The largest mandatory fuel economy increase in history is causing a major uproar among many, including those tasked with actually selling new cars to the public. According to a report by Reuters, car dealers are not going down without a fight, as a recent meeting with the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) reveals how members plan on lobbying against the new standards.
The new Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards call for automakers to raise the average fuel economy of their future products to 54.5 mpg by 2025, which is significantly higher than the 35.5 mpg that is currently enforced under the mandate that President Obama reset for the 2012-2016 time frame.
Essentially left out the talks among the White House and car executives (who were also reportedly reluctant about the 2025 deal), car dealers are fighting the standards on their own by supporting a Republican measure that would essentially nix the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the state of California from establishing any national mileage standards. So far, a similar legislation has not been introduced in the Democrat-controlled Senate, but Reuters reports that if the legislation is not taken up in Congress, “Dealers are also weighing a lawsuit.”
Their main concern? Dealers are afraid sticker prices will skyrocket and hurt sales, but also because hybrid and electric cars account for less than 3 percent, and 0.12 percent of overall U.S. sales, respectively. On the other side of the spectrum, 9.4 million cars and trucks were sold overall through September of this year.
Dealers ultimately want things to go back to the way they were, when the Department of Transportation alone set fuel economy targets. It will be a long road until then, but for now, members are just focused on just getting the House bill passed.