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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk
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    Default UAW hosting U.S. Big 3, govt on new fuel standards

    At 56.2 miles per gallon being eyed as new standard, I seriously think things are getting a little crazy in the MPG demands...
    ____________________________

    DETROIT, July 12 (Reuters) - The United Auto Workers, including its chief Bob King, are hosting executives from the big U.S. automakers and federal regulators this week to discuss future fuel economy standards and their potential impact on union members' jobs, several sources said on Tuesday.

    The meetings to discuss the new corporate average fuel efficiency (CAFE) standards for 2017 through 2025 are taking place Tuesday and Wednesday at the union's downtown Detroit headquarters, said people familiar with the meetings who asked not to be identified.

    In addition to King and other UAW officials, the meetings will include vice presidents from General Motors Co (GM.N), Ford Motor Co (F.N) and Chrysler Group LLC, which is managed by Fiat (FIA.MI), the sources said.

    Staff members from the Department of Transportation and the Environmental Protection Agency, jointly working to develop the new standards, also will attend, the sources said.

    GM, Ford and Chrysler declined to comment on the meetings. Regulators and UAW officials could not be reached.

    The push to boost fuel efficiency has forced automakers to redesign their vehicles and use lighter but more expensive materials. These efforts are likely to raise the cost of vehicles and may pinch automakers' margins. [ID:nN26144187]

    The interest of the UAW, which opens labor talks with the big U.S. automakers this month, is simple -- protect jobs, said Jay Baron, chief executive of the Center for Automotive Research (CAR).

    "As you go to a high level of CAFE, the demand for vehicles will go down and therefore production in the U.S. will go down," he said. "If the government forces too high a level of fuel economy, beyond what the average consumer wants to pay for, that will be a problem."

    The union's concern about the impact of the new CAFE standards on jobs echoes those raised by 15 Republican state governors last month. The governors urged federal regulators to take into account jobs and the weak economy in formulating the standard, warning against "overreaching." [ID:nN1E75T06S]

    Companies and trade groups are sensitive to the economy, especially after Friday's dismal report that showed job growth ground nearly to a halt in June. [ID:nN1E7670C0]

    "The administration needs to take extra special attention in preserving jobs as we improve fuel economy," said Gloria Bergquist, a spokeswoman with the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers. The trade group represents 12 automakers, including the big U.S. companies.

    Federal officials have been meeting regularly with the automakers regarding the CAFE standards for 2017 and beyond.

    In 2009, the Obama administration raised CAFE standards, requiring automakers to boost the average fuel efficiency of their vehicles to 35.5 miles per gallon by 2016.

    Regulators are now considering lifting CAFE standards to 56.2 miles per gallon for the 2017 to 2025 time period, according to a source familiar with the plans. The Obama administration has publicly said it is targeting a range between 47 mpg and 62 mpg. [ID:nN01278160]

    The CAFE standard in 2010 was 29.2 mpg.

    Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood last month declined to say whether the U.S. government would consider sharing the cost of vehicle development with automakers and consumers. He said current talks with companies have focused solely on finding the right standard. [ID:nN1E75S1A5]

    CAR, which recommends a new CAFE standard of 47 mpg, estimated that setting the level at 56 mpg would cause prices per vehicle to jump by about $6,700. The study has been criticized for overestimating the cost of the technology needed to boost fuel economy.

    The National Automobile Dealers Association estimated that at under a 56 mpg standard the industry would lose 220,000 jobs, while another report by the U.S. Energy Information Agency estimated U.S. light vehicle sales would fall 14 percent at a 62 mpg standard.

    The UAW has been losing membership since its peak in 1979, when it had nearly 1.5 million members. Last year was the first time the UAW gained members in six years.

