Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne says that he’s “fully supportive” of US President Donald Trump and his administration as they consider rolling back Obama-era fuel-efficiency rules intended to reduce carbon emissions and combat climate change. He characterized the Trump administration’s efforts as an attempt “to try to get [the rules] reexamined in view of the changing circumstances,” like the greater popularity of larger, less-fuel-efficient vehicles like trucks, crossovers, and SUVs.
Executives from FCA, Ford, GM, and seven other automakers met with President Trump on Friday to discuss trade and emissions regulations, and to persuade Trump to work with California’s Democratic governor Jerry Brown toward a single national set of emissions standards. The automakers support easing the EPA’s Obama-era restrictions, but not to such an extent that it causes a greater rift with the California Air Resources Board, and two very different sets of standards. Sergio Marchionne says he’s hoping for an “agreed way forward.”
The Fiat Chrysler CEO seems fairly confident that Trump can make it happen, calling the president “probably the most consummate deal-maker I’ve seen in a long, long time.” He said that the Barack Obama administration’s efforts to rush through a review of the 2022-2025 standards were “improper.” Fuel efficiency will improve industry-wide independent of the rule changes, he says.
“We shouldn’t become, sort of, poster children of a cause here,” Marchionne said.
Worth noting is that the size and weight of vehicles sold are taken into account with the application of the current Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards, meaning that in theory, consumers’ preference over recent years for large, roomy crossovers and SUVs shouldn’t impact an automaker’s ability to meet the requirements. Those vehicles are given more of a break than small cars.
(Source: Automotive News)