Energy Policy Conservation Act (CAFE standards) Quotes

If we sell too many big cars in any quarter in 1978, we’ll have to hold back our product mix and we’ll have to ration or allocate cars. The law is final now, but if enough people complain when they can’t get a big car, maybe the government will revise its legislation. To meet 27.5 m.p.g. by ’85, the average weight of cars will have to be about 3,200 pounds versus 4,000 pounds now. That means every car would be a compact, subcompact, or smaller. The new law implies that we must get better fuel economy between 1980 and 1985 then between 1978 and 1980. That’s unlikely.

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Charles Heinen, Director of Emissions and Fuel Economy Certification for Chrysler, Chicago Tribune.

The conflict between government standards and market demands is increased by the rollback of petroleum prices and extension of petroleum price controls at the same time. By making gasoline cheaper, congress has encouraged consumer demand for larger cars, while at the same time imposing fuel economy standards that require stronger demand for small cars.

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Lee Iacocca, then a Ford executive, and Henry Ford II, Chicago Tribune.

The more efficient new cars won’t save a drop of gas until they’re purchased. If they don’t sell, not only energy conservation, but pollution and safety improvements will be set back.

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Unidentified GM Spokesman, Chicago Tribune.

We have stated that the full-size car market can’t be ignored because it is accounting for 30 percent of domestic auto sales for the model year. Chrysler does not intend to, and would not, abandon a market segment of that size and importance to automotive buyers.

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.K. Brown, Vice President of Chrysler Group, Chicago Tribune.

We have consistently opposed mandatory fuel economy standards as unnecessary. Because it is clearly in our self interest to meet customer requirements on fuel economy improvements, as demonstrated by our own high mileage m.p.g. small cars recently announced.

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Rodney Markley Jr., VP of Washington Staff for Ford, Chicago Tribune

Ill-considered arbitrary fuel economy legislation could delay progress in conserving gasoline, extend unemployment, and restrict economic progress. It also could deny the choice of vehicles desired and needed by a large number of Americans.

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Unidentified GM Spokesman, Chicago Tribune.

Absent a significant technological breakthrough. . . the largest car the industry will be selling in any volume at all will probably be smaller, lighter, and less powerful than today’s compact Chevy Nova…

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E.M. Estes, the president of General Motors. Oil Daily. 1975.

In effect, this bill would outlaw a number of engine lines and car models including most fullsize sedans and station wagons. It would restrict the industry to producing subcompact-size cars — or even smaller ones — within 5 years . . .

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Alan Loofburrow, vice president of engineering at Chrysler Corp., Senate Commerce Committee

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