By on April 14, 2018

As it stands, the only Chevrolet vehicles not offered with available four-cylinder power are the Suburban, Tahoe, and Silverado lines of full-size trucks. Everywhere else, from the diminutive Spark hatch to the Camaro sports coupe and the full-size Impala sedan, and from the Equinox and Traverse crossovers to the Colorado pickup, you’ll find at least the option of a gasoline four-banger displacing no more than 2.5 liters.

Even if you choose a V6 or V8, there’s a good chance it’ll also run on four cylinders under light loads.

Now that the legislation that expedited the engine downsizing trend is poised to disappear, the brand says it’s not changing course. Chevrolet will pretend there’s still an Obama in the Oval Office and that its hide depends on making steady fuel economy gains.

As reported by Motor Trend, Steve Majoros, Chevrolet’s head of cars and crossovers, told assembled media that the looming rollback of corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) requirements by the EPA won’t change the brand’s product strategy.

“The commitments that we’ve made and the statements that we’ve made about our future portfolio remain,” Majoros said. “You know, we’re very proud of all the things we’ve done from a fuel efficiency standpoint. Whether it’s increased fuel efficiency, you know, stop/start technology, more transmissions, lightweighting, diesels, all the things we’re doing are just one part of a broader commitment that we’ve got. Nothing’s going to change based on that. We’ve got future plans.”

Under the Obama-era fuel economy rules, fleetwide light-duty fuel consumption was pegged at 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. While automakers did a good job adapting their lineups to the standards through use of the technologies mentioned above, the 2022-2025 period was cause for worry. That last sprint towards the finish line stood to cost manufacturers big. To reach the goal, large investments in (and widespread adoption of) electrification would be required. Naturally, lobby groups had a field day.

One of the groups seeking a reversal of Obama’s pledge, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, represented GM. Some of the demands weren’t quite as contentious as “let us build gas guzzlers with impunity.” Automakers hoped to gain extra credit for the installation of stop/start systems, nor did they want the upstream emissions from power plants to count against their electric vehicles.

At this early stage, no one knows where exactly the new MPG target will land. Should gasoline prices soar, the automaker with the least thirsty fleet stands to gain extra customers, so there’s an incentive in continuing the push towards fuel-saving technologies. While there’ll always be a well-monied clientele in the market for 5.3- and 6.2-liter body-on-frame SUVs, keeping a turbo four under the hood of its top-selling crossovers seems like a good way for GM to hedge its bets.

Even if gas prices stay low, many customers still shop with MPGs in mind.

“If you look at things like Equinox, the latest products we’ve brought out, our fuel economy’s going up anywhere from three to five miles per gallon whether it’s highway, city, combined,” said Majoros. “So we have a number of things in place to make sure that we continue on that journey, and nothing’s going to change fundamentally from that.”

[Image: General Motors]

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99 Comments on “Tiny Engines Have a Home in Chevrolet Vehicles, Regardless of What the EPA Decides...”


  • avatar
    ajla

    “As it stands, the only Chevrolet vehicles not offered with available four-cylinder power are the Suburban, Tahoe, and Silverado lines of full-size trucks.”

    Stay outta Bowling Green, Steph.

  • avatar
    dwford

    Lowering the standards isn’t necessary. Extending the timeline is, to allow the technology to mature and come down in price. A 5 year extension to meet the standards would do it.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    “Even if you choose a V6 or V8, there’s a good chance it’ll also run on four cylinders under light loads.”

    They’ve been trying displacement on demand since 1980. This is just the realization of a nearly forty year goal.

    ““The commitments that we’ve made and the statements that we’ve made about our future portfolio remain,” ”

    We’ve already spent to much money on the next gen and won’t backpedal.

    “Whether it’s increased fuel efficiency, you know, stop/start technology, more transmissions, lightweighting, diesels, all the things we’re doing are just one part of a broader commitment that we’ve got.”

    Transmission and transaxle problems, less soundproofing, and diesels no one will buy are just some of the things we are committed too.

    “keeping a turbo four under the hood of its top-selling crossovers seems like a good way for GM to hedge its bets.”

    So the non-leasing crowd should not buy any of these.

    “Even if gas prices stay low, many customers still shop with MPGs in mind.”

    Look no further than Toyota’s HSD lineup.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      28-Cars-Later,
      “They’ve been trying displacement on demand since 1980”

      Not really, turbo charging has been around for eons. The use of turbo charging even in the 80s was more performance orientated and not aimed at FE. There is a difference.

      Also, most turbo charging in the 80s was a turbo bolted onto the largest engine offered in a vehicle, or even a larger displacement engine with a turbo.

      Now, turbo charging is aimed directly at FE gains, not hp and torque, even though the turbo does multiply this. If it was any different you would have EcoThirst 5 litre F-150s, not 2.7 and 3.5 EcoThirsts.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I think you misunderstand. I am talking about displacement on demand, or what GM calls active fuel management.

        “For 1981 Cadillac introduced a new engine that would become notorious for its unreliable electronics, the V8-6-4 (L62). The L61 had not provided a significant improvement in the company’s CAFE numbers, so Cadillac and Eaton Corporation devised a cylinder deactivation system called Modulated Displacement that would shut off two or four cylinders in low-load conditions such as highway cruising, then reactivate them when more power was needed.”

        en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cadillac_V8_engine#368_and_V8-6-4

        • 0 avatar
          ToddAtlasF1

          Displacement on demand is keeping Honda’s service bays humming with V6s being reringed all day long. It’s another idiot tax being paid for Obama’s election.

          • 0 avatar

            Honda screwing up isn’t political….

          • 0 avatar
            kvndoom

            Speedlaw, everything is Obama’s fault, whether it took place when he was in office or not. If you remember that, then it’s easier to suffer through the comments section these days.

            Between cars becoming more boring than at any other time in my adult life, and the steady stream of Obama clickbait (isn’t somebody else in the white house now? I couldn’t tell), I hardly give this site more than a passing glance anymore.