    The UAW had 376,612 members at the end of last year. That is still a fraction of its 2004 membership of about 655,000. (Reporting by Ben Klayman and Deepa Seetharaman; Editing by Tim Dobbyn)
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  2. #2
    Master Bluesman Elwood P.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by voivod View Post
    At 56.2 miles per gallon being eyed as new standard, I seriously think things are getting a little crazy in the MPG demands...
    ____________________________
    Yeah I can't see that as any sort of a realistic goal by 2017. Normally, I don't agree with the unions but . . .

    was walking thru the Dodge lot the other day when my truck was in for service. The 2011 trucks were all pretty much 14 and 19 mpg estimated. They've got a ways to go.
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  3. #3
    Baluchitherium Scott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elwood P. View Post
    Yeah I can't see that as any sort of a realistic goal by 2017. Normally, I don't agree with the unions but . . .

    was walking thru the Dodge lot the other day when my truck was in for service. The 2011 trucks were all pretty much 14 and 19 mpg estimated. They've got a ways to go.
    It's a blended average of the fleet.

    Think about it - 56MPG isn't that far off....40MPG is now the standard, with a bunch of cars getting 50+MPG.

    In this months Motor Trend - Ralph Giles can envision 400HP cars that get 40MPG.

    European standards are pretty much already there - so it's just using existing technology. Further, you know that automakers know they can meet this standard - it just takes a few years to proof the engine. Consumers are absolutely going to want better fuel economy - all things being equal, if you have 3 cars that you love - and one offers 50-60MPG - which one are you going to buy?

    Unions need to stop worrying about the short term view of jobs - if you're not up to the standards - you're going to be left without a job anyway.
    Winners come and go; legends are forever.

  4. #4
    Atomic Punk bsbll4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott View Post
    It's a blended average of the fleet.

    Think about it - 56MPG isn't that far off....40MPG is now the standard, with a bunch of cars getting 50+MPG.

    In this months Motor Trend - Ralph Giles can envision 400HP cars that get 40MPG.

    European standards are pretty much already there - so it's just using existing technology. Further, you know that automakers know they can meet this standard - it just takes a few years to proof the engine. Consumers are absolutely going to want better fuel economy - all things being equal, if you have 3 cars that you love - and one offers 50-60MPG - which one are you going to buy?

    Unions need to stop worrying about the short term view of jobs - if you're not up to the standards - you're going to be left without a job anyway.
    What cars besides the tiny tin box cars or the hybrids are getting over 40 mpg? 42 MPG is stretching even for those cars. When you factor in the 4 door sedans, the small suvs, the minivans, etc. that most people drive, they are nowhere close to that standard.
    CNN may think my opinion matters, but you shouldn't.

  5. #5
    Master Bluesman Elwood P.'s Avatar
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    I realize it's an average. If we're at (barely) 30 now, another 27 isn't going to be easy within 7 years. The only way to get better mileage is to make the vehicles lighter or engines more efficient. Now if we can add large numbers of electric/hybrid vehicle to the pool, that'll bump the figures up quite a bit. At some point you do have to look at the cost that'll be passed on to the consumer, that's just reality.

    Hope we get there tho, I really do.
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  6. #6
    Master Bluesman Elwood P.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott View Post
    European standards are pretty much already there - so it's just using existing technology.
    And we really can't use the old cliche, "well, the Europeans do it". Really doesn't work here in the colonies on many levels. Is there an equivalent of Texas in Europe??
    "I'm the opposite of Bill Cosby. Diamond Dave always gets your approval." (DLR)

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  7. #7
    Future's in the past....
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elwood P. View Post
    And we really can't use the old cliche, "well, the Europeans do it". Really doesn't work here in the colonies on many levels. Is there an equivalent of Texas in Europe??
    Closest thing would probably be Russia.
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  8. #8
    Baluchitherium loveevhsince79's Avatar
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    In my mind, if the US automakers want to be able to sell cars in the future, they should already be working on this technology or they will be left in the dust. Look what happened with the introduction of the hybrids. Ford had to buy the technology from Toyota who were already going to market with the Prius. GM, Ford and Chevy can't see past this years profits. They always seem to be lagging behind in innovation and in turn, it creates less demand for their products. And the unions need to realize that if they are the first to market more efficient cars, they will gain market share even if the price is more expensive. There was a huge wanting list for the Prius and customers were willing to pay over the invoice price.

