many other countries moving forward.

          Have a look at Nigeria and how large it’s economy will be, even Indoneasia.

          I don’t like the Chinese form of government, but I do fully understand the Chinese flexing their muscles in East and SE Asia, the US does this in the Western Hemisphere. This Chinese action is unsettling the world.

          The other factor affecting the US future is the US once was the “only” place to provide, anything and everything to a post war global economy, now most everything can be had from a variety of sources. This is the current pressure the US is feeling, competition.

          The US needs to play this aspect of it’s influence wisely, or it will cost and other will go shopping, in China, EU, etc.

          • 0 avatar
            ernest

            Big Al-

            First of all, it’s good to be able to exchange some viewpoints, even if we occasionally disagree. There’s far too much shouting going on around here of late.

            “Geopolitically, the US will remain strong, but again with diminishing influence.”

            -This may be part of a larger plan, rather than a side effect.

            “Fortunately or unfortunately the world is moving from NA – EU centre of power towards a EU – China – NA centre of power with many other countries moving forward.”

            -Or not. From where I sit, the EU has more than it’s share of challenges. I’ll be vaguely surprised if the EU even still exists in a decade, at least in a form that we would recognize. Asia, however, is an entirely different story. You can surmise I believe we’ve overestimated the EU, and grossly underestimated China.

            ” The other factor affecting the US future is the US once was the “only” place to provide, anything and everything to a post war global economy, now most everything can be had from a variety of sources. This is the current pressure the US is feeling, competition.”

            -Yes… but at the same time political/economic realities at home will discount any teachable moments from the EU. Currently, the consensus is more that they are the poster child of everything you could do wrong. That may not be true, but don’t expect much understanding between us for awhile. China’s another matter. Their newfound wealth also makes them a much better potential partner. As opposed to Putin, who has played the military card because, frankly, it’s the only ace he’s holding in the deck. He’s still the leader of a third world country with a first world military- his options are limited.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          ernest,
          I forgot, I moved my money into cash and bonds. But most of my money/wealth is invested generated via property developement, rents and a generous renumeration package on retirement.

          My job gives me cash flow, pocket money and importantly gives me something to do everyday.

          • 0 avatar
            ernest

            I teach- but it’s my second career after I retired almost a decade ago. Still invested, not overly worried but watching. I’ve seen three market crashes in the time I’ve been active. In the long run, it’s all worked out.

            OT- didn’t see the museum in Bellingham on this last trip up to the islands, but will be sure to do it this summer.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    This will further diverge US vehicles from the majority.

    Trump whined no one is buying US vehicles and he does this. You wonder how the fnck this guy’s brain works.

    I’ve stated this previously the US will take a couple of decades to restructure it’s auto industry to be competitive enough to rake in some decent exports.

    I hope California for the US’es sake is able to persuade the auto manufacturers that decreasing standards will only reduce competitiveness and progress in the industry.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      “…This will further diverge US vehicles from the majority…”

      @BAFO – How so? This is exactly the kind of sh!t Europe (and its sphere of influence) has been putting on Euro consumers, area automakers and imports practically since there’s been cars.

      And now Europe is an automotive (and health) clusterfuk because of it.

      It would “further diverge” what’s available from what consumers want or need in the classic European method operandi.

    • 0 avatar
      TW5

      How’s Australia’s car industry doing? It seems they went along with the rest of the world and lost it all. Now they are an agricultural outpost and natural resource colony for the world’s biggest economies again. Sad. Is this why Australia sacrificed blood and treasure during WWII? So they could become the colonial sock puppet of Imperial Asia and the EU again?

      The WTO, IMF, UN, etc are trying to do the same thing to the US. They will not succeed, no matter how many traitors live in California or DC. Harmonizing standards will only make imports into the US easier. We need to straighten out NAFTA, EU, Japan and Korea. That will solve most of our problems. Our cumulative auto deficit with those nations is over $140B.

      Domestic manufacturers can help things along by winning back the luxury market, and filing lawsuits against public officials who use legislation to cause automotive upheaval in the US. People forget the malaise era was a manifestation of CAFE.

      • 0 avatar
        Sub-600

        They don’t even make Holdens anymore in Oz. Don’t they make Hyundais in NSW someplace, Port Kembla maybe?

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          Sub-600,
          Funny!

          We were smart enough (and to small a market) to continue building mediocre US quality vehicles.

          Best to leave that to the Thai’s, Chinese and the heavily socialised and subsidised countries in NA a the EU.

          The US complains that its not getting a fair deal in car exports and every US car exported is subsidised over $3 000 (2015).

          I suppose it saves me at the car yard at the expense of the US taxpayer.

          Thank you America for subsidising your vehicle exports!

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            “…The US complains that its not getting a fair deal in car exports and every US car exported is subsidised over $3 000 (2015)…”

            @BAFO – You still cannot back that up with anything fact/reality based. Or you simply scamper off when questioned.

            As always.

            Oz was building obsolete cars up ’til recently the US had ditched decades ago, similar to our El Camino, Ranchero, old Caprice fullsize on frame.

            That was thanks crazy tariffs Oz imposed on all imports, 59% at one time. No way they could exist otherwise.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            paraDiM,
            http://theconversation.com/factcheck-do-other-countries-subsidise-their-car-industry-more-than-we-do-16308

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Oh, Dimmest,
            Where are your links regarding US fullsize pickup sales in Australia? You know, how you state that everybody wants one?

