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Posts Tagged ‘fuel economy’

Mitsubishi Panel: Corp. Culture Ruled Out Saying “No”

Maker faulted for “not having manufacturing philosophy of an automaker.”

by on Aug.02, 2016

Nissan CEO Ghosn (l), and MMC Chairman Masuko.

Despite being faced with impossible goals and a shortage of resources, engineers at Mitsubishi Motors Corp. were caught up in a corporate culture that wouldn’t allow them to say, “No,” according to an internal investigation of the maker’s fuel economy cheating scandal.

The report, compiled by a team of outside investigators, had harsh words for the scandal-plagued automaker, which admitted in April it had rigged mileage numbers on vehicles sold in Japan for as much as a quarter century.

Clearing the Air!

“There was utterly no consciousness that the company must work as one to make and sell cars,” according to the 37-page report. Mitsubishi, it concluded, is a company “not having the manufacturing philosophy of an automaker.”

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Carmakers Want Relief from Tough 2025 Mileage Mandate

Feds set to issue mid-term review of 54.5 mpg target.

by on Jul.05, 2016

Cheap gas makes it harder to justify spending money to improve mileage, CAFE critics contend.

With fuel prices the lowest they’ve been since the start of the Great Recession, automakers have seen a boom in demand for light trucks and performance vehicles. But while that might be good for the short-term bottom line, it could pose serious problems in the longer-term, as the industry struggles to cope with tough new fuel economy mandates.

Automakers have delivered significant improvements in fuel economy in recent years, but they’ve got a long way to go to meet the 54.5 mile-per-gallon target the federal government has set for 2025. Some industry insiders argue they can’t get there – at least not without pricing vehicles out of the hands of most consumers. The environmental community has countered that this is just a scare tactic and that manufacturers have shown they can deliver fuel-efficient products consumers can afford.

Green News Now!

Both sides will have their eyes on Washington this week, the federal government finally expected to release a so-called mid-term review that could decide whether to ease back on the 54.5 mpg target if the goal is determined to be unreasonable.

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Honda Punches Up Ridgeline Fuel Economy by 5 MPG

Automakers finding way to get car-like mileage out of trucks.

by on Apr.29, 2016

The 2017 Honda Ridgeline made its debut at this year's Detroit Auto Show.

Honda expects to get as much as five miles per gallon better mileage out of its reborn Ridgeline pickup when it goes on sale over the summer.

That’s in keeping with a general trend that’s seen a big boost of the fuel economy of next-generation trucks and SUVs. And, industry leaders are betting, it will mean that American motorists will be far less likely to flee back to conventional sedans and coupes if – or, more likely, when – fuel prices start rising again.

The Last Word!

According to figures filed with the Environmental Protection Agency, which oversees mileage testing, the front-wheel-drive version of the 2017 Honda Ridgeline will deliver 19 mpg in the city, 26 on the highway. The all-wheel-drive model will trim a single mpg off those numbers, to 18 and 25.

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Mitsubishi Claims US Mileage Numbers Accurate

Maker's stock rebounds slightly, but still down nearly half since mileage scandal erupted.

by on Apr.28, 2016

Mitsubishi recently launched a new version of the Mirage in the U.S., emphasizing price and mileage.

Even as an internal investigation into fuel economy ratings fraud gets underway, Mitsubishi Motors Corp. claims the mileage numbers used for vehicles sold in the United States have been accurate.

That word comes just a day after the embattled Japanese automaker acknowledged it had inflated the figures for vehicles sold in its home market since at least 1991. Sales of Mitsubishi vehicles have plunged since the scandal broke earlier this month, while the maker’s stock price has fallen by nearly half.

Global News!

Mitsubishi is a relatively minor player in the American market, but coming in the wake of a series of industry ethics lapses – including the Volkswagen diesel emissions fraud and General Motors’ cover-up of a deadly ignition switch defect – the Japanese maker could face major fines and legal costs if it were found to be cheating in the U.S., as well.

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Carmakers Beating Fuel Economy Mandates, Study Finds

Some models nearly meet goals set for 2025.

by on Apr.25, 2016

The new Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid already meets the fuel economy target for 2021.

Low fuel prices have been driving a surge in demand for big pickups and SUVs. That’s a seeming recipe for poor fuel economy, but a new report reveals that the auto industry is not only managing to meet federal fuel economy standards but, in many cases, handily exceeding the current mandate.

A total of 56% of the newest models in dealer showrooms match or exceed today’s federal target, according to the survey by the Consumer Federation of America. And a number of vehicles already come close to meeting the tough, 54.5 mile-per-gallon target that’s not supposed to take effect until 2025.

Step on the Gas!

“Fuel efficiency increasingly comes standard with new cars, trucks, and SUVs” said Jack Gillis, Director of Public Affairs for the CFA and author of The Car Book. “Even if you’re in the market for a large pickup or SUV, you’d have to go out of your way to find a true gas guzzler.”

