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Old 04-10-2007, 03:44 PM   #1
mhoward1
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Default GM halts all Future RWD Models due to new Cafe Standards

From the Chicago Tribune:

GM puts brake on rear-drive vehicles
Published April 10, 2007

General Motors has put a hold on future rear-wheel-drive vehicles.

"We've pushed the pause button. It's no longer full speed ahead," Vice Chairman Bob Lutz revealed in an interview.

Two of the most important RWD cars in the works are the Chevy Camaro sports coupe due back late in 2008 and the full-size, RWD replacement for the Chevy Impala sedan for 2009. Both are expected to be huge sellers and contribute major profits to a GM till burdened with IOUs the last few years.

"It's too late to stop Camaro, but anything after that is questionable or on the bubble," said Lutz, noting that also means Camaro derivatives -- along with a big Impala sedan, "if we call it Impala."

The RWD cars, you see, would be larger and heavier than front-wheel-drive cars or are high-performance models.

So it comes down to the matter of fuel economy. Or as Lutz says: "We don't know how to get 30 percent better mileage from" RWD cars.

That 30 percent bogey arises from a proposal by the Bush administration to raise corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards by 4 percent a year so cars would have to average 34 m.p.g. by 2017, up from 27.5 m.p.g. today. On top of that, the Supreme Court ruled last week that the Environmental Protection Agency can regulate carbon dioxide expelled by cars, a gas that contributes to global warming. The EPA doesn't do so now.

"We'll decide on our rear-drive cars when the government decides on CO(-2) levels and CAFE regulations," Lutz said, adding that limiting CO(-2) would increase mileage, too.

"Carbon dioxide is a natural byproduct of burning gas and directly proportional to the amount of fuel burned. If we legislate CO(-2) from cars, why not legislate we take one less breath per minute since humans release capricious amounts of CO(-2) each time they exhale?" offered a testy Lutz.

Lutz also points out that higher mileage will come at a price, with the proposal to raise CAFE certain to increase costs by as much as $5,000, which will be added to a car's sticker, an amount most consumers won't be willing to pay. There are no hard numbers for how much CAFE compliance adds to the sticker now.

"Rather than buy new, people would hang onto their old cars. We could eat the $5,000, but that would put us out of business."

Besides, those who see cars as more than just an appliance are eager for the new RWD offerings.

Among other cars affected are a high-performance midsize Pontiac, a replacement for the full-size Buick Lucerne sedan, a compact smaller than the current CTS at Cadillac and possible 300-horsepower versions of the Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky roadsters.

"This is very disappointing," noted Erich Merkle, director of forecasting for IRN Inc., in Grand Rapids, Mich. Most of the cars coming are necessary to GM's turnaround as showroom magnets.

"What the public buys makes CAFE work, not what the industry builds," Merkle added. "To improve mileage you change demand, not supply, by raising gas prices through taxes. But no politician is going to do that so they throw the responsibility on the back of the industry."

Lutz also objects to the talk that carmakers can easily raise mileage with a very low investment.

"Academics assure us that for $200 we can get 30 percent better mileage. If anyone can figure out how to do that for $200 -- or even for $1,000 -- I want them in my office today. Show me how to do it and we'll adopt it," he said. "If I could increase mileage by 30 percent for $200, why wouldn't I? What's my motivation not to when a gas-electric hybrid gets 27 percent better mileage and I hope someday to get the cost down to $9,000?"

Others insist that carmakers simply have to sell more small cars, such as the trio of 1-liter concepts that promise 40 m.p.g.-plus that GM unveiled at the New York Auto Show.

"Small-car mileage only counts toward CAFE if you build them here, and you can't build small cars here at a profit," Lutz said, explaining that foreign-made cars would count toward the automaker's import fleet, and its domestic fleet is where GM needs help.
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Old 04-10-2007, 03:53 PM   #2
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they should stop making SUVS before they stop making rwd cars..

scum
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Old 04-10-2007, 04:17 PM   #3
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We don't know how to get 30 percent better mileage from" RWD cars

lol GM is good
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Old 04-10-2007, 04:19 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mxpunk View Post
they should stop making SUVS before they stop making rwd cars..

scum
QFT!

seriously.. they should also just start making more cars off the kappa platform. A 2+2 coupe with that turbo engine would be a nice start.
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Old 04-10-2007, 04:23 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NismoSkylineGTR View Post
We don't know how to get 30 percent better mileage from" RWD cars

lol GM is good
didn't they have commercials saying more of their cars get 30 mpg than any other auto maker... I don't think it'd be that hard to slightly improve that in 10 years
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Old 04-10-2007, 04:25 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mxpunk View Post
they should stop making SUVS before they stop making rwd cars..

