Former GM Exec Says Fuel Rules Will Boost Vehicle Costs by $5,000

Lutz_ViaTruck II

Speaking at the Society of Automotive Engineers World Congress, a yearly meeting where current and new technology is discussed and revealed, former vice chairman of General Motors Bob Lutz offered a dire prediction and a few suggestions.

According to The Detroit News, Lutz believes that aggressive federal fuel economy regulations will increase the cost of new cars in 2025 — when manufacturers face the biggest mileage hurdles — far more than the government's estimate of $1,800. Lutz suggested that the real price boost will be more like $5,000 per vehicle, most of which will get passed along to the customer.

Lutz also suggested the best way to encourage people to change their auto purchase choices is not to punish automakers by requiring a certain number of vehicles produced to be hybrids, electrics or hypermilers; instead he recommends giving consumers an incentive to purchase fuel-sipping vehicles. By placing a 25-cent tax on each gallon of fuel sold in the U.S. for the next 10 years, he said, the government could easily guide buyers to more "fuel independent" choices. Likewise, he said, the government could use the extra funds to fix potholes and crumbling bridges, and to clean up "the infrastructure mess that is currently an absolute embarrassment" to the U.S.

Bob_Lutz_Wide II



@Denver Mike--You do seem to dwell on the topic, but regardless there will always be a demand for large trucks and there is a limit to how efficient you can make them or any vehicle. We cannot discarded environmental standards and efficiency but they need to be realistic obtainable standards. My suggestions are serious. There needs to be an economic incentive for more efficient and less polluting standards and at the same time to give manufacturers more time to meet the standards. Getting rid of older less efficient vehicles should be part of the equation and not putting the entire burden on the manufactures. Paying to replace dangerous interstate roads and bridges and increasing the amount of east west roads in many areas would bring more commerce. Repairing and replacing this infrastructure would create more jobs and thus sell more cars, trucks, and other consumer goods. More jobs creates more demand and more tax revenue and with deficit reduction measures results in balancing our budget sooner.

There is a excise tax presently for heavy commercial trucks, tires, and fuel. People are going to drive large pickups anyway so just make them pay an excise tax on the purchase of any new large 1/2 ton pickup and larger but with the stipulation that this tax goes specifically for interstate roads and bridges.

@Sandman 4x4: You're just picking nits on the locale; anything east of north is considered northeast unless you're navigating a boat or an airplane. I don't think you're doing either. Baltimore, MD is considered northeast of DC; Philadelphia, PA is considered northeast of DC. Even Cape May, NJ is considered northeast of DC, so your argument there falls flat.

Secondly, with the sunspots you're arguing the wrong cycle--if that were the cause, we'd be seeing 11-year cycles of highs and lows and to be quite blunt we just got out of an extended low cycle and the quietest ramp up to our current high that we've seen in decades. For that matter, even with our current sunspot figures, they're far below previous ones. As yet we've seen only a few X-class flares from the sun and not that many more M-class flares in this cycle. That somewhat throws your argument out the window.

Finally, I have one simple question for you: How many hurricanes of ANY classification have flooded NYC in the last century? Why is it that a mere Cat 1 that didn't even hit the city do so much damage this time? We've had other "Perfect Storms"--heck, there was even a movie made about one of them. Why were conditions so different this time? To be bluntly honest, too many factors have to be calculated in to get an easy answer, but simply the fact that there is more energy in our atmosphere right now than there has been in over 1,000 years should offer a major factor.

I posted more than one study that showed how our global temperatures have been running for the last 20,000 years. I'm sorry that you simply can't see that this particular rise is unusually sharp and that you can't understand that we ARE affecting our weather, whether we like it or not. The proofs are out there for anybody to see. As the old saying goes, "There are none so blind as those who will not see."

@DenverMike: Ok, you want the link. Here it is:

Select 4x2 Cab Chassis and there you are. The only other capacity I can find for it is the towing capacity, which at 3,000kilos works out to 6600 pounds.


"I have doubts those numbers are accurate, but Australia over-rates this trucks so they can get work done. Plus it doesn't have a bed. If someone put 5400 lbs on a Colorado here you would call them all sorts of names."

I read that last line and sprayed Coke all over my laptop!

It says on the Holden site just over 1 tonne on a single cab truck with no bed. 1 tonne is only 2200 lbs. If it was really 5400 pounds payload on a Colorado in Australia, it would have said almost 2 1/2 tonne's.

DW Fields you screwed up again trying to defend someon that should not be defended. In the future, try posting links with real numbers. Not propoganda. I am so tired of this from the people on PUTC.

Sources: sing cab chasis, more than a 1-tonne payload (if it was more than 2 tonne's ie 5400 lbs it would have said so)

I'll also say the bed is kind of small, you wouldn't fit 5400 lbs on a tiny bed it even if you tried, unless it was a very tall and heavy object and then the micro truck would be top heavy.

Everyone will be better off if they put their propoganda away and stop trying to turn these posts into something it is not even about. The topic is fuel rules in the US. Not Aussie propoganda.

