Automaker Alliance Resumes Fear-Based Fuel Economy Ads


Gas pump with dollars

Gas pump with dollars

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Just 24 hours after pulling a series of radio ads designed to alarm the public about upcoming fuel economy rules, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers resumed airing the radio spots on Friday morning.

A spokeswoman for the AAM confirmed that the ads would run in an unspecified number of states, specifically those with “many auto jobs or a high proportion of truck buyers.”

The decision to run the ads came after an unspecified automaker and AAM member changed its mind about opposing the ads. An industry trade association, the AAM includes Ford, Chrysler, General Motors, Toyota and eight other automakers in its membership.

The AAM has vehemently opposed stricter fuel economy regulations proposed by the EPA, which has proposed a Corporate Average Fuel Economy standard of 56.2 mpg by 2025.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency adminstrator Lisa Jackson and President Barack Obama

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency adminstrator Lisa Jackson and President Barack Obama

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Enacting such a standard would will hike new car prices by no more than $2,600, but save consumers $7,000 over the vehicle’s lifespan in fuel costs, according to the Obama administration.

The AAM ads discount this, saying only, “families would be hit with higher car prices,” and “small businesses dependent on vans, SUVs or pickups would face limited vehicle choices.”

Many environmentalists feel that not increasing fuel economy standards could be even more detrimental to the U.S. auto industry. Jack Gillis, of the Consumer Federation of America , summed it up by saying, “reducing fuel economy requirements will ensure that U.S. vehicles remain uncompetitive in the global market.”

Nonetheless, automakers have touted gloom-and-doom worst-case predictions that many view as vastly overblown, compared to far less dire projections issued by independent observers and industry analysts.

An agreement could come as early as next week, but formal proposals from both the federal government and California aren’t due before the end of September.

[The Detroit News]

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