AD #2069 – What’s Really Going on with CAFE, Automakers Cut Production, France Clears Opel of Diesel Wrongdoing
March 20th, 2017 at 11:46am
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- Automakers Cut Production
- France Clears Opel of Diesel Wrongdoing
- Lexus Tests Sewing Operators with Origami
- Lexus RX Made with Aluminum Panels
- What’s Really Going on with CAFE
On today’s show…with slowing sales, automakers are cutting production in North America…if you want to work at Lexus you better be good at origami…and what the hard-core environmentalists don’t want you to know about the CAFE standards. All that and more coming right up on Autoline Daily.
This is Autoline Daily the show for those who support the automotive industry.
AUTOMAKERS CUT PRODUCTION
Earlier this month we reported that inventory levels in the U.S. are starting to creep up. There are 4.1 million vehicles sitting on dealers’ lots right now. We said automakers have two choices: ramp up incentives or start cutting production. They’re definitely choosing the latter. Wards Auto reports that car production in North America was down 4.4% in February. U.S. production was down 7.5%, Canadian production fell 12.5%, but Mexico was up 14%. Through the first two months of the year, total North American production is down 1.4%.
FRANCE CLEARS OPEL OF DIESEL WRONGDOING
In response to Volkswagen’s diesel emission cheating, authorities in France started investigating other automakers for possible wrongdoing. German automaker Opel was one of those companies, but Reuters reports that a French consumer watchdog just cleared the company of any wrongdoing. How interesting. The French accuse a German automaker of cheating. But then a French company wants to buy the German automaker and suddenly it’s cleared of any wrongdoing. Are we trying to say the two are connected? Heavens no! We would be shocked, shocked to learn there was any connection.
And we’ll be back with more right after this.
CAN YOU GIVE ME A HAND?
I’ve heard of strange questions being asked during a job interview, but how about having to fold an Origami cat with one hand in under 90-seconds? And it has to be your non-dominant hand. This is actually a test that each Lexus Takumi operator must pass in order to be considered to become a sewing machine operator. Takumi means “artisan” in Japanese. The test helps prove that they have the “dexterity and carefulness of craftsmen.” And it’s no easy task. It appears as though this was first used to find workers for the hand-sewn upholstery on the 2013 Lexus ES and only 12 people were able to fold an Origami cat with their non-dominate hand in under 90-seconds.
LEXUS RX MADE WITH ALUMINUM PANELS
Looks like Ford and Jaguar Land Rover aren’t the only ones going to aluminum bodies. Did you know the exterior panels on the new Lexus RX are mostly made of aluminum? Lexus didn’t make a big deal of announcing this. But to make sure it has access to plenty of aluminum, Toyota signed a deal with supplier Arconic to make it the sole aluminum sheet supplier to the company for the Lexus RX.
Coming up next, John says environmentalists don’t want you to know what’s really happening with fuel economy standards.
WHAT’S REALLY GOING ON WITH CAFE
Environmentalists are on the warpath, accusing Trump of rolling back fuel economy standards in favor of dirty SUVs that will pollute the planet. But these are gross exaggerations designed to get people riled up, not inform them of what’s really going on.
This past January, the EPA pulled a fast one, reneging on its promise to hold a mid-term review of CAFE standards in April of 2018. Instead, it declared the standards were good to go even though it did not get input from automakers. So the automakers, and I mean all of them, asked Trump to reinstate the mid-term review, something he will probably do this week.
What the hard-core environmentalists never mention is that U.S. emission and fuel economy standards are the toughest in the world. There’s a misperception out there that European standards are tougher. They are not. And this explains why Volkswagen can “fix” the cheating diesels it sold in Europe, but can’t fix them in the U.S.–the U.S. standards are that much tougher.
Also, no matter what Trump does, the U.S. standards will continue to get tougher every single year up until 2022. That’s because the mid-term review only affects the standards from 2022 to 2025. That’s when those standards really get tough–so tough that every single automaker, not just the Detroit Three, are asking for relief. And they’re asking for one national standard, meaning they don’t want California to set its own rules.
But the automakers are not asking for a roll back. They just don’t want such a steep increase. As I keep saying, don’t make it a 2025 CAFE standard, push it back to 2030. Five extra years would give the industry enormous relief yet we’d still get to the same goals. The hard-core environmentalists don’t want you to know this, but even if we delayed CAFE by five years the United States would still have the toughest fuel economy and emissions standards in the world.
That’s how I see it and as always we welcome you to weigh in with your comments. And that’s it for today, thanks for watching and please join us again tomorrow.
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