          • 0 avatar
            Trucky McTruckface

            LOL at the whining over President “I Inherited This” getting blamed for stuff. Oblamer never took ownership of anything. Funny how the same behavior is acceptable when one president or party does it but totally offensive when the other side does it.

            And did it ever occur to you that car are “becoming more boring than at any other time” because of the pie in the sky MPG standards Obama and the Democrats championed? Talk about cognitive dissonance…

          • 0 avatar
            dukeisduke

            @kvndoom No, everything bad that happened during the Obama years was George W. Bush’s fault. Weren’t you listening?

          • 0 avatar
            kvndoom

            Wow what blind ignorance.

            Since Todd was clearly referencing the problems caused by VCM, anyone who would be more inclined to do actual research instead of sounding like a Limbaugh parrot would know that VCM predated Obama by years. But facts is hard!

            The current transition to a CUV/pickup truck duopoly in the market also began before Obama was elected. The erosion has been slow and steady and now is more pronounced than ever.
            But facts is hard!

            I’m also 100% certain that manual transmissions were on the decline before 2008. But again, facts is hard!

            The lack of choice on car lots has everything to do with dealerships chasing “volume at all costs” homogeneity and nothing to do with fuel economy. Silver Camrys sell. Blue Solaras don’t. Ergo, the Solara has to go.

            But here’s the soapbox back. You can return to your black-president-bashing.

  • avatar
    George B

    Steph, of course GM is going to continue to sell the downsized 4 cylinder engines they developed to pass fuel efficiency standards on the EPA test cycle through 2021. They’ll even throw in start-stop if they get CAFE credit for it. The fight is over whether they’re going to manufacture relatively expensive gas-electric hybrids in high volume to pass the 2022 – 2025 fuel economy standards.

  • avatar
    ACCvsBig10

    Boo get rid of turbos, make smaller v6’s and add more hybridization.

    a 1.5turbo fwd equinox is rated at 26/32mpg at 170p

    a 2.7v6 would probably near the same more hp. add a hybrid system to made up for more torque and add more fuel ecoonmy

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      That is one reason the old online four or a EV make manufacturing monetary sense. A V6 adds another expensive head over the 4-cylinder and adding a battery on top of that adds more costs.

  • avatar
    Nick_515

    Since when are two liter or 2.4 liter engines TINY? Lol…

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      Since the 2.7 EcoThirst F-150 came out, that’s a huuuuuuuge engine!

    • 0 avatar

      Must be a North American Board. We always get “the big one” when euros bring us a four. The fact it’s a four at all is small.

      Back in the golden age, all cars have a V8, if you can’t afford the V8, there’s a six. Interestingly the only place this is still heard is on Mustang and Camaro forums….

      Today, Real cars have a six. Economy cars have a four.

      When you charge me $50k for a car, though, no four. uh-uh. Don’t wanna feel that shake. BMW, GM, all of you. I don’t care if the blown four makes 15 hp more than the NA six it replaced. It’s not as smooth or as drivable.

      My SAAB 9-3 turbo was fun. GTi’s are fun. I loved the Callaway VW turbo I had, amazingly primitive compared to today. The TDi was great other than the exhaust thing…..but none of them were expensive luxury rides…

      • 0 avatar
        Nick_515

        100% agree. Though by the time that fifty thousand drops to twenty (3-4 years, 50k in some cases), it becomes a lot more palatable. Thing is, even the sixes are blown now (340, S4), so it’s not like you can go for “simplicity” by upgrading.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    I suppose any business must take into account life after Trump. GM is hedging itself for the future when normalacy returns to the US.

    Its a pity a major business needs to operate under such fractured system.

    One thing Trump might achieve is fairer trade with auto import tariffs. If he does the US will struggle restructuring from large protected vehicle manufacture towards turbo four powered vehicles. Remember trade is two ways, what Trump demands others will expect the same in return.

    GM is not performing well in the global arena, China seems to be it. GM like FCA need to have a close look at some of their products on offer and revise them.

    Yup, V8 pickups and pickup station wagons seems to be the future. Does that fit into the big picture well …… for exports?

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      US automakers would benefit the most from “fairer trade”, reduced tariffs/barriers, especially Toyota, Nissan, Honda, etc, midsize and up, gasoline powered, including V8s.

      As global markets tighten emissions, Europe especially, and inject in normalcy, that can only open the door to US vehicles, currently banned basically in some heavily protected/shielded markets.

      Think about it… What’s the world got to offer the US? Don’t we already have most of what we could possibly want?

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        As a small/efficient car guy by temeperment, I sure would appreciate more variety and lower prices in the car market.

        What’s good for the consumer isn’t necessarily good for an industry which relies on protectionism to stay relevant.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          @Luke42 – Too bad you’re in the minority. Personally I’d love a huge selection of subcompact diesel pickups, but I digress.

          But as “protected” as it is, name a meaningful “car market”, more open and welcoming to foreign infiltrating, than the US?

          Or were you just being sarcastic?

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          Luke42,
          I do believe the Big 3 with their Washington lobby power have tailored a racket to keep them immune.

          This has lasted for a while and worked, but as the world globalises Detroit will be diverging until they become extinct.

          The problem now is this US socialist vehicle system is way to ingrained to transition easily. The only way I can see the US industry becoming more successful is to run the UNECE vehicle standards in parallel with the current US standards and gradually wind back the antiquated and socialist US system of protection.

          Maybe then the US will produce a product that is sellable to the world.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            “…the Big 3 with their Washington lobby power have tailored a racket…”

            @BAF0 – Did you even think that through? The US cannot make distinctions. Any reg or law that benefits the Big 3, if that’s even possible, also benefits Honda, Toyota, Nissan, Mazda, Hyundai, VW, BMW, etc, etc, probably even more so.

            “…lobby power…”

            @BAFO – Foreign brands have taken hold of the US market, for decades eclipsing “domestic” Big 3 sales. So it makes you wonder who actually has the power of lobby.

            Hyundai/Kia must be the most aggressive in DC spending.

