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FUTURE_OF_GM

So what exactly is the big deal?

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I think there is a lot of :bs: talking and overreacting going on around the net about CAFE killing this and CAFE killing that. It seems that a lot of executives might be playing to politics.

If this is the agreement we got, then it sounds pretty positive and pretty attainable.

http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article...0621/1014/rss13

Maybe I'm remiss, but I just don't see why everyone is so upset at this point. We can continue to engineer our way to this goal, that is, *IF* it isn't revised in the first place (which by the wording of the article, sounds like it might happen down the road)

A FEW NOTES:

1) Don't even bring up the oil at $100/barrel crap, because 1) we have ways to make cars (yes, even V8s) more efficient. Hell, they don't even have to run on gasoline. I'm not living in denial, I just don't want the price gouging, that will sooner or later stop, (through intervention or crashing the market) to be the focus of this topic.

2) I am NOT changing my views about CAFE. But, I think a lot of people are being a bit too dramatic and negative about the situation

3) We need a level headed and multi faceted approach to this.

*** I just would really like to know/seperate the BS talk from the reality of the situation. What exactly is reality and what is just 'talk' on the part of both Congress and the industry?

Edited by FUTURE_OF_GM
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How we view it isn't the issue, how GM management does is.

Who is in charge will make all the difference.

EDIT: Let's just say that CAFE makes a great scapegoat for other agendas.

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FOG, you're dreaming about the gouging thing on oil. Yes, right now there is a lot of speculating and gouging happening: it seems like every time some dictator farts, the price of oil jumps a few dollars a barrel, but the U.S. as a nation has to face it that in the near future there is going to be a lot of competition for oil. China is the new colossus and it will require a new Saudi Arabia in the next 15 years to satiate its demand.

Do you want to go to war (again) over oil, but this time with China? The dictators may be doing us a favor by getting us used to $100 a barrel. I remember 3 years ago economists predicted economic ruin over $50 a barrel. Well, look - so far, the sky hasn't fallen. But we have to START in the right direction (whatever that direction may be) NOW.

Don't forget, it takes oil to fuel the jet fighters and tanks. America doesn't have a lot of oil left.

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FOG, you're dreaming about the gouging thing on oil. Yes, right now there is a lot of speculating and gouging happening: it seems like every time some dictator farts, the price of oil jumps a few dollars a barrel, but the U.S. as a nation has to face it that in the near future there is going to be a lot of competition for oil. China is the new colossus and it will require a new Saudi Arabia in the next 15 years to satiate its demand.

Do you want to go to war (again) over oil, but this time with China? The dictators may be doing us a favor by getting us used to $100 a barrel. I remember 3 years ago economists predicted economic ruin over $50 a barrel. Well, look - so far, the sky hasn't fallen. But we have to START in the right direction (whatever that direction may be) NOW.

Don't forget, it takes oil to fuel the jet fighters and tanks. America doesn't have a lot of oil left.

We have strategic reserves enough for that. However, you are right, $100 a barrel oil IS doing us a favor.

Chris

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It doesn't seem like it would be all that hard to raise MPG by 7.5 over 12 years. Cut 200lbs off each vehicle (200lbs less = 1 more MPG on average), add more hybrids (the Volt should raise GM's CAFE by at least 1 MPG by itself, I would think), more diesels in the trucks (if 1/4 of the T900 trucks and SUVs were diesels, this would have a huge impact), and adding the smaller cars we are expecting to get will also raise GM's CAFE significantly. I can see an easy 5 MPG increase in GM's CAFE just from cutting 200lbs from each vehicle (aluminum hoods on every vehicle and aluminum trunks/liftgates alone will give you a good amount), the Volt, diesels in the trucks, and the small cars (forget their names right now). And all of those vehicles/engines should be here by 2012 at the latest - GM has until 2020 to figure out how to get 2.5 MPG, then. The weight reduction would have to come over time, obviously. Improving cd would also raise MPG significantly.