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @BAFO – Thank you! It’s a 5 year old article (you’ve been siting for as long), the subsidies were from past administrations, and when it came to Cash-4-Clunkers, most of it went to import offshore brands.

            Similarly, US tariffs, the lowest of any meaningful market in the world, benefit import brands the most.

            The point is US Big 3 (or 2.5) now stand on their own feet. Sorry about the past, sorry about your dead Oz auto industry. That’s what really upsets you, no?

            But unless you’re in complete denial about US pickups current for sale and selling in Australia, both legit and grey market, there’s no “proof” or links necessary for me to pride, since I never made specific claims of sales volume, market penetration or anything of the sort.

            If you still need specific facts, let me know.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            dim,
            fnck off cockhead.

            You are a real fnckwit trolling sick fnck.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @BAFO – You mad Mate?

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        TW5,
        As good as other appliance manufacturers.

        Many like yourself just don’t get it.

        Manufacturing is moving in the direction of agriculture.

        You sound like someone from Bangledesh asking the US (and bragging) wheres your tee shirt manufacturing. Whilst the EU is better able to value add, the US wants to compete with developing nations.

        We do the engineering in Australia.

        Our auto sales actually were better than the US last year, with more choice.

        Again as I’ve stated in the past vehicle assembly is only a small part of all jobs related to transport.

        • 0 avatar
          pdog_phatpat

          Worry about your own country…for once you criminal.

        • 0 avatar
          TW5

          @ Big Al from Oz

          I don’t recall anyone arguing that the US should regain preeminence in the textiles industry. The US exports high end goods like airplanes, industrial machinery, and semiconductors.

          Unfortunately, foreign nations often place tariffs on our goods unless we agree to build them overseas, or the promise companies larger orders if they move jobs and production overseas. When we demand the same from them, the world has been trained to cry foul.

          The only thing we’re accomplishing when we cave to international pressure is firing the assembly line workers and turning them into retail associates at Walmart and warehouse workers at Amazon. This isn’t going to continue. We are going to engineer AND build AND produce the natural resources for production, and foreign nations are going to buy. If they refuse, bye bye. No more access to the US market.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            TW5,
            Where did I state the US should become involved in textiles? Read what I write, without added your inferences into my commenets as this distorts the context of what I put forward. Or, is this a subtle troll? Textiles was once was a viable industry, sort of like you pork farmers at the moment. That’s my point.

            Manufacturing can be broken down into two groups or even three, high tech, consumer goods (1. hardware) and (2.software).

            Now my ex – ex worked as a manager for a company called Big W in Australia and managed software, software in retail is clothing, footware, Manchester, etc. Hardware are pots/pans, fridges, ovens, cutlery, dishes, coffee table, TVs and sound, etc.

            The US once was the leader in pots and pans, fridges, electric kettles, etc now other countries can do it better for a lot less.

            I would group cars in with pots and pans and fridges.

            Australia can produce cars, mediocre large cars like the US is not competitive, like the US. It’s pointless stating but the EU does this or that. As I pointed out every US car we buy in Australia is subsidised by the US taxpayer and the US consumer is forced to pay an inflated price for larger vehicles to maintain this. Thank you ‘murican taxpayers, again.

            Cars are an emotive force in the simple minds of the low EI challenged populace.

            We have the same low EI people in Australia, the Ford and Holden guys who claim we should of kept making these losses to sate their low EI paradigms.

            But, why should a small portion of the populace force others to pay for their dreams?

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            TW5,
            As for tariffs, the US has the largest collection of technical barriers as well, globally. It’s not all based on dollar and cents tariffs. Goods and Services can be blocked or made more expensive by non tariff barriers.

            As for chips, well, Trump’s idea on screwing the Chinese has backfired. Did you know the Chinese government taxed each and every chip the Chinese chip companies manufactured? That tax is going to be removed. The outcome, not now, not next year, but over the next 5 years you will see the US supremecy on high tech chip manufacture challenged by the Chinese.

            Plus, manufacturing job losses is occurring globally, and the US doesn’t have any more right to the non existent jobs than anyone else. The Chinese have lost over 30 million manufacturing jobs in the recent past. So, penalising others for phantom job losses will p!ss a lot of friend and Allies.

            The US isn’t doing it as hard as many countries in the EU, Asia, etc. The US is doing quite well, so why this BS from Trump?

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @BAFO – What a bunch of garbage you put out, nonstop.

            So name some of these “non tariff” technical barriers. It’s the world’s “largest collection” so that should be real easy.

            Can you even name one?

            And doesn’t cut both ways? Doesn’t it make exporting just as much a “barrier”?

            And isn’t that “technical” feature simply meant to preserve the safety and health (emissions) of Americans?

            And with no intention of protecting domestic Camry sales, for example?

            But don’t Europe’s differing technical, non tariff barriers protect Europeans and Euro car sales just the same?

            Except it’s not the same. The US accepts amber or red “turn signals”, letting the automaker choose. RHD or LHD? Both are accepted for the US market.

            And most importantly, the US accepts small cars with tiny engines or gas hogs from Europe, Japan, Australia just the same.

            Then there’s “direct” tariff barriers… All other “barriers” pale in comparison.

            As a matter of fact, you still cannot name a meaningful car market more accepting of imports than the USA.

          • 0 avatar
            TW5

            @ Big Al from Oz

            Automobiles are a vital input of aggregate economic production in countries with relatively low population density. Automobiles are an emotive force in the minds of political dissidents who prefer to live according to moralistic social tropes, rather than objective fact.