          • 0 avatar
            MrGreenMan

            Why is economic nationalism socialism?

            You keep calling it a socialist system, yet it was not conceived out of the idea of having the government controlling means of production. It was conceived out of national security, and the idea that, given how the auto industry was necessary to national survival in WWII, domestic manufacturing needed to be protected as a matter of economic policy.

            America’s never been a big export nation, with the exception of the auto industry and agriculture, and those are opposite ends of the spectrum: The auto industry got the jump on the world with things like Ford knock-down kits, but that wasn’t the exporting of cars. With agricultural goods, America under Roosevelt (now that was socialism) continued our profile of looking like the Jamestown colony.

            There are companies more sensitive to exports, like Boeing, that are not being protected to the same degree. The desire to have
            broad-based employment in a sector with national security implications is not socialism, either.

            Thus, I’m just wondering: when you say the “socialist US system of protection”, what are you meaning is the socialist part? Are you saying it is because GM was bailed out? Are you meaning CAFE? Are you contrasting this with market solutions? How has this worked given that half of our auto market is now run by companies that are located outside the country – you can’t suggest that the US government is in league with Toyota or Honda or Nissan.

            I really don’t understand this term you are using the “US socialist vehicle system”. Remember, we used to have a bunch of little companies, then GM drove them out of the market, so that was good old fashioned capitalism…

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            MrGreenMan,
            You say Nationalism? How?

            Socialism is when a person job is protected and supported by the taxpayer. Especially if it’s not a government job.

            Systems of protection and subsidisation is socialist.

            Nationalism, so what does a “Nationalised” industry suggest to you? Capitalism or Socialism?

      • 0 avatar
        Robbie

        I don’t see which American built vehicles could possibly be sold abroad. Some Mustangs perhaps to a few middle aged hobby types all over the world. How many F-150s can one possibly hope to sell in Korea or Italy?

        However, I do see a potential for a substantial volume of foreign trucks to be succesful in the US if the chicken tax were to disappear.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          The Mustang’s global “demand” can overcome most obstacles abroad. Right-hand drive for example. Could the F-150 be next? Stay tuned.

          Any “global” type American vehicle too similar or redundant to what’s for sale abroad (therefor poor global demand) gets physically “stuck” in the US too, ipso facto, especially if it’s low margin, because of these barriers.

          But “American built” can mean a whole lot of things, but if you mean “American designed” and “designed for the American market”, whether it’s a Toyota, Ford, Nissan, etc, and an American “exclusive”, they all have clear and present barriers “abroad”, besides the obvious deal breakers, very high tariffs and prohibitively high fueling costs.

          If you’re thinking global market “regulations”, especially those from markets with an auto industry of their own, have designed and drawn up regulations specifically to prevent US vehicles from being imported in, bingo.

  • avatar
    jacob_coulter

    Oh look, a company making its own decision about what consumers want with respect to fuel economy.

    I was confidently told any restructuring of CAFE meant we all had to drive big block V8s with carburetors and two speed transmissions.

    • 0 avatar
      TW5

      You’re still being told that the manufacturers will force everyone to drive outdated vehicles with terrible fuel economy. Many people don’t listen, don’t learn, and can’t think. It’s a sorry situation, made even worse by their inability to shut up.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    All the automakers should look at life after Trump whether that be 3 or 7 years. It is probable that who ever succeeds Trump will have different policies.

    Also agree with the comment above that it would have been better to extend the deadline 5 years because it is likely that the automakers could eventually reach the 2025 standards.

    I do believe that there should be uniform Global Standards for safety, emissions, and efficiency which would reduce the costs for all the manufacturers in the long run and provide vehicles that could compete in a global market. There might be some market differences with full size trucks and suvs in NA but for most vehicles it would work. Maybe instead of a displacement tax Europe would be better off with a tax which would encourage more on efficienct, safer, and cleaner vehicles.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    Jeff S,
    I see it this way. There are some who think the US is disadvantaged in vehicle trade. The problem is the US doesn’t manufacturer to customer requirements.

    This means change is needed, so these tiny turbo engines are the future. GM sees this.

    I don’t see any need to give a five year extension, just adopt the universal global vehicle design model and the US stops being a one’sy in trade.

    Problem solved.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      “…the US doesn’t manufacturer to customer requirements…”

      @BAFO – What? OK, are they force feeding US consumers? If *ANY* consumers are being force fed it’s the Europeans. Yes a diet of tiny crappy cars, and you can’t convince anyone they’re happy about, they just suck it up, and up ’til recently with dirty little diesels.

      No one asked for V6s to be replaced by Turbo 4-bangers, but V6s don’t really have a fan-base. V8s are losing ground to turbo V6 too.

      But then we’re mostly dealing with a population that couldn’t tell you if their (non AWD) car is RWD or FWD, if their lives depended on it, just that it goes when you give it gas.

      Although one thing’s for sure… Not many here are fans of small cars, and automakers are making sure there’s a huge supply of midsize and bigger autos, not the least of which is automakers that made a name for themselves with smaller cars… Toyota, VW, Nissan, Honda, Mazda, Hyundai, etc, etc.

      But as US cars become more European, and while Europe is busy becoming less “European”, the differences gotta be shrinking.

      So when Europe adopts more US (bigger bodies, bigger engines) cars, and better all around choices, that’s supposed to be a bad thing? But it’s great when it’s the other way around?

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        Read and learn, man you never research or use google. You are a Trump clone, just make sh!t up.
        1. UNECE Vehicle Harmonisation Type Approval; (You know America Alone Vehicle Standards)

        “Japan, like the EU, uses a “type approval” system to clear cars for sale. This means the government certifies that the vehicles meet safety standards. In the United States, though, the automakers certify that their vehicles meet federal safety requirements — and assume the liability of meeting those requirements.”

