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"CAFE has to be the most perverse exercise in product regulation in industrial history." So wrote Holman W. Jenkins, Jr. in the Wall Street Journal last week. "Look at the gallons consumed, miles driven, barrels imported or emissions emitted: CAFE has had no significant impact on energy consumption. Its sole practical effect has been to inflict on Detroit the need to produce, with high-cost U.S. labor, millions of small cars designed to lose money."

Couldn't have said it better myself.

more at link:

http://blogs.motortrend.com/6295862...he-50-billion-rewrite-cafe-instead/index.html
 

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Gotta take issue with that one.

The manufacturers have taken advantage of time allowances before CAFE increases to build bigger, heavier, and faster full size trucks and SUV's.

Who really needs a 6000lb. SUV? A 400 hp pickup truck? And I'm not just talking about domestics.

Instead of concentrating on 5 and 6 speed automatic transmissions and multi-displacement engines, manufacturers should be building 2000lb lighter light duty trucks and 1000 lb lighter automobiles.

The Dodge Challenger V-8 weighs well over 4000lbs, more than it did 38 YEARS AGO. What's wrong with this picture?
 

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it is very simple - cancel CAFE. The market demands a substantial number of vehicles with high mileage, so they will be produced, CAFE or no CAFE. The real effect of CAFe is to harm US vehicle makers.


The Dodge Challenger V-8 weighs well over 4000lbs, more than it did 38 YEARS AGO. What's wrong with this picture?
Nothing! The cars of 38 years ago the car did not have a structure which would do well in a wreck, did not have air bags, did not have antilock brakes, Etc. of current cars.
 

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Gotta take issue with that one.

The manufacturers have taken advantage of time allowances before CAFE increases to build bigger, heavier, and faster full size trucks and SUV's.

Who really needs a 6000lb. SUV? A 400 hp pickup truck? And I'm not just talking about domestics.

Instead of concentrating on 5 and 6 speed automatic transmissions and multi-displacement engines, manufacturers should be building 2000lb lighter light duty trucks and 1000 lb lighter automobiles.

The Dodge Challenger V-8 weighs well over 4000lbs, more than it did 38 YEARS AGO. What's wrong with this picture?
If you would but read an economics textbook, you would learn that government regulation distorts the free market.

If you would but read the post you would see how the government regs actually had Ford put a small pickup on hold since it made more economic sense to build a bigger one.

CAFE created all those monsters you write about above.

Well, don't forget about "safety" regulations that mandate more and more weight gain by automobiles. If you are a car enthusiast, how could you "wonder" about this?! This is common knowledge.
 

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Couldn't agree more. First of all CAFE is unfair to the US automakers since they sell more (way more) light trucks, and that's where they get most of their money. Plus there's the fact that regulating what Americans buys is totally un-American.

I love GM, but I agree that it's wrong to use tax payer's money to "bail out" the autos. Then again if it wasn't for cafe and other government regulations they probably wouldn't need this money in the first place.
 

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I agree that CAFE is a waste of time. However, if CAFE is scrapped, then the bailout loans are scrapped too. And without the bailout loans, at least one of Detroit's automakers would enter bankruptcy by 2009.
 

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Ever held an air bag? Hold a bumper from the '70 Challenger, a seat frame, and one from a current model vehicle?

You have the added weight of air bags, but the bumpers, ect are way lighter in a current vehicle.

We should have been investing in lighter vehicles instead of better fuel mileage engine/trannies for heavier vehicles.
 

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The article is outdated and a waste of ink and paper. Discussing it is a waste of bandwidth.

CAFE has been made moot by the rise in fuel prices. Every vehicle maker here will be well above CAFE's standard well before 2020, or if not they will be out of business. It's as simple as that... continue along witht he products of the 90s and go bust or adjust to the new realities and make more fuel efficient vehicles. Stick with trucks and SUVs and die a horrible death or give the public what it wants and grow.

