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Oracle of Delphi

Lutz: GM to rethink product plans if 35 mpg CAFE passes

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Rick Kranz

Automotive News

December 7, 2007 - 10:33 am ET

SAN DIEGO — A massive change to General Motors’ future product plans is expected if the 35 mpg CAFÉ fleet average favored by Congress is enacted into law.

“The minute we have confirmation of the 35 mpg rule, that is the point where we go through all of our forward product plans and probably introduce, frankly, massive restructuring of the product plan,” said GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz. “A 35 mpg fleet mix means there is a bunch of stuff out there that is going to have to be 40 and 50 mpg.”

The House bill passed last month calls for a 35 mpg nationwide fleet average by 2020, roughly a 40 percent increase from today’s CAFÉ standard. A key provision allows an automaker to trade credits between its car and truck fleets.

“We will have to take a look at everything because we’re going to have to come up with a plan which gets us to 2015, 2017, gets us part of the way there, and with clarity on how we’re going to get the rest,” said Lutz, interviewed Dec. 5 at a Saturn event in San Diego. “Then we will have to start raising prices as we introduce the new technology.”

He estimated a $6,000 to $7,000 increase in the price of vehicles requiring new technology. GM is offering a two-mode hybrid power system in the 2008 Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon, although it has not said what the price of the option will be.

It is developing a series hybrid vehicle based on the Chevrolet Volt concept that would run solely on electric power, recharged by a small gasoline engine. A production version is expected to arrive in 2010.

Earlier this year, many industry figures said the 35-mpg CAFÉ plan would hurt automakers, suppliers and workers. But the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, of which GM is a member, endorsed the House bill.

“I think one of the reasons that everybody said, ‘Yeah, yeah, we’re in agreement with this,’ is because anything, even a horrible alternative, is better than the constant uncertainty,” he said.

While such vehicles as 2008 Saturn Astra, which goes on sale later this month, gets 32 mpg on the highway and could be tweaked to reach 35 mpg, he said “there is no way that we’re going to get pickups and sport utilities to anywhere close to 35 mpg.” The two-wheel-drive Tahoe with a two-mode hybrid system gets 21 mpg city/22 mpg highway.

Lutz said it is impossible for GM’s Lambda-based crossovers, such as the Buick Enclave, to achieve 35 mpg, he said. GM’s plans for larger rear-wheel-drive vehicles like a Chevrolet Impala replacement remain uncertain, Lutz said.

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No doubt, CAFE has put a major chill on the whole industry. I am interested in seeing how Flex-Fuel vehicles will be counted... if ethanol can prove to be a nationwide, viable source of fuel to mix with gasoline... why in the world can't we have the Zeta RWD large cars we yearn for? Why can't Alpha sit under Cadillac, Chevy and its natural home, Pontiac, as well as Holden and around the world?
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Hardly anyone really NEEDS a Tahoe or a Lambda except for towing. So it may just be that the days of trailer-towing boats, RVs and other lifestyle vehicles is coming to an end. No one but the very rich will be able to afford them anyway in the coming years of very high fuel prices and tight credit for the average joe. I'm sure that a Tahoe sized vehicle will still be offered, but the demand will be so limited that likely only one manufacturer will be offering it (kinda like when Ford ceded the full-sized wagon market to GM).

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Hardly anyone really NEEDS a Tahoe or a Lambda except for towing. So it may just be that the days of trailer-towing boats, RVs and other lifestyle vehicles is coming to an end. No one but the very rich will be able to afford them anyway in the coming years of very high fuel prices and tight credit for the average joe. I'm sure that a Tahoe sized vehicle will still be offered, but the demand will be so limited that likely only one manufacturer will be offering it (kinda like when Ford ceded the full-sized wagon market to GM).

That is an unacceptable answer.

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You're not alone. This country is full of corn-pone fatties who think they're ENTITLED to the standard of living their fathers and grandfathers enjoyed. These same people don't worry either because "technology will save us." 35 mpg? Easy. Why? Because that's the way it's always been. :rolleyes:

Bank on this - prepare yourself for a different way of living that will include forced sacrifice.

That is an unacceptable answer.
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You're not alone. This country is full of corn-pone fatties who think they're ENTITLED to the standard of living their fathers and grandfathers enjoyed. These same people don't worry either because "technology will save us." 35 mpg? Easy. Why? Because that's the way it's always been. :rolleyes:

Bank on this - prepare yourself for a different way of living that will include forced sacrifice.

Seems to me that the country is full of Surrender Monkeys that are willing to accept decline as

their fate.