        2. The the Japanese buy 10s of 1000s vehicles from the EU, Type Approval is one way to make trade easier, but then you have this …… surprise, surprise! They sell/sold GM and Ford in the EU;

        “These are the dreaded “inspection rules” that keep American cars out: Japan insists on testing vehicles itself instead of letting automakers test them and then taking their word for it. But this is also how things work in Europe, and Ford and GM sell plenty of cars there. So this isn’t really much of an issue. In any case, Japan agreed to change these rules during negotiations over the TPP trade deal. But then Trump killed the TPP:”

        3. Lower quality US vehicles, yes this is true! They are on par in some cases with Chinese vehicles, even in safety the Chinese build safer, ie, the Ford Mustang now 3 Star ENCAP, JNCAP, ANCAP, etc.

        “Next up, there’s the build quality of American cars. About 20 years ago Toyota tried to sell GM cars as Toyotas, through the Toyota dealer network. It didn’t go well:”

        4. I would love to see RH drive full size pickups, so we can have them reasonably priced. The US doesn’t make many RH drive vehicles. Holden in Australia is in a dismal state and GM has promised RH drive from the US for decades for the Aussie market and Holden has been left with Opel/Vauxhall;

        “That left a bad taste that’s lasted for decades since. There’s also a problem with right-hand-drive cars: American auto companies don’t make them.”

        More on RH Drive – “European brands advertise aggressively and have done more to customize their products for Japan, for instance by producing right-hand-drive versions of their vehicles — a seemingly obvious selling point, in a country where the driving lane is on the left, that American producers have long been criticized for ignoring. The best-selling American brand in Japan is Jeep, which last year accounted for close to half of all American auto sales there. It offers right-hand-drive vehicles — a legacy of the customized delivery vehicles it once made for the United States Postal Service, which let drivers step out onto American curbs instead of the road.”

        5. One of my biggest gripes! US companies think what services the US offers is superior and doesn’t tailor it’s servicing and customer experience;

        “Japanese customers also expect to receive services like free maintenance from their dealers after they buy their cars, Urata said. When their cars need a checkup, the dealer comes and picks them up, does work on them, and then returns them. American dealers don’t offer such services. “Developing this network is expensive, and maintaining it is expensive, and that’s one reason U.S. car makers decided to withdraw,” he told me.”

        6. The author of this article came up with my conclusion regarding the failure of the US (Detroit) in the global market. It is continuing on a downward slide because like you guys on TTAC state “it’s ‘murican’ if you don’t like it lump it”. We’ll lump your cars is what is happening.

        “There’s the problem that American car companies don’t want to make small, low-profit cars, so they mostly sell only luxury SUVs. But that’s not what Japanese buyers want:”

        https://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2018/03/heres-the-real-reason-the-japanese-dont-buy-american-cars/

        Like I stated the US Big 2.324 really need to sit down and look at how they operate. They seem to be most successful in highly subsidised and protected markets. The protection offered is oftened tailored to suit the US companies. They can’t compete on the global stage too well.

        Look at Australia. Detroit is struggling and yet any other manufacturer can succeed. Maybe, just maybe there is something wrong with US vehicle manufacturing.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          @BAFO – Thank you for your reply! You just stated all the ways US automakers, including Honda, Nissan, Toyota, Mazda, etc, have uphill battle exporting US specific cars in to foreign markets, and how easy it is for foreign brands to join in the US auto market.

          And this despite all these US “protections” and “non tariff” US barriers you go on and on and on about. We’ll gladly accept any global cars, big or small, V8 no matter, meeting basic emissions, safety and quality/reliability standards.

          Yes I said quality/reliability standards. Maybe this is actually a “non tariff” barrier you speak of. But something you fail to acknowledge is “Lemon Laws”.

          These laws won’t prohibit a car for going on sale in the US, but it will make them prohibitively expensive for foreign automakers *buying them back*.

          It’s no surprise you’ve never heard of such laws. You bring up one example of a poor safety vehicle, the Australia/Africa market Mustang. Ford cut back on its minimal safety for this region simply because it could. What does that say about your market? And it still sold/sells like crazy!

          But UNECE standards aren’t so different than US regs. A tail light or marker ‘here’, a crash dimple ‘there’, and done. What’s the difference between a US and Euro market Fiat 500?

          Not a big deal at all.

          Name another market that accepts RHD or LHD just the same? Or rear turn signals in amber or red?

          But once again, you’re burdened with coming up with, naming a meaningful market more open, accepting and welcoming to foreign automaker infiltration than the US…

          I’ll wait here……………………….

  • avatar
    bullnuke

    All the gnashing of teeth about the ability/inability of US-based manufacturers to sell their products in countries outside the US due to, well, whatever – protectionist policies, unfair import duties, ad naseum – is, to my mind, nuts. The US is not hobbled by taxation of vehicles for displacement, horsepower, vehicle age, size, etc., as many of the countries sited for unfair trade practices are. US corporations build for buyers in the US because that’s where the money is made and not for off-shore nations where these vehicles would sell in ridiculously small numbers at pitifully small profit. Manufacturing vehicles specifically for other nations has been and is already being done by US manufacturers in off-shore assembly plants. All the calls by US politicians for fair trade regarding vehicles is more rooted in rable rousing chutzpa for votes and, by manufacturers, for some sort of corporate welfare be it tax relief or beneficial rule changes to help in the “struggle” versus foreign manufacturers and increase market-share. The current President of the United States is by no means the first to raise the issue of unfair trade in motor vehicles – the politicians of the opposing party representing states with skin in motor vehicle manufacturing have been rending garments about this for many, many years. China has been mentioned as a good market for GM as it is not as restrictive in vehicle regulations as most of Europe and nations associated with European nations – the former colonies of Great Britain come to mind. The vehicles that most US buyers prefer and enjoy could not be sold in any volume in nations with narrow roads, socialist taxation schemes, and historically utilized mass transit systems. I for one do not want to be forced into some European- or Asian- scheme vehicle (read: universal global vehicle design model) that barely fits four grown adults but complies with footprint and displacement taxation requirements from elsewhere. Why don’t countries do things the US way and dump their taxation systems, re-size their roadways, and increase vehicle size to human existence levels? This idea makes about as much sense.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      Exactly, the US shouldn’t bend over for other countries, we’re not Canada, we have our own needs, wants, and history. It’s stupid to think we need to fall in line with the rest of the world. Europe is a sh..show copying anything they do would be beyond foolish, they can’t figure out the basics. China tries to copy the US, but our current products suck. Japan is the weird kid in the corner. Australia gave up their identity and prefers to proverbially watch their wives be… well, anyone that’s watching can figure out where I was going with that.