The United States government has more than enough money to fix our infastructure problems. We just need to spend our money on the right things like infastructure and cut back on or cut out all the welfare waste and medacaid and giving billions to all theses other countries. We would have all the money we needed, and still start to cut our debt. We do not need a gas tax nor any new taxes or regulations for that matter.

@all: My only complaint about the Aussie Colorado is that you can't get a 4x2 RC or XC pickup, it's either RC tray or CC tray/bed. While I will agree that a tray is useful for many farming trucks, as a simple utility carrier the way it would be used by most here in the States, the tray is useless--the load will slide off the tray too easily. Sure, you could mount stake sides on it--most US trays do--but that's not the way most "lifestyle" owners want to use it; they'd rather just drop the load in the bed and not worry about putting a tarp over it (mulch, dirt, stone, etc...) or tying it down (bags, light garden tools, lawn mower, etc..). Sure, they still need to tie down larger objects, but the sidewalls of a bed help reduce the need to do that all the time.

@Jeff S - Upcoming CAFE standards may be slightly more forgiving on full-size trucks, but it isn't by much. Worst case (CAFE) penalty/fine for mid-size trucks would be $495, estimated. See my above post. That's a shared burden by OEM and consumer. Of course the end result would be somewhere in the middle so when adjusted for 2025 inflation, it comes to approx $75 CAFE penalty for a mid-size vs full-size.

You could also say CAFE "should" be more forgiving to full-size trucks. They do up to 4X the work which is the most cost effective choice for small businesses that happen to be the 'backbone' of the American economy. For them, full-size pickups are the "sweet spot" between medium-duty commercial trucks and little pickups. Medium duty trucks can put all full-size pickups to shame, *however*, full-size pickups double as multipurpose family vehicles. And depending on the work scenario, means less trips to the marketplace and less total fuel burned. And of course less vehicles owned.

If other less fortunate countries are missing a whole entire, and some would say, vital class of vehicles and have to make 'do' with overrated little trucks to get 'by', that entirely on them.

@lautenslager--You don't know anything about taxes. Fuel, tire, and heavy truck taxes are the only sources of revenue for roads and bridges. True there mighty be more welfare than most of us that work want to pay for but that money will not get spent on roads and bridges. As for money being spent you never mentioned the amount spent for useless weapons and being the World's police.

Lutz-Brings up several valid points. The $0.25 a gallon gas tax will not change customer preference as much as the market driven increases in fuel costs, but the gas tax increase would go a long way toward improving our neglected road and bridge infrastructure which is vital to our economy. I would gladly pay another $0.25 a gallon gas tax if this is limited strictly to interstate road and bridge repair, maintenance, replacement, and expansion in areas that need expansion (ie no bridges to nowhere but roads that would link areas for vital economic development). I also think there needs to be an incentive to replace older inefficient vehicles. Higher fuel prices will give consumers more incentive to purchase more efficient vehicles and those that want less efficient vehicles will just pay more for driving them. Not everyone should drive a full size pickup and if they need it then it will just cost more.


"If other less fortunate countries are missing a whole entire, and some would say, vital class of vehicles and have to make 'do' with overrated little trucks to get 'by', that is entirely on them."


@DW Fields--Trays would not work for me as well. I do like a bed liner to protect the bed and I like hooks and tie down bars to attach straps in the bed. The single cab trucks might be not be around much longer but even a midsize truck with extend cab and decent bed sized bed is enough for many homeowners. Not everyone needs or wants a crewcab regardless of the size of truck.

You continually take arguments out of context and misrepresent. Not only on PUTC but other forums.

Why don't you make accurate statements, instead of spruiking unsubstaniated crap.

You rarely provide proof and you are a troll. You mutlti post to disrupt the site and oddly nothing is done about this.

You can only do this if you are working to an agendum. What is this agendum.

When you multi post my name and nothing is done about it forced me to to take matters into my own hands.

The USA is in a lot of debt, they will be laying of civil servants becasue you can't make ends meet.

The way you are talking you are from the far left. Union?

The US's credit card is over used.

@ jeff s
If we cut our spending on all wasteful welfare programs and directed that revenue towards our roads and highways we would be better. No, im not an expert on taxes as im sure your not either, but there is no reason why we cant spend our tax money on things that actually matter instead of supporting the non working filth that is becoming the majority of this country. The government has the revenue to fix the infastructure, but we choose to spend our money elsewhere. As far as being the world police, I agree with you . I want less spending across the board. Our money should be used for the most part on our infastructure and public safety..... including military defense.

@George: I have yet to see anything on your link that contradicts what I found, but I am willing to accept the lower number. However...

You then go and blow your argument away by stating, "I'll also say the bed is kind of small, you wouldn't fit 5400 lbs on a tiny bed it even if you tried,..." when I clearly stated that I was talking about the cab chassis AND pointed out that the only pickup model of the 4x2 was a crew cab which obviously means a relatively tiny bed. The space cab could allow for a longer bed which would permit a larger load--which may or may not allow for more weight IN the bed. Still, by trying to change vehicles on me, you invalidated your own argument.

DWFiels: It has nothing to do with the energy of the storms, bUT the amount of people living nearby now, and the amount of development, just look out your window! these is another saying, figures never lie, but liers use figures.

