Tags: Energy, Fuel Economy, Environment/Emissions, Domestic Auto Industry, Jobs, Oil Imports, National Security, Balance of Trade
European car manufacturers group, ACEA, says that of the 15 million cars sold during 2007 in Europe/EU:
* 53% were diesel
* 10 % were rated less than 120 g/km [which generally results in 45 mpg(US) combined average fuel economy or better]
* "gas-guzzling ... SUVs, are also seeing high demand, ... also taking a 10 percent share of the market" http://www.manufacturing.net/article.aspx?id=155088
Currently there appear to be over 90 models that meet the under 120 g/km and over 45 mpg(US) criteria.
While Europe currently has over 90 models that currently meet the under 120 g/km CO2 and over 45 mpg criteria, here in the US, there is only one, the Prius.
And domestically, the story is worse for the Det3 ... there is only one design rated above 31 mpg combined average ... and that is the 3 variations of the 2008 Ford FWD Hybrid Escape, rated at 32 mpg combined average. http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/2008b....jsp?year=2008
In Europe, Ford has at least 10 models and GM/Opel/Vauxhall 5 models rated at less than 120 g/km CO2 and over 45 mpg. If CO2 is relaxed to 130 g/km and above 45 mpg, there are about 14 Fords and 21 GM/Opel/Vauxhalls.
It appears that in 2005 the Det3 only built 6.8 million vehicles domestically of the 9.6 million they sold in the US. That is a domestic build of only about 71% of their domestic sales. And that was before the last 2 years of downsizing and outsourcing.
Now, suppose the Det3 DID make and sell at least some vehicles that had at least 50% better fuel economy ? say to a little above 30 mpg(US) combined average. That would effectively provide the US consumer with the opportunity (choice) to avoid purchase of sufficient amounts of gasoline to equal $1,000 per year for everyone in the US (about $0.3 TRILLION in today?s market) ? if implemented across the board. I believe $0.3 TRILLION per year would go a long way toward purchasing new REAL high mpg vehicles. Of course this would require adding manufacturing jobs ? probably for the next 15 to 30 years.
In addition, this 50% improvement in fuel economy, in turn, could cut oil imports by 50%, improving OUR industrial base, balance of trade and OUR National Security exposure. [And with luck, there should be lower emissions and cleaner environment.]
Finally, with current exchange rates, there will be excellent opportunities for automotive exports ? at least for the next 4 to 6 years ? if the product technology, quality, and pricing are right. THAT's EVEN MORE DOMESTIC JOBS!
Now go back and look at the European fuel economy and tell me that even 40 mpg(US) combined average can not be accomplished.
What does this suggest about US auto markets and the Det3 ... if anything?
IDEA: If the Det3 fail to commit immediately to delivery deliver of 40 mpg combined average, or better, vehicles in production quantities by 2010, then the President (or the next President) could waive all import and emissions restriction on vehicles achieving more than 45 mpg(US) [54 mpg(Imperial)] combined average and that satisfy Euro Step IV (or Step V) emissions plus current Euro safety standards for a period of 18 to 24 months. This waiver could be done immediately by executive order under the WAR POWERS ACT based on oil imports being a NATIONAL SECURITY issue.
Are the Det3 smart enough to see the writing on the wall? Or ... could this be the Det3 plan? Do we become observers in the finish of what was started during the OIL EMBARGO of the 1970 with the Det3 giving away the last 45% of the US auto market ? while WE, the consumer, are hoping for rational Congressional intervention?
All WE, the consumer/voter, can do is wait and see ... and ? make this a consideration in how WE vote in November.
A Final thought: Introduction of 40mpg plus automotive technology would present the opportunity to push oil imports closer to 10% - 20% while injecting up to $0.6 TRILLION annually into the domestic economy based on today?s market. In the future, the exposure could easily double or triple that depending on how rapidly oil demand continues to increase. Don't forget China and India are expected to go from 20 million vehicle a few years ago ... to 1.2 billion by 2050 ... what about oil availability and pricing under those conditions?
44 mpg by 2010
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44mpg by 2010
95 Civic CX HB 45 mpg highway; 38 average
95 Odyssey 28 mpg highway; 25 average