      So what’s left? An American history of fantastic products ruined by mismanagement, corrupt regulations, and wanna-be Europeans.

      Screw the rest of the world, anyone that’s visited Europe(Eastern and Western), India, Caribbean (not the tourist parts), Japan, or wherever you may have been; should have no problems telling you how good we have it in America. People that have never left this country pining to have 3rd world conditions brought here are hilariously sad.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      bullnuke,
      It not what the US wants, but the customer.

      I hope you never open a restaurant. Because you don’t like pizza everyone has to each Fish Fingers and Tartar Sauce.

      The problem is the US’es socialist vehicle protection is geared to making large vehicles. Why? Because no else does it.

      If other countries had similar regulations as the US the US would have NO large vehicle industry as other who can make small vehicles more profitably than the US will destroy Detroit. The US is NOT competitive in vehicle manufacturing, any size vehicle.

      How hard is this to see? The sooner you guys get off your US Kool Aid the better. The US industry is as it is because you can’t compete. Everyone else in the world competes with much more similar products.

      • 0 avatar
        TwoBelugas

        “It not what the US wants, but the customer.”

        That’s funny, aren’t all the displacement based taxes, dimension based surcharges, and emissions standards set by governments?

        Last I checked the car buyers in China have not much say in what policies the government sets. Can a Japanese consumer buy and import a new Sierra 2500 with the Duramax engine at US market prices plus shipping cost if he wanted to?

        Newsflash: every major country with a car industry sets barriers.

        And no one gives a f*** what Australians think because no one wanted their cars anyway.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          TwoBelugas,
          If everyone used US standards, everyone would be building better and cheaper full size vehicles, no different than everyone right now can build cheaper small vehicles.

          Your Aussie comment shows your lack of education. Are you some redneck inbred from the Ozarks or from West Virginia?

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          Oh, read the comment I placed under DenverMike’s above regarding the Japanese.

          You know, you really need to get out and see the world.

          Just because you might like a medium rare steak means everyone does. You have to think that way about countries.

          Imports into the US are there because the companies that produce them are doing a better job than the Detroit 3 overall in the global market place. Why? Because we all use the same standards and we have had to compete for decades. We didn’t have the luxury of the US being dominant players disregarding everything else.

          Now, the US is learning how to play ball so to speak and how to get along with others in a different way.

          It’s a learning curve for you guys. Once you understand there a many out there other than you, you will succeed.

          • 0 avatar
            JohnTaurus

            Thank GOD you’re here to set us right. Oh how ignorant we are, bless us with your kernels of knowledge dear BAFO.

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            “It’s a learning curve for you guys. Once you understand there a many out there other than you, you will succeed.”

            Is that how the Australian motor industry achieved its success?

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Todd,
            How can you call a heavily protected and subsidised industry a success?

            The East German Trabant must of been wildly successful.

            So Bangledesh is very successful because they produce more T shirts than the US.

      • 0 avatar
        87 Morgan

        ‘The sooner you guys get off your US Kool Aid the better.’

        After giving your suggestion some thought, I will take a hard pass.

        I have done some world traveling when I was a young man playing soccer in Europe. I stand by the conclusion that I came to in my early 20’s, it is not that the U.S. is so great, everywhere else sucks.

        Your premise that the U.S is not competitive in vehicle manufacturing of any size is patently false. Period. Full stop.

        But, anytime you folks down under want to ramp your own manufacturing and show us how it is done, I am sure we will take a look.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          87 Morgan,
          I travel the world extensively and I do view the US in the top 4 nations I would reside in.

          I am describing a particular aspect of US industry, not the nation as a whole.

          It seems many are locked into this “we must have certain industries”. But I ask why, especially if the protection and the funding the industry receives could be better utilised for the good of the nation.

          • 0 avatar
            87 Morgan

            The us auto industry is a matter of national security.

            Whose engines and transmissions do you think find their way into the military vehicles? Have you ever seen a U.S military convoy? Every listened to a U.S convoy while parked at idle? A true gear head knows the sound a Cummins or a Duramax. They can also tell you what a Ford or Chevy gas engine sounds like when the starter is engaged, along with a Toyota. I assure you, when the military fires up, their are no Toyota powerplants under the hood.

            One of the reasons the U.S. government, IMHO, to bail out GM was this reason. It had nothing to do with GM itself and everything to do with the suppliers who live and die on GM business for the **bulk** of their sales. A smaller portion of their business, yet extremely material to the functioning of our military is/was some of the parts that are used in military equipment.

            I do not subscribe to your thesis regarding the poor state of the domestic auto manufacturing. The four GM cars in my garage age from new: 4, 10, 13, & 61 all function as they should and have been and continue to be easy to use, maintain, & have provided minimal fuss.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            87 Morgan,
            If the US relaxed it’s protectionist vehicle manufacturing it will not lose it’s vehicle manufacturing.

            It might actually improve.

            You national security line is pure and utter nonsense as well. This is why you need friends.

            The US can’t be all this day and age. The world is shrinking and more and more are doing what the US does everyday.

            You need to trade. To trade you must produce vehicles that will sell around the world. The Big 3 need to structure themselves better to operate outside of the US.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            “…protectionist vehicle manufacturing…”

            @BAFO – And the vague generalities keep on coming! I won’t ask you to explain as you’ll just scamper off as always.

            But can’t any automaker take part in this “PVM”? Toyota, Nissan, Hyundai, BMW, Subaru, Mazda, Honda, etc?

            Either way, they face way more obstacles/barriers/tariffs exporting around the world than importing to the US.

    • 0 avatar
      JD-Shifty

      when you say 4 grown adults you mean 4 morbidly obese americans, right?

