Bob Lutz: CAFE 35 will increase price of GMs $6,000

Illustration for article titled Bob Lutz: CAFE 35 will increase price of GMs $6,000

Speaking at the Detroit Auto Show, Bob Lutz, Vice Chairman of GM, said, "This is going to be a net average of cost of $6,000 per vehicle which will have to be passed onto the consumer. The good news is it won't come all at once, because 35 mpg doesn't kick in all at once." Lutz goes on to claim that the average American will be forced to hold on to their cars longer, also increasing the cost of used vehicles. [Via eGM CarTech]


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Manwich - now Keto-Friendly

@rlj676: Yup... rising gas costs provoked the recent *big move* to fuel economy... lately.

But that doesn't prove or disprove CAFE.

*PROOF* that it works is demonstrated by the fact that average fuel

ecomony continued to improve through the mid-1980s up until 1988.

FYI... oil prices were really low by 1986 because Iran and Iraq were

pumping as much oil into the market as possible to fund their war.

But then after 1988, the tightening of CAFE stopped... and surprise

surprise... the average fuel economy of cars sold also stopped


And even during the first Gulf War when oil prices spiked to around

$40 a barrel, I distictly remember *not* seeing much effort by auto

companies to improve their fuel economy... except for Honda - which

made a version of the Civic that got 72mpg (imperial) which I remember

selling somewhat well, in spite of the extra charge for that model.

If high fuel prices are needed to sell a car based on fuel mileage,

how do you explain all the people who bought Toyota Prius cars back in

2001 and earlier?

Fuel prices weren't high back in 2001.

Already back then there were people who were demanding better gas

mileage... as well as cars that pollute less. Every Prius that was

imported got sold pretty quickly.

So what does that say about *your* knowledge of the auto industry and the average car buyer?

With CAFE this time around, trucks aren't getting the free ride like

they did in the past. So even if people bought more trucks, it won't

matter that much.

If CAFE 'eats all the profit' as you insinuate, then it will happen

for practically all makers - even Toyota since they now have a very

truck-heavy lineup. But that's only if auto execs suddenly decide to

become stupid and decide it's 1975 again and that everyone still wants

a V8 at rock bottom prices.

If everything about cars was pure economics, then cars like the Corvette would never exist.

If it made no economic sense to buy a Prius back in 2001 (and in

pure $ terms, it didn't), then it *definitely* doesn't make sense to

buy a less reliable, less practical, less comfortable and far more

expensive car... like the Corvette today.

Fuel economy (and cars like the Prius) sells because there are

people that want it... just like there are people who want Corvettes.

CAFE works because it forces the fuel efficient cars to become

available. And with the technology available, cars don't need to be

small or uncomfortable to get good fuel mileage.

The new CAFE standards help ensure that new technologies will be put

to good use in the average car rather than just have them 'sit on the

shelf' and be little more than interesting design studies.

As for gas taxes... where I live (Canada), more than 50% the cost of

gasoline is tax. I understand that a similar situation exists in many

states (not sure exactly how many).

So where do you get off talking like gasoline isn't already heavily

taxed? I'd only be a hyprocrite if I actually complained about the cost

of gasoline... which I'm not... and never have.

CAFE just forces carmakers to do their part instead of leaving 100% of the burden on consumers.

Why do I care about CAFE? Because the product mix sold in the USA is mostly what will be available Canada.

And regarding your question as to who has the most fuel efficent design to me?

The answer to that is.... GM!

The EV1 was (and still is) the most fuel efficient car I've seen

from any major automaker to date that was mass produced in any way.

They were stupid with the initial battery chemistry they chose and the

magnacharge system was downright idiotic... but that doesn't stop it

from being the most fuel efficient... or more accurately... most energy

efficient to date. The only car that might be considered better would

be the GM Sunraycer... but since that was never a production vehicle,

it doesn't count.

And another FYI to you... You talk like I'm some domestic car

hating, Toyota Prius loving leftie tree hugger... well I'm not

(although I do like the Prius a lot). I'm just a Technology Person (as

in I make my living in IT) who's interested in cars, and of my last

four cars, three of them were Fords. Presently driving a Ford Escort...

which gets me about 6-6.5L/100km using hypermiling techniques.

And finally... Regarding your belief that "oil usage will stay the

same" even with CAFE in place... Please demonstrate your economic

knowledge and logic as to how consumption will stay the same if there

is a big improvement in the average fuel mileage of all cars and

trucks. Please give me your hard numbers and demonstrate how the

absence of CAFE would have *no* imact. WARNING: I actually have quite a

bit of Economics knowledge... and I enjoy a good Economics debate. I

even took (and enjoyed taking) economics-related classes as *electives*

while I was in University. So what ever you come up with better be

good... or I'll have a field day making fun of you.

Show me what you *really* know about Economics.