Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Ford and GM in Bush's Bed

New fuel economy rules unveiled

So here's the new Bush plan:
Speaking from Atlanta, Department of Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta and Jeffrey Runge, the current administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, said that under the new plan, the light truck segment will be broken into six different categories based on weight and vehicle type, with the smallest vehicles forced to get better mileage than larger ones.

Minivans, which are currently bound by federal standards to get 21 miles per gallon, will be required to have a fuel efficiency of 23.3 miles per gallon by the time the program is fully implemented in 2011.

The fuel economy of small SUVs would improve by as much as nine miles per gallon from their current standard of 19 miles per gallon, Mineta said.

That sounds like a good idea, right? Surely Ford and GM will be upset by these new regulations. Surely they'll be hurting to make these changes by 2011. Sure, 2011 is far off in the future, but still... This can't be good news for Ford and GM, can it?
The newspaper reported that the new rules seem likely to help General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Co.. The fleet-wide average for light trucks is a disadvantage for auto manufacturers that have a large portion of their light truck sales among the biggest pickup trucks and SUVs, a category that Ford and GM dominate.


So apparently most of the vehicles that Ford and GM make are the large trucks that require the lowest increases in fuel economy. So regulations on the AVERAGES actually were worse off for Ford and GM... In other words, Bush has given Ford and GM another break.

So that's interesting.

1 comment:

Sophist said...

And he gives them added incentive to focus on making bigger and bigger vehicles. The Suburban will be a lot less subject to regulation than an Impala.