Wednesday, May 20, 2009


CAFE Insanity

So I am reading this editorial at the Wall Street Journal website about the new CAFE standards proposed by Obama, "Car Crazy:
Bankrupt companies making 39 mpg autos. Are we nuts?"
. My first thought is: Is the Wall Street Journal nuts?

If they want to argue that the 39 mpg target is too high, I can buy that. But their argument seems to be centered around "the big three aren't capable of reaching that goal". I don't buy it.

Exhibit A:
The Honda Fit. When I bought one for my wife, I was surprised how much fun that little car was, and is. Add in the fact it gets 27 city/33 highway mpg, and it is a tremendous buy. It is proof that a small car can be fun, affordable, and get great gas mileage.

Exhibit B:
The Ford Fiesta. It has received rave reviews, and sold 170,000 units in Europe, with over 52,000 sold in March of this year. When released in the U.S. (late this year or early next year), it is expected to get close to 39 mpg. If this car is as fun as the Honda Fit, expect Ford to make a huge comeback.

Ford will already be close to hitting the target CAFE standard next year. Next time, the Wall Street Journal needs to do a little more research on what the car companies have in their pipelines before predicting something can't be done.

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