@ (the newly tagged)TRX-4 Tom, DenverMike, HemiV8, zveria and how can we forget lautenslager the guerilla marketer. What about Tom Terrific, Tom Lemon also.

Why did you need a new tag? :-)


When you don't have the intellect or ability to debate a person down, what do you do? Become aggresive, when that doesn't work?

Become a multi-poster, multi-poster, multi-poster, multi-poster, multi-poster, multi-poster, hence your alias lautenslager tag? Who's paying you?

I will not relent, and I will make you earn your money, every marketing penny. You are finding out all jobs are not as easy as you thought.

Maybe you should have gotten a diploma or a degree. You could have a real job.

You ain't as smart and clever as you would like to think.

I do know how to get under your skin.

Look at your multipost response above.

Like I have stated get off of this site.

Posted by: Big Al from Oz | Apr 16, 2013 2:36:43 AM

I believe that DenverMike, TRX4 Tom, Hemi V8, Lautenslager, Dave, Sandman4x4, Tom Terrific, Tom Lemon, among others are the same person or are part of a web ring to get you off the site for posting about mid sizers.


Jeff S,
All tradesmen and others using Pickups here for a work related purpose have the vehicle built as a flatbed or have the Pickup bed removed. Things do not "slide off" Having a work related Pickup and pickup bed is a contradiction in terms here.

@JeffS: I am going to applaud your suggestion for raising the gas tax; it's going to have a combined effect if it is adopted.

1: Increases the amount of money needed to maintain and upgrade the national highway system, which includes the regular US highways and the Interstate Freeway system. Too many people seem to assume that it's only the freeways that are maintained by the Federal Government but there are hundreds of thousands of other highways that are also involved--highways that are full of potholes, in some cases getting washed out through flooding and simple storm drainage or otherwise becoming some of the roughest roads in the country. Of course, this includes bridges, drainage systems and even lighting and signs for safety.

2: The higher gas tax means that gas prices would rise by that amount, unless the oil companies and gas stations choose to reduce their profits in order to maintain their customer volume. Assuming the oil companies don't play along, this means that people who now drive like idiots, drive gas-thirsty cars or both will finally start to change their driving habits. When someone who is now used to paying say... $50 for a tank of gas has to pay $75 for that same amount (the pump price limit for some credit cards) or someone now paying $75 seeing their pump price jump to over $100 they WILL want to make a change to save money. There is a problem though.

Not everybody in this country makes $75,000 per year. Not everybody in this country can afford to pay $600-$750/month for a new vehicle to replace their current 15-25 year-old rig. And while leasing a car or truck is a little cheaper in monthly payments, there is still a steep signing charge and another steep penalty if driven more than the contracted mileage over the lease period. What this means is that those people will, at best, only be able to buy a used vehicle probably no less than 5 years old which still wouldn't give that much better mileage than their current one. Sure, maybe my 1990 F-150 might have given me a bonus in the Cash for Clunkers campaign (had I owned it at the time) but that still would have had me paying almost $20,000 for a new (not new-er) rig that would only offer me a 2mpg advantage on the highway.

We NEED trucks that can get 30mpg or better and quite honestly we're not going to get that with full-sized trucks until they go hybrid with a better system than is currently available by any manufacturer. The only effective option right now would be full electric which as we all know would have only half the range per charge as they have on a tankful of gas--at best. Your reply to me emphasizes this point.

@lautenslager: You make a lot of assumptions based on very little first-hand experience. Yes, I do agree that there are those who abuse our social systems--if it can be abused, it will be abused. On the other hand, those social systems DO work for the people who really need it; those who cannot work due to a real disability or simply can not MAKE enough money to otherwise survive. My father-in-law was an OTR trucker whose back was broken pretty much by the hard driving and loading/unloading he frequently had to do. It turned out he has a spinal disease that makes the vertebrae softer and easily crushed. He simply cannot drive commercially any more and has had four or more operations due to the continuing degradation of his spine. Yes, he can still walk and drive a car/pickup, but cannot carry any kind of weight legally (he does push himself) or endure any task that can risk his back. Literally, he is not permitted to hold a wage-earning job. He is also a Republican, not that it matters. My point is that he couldn't even afford to live and raise his kids and even help raise some of his grandkids without the money he receives from Social Security and other government benefits. Even with those benefits, were it not for his wife working at a decent-paying job that is known for calling her in at odd hours day or night (not retail or manufacturing) they couldn't even afford to stay where they live with only a $500/month rent.

In other words, while the type you mention are the most visible, they are far from the most populous nor the most typical. The type you describe are illegally gaming the system and both sides have worked hard over the years to correct that issue. If you can present definitive proof of even one of those stereotyped people, gaming the system, that saves our country tens of thousands of dollars per year.

Meanwhile, our country still needs money to pay its own bills, much less trying to maintain an aging infrastructure, or its defenses and everything else a country tries to do to support and protect its people.

Is every policy valid? Heck no! But just try to convince enough politicians to revoke useless laws that do more harm than good--laws that are so obsolete they're laughable yet are occasionally still enforced for no real reason but for the fact they're still on the books. Start your argument right in the town you live. Raise that to the county and finally the state. Build the public drive to eliminate the unnecessary before trying to change what does work. Oh, and let me know how well that works for you; no matter which law you try to rescind, you'll find others demanding it be kept--no matter how idiotic it seems to you.