            The United States is subsidizing global manufacturing with its trade deficit. No amount of tortured logic can alter reality. After decades of mercantile trade with the United States, many nations, particularly Asian nations, refuse to transition to domestic production. To make matters worse, they routinely buy US debt to thwart currency rebalancing as the US economy sags from trade imbalance.

            Everyone knows the US subsidizes the global economy, and everyone now realizes that American plutocrats and bureaucrats are perhaps the most enthusiastic participants in the sellout of the US. That’s why the G19 and the American plutocracy are so belligerent when the US unveils plans to compete with aggressive trade policy in addition to general economic policy. It’s why they spend so much time luring the US into absurd international agreements, which effectively thwart our negotiating power.

            The developed world has as much leverage over the US as a welfare recipient complaining to the government about high taxes. Once the traitors are cleared from our ranks, the G19 will have no cards left to play. They need to moan less, and figure out how to build domestic consumer economies.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            TW5,
            1. “Automobiles are a vital input of aggregate economic production in countries with relatively low population density.”

            Vehicle ownership is, not production of vehicles. Sort of like stating “Manufacturing hammers is pertinent to a viable construction industry”, or there will be no communications industry without cell phone manufacture, or no entertainment industry without TV manufacture.

            Pure nonsense TW5. Sorry.

            Remember cars are tools/instruments first, anything else above and beyond conveyance is in the mind of the owner, subjective emotion. A want.

            2. “The United States is subsidizing global manufacturing with its trade deficit. No amount of tortured logic can alter reality.”

            This statement is only partially true. I do believe you cherry pick and want to believe certain aspects of this to fit into your overall political paradigms and beliefs, ie, American Exceptionalism.

            If one looks at trade deficits vs government debt you’ll see many nations with lower trade deficits have a large government debt.

            The US is not alone with trade deficits. Australia has been acruing a trade deficit since the 1980s. Ours is much larger proportionally than the US’es.

            Many countries run a trade deficits.

            This means the US needs to change the way it does business, and taxing others to give yourself a handicap will not achieve the best outcome.

            Also, Trump and by the sounds of it you have little concept on how trade works. You want to simpilfy the multi level transactions that is involved in international trade.

            http://www.atimes.com/article/high-tech-china-still-cant-make-decent-bolts-balls-pens/

            http://www.news.com.au/finance/business/manufacturing/the-lie-behind-the-made-in-china-claim/news-story/0f7bb57b04eda35172618c4a5fbc08fe#itm=newscomau%7Cfinance%7Cnca-finance-plmnt-trending%7C1%7Csection-finance%7Cindex%7Cnews.com.au%20%E2%80%94%20australia%E2%80%99s%20%231%20news%20site%20%7C%20finance%20%7C%20index%20%7C%20finance&itmt=1522615767963

            Here’s an excerpt to show you how much you overstate. You have this fear due to the lack of full comprehension, like many not just in the US but globally about China.

            “In the case of pens, there is also the problem of China’s inability to produce the highest quality of steel materials.
            Today the country still relies heavily on high-quality steel alloys imported from Germany, Japan, Russia and the United States to build its high-speed railways, bridges and even aircraft carriers and submarines.”

            The same goes for Apple “Chinese” products. China only assembles them with a value of 3.6% of the total product. US value in the Chinese Apple Phones is 24%.

            There is so much misinformation and people are buying it up.

            3. “Everyone knows the US subsidizes the global economy”

            A wet dream comment, really TW5. After a few discussions with you I really thought you would be smarter than this. Wow! Pure and utter American Exceptionalistic arrogance.

            The World outside of the US is over 80% of the world economy! The US is significant, remove the blinders and research. You will be amazed at the world outside of the US.

            Life isn’t like a Superman Movie. Everyone is not out to “get the US or Metropolis”. But, this fits in well with your fear of the unknown.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            TW5, My original comment had a link that was bad.
            1. “Automobiles are a vital input of aggregate economic production in countries with relatively low population density.”

            Vehicle ownership is, not production of vehicles. Sort of like stating “Manufacturing hammers is pertinent to a viable construction industry”, or there will be no communications industry without cell phone manufacture, or no entertainment industry without TV manufacture.

            Pure nonsense TW5. Sorry.

            Remember cars are tools/instruments first, anything else above and beyond conveyance is in the mind of the owner, subjective emotion. A want.

            2. “The United States is subsidizing global manufacturing with its trade deficit. No amount of tortured logic can alter reality.”

            This statement is only partially true. I do believe you cherry pick and want to believe certain aspects of this to fit into your overall political paradigms and beliefs, ie, American Exceptionalism. The World outside of the US IS 80% of the global economy. So, how can you make the claim you have?

            Look at a home. If household income is $1000pw and the father is raking in 20%. Can he claim to be “keeping the boat afloat”. He plays a part, but not as significant as he’d like to think.

            If one looks at trade deficits vs government debt you’ll see many nations with lower trade deficits have a large government debt.

            The US is not alone with trade deficits. Australia has been acruing a trade deficit since the 1980s. Ours is much larger proportionally than the US’es.

            Many countries run a trade deficits.
            This means the US needs to change the way it does business, and taxing others to give yourself a handicap will not achieve the best outcome. This will incur costs to the consumer.

            Also, Trump and by the sounds of it you have little concept on how trade works. You want to simpilfy the multi level transactions that is involved in international trade.

            http://www.atimes.com/article/high-tech-china-still-cant-make-decent-bolts-balls-pens/

            Here’s an excerpt to show you how much you overstate. You have this fear due to the lack of full comprehension, like many not just in the US but globally about China.