Due to the rise in fuel prices Ford and GM and Toyota have all made their decisions already..
..trucks are on the way back to what they were in the 70s, work vehicles only;
..midsized SUVs are DOA already, its just that the earth hasn't yet been thrown on the coffin;
..the same is true for BOF autos;
..large SUVs will remain in one form or another but only as niche vehicles for those needing to carry 6 or more AND tow something...and probably only for the wealthy who can afford them and the fuel to go in them.
 

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Due to the rise in fuel prices Ford and GM and Toyota have all made their decisions already..
..trucks are on the way back to what they were in the 70s, work vehicles only;
I'm not in total disagreement but GM, Ford, and Dodge still sell a ton of trucks, sales are only down 30% or so. None of the Big 3 have been able to turn a profit on passenger cars in several years so I can't see them abandoning the only profitable vehicles they make.

The Government should kill CAFE immediately if for no other reason than to help the economy.
 

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I'm not in total disagreement but GM, Ford, and Dodge still sell a ton of trucks, sales are only down 30% or so. None of the Big 3 have been able to turn a profit on passenger cars in several years so I can't see them abandoning the only profitable vehicles they make.

The Government should kill CAFE immediately if for no other reason than to help the economy.
Why? Whether CAFE stays or goes isn't going to change anything one way or the other. Right now it's there only as a 'floor'. Every vehicle maker will be well in excess of CAFE 35 well before 2020.


As regards to making a profit on cars it's going to be a hell of an effort but there's no other solution because the market is moving in that direction.

As regards trucks the decisions have already been made ( but they could be unmade potentially ) to de-emphasize trucks and SUVs making them only for the basic truck user as a work vehicle. That would be the pickup from the 60s and 70s. Workmen used it.

Truck sales have been on a slippery slope for the last 5 yrs. In the past the market here purchased about 2.5 million units annually. This year it's going to look like about 1.2 million units and possibly less next year, we'll have to see where fuel prices go. 1 million units is still a lot of product to spread out over 4 producers but it still will be a minor part of the overall mix.
 

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Why? Whether CAFE stays or goes isn't going to change anything one way or the other. Right now it's there only as a 'floor'. Every vehicle maker will be well in excess of CAFE 35 well before 2020.


As regards to making a profit on cars it's going to be a hell of an effort but there's no other solution because the market is moving in that direction.
For once ...... we are in agreement.

That 'flooring' effect is extremely important and has helped the Domestic Big three avoid certain excesses that, thru out their operational

life they have been unfailingly prone to.

A stronger, better, smarter CAFE program - with financial 'support' and financial incentives correctly and strongly favoring or, exclusively targeting

our own Big Three would have benefited them - and the Nation from 87 - 2007.

"Trucks" could have been at a minimum, a solid 2 - 2.5 mpg better across the board by 2007 - if you had started on it back then and spread it out

over 20 years of production. With intelligent development of turbo diesels - it could've been much more.

Without the current program, we probably would've already lost our domestics who without a doubt, would've gone the other way - if left

to their own devices.

****************************

Really think CAFE is a bad idea ?

Then consider this.

If we had had a CAFE program as part of a sensible National Security program in the 1950s and 1960s then Imports, from everywhere else would

not have had such easy pickens' here.

Fuel economy - and (almost ) nothing else got the Japanese (really) rolling here at the beginning of their run - and only after the Energy/Oil 'crises' of

'73 tripled and quadrupled fuel prices . ( Overall, Japanese 'transportation products' failed here from '58 to 69/71 - and were still weak from '69/71 - 73. )

Done smart, and we would've been exporting cars ( at least for a while ) and not just importing them.
 

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As long as we have a choice in what vehicles we buy, CAFE for fuel economy reasons will not work. People buy what best suits their needs and desires. People will always need a vehicle that fits their family/friends, is safe and reliable, and the environment needs them to be as ecologically friendly as reasonably possible. If you want a Volt or an Expedition, the government shouldn't tell you that you can't have one.
By eliminating CAFE, each company will pursue the markets they want, niches will be filled by companies that figure them out, and people will be able to get the vehicles they want and need.
For GM to not be able to pursue a flagship because of CAFE is counterproductive and against the wishes of the American public, I believe.
If people thought out thoroughly the implications of CAFE, they would roundly reject it. They instead would say "Give me a vehicle that is clean, safe, reliable and that meets my needs and wants. I want choices, not government mandates."
CAFE wastes money, time, reduces choices, and makes our car companies less competitive by forcing them to produce vehicles that foreign companies are already producing. If not eliminated completely, CAFE should be reduced to clean air legislation.
We should back the loans to Ford, GM and probably Chrysler because IT IS IN OUR INTERESTS, much like current government actions to prevent the Second Great Depression.
Foreign-based car companies should not be eligible for government loans or help.
 

