President Trump has ordered a review of the car emissions rules mandated by his predecessor Obama. The news is music to the ears of the manufacturers, who argue that the rules are too strict and out of touch, reports Automotive News.
Speaking to an automotive industry audience at the American Center for Mobility, Trump promised to “work on the CAFE standards so you can make cars in America again”. First introduced in 1975, the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards are regulations to improve the fuel economy of U.S.-produced cars and light trucks.
The review does not mean the CAFE standards will be weakened, but it will enable car makers to push for relief measures with the EPA – the overseeing agency the budget of which Trump proposes to curtail by a third.
Trump’s speech was attended by a number of high-profile automotive CEOs: Mark Fields of Ford, Mary Barra of GM, Sergio Marchionne of Fiat Chrysler and Jim Lentz of Toyota Motor North America, and others.
In return for regulatory leniency, Trump asked the CEOs to build modern plants "like you've built in Mexico" to bring car manufacturing jobs back to the U.S. No car maker has yet committed to doing so.
Recent data suggests that 53.4% of cars retailed in the U.S. were made in the U.S., with 10.9% originating in Japan, 10.6% in Mexico, 10.5% in Canada, 6.4% in South Korea and 4.1% in Germany.
Days before Trump took office, the EPA confirmed it would keep CAFE mandates requiring car makers to raise fleet-wide fuel economy to 54.5 mpg (23.17 kpl) by 2025, a measure the EPA calculated would cost the industry about $33 (€30.7) billion, but would lead to about $98 (€91) billion in fuel savings and other net benefits.
Car makers argue that lower petrol prices and the resulting shift in consumer preference from smaller to larger cars have changed the equation, making fleet-wide compliance with the norms even more costly.
But the EPA confirmation prevented a midterm review of those mandates – until Trump overturned the decision. Environmental and consumer groups criticised the president's action. But Trump said his main focus in reviewing the mandates was to safeguard and create jobs. The president's decision was praised by the National Automobile Dealers Association and other car industry players.
Image: public domain
| 16/03/2017 | Frank Jacobs