  • avatar
    Luke42

    It’s obvious that any large car company would behave this way.

    Here’s why:
    1) GM’s product cycle is longer than Trump’s entire political career. Betting a billion dollars that Americans won’t elect a pro-environment president in 2020 would be foolish. Plus, they’ve already developed the current product, so it makes sense to keep selling it.

    2) GM sells cars worldwide, and the rules elsewhere affect product design for all markets. If they have to develop a turbo 4 for the developed world, the US will get it too in order to keep the economies of scale favorable.

    Staying the course is a no-brainer, at least from an MBA perspective. Abandoning decades of product refinements to take advantage of a year or three of lax regulations just isn’t worth it, especially when the wealthy markets will only accept the existing product.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      GM product live cycle is historically five years.

    • 0 avatar
      TW5

      CAFE 2025 says that a fullsize crew cab pickup making 24mpg is better for the environment than a subcompact making 43 mpg. Any ecologically-minded individual who supports CAFE 2025 is ridiculous.

      People who believe that repeal of CAFE 2025 or cancellation of the augural standards will lead to the abandonment of technology are equally ridiculous. We all know if the government abandons technology mandates, the market will revert to flip phones. Wait, is that right?

      This isn’t an argument about what to do. It’s an argument about how to do it. Naturally, the most close-minded individuals are the people congratulating one another for having the most sophisticated viewpoints.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    Maybe they can stop saddling the consumers of GMs good vehicles (I.e. V8s) with burden of high costs from the hybrids. As it stands now the only reason Suburbans and pickups are priced so ridiculously high it to make up for the high cost of the bolts and volts GMs been struggling to get rid of.

    Hint: there’s a lot more buyers for $35k trucks and BOF SUVs than there are $35k hybrids and electrics.

    Maybe FCA could get their wits about them and start churning out med-high $20k range BOF SUVs with base equipment and V8s. They would be flying off the lots.

    Leave the tiny 3-4L engines to the lawn tractors and motorcycles.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      The prices aren’t coming down, because it’s been established that traffic will bear it.

      Any change will be slow and will involve one member of the oligopoly breaking ranks, and the others following.

      Kind of like what Honda has done with adding Honda Sensing to $20k vehicles. Honda broke ranks, and the others will follow — in 5 years.

      However, Trump isn’t likely to last 5 years (the odds of him even lasting another 5 weeks aren’t too good), so planning the product around his policies would be foolish. I doubt there’s time for any SUV manufacturer to sacrifice their margins for volume AND for the others to follow.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        “the odds of him even lasting another 5 weeks aren’t too good”

        This man will not only last, but continue to p!ss everyone off until the time of his choosing to be finished. This is truly a unique period in world history. My true hope is by the end of all of it the mass media cartel is forever shattered and proles come to understand the lies they have been bombarded with for decades.

        • 0 avatar
          Hummer


          This man will not only last, but continue to p!ss everyone off until the time of his choosing to be finished. This is truly a unique period in world history. My true hope is by the end of all of it the mass media cartel is forever shattered and proles come to understand the lies they have been bombarded with for decades.”

          Oh I love every second of watching these people flop like fish. The news makes their narrative for the day and the outrage commences, the same news makes the opposite announcement 3 days later and the outrage commences as if they weren’t upset about the opposite happening 3 days earlier. It’s more fun to watch than anything on TV, some people just can’t think for themselves and the mass media uses them like the tools they are. The funniest is watching then explain how this president has a higher approval rating than their almighty predecessor.

      • 0 avatar
        tekdemon

        Huh? Honda only added Honda Sensing to all their cars because Toyota added TSS-P to all their new cars, it was a response to Toyota not the other way around.

    • 0 avatar
      scott25

      “there’s a lot more buyers for $35k trucks and BOF SUVs than there are $35k hybrids and electrics”

      To be fair, there’s a lot more potential customers for the hybrids and EVs than there are for the trucks, but the truck customers will all be dead before the potential EV customers have 35k to spend.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I have to disagree, hybrids to this point have largely been deployed in small commuter vehicles. Toyota is the only one I can think of which offered one in larger models. The EV to this point has only been offered in sedans or other small commuter vehicles of very limited utility. The pickup buyer trades fuel economy for true utility in an open bed and relative drivetrain reliability. You are not towing a trailer with a hybrid/EV, you are not going off road in a hybrid/EV, and you are not carrying cargo of any medium to large size in a hybrid/EV. Your hatchback might fit a living room chair, it will not accommodate many bags of mulch, soil, most tools, larger furniture, a riding mower, a larger snowblower etc.

  • avatar
    SaulTigh

    I don’t blame them for being cautious. If the collective hissy fit being thrown by most of the media is any indication, when the left returns to power their revenge will likely be swift and terrible indeed. And it will be revenge taking.

    54.5 mpg? Forget it. Try 60 mpg, with hefty carbon taxes and all sorts of other regulatory schemes with which to turn the screws.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      I will be voting against Trump in 2018 and 2020.

      The man is a shyster and a fool, who told a lot of people what they wanted to hear — regardless of whether it made sense or not. (Most of what he says is nonsense.) The sooner we get this fixed, the less damage he will do to the United States of America.

      His trade wars will start a recession. I sold my index funds when he announced the tariffs on China, and the overall growth has already flattened out (returning to January 2018 levels) and other indicators of economic performance have started to decelerate. I hope to lose money through this market timing move (that would be better for the USA!) — but I will probably win. It’s rare that you get advance notice of a recession, but getting into a trade war (if there’s no retaliation, it’s contest where you hit yourself with taxes until your trading partner cries uncle) is such a fundamental mistake that it can’t lead anywhere but down.

      If you want to call fixing the damage Trump is doing “revenge”, that’s fine. I’ll be cheering for it either way.

      • 0 avatar
        SaulTigh

        Aren’t we due a nice correction anyway? Be careful what you wish for.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        Luke42,
        The US has a larger problem than whining about the so called unfair trade …….. Government debt.