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How ironic that "buyacargetacheck" is a "Super Sport" member. I wonder what he drives. :scratchchin:
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I don't know why I am listed as a "Super Sport" member. I don't own one.

How ironic that "buyacargetacheck" is a "Super Sport" member. I wonder what he drives. :scratchchin:
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Dude, I know it's not a Super Sport... that designation has to do with your number of posts. :rolleyes:
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Surrender??? To whom? To what?

You clearly don't realize what's been required to allow the U.S. with 5% of the world's population to use 25% of the world's fossil fuels. I'll give you a hint. It has nothing to do with "freedom" and lots to do with killing a ton of people and subjugating the rest. Just ask the citizens of our oil "partners" in Nigeria, Equador, Iraq, and Colombia. We import nearly 3/4 of what we use now (and growing). Ever wonder why our military is so large or why we have 700 bases around the world? We might as well fill our tanks with blood. And your little world is rocked because you can't have a V-8? Welcome to reality.

Seems to me that the country is full of Surrender Monkeys that are willing to accept decline as

their fate.

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Surrender??? To whom? To what?

You clearly don't realize what's been required to allow the U.S. with 5% of the world's population to use 25% of the world's fossil fuels. I'll give you a hint. It has nothing to do with "freedom" and lots to do with killing a ton of people and subjugating the rest. Just ask the citizens of our oil "partners" in Nigeria, Equador, Iraq, and Colombia. We import nearly 3/4 of what we use now (and growing). Ever wonder why our military is so large or why we have 700 bases around the world? We might as well fill our tanks with blood. And your little world is rocked because you can't have a V-8? Welcome to reality.

You know nothing about me or my position on such things- you'd be surprised if you did.

However, I feel absolutely no guilt about the fate of the rest of the world and will not dumb-down my expectations in some PC illusion of fairness.

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Oh yeah 35 MPG fleet is really going to change things. :rolleyes:

Sounds like a lame way to make the people of the U.S. think the government is doing something. :D

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Oh yeah 35 MPG fleet is really going to change things. :rolleyes:

Sounds like a lame way to make the people of the U.S. think the government is doing something. :D

That is the sum total of its value. Yet, the consequences make a long list.

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Surrender??? To whom? To what?

You clearly don't realize what's been required to allow the U.S. with 5% of the world's population to use 25% of the world's fossil fuels. I'll give you a hint. It has nothing to do with "freedom" and lots to do with killing a ton of people and subjugating the rest. Just ask the citizens of our oil "partners" in Nigeria, Equador, Iraq, and Colombia. We import nearly 3/4 of what we use now (and growing). Ever wonder why our military is so large or why we have 700 bases around the world? We might as well fill our tanks with blood. And your little world is rocked because you can't have a V-8? Welcome to reality.

Read this:

http://www.cheersandgears.com/forums/index...showtopic=21765

Then at least you can attack me for the positions I actually advocate.

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Surrender??? To whom? To what?

You clearly don't realize what's been required to allow the U.S. with 5% of the world's population to use 25% of the world's fossil fuels. I'll give you a hint. It has nothing to do with "freedom" and lots to do with killing a ton of people and subjugating the rest. Just ask the citizens of our oil "partners" in Nigeria, Equador, Iraq, and Colombia. We import nearly 3/4 of what we use now (and growing). Ever wonder why our military is so large or why we have 700 bases around the world? We might as well fill our tanks with blood. And your little world is rocked because you can't have a V-8? Welcome to reality.

Who said that the V8 had to run on dino-fuel?

To quote me:

I think the issue is that we as a society are so used to not having to pay for what we use in terms of the environment. Our use of gasoline has been artificially cheap at the pump for years. I hear so much against ethanol as a fuel but none of it makes sense when you look at the big picture. Sure corn based ethanol is one of the worst in terms of production efficiency but it's still cheap compared to gasoline. Don't believe me? Consider these points:

1. The most common argument against ethanol is that it takes government subsidies to make it affordable. How much did Iraq war v. 1.0 and v. 2.0 cost us? What if we had used all of that money to develop a pure ethanol infrastructure not based on corn? Why is it wrong to subsidize our farmers yet perfectly fine to send money to Shieks in Saudi Arabia or dictators in Venezuela? How much did the wars cost us in lives? How much did the wars cost us in global esteem? Osama Bin Laden's original motivating factor for attacking the US was his observations of US soldiers in Saudi Arabia during the original Gulf War; Would 9-11 even have happened? These are all costs that don't get factored into the $3.05 per gallon that people are complaining about today.