There are a lot of ways that GM can improve their CAFE. The increase seems drastic and unneeded, but it's not as hard to do as GM apparently thinks it is, IMO. Lutz says they could have that right now if I remember correctly, but it is too expensive. By 2020, I don't think it will be too expensive to do...

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Your last point is a good one,Northie. Economies of scale could definitely help in bringing the price of lightweight materials down to a more reasonable level.

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EDIT: Let's just say that CAFE makes a great scapegoat for other agendas.
:yes:

Yep, Zeta is about corporate bull$h!, not so much CAFE. (Just like, I'm willing to bet the first cancellation of it was) I'm ok with a FWD or AWD Impala. But to deprive us of a Camaro and Pontiac/Buick entries is not good IMO. That is; unless Alpha can fit a V8 :)

FOG, you're dreaming about the gouging thing on oil. Yes, right now there is a lot of speculating and gouging happening: it seems like every time some dictator farts, the price of oil jumps a few dollars a barrel, but the U.S. as a nation has to face it that in the near future there is going to be a lot of competition for oil. China is the new colossus and it will require a new Saudi Arabia in the next 15 years to satiate its demand.

I never have denied that oil will increase in price and demand. However, I do not think we will continue to see such instability (spikes/lows) in the price because it simply isn't sustainable. If the price begins to level off and increase steadiy, which I think it will, then we can adjust naturally. The activity right now is about 40% bull$h! and 60% fact and if it continues that route, then we will enter worse financial times and the demand will decrease anyway.

Do you want to go to war (again) over oil, but this time with China? The dictators may be doing us a favor by getting us used to $100 a barrel. I remember 3 years ago economists predicted economic ruin over $50 a barrel. Well, look - so far, the sky hasn't fallen. But we have to START in the right direction (whatever that direction may be) NOW.

No disagreement here... And, if it meant the survival of this country, then I'd absolutely go to war with China for oil. As has always been my tactic; if throats have to be cut for my survival, then throats (friend or foe) shall be cut.

The point of my post was; instead of freaking out about this, like EVERYONE including me -- to an extent, seems to be doing, why don't we focus on meeting the challenge and maintaining our driving tastes.

Edited by FUTURE_OF_GM
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It actually works the opposite to that. As demand increases the cost of lightweight materials increases, just as the cost of regular steel has increased dramatically in recent years. It's only assembly costs and logistics which decrease with economy of scale.

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It actually works the opposite to that. As demand increases the cost of lightweight materials increases, just as the cost of regular steel has increased dramatically in recent years. It's only assembly costs and logistics which decrease with economy of scale.

I can see that if production capacity of the material is limited, not otherwise. If you offer to switch to a supplier's material from a more conventional material on a large scale, you will certainly have leverage on price.

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It's been 32 years since the CAFE standards were last adjusted, right? And it's 12 years until the new regs are fully in place...yet to many people here, the sky is falling! It's the end of the world! YAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH. What an irrational bunch.

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It's been 32 years since the CAFE standards were last adjusted, right? And it's 12 years until the new regs are fully in place...yet to many people here, the sky is falling! It's the end of the world! YAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH. What an irrational bunch.

Hardly.

The regs affect product planning immediately - even retroactively in a sense. Planned products will be modified /cancelled because of this.

Even worse, personnel changes will be influenced.

Meeting the new standards isn't so much of an issue as how they will be met.

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FYI for flexible-fuel vehicles, the maximum increase in fuel economy under CAFE is 1.2 mpg until 2014, dropping gradually to 0 in 2020.

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FYI for flexible-fuel vehicles, the maximum increase in fuel economy under CAFE is 1.2 mpg until 2014, dropping gradually to 0 in 2020.

Can you clarify?

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Other fuel efficiency measures being introduced include:

a fuel efficiency rating for replacement tires.