scum
Then they wouldn't sell anything

Suprised the ugly ass Camaro concept still squeezed through. Autobody shops better start ordering those spare body panels now. I see a lot of trees and fences just waiting to be destroyed by your typical first time Camaro owner.
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Old 04-10-2007, 04:50 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sential View Post
didn't they have commercials saying more of their cars get 30 mpg than any other auto maker... I don't think it'd be that hard to slightly improve that in 10 years
You seriously think GM can get 39mpg in 10 years?
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Old 04-10-2007, 04:57 PM   #8
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Its just sickening.......Blah,blah,blah. Stop your crying Detroit, and get your arse to engineering. One of the reason these big SUV's are our car of choice is because of the so called CAFE standards, which by the way have been around since the 70's and had a fuel economy restriction but a weight loophole. So what does Detroit do.......we will just make them heavier and out of the realm of CAFE restrictions------BRILLIANT!! So we ended up with the likes of Excursions and Yukons everywhere. And as far as the restriction on cars, we will just make it where the back seats lay down, change the style a little bit and waa-laa-----it's not really a car its a crossover (PT Cruiser), or for classification sake, it a light truck. Now that the loopholes are closing (which they really have been tightening up for several years now) here comes GM with the first whinings. Wasn't Motor Trends Car Of The Year in 2004 the Toyota Prius? Why Detroit, can Europe and Japan reduce C02 emissions with cleaner more fuel effecient cars, and you can't seem to get it done. And now with this thing brewing for several tears--cough -cough--I mean years, you act as if your so suprised and production just has to come to a stop(DRAMA). Stop looking for holes in the laws, and start building cars that reflect it. Go back to the drawing board, make them lighter, make them more effecient (flex fuel burning and so on) and widen your marketing views to something more than just throwback enthusiasists and SUV owners. And all execs give back 2 million a year in salary-----that alone ought to be enough to spawn a whole new engineering department.
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Old 04-10-2007, 05:06 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mh_WRX View Post
"Carbon dioxide is a natural byproduct of burning gas and directly proportional to the amount of fuel burned. If we legislate CO(-2) from cars, why not legislate we take one less breath per minute since humans release capricious amounts of CO(-2) each time they exhale?" offered a testy Lutz.
I think there are several people that would be all for Bob taking one less breath per minute.

-Mike.
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Old 04-10-2007, 05:33 PM   #10
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Quote:
The RWD cars, you see, would be larger and heavier than front-wheel-drive cars or are high-performance models.
Zomg it is imposible to make a relatively lighweight and small rwd car. The extra drive shaft and diff housing probably weighs 35 lbs at most. What he should have said is we wont make any small rwd cars because you cheap americans wont pay the premium...
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Old 04-10-2007, 05:50 PM   #11
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I am pissed about this!

You can't make a fuel efficient RWD car?!? yea, really? Ask BMW how they get pretty damn good mileage out of their 3-series. Or look at your own Sky Redline edition for inspiration - power and fuel efficiency.

RWD might attribute to some more weight, but it's because your cars are too god damn BIG (and thus heavy) that is reducing mileage, more than which wheels are driven. There is absolutely NO reason that a RWD car has to be bigger than a FWD one. None.

Right when ya think that GM has finally learned a thing or 2 and changed their old lazy ways, they pull this crap!

I would also like to point out that the mileage rules are Corporate AVERAGE Fuel Economy standards. This is just one more example of who clueless GM (and how well run Toyota is) - GM doesn't have any super-efficient small cars to counterbalance it's bigger, thirstier, more powerful cars, and thus is in the problem it faces now. Toyota on the other hand, has the highly efficient Yaris and entire Scion line, and that isn't even counting the Prius. Those efficient small cars - which also happen to be quite popular - can offset whatever the next-gen Supra's fuel economy is gonna be - and I would be willing to bet that it's not gonna be as bad as a comparable GM car.
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Old 04-10-2007, 05:54 PM   #12
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Attention Bob:
No need to reinvent the wheel, just bring your Diesel Engines over from Europe. Problem solved, I'd like my check mailed tomorrow.

Sincerely,
Master2192
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Old 04-10-2007, 05:55 PM   #13
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CAFE is pure socialism. Private owned businesses run by the government.

We have a capitalist system in the US, why does our government refuse to use it?

If you want cars to use less CO2, its directly proportional to gas consumed. So tax gas. Want to expedite the transition more? Give tax credits (paid for by the gas tax) to energy sold that was produced without CO2.

When gas goes up to $4 a gallon people will demand fuel efficient vehicles. If people demand them, GM, Ford, etc will produce them. If people stop buying SUVs, GM will stop making them.

If GM, Ford, Toyota can make money selling big SUVs, it shouldn't be within the government's power to say they can't.
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Old 04-10-2007, 06:01 PM   #14
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A Z06 'Vette gets 28mpg today, so I'm not exactly seeing the problem here. Lutz's statements lately are bizarre. If I was on the board I'd be on his case hard.
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Old 04-10-2007, 06:59 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SublimeGTP View Post
CAFE is pure socialism. Private owned businesses run by the government.

We have a capitalist system in the US, why does our government refuse to use it?