"If other less fortunate countries are missing a whole entire, and some would say, vital class of vehicles and have to make 'do' with overrated little trucks to get 'by', that is entirely on them."


Sorry Sandman: While that is an old saying, it's no longer an accurate one. Liars use emotion far more than they use facts to make their points.

Statistics can be made to say anything you want them to say--when cherry-picking the data. When looking at the raw data and simply calculating the averages over a given period of time, the trends become obvious.

By the way, you never did answer my question. How many storms--hurricanes or otherwise--have flooded New York City in the last 100 years? Really, the answer should be very easy to find. It's hard to say more people are living in the concrete jungle that has gone essentially unchanged over that period of time since the city grew UP, not OUT. When was the last time the NYC subways were flooded prior to Sandy? That's not people, that's ancient infrastructure for that city.

Sure, I'm aware that the New Jersey coast was hit hard--I used to personally know somebody that lived in Monmouth, NJ--about 5 miles inland from the coast and almost totally destroyed by the storm surge (not just the wind). Even so, many of the houses even there were over 100 years old--why were they destroyed by this storm and none of the previous ones? Your logic fails because you're treating Sandy as a single event and refusing to acknowledge a much bigger picture. Sandy, as it passed directly over my own house, was insignificant despite my own living less than 75 miles from where the storm came ashore. On the other hand, less than 20 miles south of me, trees blew down and towns saw significant flooding. Why?

Why? Because it was a combination of atmospheric, geological and man-made factors that caused the damage. Things happened in that storm that had never happened before. Unless you look at all the factors, unless you consider every variable, your conclusions become almost invariable wrong.

@everyone - I've always liked mid-size trucks and have absolutely nothing against them or having choices in_ALL_classes. I've always been tempted by small pickups since the days of mini-truck clubs and "cruising". But my rational mind kicks in every time and I end up with a 1/2 ton.

We're not missing out on anything HERE where as the rest of the world has a HUGE gap between mid-size and commercial medium duties. THAT's no our problem.

And raising the gas tax is absolutely A$$_IN_Nine!!! First, it's government nanny intrusion into our lives and 25¢ will do absolutely nothing to change our "ways". They can keep raising the Tax until it makes a difference, but America evolved from log cabins around the promise of cheap fuel. Alright, force me to make more money, but the end result will be the same.

Gas is already up more than 2X the rate of inflation of when I started driving in mid '80s.

@Robert Ryan - Keep those coming, mate!

@Jason - That stuff is HILARIOUS! (but true...) But one thing people don't consider is the difference in commercial grade engine, trans, suspensions, brakes, axles and bearing, on just 1/2 tons, is worlds apart from mid-size trucks. Never mind 3/4 tons...

Obviously, there's no FREE lunch in nature.

@DWFields - I'm not even going to bother showing you a REAL spec sheet on the Colorado because you wouldn't know what you're looking at. Just the simple fact that a truck with a 6,820 lbs gross vehicle weight rating or GVWR (yes the Holden Colorado's) AND a payload of a "theoretical" 5,400 lbs... OK, that leaves ONLY 1,420 lbs for the ENTIRE weight of the truck ITSELF!!!

Now that Mystical 6,820 GVWR is unrealistic everywhere *but* in "The_Land_Of_OZ.."
And that's another story! (for another day...)

Another American Ram overloaded?

@ big al
Why do you keep putting linking me with others? Why do you think I work for one the auto companies? Im a concrete construction worker from southwest ohio. Ive never pushed an agenda on anyone here. Hell Ive only posted a handful of times on here. Finally, as much as you think Im someone Im not, I have nothing against small or midsized trucks. I like them all, of all brands.

@dw fields

I didnt say cut the programs completely. Just cut the wasteful spending, aka(people abusing the system). Which in my opinion is the majority. I agree though that programs should be there for the people that truly need it.

No increase in gas tax.
A valid excise tax would be 1% Wall Street sales tax, on their turnover. That would generate between $26-40 TRILLION a year, to be used to fix the infrastructure.
Repave the 50,000 miles of interstate, at Autobahn standard would only cost 100 Billion, just one day of tax receipts.

Carbon dioxide/Global warming is a global hoax, meant to bring genocide to the 3rd world, and austerity to the 1st world.

@big al

Just one more thing, I despise the unions, including the uaw. Ive seen first hand what the unions do to companies, local governments, states, and whole regions. Im a gm guy but Im not fan boy. Ive looked at toyota s just for the reason that they are non union. Oh yeah, and not that youll believe me but Im all for diesels becoming more common. Very interersted in small diesels, it just makes sense .... low end torque, high mpg, whats not to like?

"Go green everybody and save our planet! Global warming is a fact and the severe storms we are having every year is proof of it. The average temperature is rising and the north pole is disappearing. Wake up you non believer clowns."

