A week-and-a-half ago, when GM announced that it was bailing on Trump I emailed every automaker still on Trump’s side to see if they had any comment. That included Nissan, which responded then it doesn’t “typically comment on actions of competitors.” Today, Nissan said it was bailing on Trump too.
Via The Associated Press:
Nissan said it’s pulling out because of confidence that discussions between the industry, California and the administration of President-elect Joe Biden “can deliver a common-sense set of national standards that increases efficiency and meets the needs of all American drivers.”
GM and Nissan were part of a coalition of 13 automakers that joined the Trump administration’s legal fight. Nissan’s departure leaves Toyota, Fiat Chrysler, Hyundai, Kia, Subaru, Isuzu, Suzuki, Maserati, McLaren, Aston-Martin and Ferrari in the coalition.
“We continue to support improvements in fuel economy and a framework that incentivizes advanced technologies while balancing priorities like the environment, safety, affordability and jobs,” Nissan’s statement said.
You can expect more of the remaining automakers in the coming weeks to pull out of siding with the Trump administration’s effort to stop California from making its own emissions rules, rules which probably will be going nationwide anyway.
The California rules —agreed to with Ford, BMW, Volkswagen, Honda, and Volvo — are weaker than the Obama-era rules but are significantly stronger than the rules the Trump administration wanted, which would have seen 1.5 percent annual increases in fuel economy and are now tied up in litigation. The Obama rules required 4.7 percent increases, while the California rules require 3.7 percent.
At the very least you can expect that the California rules will be a baseline for any future negotiations between automakers and a Biden administration EPA; the smart money is probably on the rules getting a bit tougher, though it’s to be seen if they match those of Biden’s former boss.