            “In the case of pens, there is also the problem of China’s inability to produce the highest quality of steel materials.
            Today the country still relies heavily on high-quality steel alloys imported from Germany, Japan, Russia and the United States to build its high-speed railways, bridges and even aircraft carriers and submarines.”

            The same goes for Apple “Chinese” products. China only assembles them with a value of 3.6% of the total product. US value in the Chinese Apple Phones is 24%. And this figure doesn’t include the US retail margin.

            There is so much misinformation and people are buying it up.
            3. “Everyone knows the US subsidizes the global economy”

            A wet dream comment, really TW5. After a few discussions with you I really thought you would be smarter than this. Wow! Pure and utter American Exceptionalistic arrogance.
            The World outside of the US is over 80% of the world economy! The US is significant, remove the blinders and research. You will be amazed at the world outside of the US.

            Life isn’t like a Superman Movie. Everyone is not out to “get the US or Metropolis” and Superman doesn’t really save the world.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    My good deed for the day:
    What are the California emissions states?
    The states that have adopted the California standards are: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico (2011 model year), New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington, as well as the District of Columbia.
    Just the facts

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      el scotto,
      It’s the “Left Coast” and NE.

      From what I’ve read there are other State in the Union that don’t agree with Trump on his Climate Change paradigms. Add to this the many businesses that don’t support Trump.

      I wonder if they will lobby the States to move towards CARB and some of the States sign up to CARB.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    @Big Al–I don’t agree with the rescinding of the 2025 efficiency standards but I do think that there should have been a compromise of maybe delaying these standards for another 3 to 5 years. I believe fuel efficiency standards and pollution standards need to have more input from auto industry engineers. As many have mention the flaw in current CAFE gives preference to vehicles that are small and those that are large. I don’t really see a large market for US specific vehicles anywhere outside of the US and this is regardless of whether US tightens or loosens tariffs and regulations. Europe has its own set of tariffs and taxes that restrict and tax vehicles above a certain size engine displacement and encourages diesel engines in the past. I don’t see higher fuel taxes and a tax on engine displacement being on the political horizon in the US anytime in the near future.

    I also don’t agree with putting higher tariffs on imported goods just to protect a market. I do believe tariffs should be fair and tariffs should be reciprocal in that if a country has a tariff that is high that the US should respond with a similar tariff with that country. Tariffs across the board should be fair and equal. I also don’t believe that an industry is sustainable in the long run with Government loans and support. I doubt the US will ever become a large exporter of vehicles but there are other products that we have that are more unique or that our expertise is better.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    Jeff,
    The comments you made are very broad and open. Your comprehension of targeting tariffs doesn’t take into account all the other barrier to trade, which I might add are more restrictive than a tariff, as a tariff is a simple cost, once the cost is paid you can have the product, whereas barriers stop.

    As for tariffs, I don’t believe in them at all as they distort reality.

    If a country is not competitive at something, like life, then drop it. How many people would like to be a fighter pilot? The reality is most don’t have the ability.

    The same goes for countries. As the world shrinks and manufacturing becomes “giga” in scale, many nations will need to look at what areas of manufacturing they want to be apart of.

    The scale of the global economy is becoming so huge, even the US economy will find areas it can’t compete in and generally the first ones to go are the repetitive process driven ones, especially with AI and robotics.

    I understand many older people in the US remember the “Golden Era of the US”, but as each day passes this is becoming more distant.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Big Al I understand the other barriers but I also am realistic that there are tariffs and if a leader is going to use tariffs to balance trade at the very least make the tariffs reciprocal. It is unrealistic to have no tariffs and compete with other countries that have prohibitive tariffs, As for the other restrictions what do you call taxes on engine displacement and vehicle size. What do you call quotas that limit the number of vehicles that can be imported from a specific country. The US is not the only country with a Chicken Tax or restrictions which if you were giving a fair and legitimate argument you would mention as well.

    Maybe you misunderstand me but the only way to increase global trade in vehicles is to have global uniform standards on safety and emissions. This is where industry would benefit because they could spread the costs of compliance over more units. Ideally there should be no or low tariffs with uniform standards but I don’t see that happening anytime soon.

    Eventually the cost of labor will become less of an issue as more automation is being used in manufacturing autos and other consumer products.

    Big Al as for older people remembering the Golden Era of the US I am not that much older than you. I remember that Golden Era growing up but for most of my adult life I have not experienced it. The Golden Era you mentioned was a one time event that will probably not be repeated in the US. No country or empire remains top dog forever. Greeks, Romans, Spain, Great Britain, and now the US all have been top dogs. China has been emerging to take the top dog position.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      Jeff,
      The problem is the US is not performing poorly.

      It seems most are concentrating on manufacturing, when in fact 80% of the US economy is service based.

      Trump is conveniently omitting the service side of US global trade. This is where the US makes money, not as much from manufacturing. Like I stated their is a global midsize boom, why isn’t the US exporting midsizers? The answer is the US is not competitive. So, if you are not competitive giving yourself a handicap takes from other areas where you should invest to capitalise to gain advantage.

      Just because you can make a car doesn’t mean you should, especially when you can make more in pork.

      Also, so how is a trade deficit bad for a nation? You seem to be on the far left or far right bandwagon here.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    As for the US competing in all areas you are correct the US cannot compete in all products (ie. textiles, consumer electronics or small appliances, and basic low cost transportation). But having said that it is more idealistic to aspire to a global market where there are no tariffs and no barriers and you at least have to recognize that as humans we are far from perfect. The US is not the only country to have trade barriers.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      Who said the US is not the only country to have tariffs?

