We definitely have a Democratic Congress.And Democrats and the domestic automakers get along like oil and water. And now with gas prices the way they are, look for a lot more fires.
According to the Associated Press (via the Seattle Post-Intelligencer) the newly Democrat-controlled Congress have been warming automakers that they should be preparing for some changes.
That means tough new standards on fuel economy. A bill currently in the Senate would raise CAFE standards to an average of 35 mpg for cars and trucks by 2020. That marks an increase of about 10 mpg over today’s requirements. And it doesn’t stop there: the bill also calls for raises of four percent a year from 2020 to 2030 .
Some auto execs are saying that the proposed standards are too strict, too tough or are not achievable. But Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has said that the auto makers are willing to accept some type of increase.
Our take? If we were the auto industry, we should be focusing on how to meet those goals than fight them. Chrysler, Ford, and GM, especially, should be wary that this may be another chance by foreign automakers to, again, catch them flat-footed in the fuel-efficiency arena.