Thursday, June 21, 2007

Auto News & CO2 Emissions

More interesting auto news from my Company-supplied e-zines:

Alliance partners Renault SA and Nissan Motor Co. are conducting a feasibility study for the potential of a $3,000 car for the Indian Market...Last week a French newspaper reported that Renault already was developing such a vehicle and plans to open a new technical center in India with 1,000 engineers to support the program.”
“Ghosn [head of Renault and Nissan] didn’t confirm that report. But he did vow that Nissan and Renault would be key players in the next wave of low-cost vehicles...
“…Ghosn notes that India’s low-cost engineering and manufacturing base – and growing number of local suppliers – makes the country well-suited for the program...

Ok, cheap cars for India are great. These cars represent continued upward mobility in the world’s largest democracy. And the mention of the suppliers shows there’s a solid reason for expecting long-term growth. Considering the market for cheaper cars in India is HUGE, this is a good investment for Nissan. But, articles like this one point out the futility of the following (also from industry e-zine):

[US] lawmakers are considering a compromise on fuel economy standards as dissent over the issue threatens to derail the U.S. Senate’s plans to vote on a new energy bill this week...
...The compromise would still raise average fuel economy requirements for cars and trucks to 35 miles per gallon by 2020...But it would eliminate 4% annual increases after that, which would have raised the standard to 52mpg by 2030 – a level automakers have declared impossible.

With India and China comprising an increasing % of the global car market, what good do tightened US car regulations do for bringing down world-wide emissions?

Answer: Not much, except continue to highlight the attitudes of those who think the US and Europe are solely responsible for environmental problems. And those same people who give the rest of the world a free pass.

In a more humorous excerpt, the e-zine had this TRW* advertisement:

Is it just me or does he look like an Asian version of Mike Myers’ Dieter persona?
See? See? Apparently, nothing says safety like a grim-faced men in black turtlenecks.

*Bias alert! I work for a competing automotive safety company. But I would totally make fun of our ads if given the opportunity.

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