      Trying to justify a stance to support your paradigms seems to be you motive.

      Understand trade. Trade is not like buying a hamburger.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    “…standards need more input from auto industry engineers…”

    @Jeff – *Some* input would be better than what they have now.

    Politicians dreamed up the 2025 schedule out of thin air, zero basis on reality, or even science fiction.

    Without drastic changes, compact cars on up, why even attempt it? Not even Toyota can comply without killing off most everything with Camry MPG or worse, probably including the Camry.

    It’s starting to look like CARB has been the main sponsor of the 2025 standard, as maniacal as they are, plus their apesh!t reaction to the unofficial news of its demise.

    CARB doesn’t give a crap what impact the standard would have the auto industry and car market, or how it’ll impact California’s fragile economy.

    Comically CARB (a decade ago) was expecting the aftermarket to invent a “cheap” bolt-on DEF emissions “system”, for California commercial pre-emissions diesels, scheduled to be banned *without* DEF emissions.

    Of course it never happened. No “add-on” DEF systems, nor the “bans”

    Never mind if the entire US followed through and adopted it. What a frickin’ disaster… You think Europe is a mess……………………..

  • avatar

    Europe is a mess for centuries. Watch what Europeans do and do the opposite. The good thing is that Europe Americanized a little bit after WWII and at least is not on suicidal mission for last 70 years, unfortunately though things started to change for worse lately.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    @DenverMike–That is why I believe that if there are to be stricter standards on efficiency there should be experienced auto engineers determining these standards and not just bureaucrats. Ford, GM, and FCA are global companies and have to compete globally as well not just the USA. Not entirely disagreeing with you but there are too many jobs related to the auto industry to not care. In the past auto companies have met and exceeded the standards when they have stated that they could never meet the standards. Having little or no standards is not an answer nor is having unrealistic standards or an unrealistic time line. Economic costs should be a consideration as well.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      Jeff,
      There is a standard out there, except the US will not adopt them. It’s one of those technical trade barriers.

      If the US at a Federal level adopted what everyone else is doing, the US will have influence in global vehicle standards. Lots actually.

      This whole CARB/EPA/CAFE saga is all the doing of protectionism.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        “This whole CARB/EPA/CAFE saga is all the doing of protectionism.”

        No. But before I ask you why, I have a different question:
        —- Would you really want to go by EU rules where ANY vehicle with an engine larger than 2 litres gets a hefty luxury tax added on? Because by what you just said, that’s exactly what you’re calling for.

        So how are CARB/EPA/CAFE “protectionism”? That’s the job of the Chicken Tax.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          BAFO screams “Protectionism”, thinks later. This whole mess is very European in nature, and would closer aligns US/EU “regs” than anything else.

          The first image I get when thinking about it is crappy little cars with stinking 1 liter diesels running around everywhere.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          Vulpine,
          Its not European regulations! Research!

          Each individual country sets taxation on fuel and even engine capacity to suit their agenda.

          Australia uses the UN (it’s not EU) design standards. If the French, Norwegians or Danes want to tax a vehicle or fuel a certain way they can. But all vehicles manufactured in China, Thailand, Spain all meet a harmonised standard.

          Look within the EU and you will see differing vehicle markets. Norway EVs, French diesel, Germans more gas less diesel than France, Australia V6, V8s and lots of larger vehicles.

          Sh!t! I’m sick and tired of this EU nonsense! The EU doesn’t dictate Aussies to 3 cylinder cars. But those 3 cylinder cars meet our standards.

          RESEARCH! I DID NOT STATE THE USA MUST ADDHERE TO ANY COUNTRY, even the EU.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Where did I once mention the Australians or Chinese or Asians in my comment? As for the EU, from what I’ve read, the EU does have a ruling that any vehicle carrying larger than a 2 litre gasoline engine (and maybe diesel, for all I know) gets a luxury tax tied to it at purchase. The comment to which I was responding specifically stated EU rules and that’s all I was responding to. I can promise you, almost no American wants to be limited to a 2 litre engine even if what they’re driving now carries a 1.4 or 1.6. Electrics would be immune to that rule for obvious reasons, though if they have a range-extender engine then they would likely be affected.

            The whole point of this discussion is finding ways to control pollution which, until recently, CAFE’s mileage limits served the overall purpose. I understand they’re going to try to break California’s “waiver” but I think California’s CARB is a different enough ruling that the EPA may not be able to affect it. California’s CARB doesn’t discuss mileage but rather demands ZEV (zero emissions vehicles) and makes no call on how many miles per gallon, as long as it simply doesn’t pollute. This will be a hard-fought battle by what is proving to be a very weak administration and I’m expecting California and CARB will still win, even if CAFE remains in place (at lowered specs.)

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    @Big Al–I never said trade was like buying a hamburger. You said that. I do think you are just looking at the US as the only country with unbalanced markets and lack of free trade. Is Europe any better? I am open to a balanced discussion but you cannot have one if you ignore everything else.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      I don’t support the fact that if someone else taxes you, you should tax them.

      Where does it end? This argument about US job losses is in a small part due to more competitive (cheaper) producers, but this should also be a catalyst for the more modern nations to improve our production like we have done in agriculture.

      It seems with the current train of thought by some in the US (and elsewhere) we would still be using sycles and styes to harvest our grain. We didn’t we mechanised our agriculture to the point where we are more competitive than the cheapest of labour. And there will be job losses, like agriculture.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        “I don’t support the fact that if someone else taxes you, you should tax them.”

