Fiat Chrysler is planning on rolling out more hybrid vehicles over the coming years to ensure it can meet the Environmental Protection Agency’s strict 2025 tailpipe emissions standards, but there’s also another potential solution: build more trucks and SUVs.
It may seem counter-productive to produce more trucks and SUVs in order to adhere to increasingly strict emissions standards, but as The Detroit Free Press points out, FCA may be able to skirt the new laws thanks something called the “footprint adjustment” provision.
The provision allows a mix of different emissions ratings to be passed depending on the amount of trucks and SUVs an automaker sells. So a company with more truck and SUV sales would have to meet lower emissions standards, while an automaker with more small car sales must adhere to stricter laws.
FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne recently divulged plans to kill off the Chrysler 200 mid-size sedan along with the Dodge Dart compact. The models will likely be replaced with larger SUVs, which depending on how they sell could alter the emissions target FCA has to meet by 2025.
According to The Detroit Free Press, 80 percent of Fiat Chrysler’s U.S. sales last month were light trucks. That’s already the highest concentration of light truck sales in the industry, and it hasn’t even yet enacted its plan to boost truck and SUV production.