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Buyers Continue Purchasing New Vehicles with Lower Fuel Efficiency

Fuel economy average drops again in September.

by on Oct.08, 2015

As sales of full-size trucks, like the F-150, continue to tick upwards, fuel efficiency averages for new vehicles slides downward.

As the sales of trucks and utility vehicles continue to surge, the fuel-economy of new vehicles sold in the U.S. continues to drop, according to a monthly study by the University of Michigan.

In fact researchers at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute found the fuel economy of new vehicles sold in the U.S. as rated by the federal Environmental Protection Agency fell for the second month in a row. The average fuel economy, or window-sticker values, of cars, light trucks, vans and SUVs purchased in September was 25.2 mpg, down 0.1 mpg from August.

Welcome to the Future!

“This decline likely reflects the decreased price of gasoline in September, and the consequent increased sales of pickup trucks, SUVs and crossovers,” said Michael Sivak, a research professor at UMTRI. (more…)

Fuel Economy Hasn’t Much Changed Since 1923

Or has it? Federal data leaves some big gaps open.

by on Aug.20, 2015

New study suggests that today's auto fleet isn't getting much better mileage than it did 90 years ago.

Federal guidelines are calling for some big increases in fuel economy over the next decade, with the average vehicle required to deliver 54.5 mpg by 2025.

But a new study by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, or UMTRI, adds a cautionary note to that push, noting that from 1923 to 2013, the average mileage of the American automotive fleet rose a meager 3.6 miles per gallon, to just 17.6 mpg.

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In fact, fuel economy actually tumbled for a number of years, only starting to rebound in 1974, in the wake of the first Mideast oil shock as Washington enacted the first Corporate Average Fuel Economy, or CAFE, standard.

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Stop “Crying Wolf,” Over 54.5 mpg Standard, Says “Queen of Cleaner Cars”

by on Apr.27, 2015

Margo Oge retired in 2012 after 32 years with the EPA.

With fuel prices down by as much as 30% from their 2014 peak, millions of Americans have been migrating to pickups and SUVs and abandoning compact passenger cars and alternative fuel vehicles. That’s leading some industry executives to questions whether the federal government should re-think the 54.5 mpg Corporate Average Fuel Economy, or CAFE, standard set to take effect in 2025.

Such a move would be a critical mistake, warns Margo Ogo, a former official with the EPA who helped put together the compromise fuel economy rules and who has been dubbed by some “the Queen of Cleaner Cars.” If anything, she says, the tough mandate targeted for a decade from now doesn’t go nearly far enough.

Balanced Debate!

“2025 is the first down-payment to the planet for the need to get away from fossil fuels,” Oge told TheDetroitBureau.com during a lengthy interview marking the release of her new book, Driving the Future: Combating Climate Change with Cleaner, Smarter Cars. “We, as a society, need to move to zero-emission vehicles by 2050…if we are to meet goals of reducing carbon emissions.”

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Over Half of All Cars to Feature Stop-Start by 2024

But consumer complaints remain a problem.

by on Apr.13, 2015

The new Malibu is one of many new vehicles adding Stop-Start and other advanced fuel saving technology.

When the new 2016 Chevrolet Malibu rolls into showrooms later this year it will offer a variety of powertrain options including a base 1.5-liter turbo package that will feature standard Stop-Start, making it the latest in a growing list of models equipped with the fuel-saving technology.

Within the next decade, forecasts Navigant Research, Stop-Start will be standard equipment on the majority of new cars, trucks and crossovers sold worldwide, according to a new study by Navigant Research. That’s more than double today’s numbers.

Turbocharge Your News!

“The basic Stop-Start system is gradually evolving into one piece of a multifaceted approach to improving fuel economy in light duty vehicles,” according to Navigant’s senior research analyst David Alexander.

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Mileage Still Critical to Shoppers, Despite Plunging Prices

Technology, exterior and interior design, also critical, finds Power study.

by on Jan.19, 2015

Power's Avoiders study warns that motorists still won't pay a stiff premium for alternative power models like the new 2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid.

With gas prices down below $2 a gallon in most of the country, there’s been a surge of demand for pickups and other big vehicles. Even so, fuel economy remains the key factor most motorists consider when buying a new car, truck of crossover, according to a new survey by J.D. Power and Associates.

But even the highest-mileage vehicles may not connect with buyers turned off by poor design or by the lack of the latest technological features, notes Power’s 2015 U.S. Avoiders Study. The annual report looks at both what motivates motorists to buy, reject or avoid particular models.

Consumer Insight!

For the fourth year in a row, it turns out, fuel economy has remained the most influential factor in choosing a new vehicle. According to the 2015 study, 14% of shoppers listed mileage as number one on the list of why they bought a particular vehicle, while 16% said they rejected a vehicle because of its poor mileage.

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