I'm lost for words. Why accept the future when you can legislate yourself back into the past?
Seems to me that American cars are not competitive (outside of America) not because of excessive big government legislation, unions, liberals, George Soros or whatever. It's because they are large, fuel inefficient monsters.
But times have changed. It's kind of funny how the people introducing these changes do so under guise of "being more competitive", as if harking back to the "good ol' days" is anything other than rose-tinted mastrubaion.
It's not like the automakers don't see the writing on the wall. I welcome a do-over. The current rules are tied to footprint and vehicle classification. Optimizing for the current rules means making vehicles bigger and building small SUVs instead of wagons and hatches. That's not what you want to encourage actual efficiency. I'm not gonna restate the proverb about metrics and targets but if you make stupid rules and you'll get people playing a stupid game.
I welcome the current administration gutting the current rules. That would leave the door open for the next administration to sign a bill that implements what we've learned from hindsight. The writing is on the wall anyway. +/- one administration won't matter in the long term.
I am not sure what a typical "generation" of cars is these days, but even at 4 years per "generation" you are saying that the 61% goal has to be met within 3 product revision cycles. Is that reasonable? I don't know, but it seems pretty difficult to meet as a requirement.
Gotta keep giving those fat shareholder bonuses though.
Tooling and die costs, re-training of employees, mothballing of old plants, re-architecting of most of their car designs without sacrificing safety or fuel economy, plus the sheer amount of manufacturing of battery capacity you are asking to come online, are just a few of the costs and engineering issues that spring to mind.
Remember, Canada was going to implement the Kyoto Protocol - up until they realized it would be a 10% hit to Canada's GDP. Then they "re-considered": http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/canada-pulls-out-of-kyoto-pr...
American cars are very competitive in china. They aren't competitive in europe and japan because of laws protecting their own car industries, smaller roads and expensive gas.
> It's because they are large, fuel inefficient monsters.
Which is what american people want. The top 3 selling vehicles in the US are all large trucks for a reason.
> But times have changed.
It hasn't. The top 3 selling vehicles in the US are trucks - Ford F-Series, Chevrolet Silverado, Ram P/U.
You might not like it but you can't blame american car manufacturers for wanting to build cars that americans like.
There is a reason why small european car companies aren't doing well in the US. The markets are different.
Virtually throughout the entire world, governments put taxes on fuel to address negative externalities caused by fuel consumption. As a result, most countries have much higher gas prices than the US, where in some places, is below $2/gallon. As a result, Americans buy bigger cars because they aren't as affected by gas prices as many other car markets.
Since the Ford Ranger met it's demise in the US, there hasn't been any significant light trucks sold in America because of CAFE regulations that treat full size trucks very differently from light trucks and cars. Car manufactures don't have any incentive to make light trucks because they're effectively counted as cars when counting fleet emissions where full size trucks get a pass.
No. Big cars and trucks sell well because we like big cars and trucks. SUVs, Range Rovers, Trucks, even humvees are what americans generally want. Or gas guzzling sports cars. Cars are part of american culture.
> Virtually throughout the entire world, governments put taxes on fuel to address negative externalities caused by fuel consumption.
No. Oil poor countries and regions put taxes on gas/cars in order to push the market towards smaller and more efficient cars that use less gas. We are oil rich and therefore really don't require such interventions.
> As a result, most countries have much higher gas prices than the US, where in some places, is below $2/gallon.
I know. I'm american. I know gas is cheap. But even when gas was expensive ( $4+ ), the top selling vehicles were trucks, SUVs, etc. It's not politically feasible in the US to push people to smaller cars. People will simply vote for politicians who promise lower gas and bigger cars. It's why even elon musk wants tesla to get into SUVs and trucks.
People think that the government supports big vehicles and cheap oil and that's why americans buy big cars and use lot of oil. You have it backwards. We like big cars and cheap oil and that's why the government supports big cars and cheap oil.
Because people like something doesn't mean it's OK, or action should not be taken to curb that like for the greater good.
Yes it is. Just because someone somewhere has it worse doesn't mean it's not bad.
>You can't throw your arms up and say "oh it's just the American way, sorry environment/health, there is just no damn way we can stop the ridiculously disproportionate per-capita CO2 emissions! Sorry world, but we like our big ass trucks, what can we do about it? drive more fuel efficient vehicles? pffftt". I mean in what world is that a defense.
As much as you and I might not like it yes you can. Part of living in a society is putting up with societal norms. Taxes, indifference to dragnet surveillance, acceptance of fuel inefficient vehicles, a love of fast food, under-appreciation for small business, etc, etc. You can't hand wave away the majority opinion (or indifference) as hand waving.
If you don't like it then you have to convince a critical mass of people to work to change it.
Great idea, lets convince car companies to sell more economical cars through regulations/tax breaks/whatever, and have them do the work to change public opinion.
People don't want to face the fact that they're doing something bad. They want to live in la-la land.
"It's MANLY to drive a big truck. Aren't you a MAN? Shouldn't you be driving a truck to show how MANLY you are?"