Greg- also known as BVonscott, SierraGS, Tyler and many other names on the net like GMI who support the GMC brand (and China Buick) is a California Liberal. That's all one needs to know. No self respecting Conservative Republican as a Real American would support such things. GM should not have been saved by us taxpayers. Idiots like this would be obsolete had we not. What a waste of our taxpayer money by their leader Obama. Only Chevrolet and maybe Cadillac to compete with Lincoln and Lexus should have got any funding at all. Just another reason to poke fun at GMC for the pathetic joke of a brand it is. Ford, Chevrolet, Dodge, Totyota and even Nissan are all good with me. GMC is as much of a joke as Al Gore and his racketeering theories..

DWFields, look, we are just going to have to agree to dis-agree, this is a site about trucks, not social politics, and enviromental mistakes, ok, we all know you are on the lefts side , and I am in the middle, I know global warming is real, just man has had very little to do with that, if you realy want someone to blame, blame the Chinese, and all third world countrys that have more fouling of the atmosphere than U.S., we have done a lot to clean up our act, when was the last time you rode behind some old clasic car or truck? and maybe even had the misfortune to be "stuck in traffic" behind one, with my point being, new cars have some of the cleanest air coming out of them, than some of what is in the local atmosphere that is going into them now, and it is getting better and better all the time, but in my town, run by the moonbats, it is now illegal to burn WOOD! because of all the smoke, that might be a good thing, I do not know for sure, but it is extream, when some folks can not afford to heat their homes with the elec., gas, oil or propane here, and have to turn to wood to do so, and then get shut down for doing that! and with that said, we are doing all we can now, but there are some in the world that could giva dam, those are the folks you should be trying to convince, not me, but answer me this, what ever happened to the "ice age the same fools were talking about in the 70's, that are now talking about man made warming? and as far as storms go, I did look it up, and the answer is this, there were actualy more storms and very intense weather paterns all threw the last 200yrs, like the dust bowl of the 20-30's, and many more in the 20th cent. there has been no increase in storms for a long long time!

@lautenslager - You've been trolled. Just ignore BAFO's UAW, multi-posting, Fox news and CIA conspiring against mini-trucks comments and he goes away.

@sandman4X4...good luck trying to reason with these global warming people--they only respond to emotion. Show them a picture of bambi or a seal pup and they go all squishy inside. They do not respond to facts/figures. It's about feelings.

If the gov't is that concerned about the envivoment, maybe rather then forcing manufacturers to meet unrealistic mpg numbers it could invest more in hydrogen fuel cell and CNG/LPG technology and fueling infastructure. And the idea of the battery powered car should be forgotten. The worst thing you can do for the enviroment is buy a plug in electric car.

@sandman4x4: Ok, we agree to disagree. However, before you pass on how little or how much effect Man has had, keep in mind that Man HAS been able to reduce the size of the Ozone holes through pollution control, though as yet we haven't fully resolved it. There may be some chance that if we do manage to close those holes on a more permanent basis our climate change will drop back to 'normal' (meaning geological) rates. As I've said before, it isn't ALL on us, but at least some of it is. My political leanings have no bearing on what science I believe. Neither do my religious ones. But remember the Bible; God promised he wouldn't destroy the 'world' a second time with a flood--but rather with fire. What he didn't say is how that fire would come.

As for the trucks--I personally believe that today's American pickup trucks are far bigger than they need to be. The HD trucks, no matter what brand, is doing the work that was once relegated to medium-duty commercial trucks which even those required a CDL to drive on city streets and highways. If today's pickups are doing that work, then those pickups should require a CDL as well, no? At that point they could also be exempted entirely from the current CAFE rules, which would be better for those of us who do not need such huge capability.

@DWFields - Full-size regular cabs needed to grow vs the '80s and earlier generations. The seating was almost straight up with no recline. The behind-the-seat storage was almost zero. The approx 7" extra room is much appreciated. Buyers voted and it's a landslide victory. The extra/super cabs and crews haven't grown much.

Another approx 7" went to round the shape of the nose for aerodynamics. Full-size trucks haven't grown in width although they picked up some height mostly from bigger rims and tires. I doubt many want to go back to '80s size full-size, but mid-size may get there soon enough.

I find it funny that the Greenies were screaming about "Global Warming" then someone pointed out the world was now on a cooling trend. The Greenies took a second, regrouped, and now we have... "GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE!!!" ...good grief, Charlie Brown.

And if you happen to see the Sierra Club, tell them Denver Mike said: "Kiss My A$$$$$$!!!"

It's amazing the people who refuse to believe in the changes that will occur and they will cost money.

Just look at Rams with the 8spd, louvres, suspension system etc. These changes aren't enough to make the required CAFE targets in a few years. How much does that add to the cost of a pickup?

Add to that future exotic materials in vehicles to reduce weight, that will cost. There will future changes no one has even thought of yet as goal posts are moved.

Plus the manufacture's inability to reach the CAFE targets. There is will be fines associated with that.

Rob Lutz is quite correct in his assumptions, whether you like them or not. Taxes need to be raised to fix roads and fuel tax is the fairest system ie, user pays.

And the cost of vehicles will go up more than you think.

Even Chev SS numbers look like they may be reduced for CAFE reason. So if you have the cash I would put a deposit on one now.