        When it comes to international economies, there comes a need for balance. If you, personally, were taxed over and above the price of something shipped to you (but of which you, individually, would not be using, just letting it pass through your hands) would you not want to reciprocate somehow? Or would you effectively let that other rob you blind–take your money–without trying to get at least some of it back?

        I agree, taxes are an annoyance but countries need those taxes in order to keep operating as a country. Without those taxes, they would bankrupt almost immediately. Those taxes do serve a purpose, even if they’re sometimes ‘painful’. Problem is, SOME are unnecessary and this ‘trade war’ that is beginning is going to show a lot of people why.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Big Al–You need to reread some of my comments. I never stated that the US should compete in all manufacturing nor do I agree with the President’s trade policy. You are using left and right labels against me when in reality I am neither. I am more pragmatic. I thought you were more solid than to revert to calling someone a leftist or right wing. I do believe that the US needs to make something that the World will buy, you cannot survive as a nation if you are just importing and not exporting. You don’t have to have perfectly balanced trade but large trade deficits in the long run are harmful to any country. If you think those positions are extreme then that is your problem.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      Jeff,
      It seems many in the US are concentrating on the wrong exports, like, vehicles, pots and pans, airconditioners, etc. These are all developing nation types of goods, almost like Tee Shirts.

      The logic I think is these are the items that people feel and see every day.

      Where people need to look is at companies like Boeing. Look at what the US is good at, advanced engineering and design is a good start. Even Mcdonalds and Subway are US exports along with Amex.

      I think the problem in the US is the world has changed too rapidly for many of the people over 45 and they want the comfort of the days of old.

      As for the jobs in the “Rust Belt”, they are gone and not to China or Mexico, this is just pure bullsh!t. Most went the way of automation, this is the future.

      As for jobs in the future, well maybe the US people need to sit down and have a good look at themselves and wonder how can education change? Health? Providing decent livable wages to the lowest income earners.

      30% of all jobs are not middle class, they are low paying one in 3 or 4 have a great chance to be living day to day with little scope to get and education and health cover. The opportunities just don’t exist in the future and the US will not get jobs back from other nations. The US must create new and innovative jobs for the future. Like I pointed out above, this requires investment by all in the US. But, who wants to pay tax so another might do better than them?

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        “As for the jobs in the “Rust Belt”, they are gone and not to China or Mexico, this is just pure bullsh!t. Most went the way of automation, this is the future.”

        Your commentary lately has not been like you, BA. I understand you get a lot of harassment on these sites but over the last year you’ve become as bad or worse than some of those with opposing views. Please come back to reasoned thought.

        For all that I have supported many comments of yours in the past (and you, mine) this one I cannot accept. I, personally, am a victim of having more than one of my jobs outsourced; one to Mexico and another to Japan. One of them was a major electronic component manufacturer while the other made multi-hundred-ton items out of heavy steel (I’m talking 4″-8″ thick, solid steel.) Those jobs went away, taking a good salary (for the time) with them. Obviously, when that steel job went away, the American foundries suffered as well.

        I do admit we have a problem here, now. Many Americans simply don’t want the hard-labor jobs in service industries like fast food and hotel operations. They don’t want to work the farms where the crops need to be harvested manually. We supposedly have automated machines (and illegal immigrants) to take on those distasteful jobs. Too many have gotten used to letting technology do the hard work and only want jobs where they can oversee those machines. BUT… truly motivated immigrants are also taking the technology jobs–mostly because they are better educated either right here in our own universities and colleges or elsewhere. The American educational system–public education at least–is losing ground rapidly to overseas educational quality for some obvious (but willfully blinded to) reasons. Clearly this could become a political argument in a heartbeat but I’m going to try to avoid that.

        The point is that jobs have gone away. Americans don’t want the jobs that are available and many of those jobs could be better served by automation and probably will, in time. You are right that these people need to look at where things have gone and quit complaining; they’ve done it to themselves in so many ways. Because of education and the will to improve, I now live somewhere within the top 20% (I think) but not all that long ago I stood on the verge of homelessness. Rather than complaining, we should be trying to better ourselves and not letting politicians tell us what we can or cannot do when it comes to employment and education.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          Vulpine,
          The problems you have raised is occurring worldwide, it seems many in the US and even on this site consider it an “us against them, winner takes all” mindset.

          I have also had my job reduced, outsourced and even a computer take over most of my systems fault finding knowledge.

          You must adapt and move on. The problem is many are sitting back expecting others or the government to fix their woes. And in the Western World I would rate the US as one of the worst countries in helping it’s citizens in re-education and welfare.

          I really do believe many in the US are afraid of the future. I dislike the Chinese, but I dislike the Russians even more. But, credit must be given where credit is due. Just bad mouthing the EU, or as TW5 has done shown his true colours in the way in which he named Obama is quite unsettling. Then add this to his view on the current state of the US and how to repair the US is quite frightening that a person who is intelligent can have the thought processes he does. He is driven by emotion with little logic.

          DenverMike, I’m serious the guy is a serial troll. If you read his use of language he is not silly, but yet he will constantly go down the paths he does. I do believe the moderators should of gotten onto him a lot earlier. All the moderators need to do to clamp down on DenverMike is request he produce examples and links supporting his stance, like any debate.

          I do have empathy for the workers in the US that lost jobs due to automation, offshoring or something else. But, the fact remains this has been going on globally for eons and the US is no less immune to this than any other country.

