The Truth About CAFE Standards

How about we keep government out of it?
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I went to General Motors six years ago, five or six years ago in advance of them becoming official sponsors. And I reacquainted myself with Bob Lutz, who back then liked me. But we’ve had a falling out over global warming. He’s big on the Volt and so forth, he’s a corporate guy, and he blames me for — anyway. I went up and spent two hours with him. And I knew before I got there that he had designed a really luxurious Cadillac that was either a 12- or 16-cylinder engine. It was gonna be a beast. Luxury, not an SUV. It was a sedan. And when we’re walking around I saw the mock-up of it. The life size model. It was gorgeous. It was beautiful. I said, “When is that coming out?”

He said, “We can’t make it. CAFE standards.”

I said, “Now, wait a minute.” And I was dead serious. “Every year BMW, Bentley, Rolls-Royce, Mercedes produce these big hog sedans of 600-horsepower twin turbo V-12s, what do you mean you can’t do it?”

He said, “Well, they’re not gonna be able to do it for long.”

Well, the 2015 Mercedes S-Class just hit, and they’re still doing it. He said that Cadillac, GM couldn’t do it. I guess they couldn’t fit that car into their corporate average fleet. Mercedes must make a bunch of puddle jumpers in Europe that get them under the standard. I still don’t know why Mercedes, Daimler-Benz, I don’t know why they can do it and GM can’t. It was a gorgeous car that Lutz had designed, and they couldn’t make it because of the CAFE standards.



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