The Big 3 deliberately soul this up, because their profit margins on truck sales are huge, and because of CAFE exemptions that let them ignore fuel efficiency requirements.
Add to this a general misconception of "bigger is better", which pervades the American mindset, and there you are. Pointlessly big and inefficient vehicles, that really have no business in general traffic.
As the article says, the 45 MPG target would require 61% of all vehicles sold in the United States to be electric in slightly over 10 years. That target is so aggressive as to be ridiculous, and that's for a gain in fuel efficiency of about 1/3.
CAFE != any sort of reasonable or cost effective way of limiting CO2 emissions.
Worse, because you don't have any small commuter cars in your lineup, you have to pay more in penalties than another car company that does. Assume Company A specializes in SUVs, and sells 1M a year. It pays a big penalty for their poor mileage.
Company B makes nothing but compact commuter cars that get high mileage, and pays zero in penalties for its cars it sells a year, as it should.
Now company C, builds SUVs with the same MPG average as company A, but has an licensing deal where company B makes 1M small high MPG commuter cars a year for C to resell under it's brand. Company C now pays little to no penalties, despite selling the exact number of gas guzzling SUVs as company A. And those small cars would have been made and sold by company C if the licensing deal didn't exist.
CAFE is a dumb law, and a bad solution to the problem of emissions. It's a big reason for the bankruptcy of US car companies during the last economic crisis. US car companies were bad at making small cars because their labor costs were so high, but they could make big SUVs and bigger cars profitably because labor costs were proportionately less.
CAFE would be much better if it simply applied directly to the car you purchased, regardless of manufacturer, and was an annual tax based on miles driven and MPG.
It wasn't cash compensation. I think they actually cost roughly $35 an hour in cash compensation (including payroll taxes and other direct costs). But the auto makers had to also ante up nearly twice as much more to cover pension and medical plan contributions for their workers, their families and their retirees.
Now, I'm not saying it wasn't their fault, at least at some level. Productivity has reduced the amount of worker hours needed per car for the last hundred years, and that, along with the rise of german and japanese car makers, reduced the size of the domestic car makers workforces.
In 1979 UAW membership peaked at 1.5M, in 2008 it was 650,000. The costs of covering the medical and retirement needs of 700,000 retirees is a lot higher proportion of your average wage with 650k workers than it was with 1.5M. Essentially management thought they'd never lose their massive market share, and didn't account for the ongoing march of increasing productivity.
However they got there, those costs meant that the more labor costs a car had in proportion to it's sales price, the less competitive it would be for US car makers. That eventually meant that muscle cars, trucks, and SUVs were their only profitable cars, while they got killed by the Japanese and europeans on small cars.
It's just another reason CAFE is dumb. Automakers never should have gotten credits for making small cars. It gave foreign car makers a substantial competitive advantage.
That is a misleading metric in this context. All employees cost significantly more than their direct paycheck, because of pension payments, healthcare and such.
$100 sounds very reasonable.
One is the hourly pay for a worker. The other is the total cost of a worker, including training, pensions, equipment, everything.
It's not a metric that usually talked much about, but it is an important metric, which should obviously be lower than the value created by the worker. Workers in a lot of fields cost 2-3x as much as their paycheck, but they create the value to offset that as well.
At the same time, it's unlikely automakers are going to move away from technology they've already developed to target meeting Obama-era emissions standards, and electric cars will only see rapid increases in manufacturing rates and sales (petrol costs are moving up again , and EVs are half the cost of petrol vehicles per mile to operate).
China, for example, is being very very aggressive in making EVs standard.
California can set their own standards but that is not really "leverage."
Every manufacturer already has all of the tech to meet the higher CAFE standards because they all sell in Europe which has even higher standards for a long time.
Manufacturers like big heavy fast gas guzzlers because they sell the best and make the most profit. They don't like fuel standards because they reduce profits, but if some jurisdiction puts in place fuel standards they have no problem building cars that meet them.
Increasing fuel standards are horrible for sales though because from a consumer perspective the new cars are worse than the old ones. Not exactly a great sales pitch.
I'm still bitter that I can't buy the old gasoline cans that actually work anymore.
I wonder what disaster prompted so much grief. Not like any kids would get very far trying to drink it.
Other countries are paying the price, but does that mean the US should? If it isn't worth the cost, why should the US follow other countries off the cliff?
One reason to do so is so that North American auto's can be exported
American auto companies do one thing well; large and loud. SUVs, pickup trucks, muscle cars. They lose when they compete against Germans for luxury and sport, and they lose when they compete against Japanese/Korea for economy and quality. (Yes yes, you will cherry pick a handful of cars to "prove me wrong" but this is a general sentiment that I think most car aficionados would agree with.). Tesla is an exception (everyone is afraid of them).
American auto will have a tough time turning around to "efficient and economical". Just watch any Dodge commercial; the entire brand is built around american over-consumption, it is fundamentally opposed to the new age of the automobile. This is their last ditch effort to stay in the game before electric takes over.
It's either this, or we have another recession while the auto market fails and people move to other industries.