          As I’ve pointed numerous times in the past regarding the control exercised in the US market for the continuing development, promotion of large vehicles will come at a cost one day. This day is arriving. As is seen by this so called imbalance in US exports. It seems if you don’t build something attractive to a consumer they will not buy and the world is not geared up for full size pickups and pickup truck station wagons of very average quality and large expense.

          I have conviction in my arguments and can support my arguments generally with data. I don’t just make subjective comments that make me feel good. That achieves nothing.

          I do believe I have a low tolerance level of Trump and people who WANT to believe in him. If these people applied logic in their support of him, they will soon be disillusioned. Oh, I’m not a Dem either.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @Big Al: “The problems you have raised is occurring worldwide, it seems many in the US and even on this site consider it an “us against them, winner takes all” mindset.
            “I have also had my job reduced, outsourced and even a computer take over most of my systems fault finding knowledge.
            “You must adapt and move on. The problem is many are sitting back expecting others or the government to fix their woes. And in the Western World I would rate the US as one of the worst countries in helping it’s citizens in re-education and welfare.”

            I see you’ve chosen to ignore the rest of my comment where I clearly stated that I’m in better shape now than I was then. I didn’t give up when I lost those jobs; I moved on. My point is that far too many DO give up. They want it all handed to them on a platter (or at the street corner.) The problem is, what support they might have had to get back on their feet is being taken away by our current administration. Said administration is doing everything it can to completely destroy its own political party as a result.

  • avatar
    krhodes1

    My $.02. CAFE is, has been, and always will be an incredibly stupid means of influencing consumer behavior. Because ultimately it is forcing manufacturers to make something that their customers do not particularly want. Because while most everyone pays lip service to “better fuel economy”, most people don’t really care much at all. As has been pointed out, once you get to 30mpg or so it is all majorly diminishing returns. Just another instance of supply-side economics not working. If you want to change consumer behavior, it needs to be done on the demand side. Make people WANT to drive more efficient vehicles. The only effective way I know of to do that is through taxation, either by taxing engine power or taxing fuel. Or taxing/regulating CO2 emissions, which is ultimately the same thing as fuel economy. The Europeans have done this VERY effectively. They have a very healthy auto market where you can buy just about anything you want. And companies can sell just about anything they want. But if you as a consumer want something that uses a lot of fuel, you are going to PAY for it, upfront, annually, and at the gas pump. And in turn, this has given those countries the money to invest in infrastructure such that there is less need for cars. I don’t think the US can go to quite the same extreme due to geography if nothing else, but we surely are too far in the other direction IMHO.

    It makes absolutely zero sense to me to have a consumer tax regime that makes it so that the best selling vehicles on the road are monsterous pickup trucks, but at the same time force manufacturers to somehow make their entire fleet meet a standard that is much higher than what people want to buy can achieve.

    Of course consumer taxation of sufficient level to change behavior is a non-starter in the US.

    Finally, California does have a unique problem in the geography of So. Cal. making it an absolute necessity for them to clamp down on smog production. And I think other states have the right to choose to follow that. If you don’t like it, vote your local politicians who supported adopting those standards out of office – we are a representative democracy last time I checked. Though for the most part, since the US does not currently regulate CO2 emissions of cars to my knowledge, fuel economy and emissions regulations should be mostly two separate things. Scrap CAFE in favor of demand-side measures, and keep the smog emissions (NoX and hydrocarbons) in place. Demand side measures encouraging fuel economy take care of CO2, because they are two sides of the same coin anyway.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      “…The Europeans have done this VERY effectively…”

      If you’re referring to the gigantic clusterfuk they created, health related disaster, and ecological nightmare, then, EXACTLY!

      I just believe Americans deserve better, and don’t need to be smacked like dogs with a “taxation” rolled up newspaper, until we submit to the desired command.

      It’s obviously the majority that want midsize or greater.

      So how high do you think the tax should be? Besides large SUVs, huge pickup trucks will still exist thanks to industry, farming, hot shotting, etc. It still won’t stop the bro dozer movement, way of life and or coal rollers.

      OK don’t buy one, but it’s great to have the choice, if your occupation, family or hobbies change where you need or want a bigger ride.

      The simpler answer isn’t always the better one. Just ask Europe.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        “OK don’t buy one, but it’s great to have the choice, if your occupation, family or hobbies change where you need or want a bigger ride.”

        You should talk, DM. You’re all for “choice”, as long as it’s bigger. When it comes to those asking for small (not just smallER) you’re adamantly against any form of “choice.”

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      CAFE was never meant to influence CUSTOMER behavior; it has always been intended for the OEM, to develop more fuel efficient and therefore less polluting vehicles. When gas prices were high, fuel economy became a concern for the driver… to the point that on at least a couple of the spikes where fuel prices approached (and exceeded in some areas) $4/gallon, sales of large pickups and SUVs tanked and small cars made a killing at the showroom. Losing the small truck cost the OEMs enormously until fuel prices fell back to the low $2 range. I would note that gas prices are rising again with regular ranging from $2.65 to $2.95 within a 20-mile radius of my home. Mid-grade is already exceeding $3/gallon in many of those stations while diesel is again meeting or exceeding premium prices.

      No, it’s not the taxes that are making those big trucks the best-selling rig; their size alone is doing that because we no longer have truly large luxury cars–at least here in the States. Remember, for many Americans, Bigger is always Better, until they can’t afford it.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        You’re talking about a small vehicle “choices” that went away on their own, meaning lack of sales.