        At the moment it’s costing 1/2 a trillion dollars in interest each year. I think if you guys didn’t have this additional burden there would be less whining.

        The projection is scary for the US, 2028 US Government debt will increase to two trillion per year.

        Trump also want to subsidise farmers if any retaliatory action affects US agriculture. He now has protected steel workers, heavily protected large vehicle production, hence vehicle export potential is small.

        I think some in the US need to realise that just because it has “Made in the USA” on it guarantees success. The US needs to play with others a little differently. If Trump succeeds at anything he might hopefully expose the US or put the US in a position where it will play ball and profit more.

      • 0 avatar
        Trucky McTruckface

        “The sooner we get this fixed, the less damage he will do to the United States of America.”

        Yeah, we really need to get back to unsustainable trade imbalances and stop complaining Scrooge McDuck-types like Bezos offshoring/automating everyone’s jobs away.

        I love that your hatred of Trump is so pervasive that you actually hope to lose money.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          Trucky,
          That means a reduction in living standards if you can’t make the necessary changes.

          • 0 avatar
            bullnuke

            I never want my standard of living to fall to the level of countries such as Great Britain or any of its former colonies. Those nations probably would be better served if they aspired for the US standard and could choose to enjoy life more.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Be careful, it has been this statist thinking which has brought us to this point. Do you really want violence and bloodshed to visit your door?

        “The man is a shyster and a fool”

        Like Obama, Bush, Clinton, Bush… I’m sensing a pattern here.

  • avatar
    gmichaelj

    Mr. Willems:

    I think the “Truth” requires you to tell us what the 54.5 mpg is equivalent to real terms (40 mpg or whatever the current estimate is). The 54.5 figure is “click-baity” Every time you use the figure! Otherwise it’s The “Obfuscation” about Cars

    Thanks

    ——-

    Of course GM will continue to tow the environmental line: it would be terrible PR for them to do otherwise, especially since they have been, and will continue to, work on the technologies necessary to meet the standards.

    There is no advantage to any of the Big 3 to fight EPA stds, especially given their bottom of the barrel emissions/mpg ratings:

    https://www.epa.gov/fuel-economy-trends/highlights-co2-and-fuel-economy-trends

    Yes, I know Pickups. It would be great to see the numbers without full-size PUs and SUVs, but I have a feeling the Big 3 would still be at the bottom.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      gmichaelj,
      It is possible to build vehicles to meet the “Obama” CAFE targets.

      “Mar 6, 2017 – The BMW 435d is just pipped to the post for quickest diesel, but it’s a rapid car nonetheless. It completes the 0-62mph dash in 4.7 seconds thanks to its 313hp 3.0-litre diesel that can also return fuel economy of 50.4mpg on average. It comes with xDrive all-wheel drive as standard, as well as an eight-speed”

      https://www.carwow.co.uk/best/fastest-diesel-cars

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        Diesel has no mainstream future in either the US or Europe. In 2025 that 435d will not exist.

        Hell, anything solely powered by internal combustion likely has no mainstream future.

        The governments of China, EU, and the US have chosen electrification as the necessary propulsion system to meet upcoming standards.

        • 0 avatar
          2manycars

          I don’t give a rat’s ass what government thugs and goons want. I’m sticking with internal combustion even if that means sticking with older vehicles. The violent, psychopathic control freaks won’t be able to get rid of the existing base of gasoline-powered vehicles within my lifetime.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        @BAFO – Impressive no doubt, but the EPA would give it a “different” mpg rating, probably considerably lower, and let’s not even get into its diesel “emissions”.

        The mpg differences can be as much as 50%, Euro to US. It’s time you knew. Keep in mind more than a few identical US and EU markets cars have been tested by both parties with dramatically different results.

      • 0 avatar
        slap

        That 50.4 mpg is using the Imperial gallon – It’s 40.3 mpg US gallons. And that’s the EU “official” ratings (which make the EPA ratings look draconian) – in real life, the actual value is quite a bit less.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          It’s just another wave of BAFO’s endless BS Tsunami. He knows all about the Imperial gallon, its conversion and whatnot.

          He throws these nuggets out there constantly trying to change the minds of the less informed, and truly who has time to keep up with his never ending nonsense?

          It’d be a fulltime job with a full office staff of assistants, researchers and managers.

          It’s hard to tell what drives him, what’s in it for him, but he’s maniacal, and this isn’t the only site he (and possibly his helpers) disrupts.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          slap,
          I do believe EPA and CAFE “unit” of FE is not real either.

          I do think the 50.4mpg is not bad, especially if you look at the vehicle, it’s weight and performance.

          Show me any US performance vehicle that will get near it?

        • 0 avatar
          TR4

          Nit pick alert: actually 50.4 miles per Imperial gallon is 42 miles per US gallon. The conversion factor is very close to 1.2, not 1.25 as you seem to believe.

          Perhaps you are confused, as I used to be, by the fact that an Imperial pint has 20 ounces while the US pint has 16 ounces, for a ratio of 1.25. However, the Imperial fluid ounce is slightly smaller than the US fluid ounce and this accounts for the difference.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    @Big Al–I don’t see where European taxes on displacement will work in the US. I believe global standards among the developed countries that directly target fuel efficiency and emissions would be more effective and much better for the manufacturers and the consumers. European standards have encouraged diesels which are not that clean. Better to encourage hybrids which can be used to attain the efficiency standards.