If you want more information on what's going to be your future some should research, start with googling:
1. Chicken Tax - VW Transporter
2. UNECE vehicle harmonisation
3. CAFE and light trucks.
4. Surf around the IEA site (International Energy Agency)
5. US Automotive technical barriers.
6. Surf around the EPA site and look up emissions for transport and stationary plant.
7. Ford global plan
8. Fiat spa
9. Chinese pickups
10. Diesel vs Hybrid.
11. EV vehicle development

This doesn't even include the most important aspect of vehicle ownership, the ability to operate and maintain a vehicle. Which is economics, something I talk about quite abit.

If you have trouble paying for a roof over your head, you aren't going to have much of a vehicle. This view can be expanded to incorporate countries. So seriously look at the state of different economies around the world and judge what the future holds.

Look at what countries are expanding and the impact it will have on the US, ie less resources to go around.

Open your eyes and stop being so narrow minded.

As for welfare, what about the massive corporate welfare going into the auto industry, agri industry, energy etc. Welfare isn't just giving money to the disadvantaged.

That's why your economy is 40% government spending and it only collects 27% back in tax, how long can this last?

In conclusion, from some of the comments I've read I can see a few of you are in for a big wake up call.

I have never stated a conspiracy. I do know you are the one who's multiposting.

As a matter of fact you are the leading one with conspiracy theories.

1. Don't believe GM managments comments on the possible reduction in Chev SS numbers due to CAFE restrictions.

2. Lyndon Johnson deal struck with the UAW about the Chicken Tax and Civil Rights bills. To stop the VW Transporter from taking sales away from Detroit.

3. The Chicken Tax hasn't impacted small pickup sales in the US.

4. CAFE and other technical barriers hasn't affected the US vehicle industry.

DenverllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllMike, you are the one who appears to fear the future and reject credible and verifiable evidence.

You continually attempt to propagate misinformation.

Why do you do this? What is your agenda?

You can see why I think you are a UAW propagandist with your attitude towards this issue.

Also, should all technical barriers and the chicken tax be removed on commercial vehicle imports into the US.

Yes or No?

That's one question you have yet to answer, just a yes or no. Not one of your deflective responses.

Well, DM, I do happen to agree with you on one thing: I hate the Sierra Club too, but probably for different reasons.

Now I do have one question: Where is this so-called 'proof' of "global cooling" you mention? If our world were cooling, would we not be seeing more ice in the arctic? Would the Antarctic ice sheets be breaking off in icebergs hundreds of miles long? Would glaciers--especially those at high altitudes like Glacier Park in Wyoming or in the European Alps be retreating--disappearing? What of Greenland's ice cap?

Also, why do some people assume than when the discussion of climate change comes up they feel persecuted, as though only Americans were causing it? Sure, we had some impact, but you have to admit we've pretty well cleaned up our act. So has Europe to a greater extent. Meanwhile ranchers in Brazil are decimating the Amazon rainforest--sending up smoke from burning the trees so not only are they stopping oxygen production, but they're using up even more through their fires. Then, yes, we do have to look at China and maybe some other countries who are becoming more industrialized. Do you realize that the smog in China's cities is worse than it ever was here in the States? Oh, no; Americans and Europeans are by no means the only culprits. But how do we stop Chinese pollution? The best we can hope to do right now is minimize the effects as best we can and perhaps hope China's current government will eventually collapse. Personally--not very likely.

As with my debate with Sandman 4x4 and others, there is no way you can take a microscopic view of the problem--there are simply too many factors of which the sun is ONLY ONE. There is geological evidence that every single warm or cold era in Earth's history was due more to atmospheric conditions than the sun itself. A single volcano blowing up could cause a nuclear winter--has, in fact; more than once. An eruption of methane from the deep sea floor can cause a massive greenhouse effect and has, more than once. A meteor strike could... would have similar effect on the atmosphere--affecting the global climate for thousands of years. Humans, with their many kinds of pollutants, can affect global climates and have--for over 150 years.

Yes, I'm quite aware of the old dust-bowl days of the '30s. Want to know why it was so bad? Unrestricted farming--baring vast amounts of soil without any kind of ground cover to hold it. One dust storm became so bad it smothered New York City for days--with plains state dirt. IIRC, that storm started in Oklahoma and Kansas. Man made weather--or rather weather made worse by man's carelessness.

Do the research. Discover WHY things are changing rather than simply assuming, "It's the cycles of the sun." Every event in mankind's history occurred due to multiple incidents building 'pressure' until some trigger sets it off. The proof is in our written histories and the proof is in the very ground we stand on. All you have to do is learn how to read it.

@lautenslager:--I worked in federal excise taxes for several years ahd have worked with federal taxes for almost 25 years. What is your experience with federal taxes? The funding for roads and bridges only comes from the fuel tax, tire excise tax, and heavy truck taxes. If we are going to pay more for fuel I want to at the very least have better roads and bridges. Another benefit would be the increased employment from repairing and rebuilding roads and bridges and the benefit to the overall economy. I don't think a tax system should be used to punish people but to generate revenue to do the things that government should do. At the same time I do not want to see the increase in fuel tax be wasted on non related items.

