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Obama: New fuel economy agreement most important step to reduce dependence on foreign oil


Jul. 29, 2011


WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama
called a new agreement for 2017 to 2025
fueleconomy standards “the single most
important step we’ve ever taken as a
nation to reduce our dependence on
foreign oil.”

Obama, who spoke at a ceremony this
morning officially announcing the deal
between automakers, the administration
and California regulators, said consumers
would save an average $8,000 per vehicle
in reduced fuel costs because fuel economy
standards would nearly double from
current levels to an average of 54.5 m.p.g.
for cars and light duty trucks and SUVs by
2025.

Obama said the plan represented “an
aggressive target, and that “the companies
here are stepping up to the plate.”

CEOs of the Detroit Three and top

executives at several Asian automakers sat
on stage next to Obama during the brief
ceremony at Washington’s convention
center.

National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration chief David Strickland said
in an interview that the final sign-offs from
the automakers came late last night well
past 11:30 p.m.

Last-minute efforts to clarify California’s
role in the process – and whether it would
abide by any federal standards all the way
through 2025, was a last-minute sticking
point, as the Free Press reported
yesterday.

Strickland said California officials’ presence
at the ceremony meant “we have a national
program.”

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said
she was “thrilled” by the fuel economy
deal, calling it “very significant” that
efficiency standards would roughly double
by 2025.

 

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Chrysler Group LLC Statement Regarding the Proposed Fuel Economy Standards from 2017 through 2025


July 29, 2011 , Washington, D.C. - Chrysler Group supports in principal the agreement on proposed fuel economy standards from 2017 through 2025 under a continued National Program. We remain committed to the goal of a single, national, and coordinated program that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and enhance our country’s energy security.

We appreciate the Obama Administration’s leadership in bringing together stakeholders to reach agreement on a set of principles. Chrysler Group also appreciates the continuous efforts of the entire Michigan congressional delegation in supporting U.S. manufacturing and jobs, consumers, and the environment.

The Chrysler Group has actively adopted fuel-saving technologies including cylinder deactivation on V-8 engines, a new MultiAir® system that is being introduced on the Fiat 500 today and an eight-speed transmission on the 2012 Chrysler 300 that will be introduced later this year.

While the proposed targets are ambitious, the agreement provides a flexibility in achieving CO2-reduction goals that allows us to invest in the development of more fuel-efficient technologies and continue our rich history of creating compelling products that appeal to a wide variety of consumer needs and tastes.

 

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July 29, 2011 Autos Insider | Chrysler CEO: Consumers may not buy pricier, more fuel-efficient vehicles | The Detroit News

Chrysler CEO: Consumers may not buy pricier, more fuel-efficient vehicles


Washington - Chrysler Group LLC CEO Sergio Marchionne said today it's not clear if consumers will buy the vehicles necessary to meet the new stringent fuel standards for the 2017-2025 timeframe.

In a Detroit News interview, Marchionne said he told President Barack Obama that it's up to consumers to agree to pay more for more fuel-efficient vehicles.

"We're going to live with it," said Marchionne. "I told this to the president: Technically we can get there; the question is whether the market will bear the price. That's the only thing we don't know about. We need to continue to work at this to get better."

On a separate subject, Marchionne said he is confident Chrysler will receive loans from the $25 billion Energy Department retooling program. Chrysler is hoping to get about a $3 billion loan. "We're working on it," he said, saying the company could finalize it shortly. "Maybe by the end of the third quarter."

Chrysler's fleet is the most heavily dependent on light trucks of the Big Three and the company pressed the administration for accommodations so it could meet the standards. The company had been undecided on whether it could support the deal until very late in the process.

But Marchionne is confident. Chrysler "is resilient enough to get this done."

The administration agreed to credits for automakers to meet the goals — and to require only 3.5 percent annual increases in fuel efficiency on average through 2021 for light trucks — but 5 percent on average for passenger cars.

The administration will require an average of 5 percent increases for both light trucks and passenger cars for 2022-2025.

United Auto Workers President Bob King lobbied on behalf of Chrysler, even calling White House chief of staff Bill Daley on the automaker's behalf this week.

"This is the great thing about the administration: they included everyone in the discussion. They listened to our input. They listed to Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Hyundai — everybody got a chance to get their views," King said in an interview. "This agreement is important for keeping our industry strong."

King hitched a ride home to Detroit with Ford Motor Co. President and CEO Alan Mulally in order to attend the kickoff of the labor talks.

Mulally declined to comment on the fuel economy announcement, deferring to Marchionne. "Sergio's the man," Mulally said.
 
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