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As long as we have a choice in what vehicles we buy, CAFE for fuel economy reasons will not work. People buy what best suits their needs and desires. People will always need a vehicle that fits their family/friends, is safe and reliable, and the environment needs them to be as ecologically friendly as reasonably possible. If you want a Volt or an Expedition, the government shouldn't tell you that you can't have one.

In fact the government has both the right and the reponsibility to 'tell us what can be driven on the nation's highways'. Such a right and responsibility was specifically written into the Constitution from the outset. This has nothing to do with any enviro-greenie concept. It's much more serious than that. It's why the stronger CAFE was initiated by .... GW Bush ... no greenie there. There is something even more serious on the horizon than some greenie worry about climate change.

By eliminating CAFE, each company will pursue the markets they want, niches will be filled by companies that figure them out, and people will be able to get the vehicles they want and need.
For GM to not be able to pursue a flagship because of CAFE is counterproductive and against the wishes of the American public, I believe.
If people thought out thoroughly the implications of CAFE, they would roundly reject it. They instead would say "Give me a vehicle that is clean, safe, reliable and that meets my needs and wants. I want choices, not government mandates."


In fact it may be against the wishes of the bulk of the populace of MI and OH and WI and TX but the vast majority of the American public is strongly against SUVs and trucks. This is specifically why the politicians voted the way that they did when Mr Bush's plan was proposed and negotiated. As to why that plan was first introduced ( see above ).


CAFE wastes money, time, reduces choices, and makes our car companies less competitive by forcing them to produce vehicles that foreign companies are already producing. If not eliminated completely, CAFE should be reduced to clean air legislation.
We should back the loans to Ford, GM and probably Chrysler because IT IS IN OUR INTERESTS, much like current government actions to prevent the Second Great Depression.
Foreign-based car companies should not be eligible for government loans or help.
So far CAFE has done NOTHING to limit your/our choices. The past version of CAFE didn't stop the Big 3 from making trucks and SUVs. The new version of CAFE 35 doesn't take effect for twelve years!!! It too will have little or no effect. By that time all vehicle makers will have a fleet averaging > 35 mpg..... or the buying public will have sent them to bankruptcy court.
 

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For once ...... we are in agreement.

That 'flooring' effect is extremely important and has helped the Domestic Big three avoid certain excesses that, thru out their operational

life they have been unfailingly prone to.

A stronger, better, smarter CAFE program - with financial 'support' and financial incentives correctly and strongly favoring or exclusively targeting

our own Big Three would have benefited them - and the Nation from 87 - 2007.

"Trucks" could have been at a minimum a solid 2 - 2.5 mpg better across the board by 2007 - if you had started on it back then and spread it out

over 20 years of production. With intelligent development of turbo diesels - it could've been much more.

Without the current program, we probably would've already lost our domestics who without a doubt, would've gone the other way - if left

to their own devices.

Really think CAFE is a bad idea ?

Then consider this.

If we had had a CAFE program as part of a sensible National Security program in the 1950s and 1960s then Imports, from everywhere else would

not have had such easy pickens' here.

Fuel economy - and nothing else got the Japanese rolling here at the beginning of their run - and only after the Energy/Oil 'crises' of

'73. ( Overall, Japanese 'transportation products' failed here from '58 to 69/71 - and were still weak from '71 -73. )

Do it real smart, and we would've been exporting cars ( at least for a while ) and not just importing them.
YUP! A big X2 on this post... If it wasn't for CAFE, American manufactures WOULDN'T even be in the game. CAFE HELPS American manufactures by getting them to try to build smaller more efficient cars... You know the ones that the rest of the world wants.. If it wasn't for CAFE GM wouldn't have even tried to build a Cobalt like car... ALL we would have from GM would be V8 Cars and Trucks... over the last six months we wouldn't have just seen truck sales "crash" we would have seen ALL sales crash. No CAFE means no VOLT, no Malibu, no CTS, no Cruze...