If you want cars to use less CO2, its directly proportional to gas consumed. So tax gas. Want to expedite the transition more? Give tax credits (paid for by the gas tax) to energy sold that was produced without CO2.

When gas goes up to $4 a gallon people will demand fuel efficient vehicles. If people demand them, GM, Ford, etc will produce them. If people stop buying SUVs, GM will stop making them.

If GM, Ford, Toyota can make money selling big SUVs, it shouldn't be within the government's power to say they can't.
Hince the price for gas in Japan and Europe. But do we really believe its not going there, with 60-70% increase in say the last 6-7 years??? That use to be unrealistic, but the sound of that doesn't necessarily send shivers up my spine anymore-----Oil Co.'s, Car Manufac, Government.....they will squeeze it out of us eventually. There will be a price increase for the flex fuel but the engines would run better, cleaner and more effecient. The extra jack could be given back as a tax incentive at the end of the year. I sure could use one.
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Old 04-10-2007, 07:05 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mxpunk View Post
they should stop making SUVS before they stop making rwd cars..

scum
CAFE for light trucks is much lower. And they don't count against the total at all if they can push the GVRW over 8500lbs. There is a reason the biggest of the SUV's are as heavy and have the payload capacity they do. This is a giant loophole that needs to be shut, pronto.

I don't know the exact number, but under the current rules, making the vehicle flex-fuel capable allows them to claim a higher MPG figure without actually making the vehicle get any better gas mileage at all -- another loophole in the system that needs to be closed.

I agree with Master. Bring on the diesels. And the two-mode hybrids. And then a serial hybrid based on the Volt's technology. And then a serial hybrid with a natural-gas/coal gas/bio-gas fuel cell instead of a gas engine. And then an all-electric and to hell with ExxonMobil...

Deliver, or get out of the way of those who can.

Speaking of which, rumor is the next Viper will be getting significant amounts of carbon fiber as the final test of a new low-cost CF manufacturing process McLaren/Daimler/Chrysler have before putting it into mass-market vehicles. Significantly lightening vehicles will help fuel mileage while still allowing for great performance.
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Old 04-10-2007, 07:19 PM   #17
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I didn't know Bob Lutz was a 16 year old girl. I thought she was more like 40.
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Old 04-10-2007, 07:29 PM   #18
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If you can't meet CAFE using RWD, you're not gonna meet it with FWD either.
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Old 04-10-2007, 07:40 PM   #19
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You see, after years of flunking, Bob was really gonna try this time too. Now she's not even gonna try. She's gonna drop out of high school and marry a bum. A BUM! Are you happy now, GOVERNMENT!
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Old 04-10-2007, 08:45 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Len View Post
I didn't know Bob Lutz was a 16 year old girl. I thought she was more like 40.


I was thinking "what a whiny little bitch" as I read this article. Your 2 posts sum it up perfectly.

~~Quentin
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Old 04-10-2007, 08:45 PM   #21
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How quickly we forget:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Winning the Oil Endgame, Lovins, Batta, et al., 2005
The cornerstone of the 1977–85 revolution in U.S. oil savings—when
Washington led with coherent policy and Detroit rose to the occasion—
was 7.6-mpg-better domestic cars. On average, each new car drove 1%
fewer miles on 20% fewer gallons, achieving 96% of that efficiency gain
from smarter design, only 4% from smaller size.49 During 1975–84, the
fuel economy of the entire light-vehicle fleet rose by 62% while vehicles
became safer, far cleaner, and no less peppy.50
So now we're asking GM to achieve half that improvement in the same time period and it can't be done?

Sorry. Not buying any today.
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Old 04-10-2007, 08:48 PM   #22
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There is an easy way to meet these requirements. You shut down all American car production and source everything from China. You can profitably make small cars there.

Ed
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Old 04-10-2007, 08:52 PM   #23
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SublimeGTP, wow how is it that you are the only one here who gets it???
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Old 04-10-2007, 09:02 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hondahata View Post
Hince the price for gas in Japan and Europe. But do we really believe its not going there, with 60-70% increase in say the last 6-7 years??? That use to be unrealistic, but the sound of that doesn't necessarily send shivers up my spine anymore-----Oil Co.'s, Car Manufac, Government.....they will squeeze it out of us eventually. There will be a price increase for the flex fuel but the engines would run better, cleaner and more effecient. The extra jack could be given back as a tax incentive at the end of the year. I sure could use one.
Its definitely going to $4 soon. Here's the thing at $4, I'd be ditching an SUV if I had one. At $5 I'm looking for a hybrid. At $6 I'm converting my car to fully electric in my garage.
Them raising the CAFE doesn't make me want a more fuel efficient vehicle.
This is the way you affect change.
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Old 04-10-2007, 09:04 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quentinberg007 View Post


I was thinking "what a whiny little bitch" as I read this article. Your 2 posts sum it up perfectly.

~~Quentin
I think I watch too much Colberr reporr
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