    Let's face it, the automakers don't usually push the limits until they are forced too either by government regulation or necessity to compete. I also think Scott is correct in saying that if the technology already exists, it simply needs to be analyzed to be used in the US.
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  9. #9
    Master Bluesman Elwood P.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VanHalenRules View Post
    Closest thing would probably be Russia.
    Nyet!
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  10. #10
    Baluchitherium Scott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bsbll4 View Post
    What cars besides the tiny tin box cars or the hybrids are getting over 40 mpg? 42 MPG is stretching even for those cars. When you factor in the 4 door sedans, the small suvs, the minivans, etc. that most people drive, they are nowhere close to that standard.
    Ford Focus
    Chevy Cruise
    Hyundai Elantra
    Volkswagon Jetta TDI
    Honda Civic

    Yes, small cars, however right now they represent 25% of all car sales - and will only grow in importance as gas continues to increase in cost.
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  11. #11
    Baluchitherium Scott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elwood P. View Post
    And we really can't use the old cliche, "well, the Europeans do it". Really doesn't work here in the colonies on many levels. Is there an equivalent of Texas in Europe??
    Why?

    I drive a Mazda CX7 - get about 22 MPG here; the same car in Europe gets about 30, why? Diesel / different engine tuning.

    And why would we want Europe to lead in an industry that North Americans are known for?!
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  12. #12
    Baluchitherium Scott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elwood P. View Post
    I realize it's an average. If we're at (barely) 30 now, another 27 isn't going to be easy within 7 years. The only way to get better mileage is to make the vehicles lighter or engines more efficient. Now if we can add large numbers of electric/hybrid vehicle to the pool, that'll bump the figures up quite a bit. At some point you do have to look at the cost that'll be passed on to the consumer, that's just reality.

    Hope we get there tho, I really do.
    Absolutely the cost is going to be passed on...just like safety as a cost was passed onto us.

    The cars will get there - carbon fibre, new transmissions that are lighter and have more cogs.....hell, Ford just announced a new interior trim that weighs something like 30% less then the existing interiors - yet looks / feels better and is cheaper.

    There is a certain amount of posturing going on with car makers right now - the parts are there to get to these new standards - but it's accelerated timelines.

    Hey, I know I wouldn't mind using 50% less fuel for same performance as I get now.
    Winners come and go; legends are forever.

  13. #13
    Forum Frontman fudd's Avatar
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    Fuel economy is great and all but I still want my car to move. I have a 2008 and a 2005 Honda Accord V6 6 speed and they get about 30 MPG on the interstate. And they have 244 and 270 horsepower. And they'll crack 5.5 seconds 0-60. My point is I don't want to sacrifice fun for fuel economy.

  14. #14
    Master Bluesman Elwood P.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott View Post
    And why would we want Europe to lead in an industry that North Americans are known for?!
    Two different economies. Two different lifestyles. People in Texas, and many other states, drive large trucks/SUVs, V-8 gas guzzlers. Many do it because of work, some just choose to do it. Just the way it is. It isn't Europe no matter how much some people would like it to be. Things will change, but they will change fairly slow. We'll move towards more fuel efficient vehicles and lifestyles, just not at the pace some would like. And I don't like these politicians shoving things down our throats.
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  15. #15
    Baluchitherium Scott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fuddman5150 View Post
    Fuel economy is great and all but I still want my car to move. I have a 2008 and a 2005 Honda Accord V6 6 speed and they get about 30 MPG on the interstate. And they have 244 and 270 horsepower. And they'll crack 5.5 seconds 0-60. My point is I don't want to sacrifice fun for fuel economy.
    Look at a 92 Camaro....the V8 likely got 200 HP and maybe 15-20MPG.

    The entry level V6 Camaro cracks 300HP and gets 30 MPG.

    You don't have to sacrifice fuel economy for fun.
    Winners come and go; legends are forever.

 

 

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