Jan. 6, 2007: The Detroit News—Detroit Carmakers Push to be Greener

Summary: "Each year, Detroit automakers spend billions to get on the shopping lists of drivers like Alex Beaty. A Wisconsin factory worker, Beaty, 19, is an ardent environmentalist who drives a 1993 Eagle Summit that gets 42 miles to the gallon on the highway.

He knows U.S. automakers sell more fuel-efficient vehicles than in the past, including gas-electric hybrids, but his next car is likely to be Toyota’s hybrid prius or Honda’s hybrid Civic."

Detroit has lost plenty of American consumers to Asian brands by neglecting fuel economy, as the survey analyzed in this article demonstrates. Yet every time a proposal surfaces to require better fuel efficiency and/or emissions, American carmakers squeal that it would cost them too much, that they would rather adhere to voluntary standards.

If CAFE numbers had been raised gradually all along, American brands could even now be proudly selling fuel-efficient, low-emissions models. Instead, they must play catch-up with their Asian peers.

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