@DW Fields--Thanks for your support. I really feel that we as a country have let our infrastructure deteriorate for too long and we need to do something now. This would create lots of jobs and the revenue would benefit everyone, including the vehicle manufacturers. It is a little hard to buy a new car or truck if you are unemployed or under employed. It is hard to attract new businesses if you do not have easy access to good roads or rail lines. We need to be rebuilding our roads, bridges, power grid, communications systems, water lines, and sewer systems. China is doing all this now. This is critical to our economic success for our generation, the coming generation, and all future generations. I am not just blogging here I sincerely mean it.

As for getting older less efficient vehicles off the road, it is better to given businesses and individuals an incentive to do this and not force them to do this. Economic incentives work much better overall. If you want to keep an old car or truck no one should force you to get rid of it, but if you would rather replace it then allow incentives to do this without the taxpayers footing the bill. These are just my thoughts and are free for discussion and criticisim, but it is better to do something than just sit there and do nothing.

If Mr. Lutz was such a visionary with the ability to peer 12 years into the future, GM would not have needed an OBama bailout and nearly gone bankrupt.

The problem with our roads is not that there is enough tax $ to fix them, it is our politicians spending the $ on other things to get votes! plain and simple! they do not have an income problem, they have a SPENDING PROBLEM! and WE pay for it! gas could be $7.00/gal, and there still would not be enough $ for the roads, with the fools we have in charge now, look back to the days before we had all these interstate hyws. and then I believe it was Pres. Eisenhower's plan to build the inter-state road system for civil defence, and we were able to get it done, for far less $$ in that time, and with the money being equal to inflation! that was because the $$ they took to do this, WENT to it! and not in the general fund for this and that! it is like they are drunk with power and want to stay there so bad, they will promise, give and bribe to anyone they need to stay in power, no mater where the $$$ comes from, so what if the roads are falling apart, they already have enough MONEY to DO it! they have just choosen to spend it elswhere!

@nlp--You are assuming that Lutz had total control of GM. Lutz was never the Chairman of GM and there is also a Board of Directors. It is easy to get out voted on any decisions and to have your opinions stiffled. I am not saying that happened but it is hard to make a judgement unless you have all the facts. Anyone who has ever worked in the corporate or governmental world knows what it is like and it is not so easy to change.

@DWFields - We can't restore the worlds ice caps in a 100,000 years of cooler temps. It would take another Ice Age. Once a melt down gaines momentum, it's difficult to stop. It's not like a fridge where you just slam the door and crank the knob. Part of what makes glaciers so cold is the glaciers themselves.

@sandman4X4 --I agree with a lot of what you say. You are correct about the pork barrell projects and the promises to voters back home in order to get elected. You are not correct in saying that there are enough funds presently to take care of all the roads and bridges. An increase in the fuel tax of even $.05 a gallon might be enought to do what we need, but it should be designated for the sole purpose of roads and bridges and to the significance to that particular road and bridge to the country as a whole. A new bridge over the Ohio River on I 71 & I 75 is much more vital to the national economy than a road in a desolate area of Alaska and West Virginia. Granted that road is of importance to those citizens but funding for those projects could come from state and local taxes.

Unfortunately we have elections funded with corporate and private contributions which means that those elected owe favors to those that financially support them. Human nature also has imperfections. As they say "Power Corrupts and Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely."

A sunset provision could be put in any increase in fuel or excise tax, which I think is what Lutz's is suggesting with the increase lasting 10 years. After a certain period of time the increase expires and cannot be renewed.

@BAF0 - Even if all cars, all trucks stayed exactly the same and kept the same MPG, CAFE would only charge $55 per MPG under the 2025 scheduled mandate. That would not amount to much, even in Today's money.

Of course those mandates will be easily reached by 2015. That's an approx 10 MPG increase for cars & mid-size trucks and 6 MPG for full-size trucks.

CAFE is nothing to FEAR and only encourages OEMs and buyers to lean towards economy. V8 Mustangs, Camaros, 300Cs, Chargers and Challengers are crazy cheap in their base V8 trims. A few years ago, everyone was clamoring about the future demise of V8 Muscle and pony cars. Clearly we'll always have them.

The whole "CAFE killed any chances to a successful Chevy SS" is absurd. A $50K+ Chevy 4 door better have 4X4, an open bed and $10K+ rebates on the hood.

You throw a lot of points out there and they range from meaningless to absurd. You're throwing everything, but the Kitchen Sink out there. Chinese trucks? Fiat spa? Most of your "points" aren't remotely relevant. Others aren't relevant to ANYTHING!!

We already have a huge 'road tax' on fuel. Look what that got us. It's going EVERYWHERE 'exempt' fixing our roads and hwy infrastructure. Been there, done that. And consumers are buying V8 cars and trucks as always.

@BAFO - The VW Transporter would NOT have made a dent on our truck market. It was a political statement to roll foreign trucks into the Chicken Tax. The Transporter would've been equally a threat as was the VW Rabbit Trucklet of the '80s. How much did the VW Micro Bus and Vanagon impact the US, Big 3, light van market? What a joke!