    I agree with Denver Mike in that the US consumer for the most part are not going to buy small displacement turbo engines except maybe in small to midsize vehicles and then as long as gas prices are stable they will buy larger vehicles. If you polled most suv and truck buyers they would not want small displacement turbo engines in their suvs and trucks. Ford can get by with the EcoBoost V-6s in the F-150 but try putting a 4 cylinder with a displacement of less than 2 in a full size truck or body on frame suv. Also most consumers are going away from the traditional sedan because of slopping roof lines with less legroom and headroom. Try fitting something larger than a small carry on bag in the trunk of most sedans. Efficiency standards have given us coupe like sedans that are harder to get in and out of and less functional.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    @Big Al–I agree with Trump that there is a trade in balance but I completely disagree with the way Trump is handling it. Trump’s policies are likely to create a trade war which the US would lose. Auto and trucks like everything else are produced globally and it makes sense to produce lower profit vehicles in a lower cost country. Having Globally agreed uniform standards on safety, efficiency, and pollution benefits the consumer. At the same time forcing smaller displacement engines on all types of vehicles is not an answer. I believe that there are many other issues besides trade in balance. Infrastructure, health care, and out of control spending are much larger issues. The US economy has been on a roll and things are much better than they were but that won’t last forever. There are many US companies that are competitive in the global market but as you have stated before the US like any other country cannot be competitive in all products and services. Free trade is the best policy.

    • 0 avatar
      TW5

      We would not lose a trade war. If we engaged in trade war, we would rape and pillage this planet to such a degree that the old colonial European powers would look benevolent by comparison.

      Obviously this is not the desired outcome, but you need to stop believing defeatist counter-intelligence fed to you by media sources who are actively participating in the lucrative sellout of the United States. When you consume their lies, it merely compels them to make more lies.

      Furthermore, net exports is a direct function of GDP, which tends to relate closely to revenue and fiscal deficit. Fixing the trade issue is the first step in fiscal reform.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    @alja–Agree eventually the internal combustion engine will not be a mainstay but in the meantime we can use more hybrid technology which is not a long term solution more like a stop gap measure. I don’t see a future for diesel.

  • avatar
    TW5

    “Under the Obama-era fuel economy rules, fleetwide light-duty fuel consumption was pegged at 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025.”

    Fleet-wide consumption was not pegged at 54.5 mpg (40 mpg sticker). This was an estimate based upon gasoline prices that the Obama administration believed would lead to a fleetwide sales mix with slightly higher consumption rates for passenger cars. As we all know, the market for passenger cars is actually in decline; therefore, CAFE 2025 will lead to significantly lower overall fleet average. The fleet sales mix will probably continue skewing towards bigger light duty trucks because the credits for fullsize trucks are quite lucrative. In my opinion, CAFE 2025 would not exceed 35mpg sticker.

    In other words, the data suggests that CAFE 2025 will be an Apollo 13 mission where success is measured by the survival of the auto manufacturers. We have the ability to stop this mission from ever taking place, but some very bad people would rather launch. They must be working for the Russians.

    Regarding Majoros’ remarks, they reveal the panic among the anti-mideterm-review-crowd. CAFE 2016 was a populist policy with widespread support. It more or less required the product portfolio’s we see today. CAFE 2025 isn’t going to bring new technologies to the forefront, it is merely going to force manufacturers to foist existing hybrids and PHEVs/BEVs on every customer. This will cost them an extraordinary amount of treasure, and it will probably result in the manufacturers pushing fullsize trucks on every customer possible, which will not help fleet average.

    The augural standards need to be eliminated, and we need to repeal (or reform) attribute specific regulations based upon vehicle footprint. The regs are disrupting the global marketplace and American vehicle manufacturing.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    I respectful disagree, a trade war would eliminate a lot of US jobs. As for the deficit trade in balance is part of the equation. Increased Government spending without a plan to reduce the deficit. Even if the US had a trade surplus it would still need to reign in Government spending and to reduce the deficit. With an economy going full steam the fear of mounting deficits is not a priority. Not trying to be defeatist but more realistic.

    • 0 avatar
      TW5

      If the US had no trade deficit, our economy would resemble the late 90s. If we had a trade surplus it would resemble a level of economic decadence never before seen in the United States.

      You may remember that relatively balanced trade of the late-90s led the CBO to forecast a $10T surplus. Of course that sort of surplus was a nonsensical forecast, but the point is that fiscal problems effectively disappear if the trade deficit closes and American labor force participation rises, particularly among the young.

      Our fiscal problems and trade problems are closely related.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    The President also had the ability to line item veto for a short period of time and both parties came to an agreement to balance the budget. You cannot balance a budget on just a trade surplus. There is more to balancing a budget than a trade surplus. Also the tech industry was booming. The higher the rate of employment the more tax revenue produced and the more people spend.

  • avatar
    RedRocket

    I took a cruise around the lot of the area’s biggest GM and Ford dealers yesterday since both were closed on Sunday. The GM dealer had a huge inventory. I would guess 90% of it were pickups and SUVs. Aside from a good selection of Terrain/Equinox models, they were all full-sizers without any 4-cylinder engines under the hood. There were no Impalas, Malibus or sedans of any kind to be found aside from 4 Buick Lacrosses and maybe a dozen Cruzes. No Trax or Encore. No Envision. No Camaro.

    Over at the Ford store, much the same except they had a bunch of Escapes on the lot and a row of Focus models. But I would guess over 80% of the inventory was variations of the F-series. No Fusions. No Taurus. 3 or 4 Mustangs. The rest was Explorers and Edges.

    Seeing that I am surprised I see as many sedans on the roads as I do. Clearly nobody is buying them from the N.A. manufacturers. They are all making mostly huge vehicles just like the old days, except now they look like trucks and not cars.

  • avatar
    IBx1

    What’s that? The largest automakers are still pursuing fuel efficiency gains even though the ambiguous regulations were removed? So you mean we can still have our fun cars and the normies get their MPG? But I thought Trump was going to destroy the world by giving realistic goals to the companies! You’re fake news!

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      No, the American-bailed companies that now depend on foreign sales are going to give us the same egg-beater engines (and crackerjack boxes) they sell in foreign countries where displacement and fuel are taxed to high heaven. What GM is saying is that it will no longer build cars for American needs/desires.

  • avatar
    Lorenzo

    Fuel economy standards are none of the government’s business. Government can regulate emissions and crash standards in the name of public health and safety, but fuel economy doesn’t directly address either concern, and I stress the term ‘directly’. Once you allow the feds to make rules based on secondary or tertiary concerns, there’s no limit to the government’s power to regulate.

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