2. The second most common argument against ethanol is that it is less efficient per gallon than gasoline. This is true when you're running ethanol through an engine originally designed for gasoline. Why is it such a stretch of the imagination to consider that when you run the engine with a fuel that it was not originally designed for, you're not going to get optimum performance? If you were complaining because your turbo charged Saab wasn't getting great mileage and you were filling up with 87 instead of the manufacturer specified 91, people would call you an idiot. The compression ratio of the Impala Flex Fuel is a relatively lazy 9.8:1. Ethanol is over 100 octane. Brazillian Chevies run at a compression ratio of 12:1 on pure alcohol. The Impala Flex Fuel is literally wasting energy in order to maintain compatibility with the gasoline infrastructure. Dial up the compression on the 3.5 V6 and you'd likely not only get more power out of the engine but would probably also return mileage similar to a gas only version. Worked for the Saab BioPower.

3. The third argument against ethanol is that it stresses the food supply. This is true if you base your ethanol infrastructure on corn. The beauty of ethanol is that it can be made from a wide variety of sources. Brazil based their alcohol infrastructure on sugar. There is no global shortage of sugar. In fact sugar producers in the U.S. are doing everything in their power to keep cheaper Brazilian sugar out of our market. Among many other sources, Ethanol can be made from alge and kelp. We have a LOT of coastline in the US and kelp grows along all of it. That is all fuel out there waiting to go into your V8.

4. The fourth argument against ethanol is that it takes oil to produce ethanol. I'm not quite sure what kind of logical defect is at work with this one but it's a duesy. Sure it might take oil to get the ethanol infrastructure in place, but once up and operating, the infrastructure is self sustaining. Why can't the farm tractors, tanker trucks, in fact the entire network be powered by some sort of bio-fuel? Some might argue that it would take more energy input than you'd get with output. While this might be true with corn <the worst source>, it is not true with other ethanol sources, especially those derived from waste products.

In short, if you want to keep your V8 and not drive an Aveo, support ethanol and don't by into the hype against it.... because all it is, is hype.

Raise your hand if you don't want a big American car with a big American V8 with a 13:1 compression ratio that burns 100 octane fuel grown by Americans that costs around $2.35 a gallon and at the same time not have the U.S. participate in more mid-east wars?

*crickets chirping*

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You're not alone. This country is full of corn-pone fatties who think they're ENTITLED to the standard of living their fathers and grandfathers enjoyed. These same people don't worry either because "technology will save us." 35 mpg? Easy. Why? Because that's the way it's always been. :rolleyes:

Bank on this - prepare yourself for a different way of living that will include forced sacrifice.

And why the f@#k should we NOT be entitled to the standard of living that our fathers enjoyed? OR BETTER?

It's pretty sad that america is now full of bleeding hearts that are willing to sacrifice their way of life (Excuse me; the way of life of their fellow americans, because the changes likely won't affect these people, which is why thy're endorsing it in the first place) for the sake of some bull&#036;h&#33; propaganda war.

We, as americans, are to sacrifice our lifestyles. our jobs, our industry, our STANDARD OF LIVING even for the sake of WHAT exactly?

I don't know about the rest of them, but this "corn-pone fattie" is getting mighty damn tired of sacrifice and there will come a point where I will not sacrifice anymore.

Fact is; technology WILL save us. It always has, always will. Luckily not all americans are so self defeatist as to roll over and die like many of you would have us do.

Surrender??? To whom? To what?

You clearly don't realize what's been required to allow the U.S. with 5% of the world's population to use 25% of the world's fossil fuels. I'll give you a hint. It has nothing to do with "freedom" and lots to do with killing a ton of people and subjugating the rest. Just ask the citizens of our oil "partners" in Nigeria, Equador, Iraq, and Colombia. We import nearly 3/4 of what we use now (and growing). Ever wonder why our military is so large or why we have 700 bases around the world? We might as well fill our tanks with blood. And your little world is rocked because you can't have a V-8? Welcome to reality.

And what exactly is wrong with that? We fought our way to the top and unless they can take us down, then so be it. THAT'S RIGHT! I am a part of the growing group of people in this country who really don't care who they step on to get what they want. It's really too bad our V8s don't run on blood, because I can think of MANY places we could 'mine' throughout the world to quench our thirst.

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Gotta love FOG - so skilled at going over the top to drive a point home. :thumbsup:

The way I see it is that we can innovate and take ourselves to a higher level, or roll over and die.

I'll take the former,thank you.

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Terrific. Let me know how it goes with your high school Armed Services recruiter.

And why the f@#k should we NOT be entitled to the standard of living that our fathers enjoyed? OR BETTER?

It's pretty sad that america is now full of bleeding hearts that are willing to sacrifice their way of life (Excuse me; the way of life of their fellow americans, because the changes likely won't affect these people, which is why thy're endorsing it in the first place) for the sake of some bull&#036;h&#33; propaganda war.