If the Chicken tax was any kind of REAL barrier, it wouldn't have so many loopholes to make it irrelevant. Look at all the pretty import trucks than have landed here over the decades since '64 while exploiting the loopholes. Including medium duty trucks that dominate that market. No, if the Chicken tax was serious about changing the local landscape, it would have zero loopholes like Europe's 22% tax on foreign trucks.

No one mentions the 2.5% tariff on import cars as a "barrier" and by all accounts, cost foreign OEMs approx the same as Chicken tax loopholes/workarounds.

Well there are WAY too many comments for me to attempt to address them all so I'll just add my 2 cents as an overall 60,000 ft view.

1. Maximum Bob is famous for running his mouth. I kind of like it this way, sort of like "rubber necking" when driving by an accident. This is my usual reaction to Bob Lutz. I do agree that we likely should raise the tax rather than CAFE approaches but either one is better than no action at all.

2. If any of you actually read/listened to his speech he'd raise gas taxes not $.25 but $.25 every 6 months until gasoline was at a minimum $8 a gallon. He felt that was the "sweet-spot" for prices to influence behavior.

3. The overwhelming scientific evidence is for the current warming of the Earth. Has the Earth both warmed and cooled in its 4.5 billion year life, absolutely. Will it continue to do this, of course. The biggest differences are in the speed in which the change is occurring and the cost to human society. I don't doubt that we can overcome most of the effects via scientific advance meant but it will be expensive and likely highly disruptive to society.

3a. Right now we are having a nearly 100:1 effect on the rate of change. That kind of change will have severe consequences. Think of it another way. if you were driving down the US interstate system going 75-78 mph you'd be right at the legal limit for most states. A 100:1 increase would be going 7500-7800 mph or roughly Mach 10. This isn't a minute change even though we think of it in merely "a couple of degrees."

3b. Even if one doesn't care about the environment I think most in the US would agree that sourcing energy from our lands is safer and more stable than sourcing energy from outside the country. (sorry canadian ram owner and lou this would have a profound impact to Canada's economy) I think most people around the globe generally hold this viewpoint for their respective countries.

4. I am not sure where people are getting the idea that hybrids or EV's are “mega polluters” come from but it just isn't true for 97% of the cases. US pollution standards are strict enough that even solely coal generated electricity is effectively no different in terms of per unit pollution than a typical car. Is there noise in this, sure it depends heavily on what specifically is being measured. For the most part any given household is only partly fueled by coal. Most now incorporate some natural gas, nuclear, hydro/wind/solar or "other" and with any typical mix a fully 100% electric car is far less polluting from "well -to-wheels." I think some assume that the lithium in the battery must be 90% of the content or something silly but the actual content is very low. A couple of pounds at the most (of course dependent on size but even Tesla’s batteries only use a few pounds of the stuff). Is the mining for this "dirty" sure but not worse than oil, coal, or virtually anything else and the resource is fully recyclable.

5. For those rare 3% cases of the EV being as polluting or maybe a little worse I think I can make a convincing argument that most people at this point in time who are willing to invest in an EV are likely those who give a rats A$$ about everyone else and would opt into a "green energy" program of some kind from their local utility company. This alone would completely make up for the 3% that might be dirtier and as a whole all EV's lumped together is still a significant net reduction.

6. there is a difference in lower pollution standards and fuel economy standards. Edmunds did a few tests using a new F150 compared to a Fiat 500 and with a leaf blower. The most polluting per gallon of fuel was the leaf blower, followed by the 500 and the best going to the F150. That said it is plainly obvious that the 500 is going to travel significantly farther on a single gallon of gasoline than the F150. It is a matter of what is most important and what is being measured. Using the California emission standard on the 500 it then became both cleaner and still more fuel efficient than the F150. As others noted we aren't working in a vacuum here and it is very hard to isolate a single variable and understand how it interacts with 100% certainty. We must choose the mix that best fits national security, conservation of resources, current economic benefits, long term economic benefits and pollution effects all at the same time. This formula and the outcome in choices is going to depend on the people who have a stake in the matter and thus all of the "solutions" are going to be different and appeal to divergent groups. Nothing is going to be perfect for all parties, the goal is one in a true economic sense of the one that provides the most utility and the lowest cost of change while singling out no particular group. (please Google the economic definition of utility since it has a specific meaning in the context I used it)

Rant off. :)

@DenverMike: I can't believe you actually said, "We can't restore the worlds ice caps in a 100,000 years of cooler temps. It would take another Ice Age. Once a melt down gaines momentum, it's difficult to stop. It's not like a fridge where you just slam the door and crank the knob. Part of what makes glaciers so cold is the glaciers themselves." It shows that you have absolutely NO understanding of our planet's climactic workings.

Let me ask you a simple question: Where do the glaciers get their ice?
The quick and dirty answer? SNOW. Snow that doesn't melt away every year and packs deeper and deeper, compressing the old snow into ice sometimes hundreds of feet thick. The ice gets so heavy that it starts sliding downhill without the benefit of lubrication. Those glaciers are not seeing the same levels of snow and the warmer temperatures at lower altitudes are causing the foot of the glacier to melt faster than ever.

Do some research. Look at National Geographic and other educational programming sometime instead of stuffing your head with the cheap thrills of reality TV. That's nothing but escapism. Try learning something for a change.

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