A maximum of $25 billion in loans for facilities building advanced technology vehicles (low emission, low particulate vehicles achieving 125+% better fuel economy than the average for otherwise similar vehicles). (until end 2020)

Unspecified grants for production of hybrid, plugin-hybrid, plugin-electric and advanced diesel vehicles.

Loan guarantees for facilicities manufacturing of advanced batteries and undefined "fuel efficient" vehicles (until 2017)

Grants for advanced biofuel refineries which lower CO2 emissions by 50%

Grants for installation of renewable fuel facilities at gas stations etc.

no franchise restrictions on gas station franchisees installing renewable fuel facilities, selling or advertising renewable fuels etc., even if the franchisor cannot provide such fuel.

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Can you clarify?

e.g. CNG/gasoline, E85/Gasoline, diesel/biodiesel fueled vehicles currently get a credit for improved mpg (i.e. assumed partial running time using less or no gasoline). The maximum credit will be 1.2 mpg dropping to zero in 2020. Flexfuel vehicles will therefore have little to no advantage in meeting CAFE requirements.

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I can see that if production capacity of the material is limited, not otherwise. If you offer to switch to a supplier's material from a more conventional material on a large scale, you will certainly have leverage on price.

Only if you have been buying retail quanitities. production of all lightweight materials is naturally limited and pricing fluctuates with demand. That applies to aluminum, plastics, high-strength steels, titanium alloys etc., even plant-based polymers. Of course as demand drives up the price for more popular materials (such as steel), the feasibility of more exotic and expensive materials increases. Materials are commodities, unlike DVD players you can't just build a new plant to meet demand. At best, as the price increases it becomes feasible to open previously unprofitable mines etc.

Edited by thegriffon
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e.g. CNG/gasoline, E85/Gasoline, diesel/biodiesel fueled vehicles currently get a credit for improved mpg (i.e. assumed partial running time using less or no gasoline). The maximum credit will be 1.2 mpg dropping to zero in 2020. Flexfuel vehicles will therefore have little to no advantage in meeting CAFE requirements.

That is absurd and needs to be fixed.

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The big issue is how the increase in economy is achieved.

Good ways:

-offer good, small, high mpg cars, and enough people buy them simply because they want them, not because the cars are forced on consumers.

-offer alternative fuel vehicles, and enough people buy them simply because they want them, not because the cars are forced on consumers.

-weight loss without sacrifice in performance or safety

-improved technology at acceptable cost increases, if any

Feared ways:

-cut availability on high-performance vehicles

-cut availability on trucks that can do real work

-force everyone into smaller vehicles

-force high tech on everyone, increasing prices across the board and repair costs

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What about the HCCI technology that GM is developing?

In lab it is been achieving about 25% more fuel economy compared to the DOHC, they were planning to introduce it in 2012-13, that will be a big bump in the CAFE.

As Northie said, GM needs to put its vehicles through Weight Watcher's regime. Those 1-2 mpg gained by lowering weight will help a lot.

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The big issue is how the increase in economy is achieved.

Good ways:

-offer good, small, high mpg cars, and enough people buy them simply because they want them, not because the cars are forced on consumers.

-offer alternative fuel vehicles, and enough people buy them simply because they want them, not because the cars are forced on consumers.

-weight loss without sacrifice in performance or safety

-improved technology at acceptable cost increases, if any

Feared ways:

-cut availability on high-performance vehicles

-cut availability on trucks that can do real work

-force everyone into smaller vehicles

-force high tech on everyone, increasing prices across the board and repair costs

Sadly, I think some of it will come down the feared ways....if gas continues to rise in a hurry...

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Nobody is forcing anyone to do anything. Even in Brazil, where they are routinely paying more than $8 a gallon, I saw quite a few Grand Blazers (Tahoes) and Explorers. Drive on any highway there and they, too, are choked with trucks. People will get used to smaller cars and smaller engines, just like we once did in the '80s. What has happened in the past 15-20 years is a bit of a bubble, really. GM may not be in this mess if they'd kept on the track they were heading in the mid-80s (with the introduction of new technologies that emphasized fuel economy, not performance), but the truck bubble side tracked all of that.

