Volkswagen Opposes Present Fuel Efficiency Proposal

Volkswagen said it does not endorse the White House’s proposal to increase fuel efficiency for vehicles sold in the U.S over the next 15 years.

Volkswagen made its announcement shortly after President Obama spoke in Washington on July 29 to executives of 13 car companies that support the White House’s proposal to increase fuel efficiency. Present were Ford, GM and Chrysler and 10 import and transplant car companies.

Torque News is carrying the complete and unedited remarks by the President Obama.

Among the president’s remarks, he said that the White House’s plan is to continue increasing the mileage of cars and trucks over the next 15 years.

That is the statement that caused Volkswagen to respond.

“The Volkswagen Group is a global leader in fuel efficiency and associated technologies, and we are committed to the ongoing negotiations with the White House on reaching maximum achievable fuel economy/GHG reduction standards,” said Tony Cervone, executive vice president of communications for Volkswagen Group of America.

“Volkswagen does not endorse the proposal under discussion. It places an unfairly high burden on passenger cars, while allowing special compliance flexibility for heavier light trucks. Passenger cars would be required to achieve 5% annual improvements, and light trucks 3.5% annual improvements. The largest trucks carry almost no burden for the 2017-2020 timeframe, and are granted numerous ways to mathematically meet targets in the outlying years without significant real-world gains,” Cervone said.

The proposal, Cervone argued, only encourages manufacturers and customers to shift toward larger, less efficient vehicles, which would defeat the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Cervone noted that the Volkswagen Group’s clean diesel products are among the most fuel efficient vehicles on the road today.

“Our new mid-size Passat TDI, built here in the U.S. in Chattanooga, Tennessee, achieves 43 mpg highway and can travel almost 800 miles on a single tank of fuel. If one-third of the vehicles on the road today were clean diesel, the U.S. would save 1.4 million barrels of oil a day,” Cervone said.

“Yet,” he said, “There is no consideration in the current proposal for the positive impact clean diesels can have on fuel consumption here in the U.S.”

Cervone said Volkswagen Group of America will continue its discussions with the White House to achieve the "one nation standard” that is fair and equitable.

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