Very interesting news in Wall Street Journal yesterday: BMW and Mercedes-Benz might get a break from the U.S government regarding the new fuel economy standards. Under this new proposal, the government will set less stringent emission standards for BMW and a few other foreign auto makers that sell fewer than 400,000 vehicles a year in the United States.
An analysis on this new regulations was posted by us back in May and at that time, we were quite excited to see that BMW has started to position itself well for the 2012 new fuel economy standards.
We’re hoping that despite this exemption, BMW will continue to focus on its EfficientDynamics program and eventually introduce more fuel efficient vehicles in the U.S.
But after digging deeper into this announcement, we found some potential issues and concerns that the general public and U.S. based automakers might have. The question is whether these foreign car makers are getting a clear advantage over their counterpart U.S. companies.
David Cole, chairman of the Center for Automotive Research at the University of Michigan, said the provision would hand “a distinct competitive advantage” to German and other exempted companies that compete with the major U.S. and Japanese brands in the U.S.
Daniel Becker, director of the Washington-based Safe Climate Campaign, which advocates tougher regulation of automotive fuel economy and greenhouse-gas emissions, said BMW and Mercedes “should be required to meet the same standards as General Motors and Ford.”
But could this be argued that the U.S. government would like to offer some soft of incentives to these foreign companies investing into the American market?
Obviously this is a very sensitive issue and it will cause some friction between auto makers, but one of them that is clearly happier than others is Porsche. The new EU CO2 requirements have caused some distress inside the company and having more relaxed fuel economy standards in the U.S. definitely helps them.[Source: WSJ ]