As Trump gets pushback on fuel efficiency, NADA stresses cost

It has been a busy couple of weeks in the ongoing auto fuel efficiency debate. Opposition to the Trump administration’s plan to freeze 2017-2025 fuel economy standards at 2020 levels were not just from California, but also some big guns of the auto industry – Ford, General Motors, Honda, and United Auto Workers. A survey by Autolist.com, a car shopping site, found that less than a third of the 1,132 car shoppers surveyed support the proposed rollback in CAFE standards.

 

As it has in the past NADA emphasized vehicle affordability, pointing out that automakers producing fuel-efficient vehicles, that no one can afford to buy, will do little to help the environment, the safety of drivers or the economy.

 

Rising monthly payments are the number one concern for car buyers today, said NADA. The average loan amount also reached new highs this year and is now nearly $31,000. Perhaps most worrying for the industry and the economy as a whole is the ratio of new to used vehicles sold, approaching levels not seen since the Great Recession.

 

“As long as the new to used ratio continues to tick down,” wrote NADA CEO Peter Welch, “we’ll be failing to advance our shared goal of maximizing the number of new, fuel-efficient vehicles that we get on the road every year.” Flexible regulations will accelerate fleet turnover, he said.

 

“If the government fails to take into account the needs and financial constraints of consumers, we all lose,” said Welch.

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