We, as americans, are to sacrifice our lifestyles. our jobs, our industry, our STANDARD OF LIVING even for the sake of WHAT exactly?

I don't know about the rest of them, but this "corn-pone fattie" is getting mighty damn tired of sacrifice and there will come a point where I will not sacrifice anymore.

Fact is; technology WILL save us. It always has, always will. Luckily not all americans are so self defeatist as to roll over and die like many of you would have us do.

And what exactly is wrong with that? We fought our way to the top and unless they can take us down, then so be it. THAT'S RIGHT! I am a part of the growing group of people in this country who really don't care who they step on to get what they want. It's really too bad our V8s don't run on blood, because I can think of MANY places we could 'mine' throughout the world to quench our thirst.

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Ohhh... somebody's about to get a "check", the kind people get in hockey when they become annoying.
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We have so many problems internally in this country that worry about the rest of the world should be our last concern right now. The world can handle itself...the US doesn't and shouldn't have to be the babysitter.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. Instead of band-aid moves like CAFE, close all our military bases outside US territory and cut the military budget in half at least, then reinvest that substantial savings in MASS TRANSPORTATION. Restore a national rail network so that people won't have to drive everywhere. This way we have options, but we still have the choice to purchase what we can afford. Unfortunately, our government moves at a snail's pace and they have priorities in the wrong place, so I doubt we'll ever see anything like that happen even though it is the obvious solution. Europe has an extensive, fast, and efficient railroad network that works beautifully...why can't we have the same?

The "innovators" in this country are few and far between these days. People would rather heap on industry-crippling regulation than actually tackling the source of the problem with obvious solutions. We pulled ourself out of the Great Depression for Christ's sake and this is the best our government can do?? Laziness on behalf of the population and total lack of competence within our politicians is why countries like China will probably knock us off our pedestal within the next 20 years.

Benevolent corporate leaders that funded the great public works in this country at the turn of the century no longer exist. And those in government that had a vision of what America should be have been replaced with puppets who do the bare minimum to keep themselves in office and satisfy the puppetmasters who fund them.

-------------------------------

Technology is the solution. It has always been the solution; all great empires rose because they innovated to solve problems. These same great empires fell from incompetence at the state-level, internal division among the population, and most of all, lack of innovation (sound much like the United States?) No amount of government bureaucracy is going to change the fact that people will still drive as much as they did before with more efficient cars.

Fine, cripple our industry and regulate our lives so that we can "repay" the rest of the world for our consumption; make us drive cars that cost more with less content in order to comply with some dubious regulation. The Al Gore's of the world are reaping from this environmental push while the quality of life for the average American goes down the &#036;h&#33;ter. If that's what this country is going to become, then I would much rather live elsewhere. Canada is looking mighty nice these days.

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We have so many problems internally in this country that worry about the rest of the world should be our last concern right now. The world can handle itself...the US doesn't and shouldn't have to be the babysitter.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. Instead of band-aid moves like CAFE, close all our military bases outside US territory and cut the military budget in half at least, then reinvest that substantial savings in MASS TRANSPORTATION. Restore a national rail network so that people won't have to drive everywhere. This way we have options, but we still have the choice to purchase what we can afford. Unfortunately, our government moves at a snail's pace and they have priorities in the wrong place, so I doubt we'll ever see anything like that happen even though it is the obvious solution. Europe has an extensive, fast, and efficient railroad network that works beautifully...why can't we have the same?

The "innovators" in this country are few and far between these days. People would rather heap on industry-crippling regulation than actually tackling the source of the problem with obvious solutions. We pulled ourself out of the Great Depression for Christ's sake and this is the best our government can do?? Laziness on behalf of the population and total lack of competence within our politicians is why countries like China will probably knock us off our pedestal within the next 20 years.

Benevolent corporate leaders that funded the great public works in this country at the turn of the century no longer exist. And those in government that had a vision of what America should be have been replaced with puppets who do the bare minimum to keep themselves in office and satisfy the puppetmasters who fund them.

-------------------------------

Technology is the solution. It has always been the solution; all great empires rose because they innovated to solve problems. These same great empires fell from incompetence at the state-level, internal division among the population, and most of all, lack of innovation (sound much like the United States?) No amount of government bureaucracy is going to change the fact that people will still drive as much as they did before with more efficient cars.

Fine, cripple our industry and regulate our lives so that we can "repay" the rest of the world for our consumption; make us drive cars that cost more with less content in order to comply with some dubious regulation. The Al Gore's of the world are reaping from this environmental push while the quality of life for the average American goes down the &#036;h&#33;ter. If that's what this country is going to become, then I would much rather live elsewhere. Canada is looking mighty nice these days.

