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Observation on GM and the new CAFE standards.

694 Views 7 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  psece
We all recall how GM (and Toyota!) were against the new CAFE standards. We repeatedly were told it could not be done. In the short time since the law has passed, look at what we have been discussing on GMi:

Cobalt XFE on sale now and gets class leading mileage.

Tahoe and Silverado two mode hybrids on sale now and get class leading mileage.

1.4L turbo on the way for small cars.

The Traverse (and presumably all Lambdas) will get DI standard. If I recall correctly, it is estimated to get 27 mpg highway.

BAS+ will soon be here. It is promised to get significantly better mileage than the current BAS. I am not aware of any other company that has announced li-ion BAS.

The Volt is on track for a 2010 introduction. No other manufacturer has announced a similar product.

By next year, the 4 cyl/6 speed Malibu will be offered on all trim levels. It gets class leading mileage.

By next year, GM will be selling diesel half tons. Toyota also may be selling diesel Tundras, but it will not be beating GM to market.

Within a few years, GM will be offering alternatives to the body on frame truck: the Pontiac El Camino and the GMC unibody thing. Toyota has not anounced any similar products.

The Vue plug-in will be on sale within 2 years. It will offer class leading mileage, and there is no sign that the Prius will be plug-in or li-ion by that time.

Right now, GM is testing 100 fuel cell Equinoxes. The only other company currently testing fuel cells is Honda, and its program is not nearly as aggressive as GM's.

GM is selling more flex fuel vehicles than anyone.

I think all of this shows that GM is being very responsive not only to the CAFE law, but more importantly, to the demands of the marketplace. Again, all of these developments have come to light just in the last 1-2 years. More importantly, this is not the GM of old, which was always catching up to the competition. In all of the categories I listed, GM is class leading either in performance or in the introduction of new technology.

Keep up the good work, General. I look forward to the next two years during which time I predict some form of hybrid transmission or diesel power will be offered on every model, every model will be offered with a flex fuel engine, we will see significant weight reductions as platforms are redesigned, and turbos and direct injection will migrate to all platforms.
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I definitely like the way GM is headed with all of the items Ron posted. I'm not sure you can give credit to CAFE's ruling a couple of months ago for this much action though. Most of these progresses have been in the works for a very long time. The main complaint about CAFE from the manufacturers is not at hitting the targets but in more of the costs. All this technology and research comes at a hefty price that will inevitably get passed on to the consumer. It's all roses right now but in 10 years when the average car has jumped $10,000 dollars and your pay hasn't it might be a little less rosey.
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