Following the announcements made by President Bush to raise corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards, Vice Chairman of GM, Bob Lutz has announced that the company is going to have to put their RWD cars on hold.
The Bush administration wants to raise fuel economy standards by 4% a year so that cars will average 34mpg by 2017, compared to 27.5mpg today. In addition the Supreme Court ruled that the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) can now regulate carbon dioxide expelled by cars.
According to a story published by the Chicago Tribune, Bob Lutz has announced that the company’s future offerings may be in jeopardy due to the new government announcements. Last week Lutz, announced that the new fuel economy standards could raise the price of cars by $5,000. But now the Vice Chairman is saying that the new standards could also cancel or delay future models that are needed to improve the companies revenue.
The much publicized "zeta" platform that is the basis for the new 2009 Chevy Camaro and upcoming Chevy Impala is in question. "It’s too late to stop Camaro, but anything after that is questionable or on the
bubble," said Lutz, noting that also means Camaro derivatives — along with a
big Impala sedan, "if we call it Impala."
The main issue is the fact that RWD cars are heavier than FWD cars and the company is going to have issues reaching the lofty mpg goals with RWD cars.
So it comes down to the matter of fuel economy. Or as Lutz says: "We don’t know
how to get 30 percent better mileage from" RWD cars.
"We’ll decide on our rear-drive cars when the government decides on CO(-2)
levels and CAFE regulations," Lutz said.
Besides the new Camaro and Impala, other future GM models are also in jeopardy. Future Pontiacs, Buicks and possible high-performance versions of the Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky may also be affected.
Full Story: Chicago Tribune