        It’s your (strong) opinion there would be substantial or adequate sales if they came back, but it’s still an opinion (that automakers don’t share).

        I didn’t say CAFE “influences” buyer behavior, Krhodes did. But if CAFE limits or changes choices “available” to consumers, ultimately it does. And that’s exactly what 2025 CAFE was fixing to do. Except Radically.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          As I’ve proven to you hundreds of times before, over the course of no less than five years, you are totally wrong. Small trucks didn’t die because nobody wanted them, they died because they were priced out of competition.

          And Krhodes is the one who said CAFE was meant to influence customer behavior, not you. So I wasn’t talking to you in that statement whatsoever.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            What small trucks were “priced out to the market”? The Rabbit trucklett? The Ranger?

            Are you serious??

            As (more than affordable) mini-truck sales were slipping, falling off the map, sales of midsize SUVs were taking off like wildfire!

            But yet those midsize SUVs were a way bit more expensive than mini-trucks, which you feel (for some odd reason) were priced out of the market?

            You yourself followed the trend, from mini-truck to SUV, (Mity Max for a Wrangler) IIRC.

            You were part of the problem, as much as anyone else.

            Automakers simply moved on to greener pastures. Foreign lands (with little or no other choices than midsize pickups) or the midsize SUV boom, right here in the US.

            So when a few aging dudes like yourself started feeling all nostalgic for “old skool” mini-trucks, why are you so surprised manufactures weren’t patiently waiting around for you guys to return someday?

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            “You yourself followed the trend, from mini-truck to SUV, (Mity Max for a Wrangle) IIRC.”
            —- Well, if you want to count 25 years in between. But then, by the time I bought that SUV, there was no such thing as a “mini truck” and the mid-sizers even then had grown larger than what I wanted.

            That’s right, there were 25 years between 1983 and 2008. By no means was that, “following the trend.” And my Mitsubishi was NOT the “Mighty Max” but rather the Sport, an up-level trim above the Mighty Max.

            That also means I was NOT part of the problem; no consumer was.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            The amazing “Mini-Truck Craze wasn’t sustainable, long term, and merely a hot trend that simply came and went.

            Spare us your conspiracy theories.

            American weren’t big fans of small pickups beforehand, and just went back you not owning small pickups, in a big way.

            These weren’t your normal “truck” buyers. Folks from every walk of life got in on it. Teachers, secretaries, waitresses, bank tellers, college students, office workers, etc, etc.

            That’s why so many ’80s mini-trucks are still popping up in near-mint condition, never seeing a day of hard work.

            Fullsize pickups were still the domain of “industry” mostly, and never saw a dip in sales throughout the Mini-Truck Craze, where as mini-trucks crossed over to the mainstream, replacing “small car” sales to a great degree, especially import cars.

            The Mini-Truck Craze coincided with the “quotas” placed on Japanese cars, which became scarce, dealers were “price gouging” Japanese cars, and Japanese car makers were forcing all the “options” they could load on their cars.

            Meanwhile Japanese import pickups could be had all day “loaded” with options or complete strippers, not even a rear bumper, no AC, no PS, etc.

            There were no “quotas” on import pickups so Japanese automakers wisely flooded the US with cut-rate pickups Americans temporarily fell in love with.

            They weren’t exactly Japanese cars, but Japanese mini-trucks, held the same virtues, value, and of course “quality” and “reliability”, not to mention “resale”.

            Once quotas were dropped, buyers returned to Japanese cars, that were now made in the US, strippers, no problem.

            By then “Big 3” automakers had stepped up their game, now selling small cars with much improved quality, reliability, desirability, etc. Before the quotas, remember the Pinto, Chevette, and such?

            Now enter smaller and midsize SUVs, Samurais to Troopers, Explorers to Discos, Wranglers to Bravadas, 4Runners to Cherokees, Trackers to whatevers, way too many to list.

            It was the perfect storm for mini-trucks. CAFE even did them a huge favor as sales were in free-fall, early ’90s. The EPA made/declared mini-trucks exempt from the gas guzzler tax, same as fullsize pickups.

            Then guess what happened next? Yes mini-trucks began to grow, added a second row for passengers, 4-doors, and of course, added mass in all the right places to please the NHTSA.

            The rest is History.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            “These weren’t your normal “truck” buyers. Folks from every walk of life got in on it. Teachers, secretaries, waitresses, bank tellers, college students, office workers, etc, etc.”

            —- That’s exactly the POINT! The people who want these small trucks are NOT “normal truck buyers.” These are people who want and need a compact utility vehicle that lets them carry the odd load without committing to a giant Road Whale™ of a modern mid-sized or full-sized pickup.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            “Now enter smaller and midsize SUVs, Samurais to Troopers, Explorers to Discos, Wranglers to Bravadas, 4Runners to Cherokees, Trackers to whatevers, way too many to list.”
            “The rest is History.”

            Yup. Mahindra has brought back the ‘sub-compact’ SUV due to an obvious HIGH DEMAND for really compact off-roaders. Can you really be so certain that there’s no current demand for properly compact pickup trucks?

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            thepeoplehistory.com/80scars.html

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            That doesn’t prove your point, DM. Every truck on that list came BEFORE the prices jumped.

            Truck prices doubled in late ’84.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Yep it’s official. You’re insane. Nothing doubled in price in ’84.. click on the other page, there’s more.

            Inflation hit everything equal, but my dad bought a new Nissan Hard Body in ’89 for just under $6,000 base manual with the better bumper and A/C included.

            Off the rails much?

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