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Oracle of Delphi

Congress wants green trucks — do buyers?

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As Toyota Motor Corp. joins the Big Three Detroit automakers in trying to soften up fuel economy legislation winding through Congress that would require a Corporate Average Fuel Economy standard of 35 mpg by 2020, what gets lost in the controversy is that the carmakers actually could achieve the target. They just want a little more time — and money.

Key to the fuel economy target in the likely bill: building pickups and sport-utility vehicles that average 27.6 mpg by 2020. Despite complaints from automakers, that goal is certainly attainable. But it's going to take a well-funded information campaign aimed at consumers to prime the marketplace for what amounts to a re-engineering of the U.S. pickup market. This is what automakers, even Toyota, are afraid of. Nobody wants to upset "Bubba" pickup buyer.

The automakers have the technology to make the shift happen. But to build pickup trucks that get almost 10 miles more per gallon than they do now will require billions in new investment. This is a legitimate concern on the part of the auto companies, since the three domestics are struggling mightily to make any profit at all these days. Research and consulting firm Global Insight recently studied the issue and concluded that technology and manufacturing investments would be about $12 billion, including $8 billion on eight new diesel engine plants. And those investments would have to be made starting now, says Phil Gott, Global Insight's director of automotive consulting, in order to achieve the ramp-up with consumers.

Article continues: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21351883/

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All of this seems really scary to me...

I fear that the future holds neither a sports car to have fun in nor a functional truck to carry other stuff to have fun in.

Maybe I'll stick to classics, surely someone can come up with a retrofit hydrogen, CNG or ethanol system for those (Especially as big as that market is)

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Leave Bubba and me alone! You're a bunch of jealous communist bitches!

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