As I said on an earlier thread, I drove a Cooper S for a few days recently, 6 spd and all, it was a blast. Smaller cars need not be boring. It is just what we are used to. I miss my father's '69 Chrysler 300, but those days will never come back.

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As I said on an earlier thread, I drove a Cooper S for a few days recently, 6 spd and all, it was a blast. Smaller cars need not be boring. It is just what we are used to. I miss my father's '69 Chrysler 300, but those days will never come back.

They can on the weekends! :D

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Sadly, I think some of it will come down the feared ways....if gas continues to rise in a hurry...

Actually, you should pray that prices do rise because that will actually save a lot of low-volume low-MPG projects as it will drive general consumers to smaller more fuel efficient vehicles that GM will be able to sell at a profit while improving their CAFE mix. This is why Lutz keeps pushing for a gas tax as GM needs to be able to sell small cars here in the US for a profit, as they do in other countries. This will allow GM and Ford to sell proper high-content small and medium sized vehicles (such as the Astra and the Malibu) without steep discounts and will prevent automotive travesties like Ford's poorly warmed over US market Focus.

Meanwhile, because the CAFE mix will be better (especially as ultra-high MPG vehicles like the Volt enter the mix) it will protect vehicles like the Corvette ZR-1, the upcoming (and totally awesome, I might add) G8, a likely RWD Lucerne replacement along with a host of other vehicles.

That said, there are some vehicles that are simply not going to happen with CAFE, the most obvious one is a RWD Impala due to its potential volume. I would also expect some pretty negative impact to the pickup truck market - but again, lowering the large truck and SUV market by eliminating those who don't really need to purchase these vehicles (and moving those customers to profitable CAFE friendly alternatives) will actually protect the long-term viability of those products.

By the way, Congress, and a lot of other people, need to remember what the original CAFE program was really about - it was to force automakers to deliver high-MPG products, thus helping the consumer as the original CAFE was drafted in an era of actual gas shortages and rationing, where the difference between 10MPG and 15MPG meant getting to work or not. It was a panic solution to a bad situation and has been woefully misapplied in this modern incarnation. In short, I really hope that gas prices (e.g. the market economy) actually do the work that CAFE is supposed to do because if we fall back on CAFE idiocy to make it happen, then you really will see a lot of chopping of low-MPG options to force people into vehicles that help GM meet CAFE numbers.

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Nobody is forcing anyone to do anything. Even in Brazil, where they are routinely paying more than $8 a gallon, I saw quite a few Grand Blazers (Tahoes) and Explorers. Drive on any highway there and they, too, are choked with trucks. People will get used to smaller cars and smaller engines, just like we once did in the '80s. What has happened in the past 15-20 years is a bit of a bubble, really. GM may not be in this mess if they'd kept on the track they were heading in the mid-80s (with the introduction of new technologies that emphasized fuel economy, not performance), but the truck bubble side tracked all of that.

As I said on an earlier thread, I drove a Cooper S for a few days recently, 6 spd and all, it was a blast. Smaller cars need not be boring. It is just what we are used to. I miss my father's '69 Chrysler 300, but those days will never come back.

at the body shop today i listened to the manager dude explain to the person on the phone how badly mangled their explorer was in a brutal t-bone crash. he was saying to them, the important thing is your daughter is alive, the vehicle is not worth anything compared to her being here. he got off the phone and said the explorer was completely mangled and DECIMATED. imagine had that been the mini.

this is your brain. this is your brain in a small car. any questions?

Edited by regfootball
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but again, lowering the large truck and SUV market by eliminating those who don't really need to purchase these vehicles (and moving those customers to profitable CAFE friendly alternatives) will actually protect the long-term viability of those products.

oh, so who gets to decide who 'needs' a truck?

hey, why not let the MARKET decide. or will we list names and go down the list and vote on everyone?

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