I haven't thrown in the towel just yet... but it is a close thing.

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You're not alone. This country is full of corn-pone fatties who think they're ENTITLED to the standard of living their fathers and grandfathers enjoyed. These same people don't worry either because "technology will save us." 35 mpg? Easy. Why? Because that's the way it's always been. :rolleyes:

Bank on this - prepare yourself for a different way of living that will include forced sacrifice.

Wow, that is just pathetic. Technology will prevail are our standard of living will dramatically increase due to those very technologies. Only hard-line Stalinists call for forced sacrifice.

We are a Capitalist society, in the course of human history, no other system has lifted masses out of 6,000 years of Socialist servitude to the State and into the greatest period of human prosperity ever.

Capitalism built the comfortable world that you are spoiled to live in if you think for a second to count your blessings.

Do you not realize that when a government can dictate how to live and where you live that they are not too far off from telling you how to think what is acceptable to say, and whom to vote for, regardless of what is right or to your own benefit?

If you kill or weaken Capitalism you are in fact killing or weakening Democracy.

The two are linked and cannot be separated.

Oh and by the way, technology will save us, why? Because free markets will urge the development of the technologies.

Do us all a favor and stop sleeping with Karl Marx.

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Wow, that is just pathetic. Technology will prevail are our standard of living will dramatically increase due to those very technologies. Only hard-line Stalinists call for forced sacrifice.

We are a Capitalist society, in the course of human history, no other system has lifted masses out of 6,000 years of Socialist servitude to the State and into the greatest period of human prosperity ever.

Capitalism built the comfortable world that you are spoiled to live in if you think for a second to count your blessings.

Do you not realize that when a government can dictate how to live and where you live that they are not too far off from telling you how to think what is acceptable to say, and whom to vote for, regardless of what is right or to your own benefit?

If you kill or weaken Capitalism you are in fact killing or weakening Democracy.

The two are linked and cannot be separated.

Oh and by the way, technology will save us, why? Because free markets will urge the development of the technologies.

Do us all a favor and stop sleeping with Karl Marx.

Excellent post.

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We'll be forced to make sacrifices in the coming years because of circumstances (we've mortgaged our future to foreigners and we're importing almost 3 of every 4 barrels of crude we use while world production declines because of natural depletion) NOT because of governments. Longer term Washington will become impotent as power devolves from the center.

Capitalism and democracy are not linked. They are near polar opposites. What makes you think we live in a democracy??? Because we are privileged to vote for 2 wings of the same faction: rich powerful interests?

If you study U.S. history a little more deeply you'll find that the Founding Fathers organized government to benefit the wealthiest members while giving just enough rights and privileges to the free white working class (the ones just above indentured servantry) to keep them on the rich man's side. Unlike we've all been taught, the Revolution was not about freedom and equality for all men. It was a struggle between two privileged classes, American and British, fought mostly by poor whites promised various tokens of upward mobility.

Look out when the upper class (bankers, financiers, industrialists) can no longer keep the prosperity flowing to the middle classes. All hell will break loose. It happened in the 1930s and can happen again.

Please, I'm no Marxist. But even I can say that Marx's analysis of capitalism had quite a bit of it right.

Wow, that is just pathetic. Technology will prevail are our standard of living will dramatically increase due to those very technologies. Only hard-line Stalinists call for forced sacrifice.

We are a Capitalist society, in the course of human history, no other system has lifted masses out of 6,000 years of Socialist servitude to the State and into the greatest period of human prosperity ever.

Capitalism built the comfortable world that you are spoiled to live in if you think for a second to count your blessings.

Do you not realize that when a government can dictate how to live and where you live that they are not too far off from telling you how to think what is acceptable to say, and whom to vote for, regardless of what is right or to your own benefit?

If you kill or weaken Capitalism you are in fact killing or weakening Democracy.

The two are linked and cannot be separated.

Oh and by the way, technology will save us, why? Because free markets will urge the development of the technologies.

Do us all a favor and stop sleeping with Karl Marx.

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Capitalism is not the same as a free market economy, in fact the two are quite different. Although there are a few capitalists out there (especially in growth economies), by and large we are in a post-capitalist global economy. We have not done away with Capital, but it is no longer primarily controlled by "capitalists", but rather various investment vehicles which consolidate the savings of millions of regular people from all levels of society. We are more of a mix between a "retail economy" (production and investment controlled by retailers—economic "gatekeepers" who control what will be sold) and a true market economy (production and investment controlled purely by consumer demand—the market).

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