Interesting that all of the cars that GM Fans point to as the ones that are going to save the company are the same ones that were brought to market to help satisfy CAFE requirements.

I'm not a big fan of CAFE, mostly 'cause the cars that I like to buy, V8, full sized and powerful, have no chance of ever meeting CAFE numbers... but I KNOW that I'm in the minority and my demographic is shrinking fast...

CAFE is leading the way... Companies "ahead of the game" on CAFE are making a KILLING right now... ones playing "catch up" are looking for loan guarantees... Do the math...look at reality, If you like GM, you should be SCREAMING for tighter CAFE numbers.
 

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It wouldnt matter, the price of gas is a bigger driver of people moving to compacts then CAFE ever was.
People moved to smaller cars during the fuel crisis because they got better gas milage. GM tried to make small cars after 50 years of making larger cars, and havent figured it out. CAFE didnt help GM or anyone.
We would have a Cobalt here either way. The market is dictating the rules now, not the goverment.
CAFE was a loose structure of ideas. Everyone found ways around them, and overall they were a sorry idea. Could and should they have been proactive in the 50's and 60's? Yeah, but would we have the cars we chrish today?
Either way, it didnt happen, and it doesnt change the current time. GM is not stupid now, they see the market shifting and the are coming up with cars for people to buy.
CAFE didnt bring the Volt out faster, Prius's popularity durring the gas price hike did. The loss in perception did.
CAFE as it sits is worthless. Do you think that if the goverment tomorrow disolves the CAFE requirements, that GM would start dropping LS9's into Aveo's?
Would trucks double in size? Would we see production monster suv's?
No, because the PEOPLE have spoken, and they want better gas milage.
CAFE didnt make GM make a better Malibu
CAFE didnt tell GM to make the Camaro
CAFE didnt help GM develop the Volt
CAFE didnt push the Family Zero engines for the new Cruze
CAFE hasn't done anything but put strict rules out there so that its just another set of hoops for car makers to jump through.
The people, the consumers did.
 

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GM is not stupid now, they see the market shifting and the are coming up with cars for people to buy.
CAFE didn't bring the Volt out faster, Prius's popularity during the gas price hike did. The loss in perception did.
CAFE as it sits is worthless. Do you think that if the government tomorrow dissolves the CAFE requirements, that GM would start dropping LS9's into Aveo's?
Would trucks double in size? Would we see production monster suv's?
No, because the PEOPLE have spoken, and they want better gas milage.
GM's not stupid now, but they sure were pretty dumb from 2002-2007 right? Cause they didn't get ready for the gas crunch sooner...

The problem with this POV is you miss the fundamental truth about gas prices:
1) They are historically "random"... And controlled by foreign nationals... Almost all of whom HATE America and American industry... So, if you try to base your fleet on what gas prices are going to be in 5 years you will ALWAYS be in "catch up" mode (sound familiar?)
2) Gas prices in America are some of the lowest in the world... this ENCOURAGES manufactures to build big heavy and inefficient cars and trucks... The answer to your question is YES... IF CAFE were abolished and if gas got back to the $1.80 a gallon range then YES then GM would drop LS9's into EVERYTHING... Trucks WOULD become HUGE as would SUV's (Take a look..circa 2002, H1, Monster Suburbans, Ford Excursion, etc.. THEY DID! You forget the "size" race... Each OE built bigger and bigger UTEs to out do each other) and they would sell like crazy (Again they did!)... The problem with your "just let the market decide" POV is that the lead time to bring a new car to market is about half a decade... By the time you turn your company around to build the new cars that the people now want you will loose ALL of your market share to off shore competitors (hey sound familiar again?)

If you want GM to be competitive with the rest of the world manufactures you have two choices (both bad)
1) You need have gas prices that are on par with average gas prices in Europe and East Asia... OR
2) CAFE...

Take your pick.
 
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