Originally Posted by cobie56
perhaps if the gov't required vehicles of 'like usage' to have the same level of gas mileage we'd see fewer (or the demise of?) SUVs. The current and proposed CAFE standards are idiocy that only gov't can manufacture. Let's face it, most folks don't use SUVs for their intended purpose but simply as large truck-like station wagons (estate cars?) If SUVs were required to have same mileage standards as passenger cars (for that IS what they are) then companies would be forced to make SUVs attain better mileage, not make them at all, or make them with performance so dismal no one would buy one. Then folks would flock to wagons as they did in the 50's and 60's. With the exception of sitting higher in a SUV, a wagon can do everything a SUV can and handle better w/ better gas mileage.
Cobie makes too much sense for the government.
The car companies are building SUVs and big trucks because that's what sells. SUVs and trucks (along with shedding contacts and screwing bondholders) are responsible for Chrysler and GM getting back to profitability. CAFE isn't just about fuel economy, it's about protecting the margins on the three most profitable vehicles/platforms of the last 20 years, F-150, Silverado, and Ram. That would be a combined $108 billion or around $5.5 billion a year of pre-tax revenue. If anyone wants to get the taxpayer money back from GM and Chrysler, lets hope they sell enough trucks and horrible SUVs to make money, and perhaps build compact wagons. Remember, in the brave new auto world, it's about platform profitability, not necessarily individual model profitablity.
But......The best way to shift towards more fuel effiecient vehicles by changing consumer behavior is simple. What is the number one cost of owning a car? Fuel! Raise that Fedreal gas tax and have the funds only fix our infastructure and pay down our debt. Wait, that makes too much sense too.