Auto Industry Has Tried to Make Case for Relaxed EPA Vehicle Emissions Rule. It Might Succeed

First Up 02/26/24

Auto Industry Has Tried to Make Case for Relaxed EPA Vehicle Emissions Rule. It Might Succeed

As the EPA moves to finalize its strictest rule yet for reducing vehicle tailpipe emissions, the U.S. auto industry is urging the agency to ease up on the requirements — and it might succeed. Since the proposed rule was released in April, automakers, dealers, and the UAW have pleaded with the EPA to relax requirements that they argue would effectively mandate an aggressive increase in electric vehicle sales before the supply chains, infrastructure and market are ready. In response to industry pressure, the EPA is expected to relax parts of the rule, which could be finalized as soon as March, giving automakers more time to ramp up EV sales, according to published reports this month citing unnamed sources. "That seems to be the direction that things are heading. It's really a question of how much they relax the rule, and that's where we are kind of all guessing," Chris Harto, senior policy analyst at Consumer Reports, told Automotive News. Under the EPA's proposal, automakers would have to achieve 13 percent fleetwide average emissions reductions in the 2027-32 model years, representing a 56 percent reduction in average emission target levels from the 2026 model year. Click here for the full story.

Used Car Prices Plummet 13.8% In 2024, But Still Above Pre-Pandemic Level

The used car market is in a curious state as prices have continued to fall precipitously in the early part of 2024, but they have yet to reach pre-pandemic levels due to higher-than-usual demand. Data from the first 15 days of February indicates a substantial decline in prices for wholesale used vehicles, accounting for variations in vehicle types, mileage, and seasonal factors. Specifically, prices have plummeted by 13.8 percent compared to the same full month last year, highlighting a notable shift in the market dynamics, reports Carscoops. As compared to January 2024, prices were down 0.9 percent, reports Cox Auto. All segments saw declines, with luxury vehicles leading the drop at 13.2 percent compared to February 2023, followed by SUVs (13.5 percent), compact cars (16.9 percent), midsize cars (15.9 percent), and pickups (14.6 percent). Similarly, prices were down for all major segments on a month-to-month basis. As compared to January, compact cars lost just 0.7 percent and midsize cars lost just 0.1 percent of value, while the wider industry lost 0.9 percent. However, prices in the pickup segment and the luxury segment were down 1.7 percent and 1.1 percent, respectively. Click here for the full story.

U.S. Should Block Cheap Chinese Auto Imports from Mexico, U.S. Makers Say

The U.S. government should block the import of low-cost Chinese autos and parts from Mexico, a U.S. manufacturing advocacy group said on Friday, warning they could threaten the viability of American car companies. "The introduction of cheap Chinese autos - which are so inexpensive because they are backed with the power and funding of the Chinese government - to the American market could end up being an extinction-level event for the U.S. auto sector," the Alliance for American Manufacturing said in a report. According to Reuters, the group argues the United States should work to prevent automobiles and parts manufactured in Mexico by companies headquartered in China from benefiting from a North American free trade agreement. "The commercial backdoor left open to Chinese auto imports should be shut before it causes mass plant closures and job losses in the United States," the report said. Vehicles and parts produced in Mexico can qualify for preferential treatment under the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement as well as qualifying for a $7,500 EV tax credit, the report noted. Click here for the full story.

With the High Cost of New Cars, Can Entry-Level Buyers Stay in the Market?

Someday, we’ll be able to move around in flying cars and bring to life those Star Wars highways in the skies. I’ve been making presentations recently to inform those interested about the monumental advancements in personal mobility coming in the very near future. Until then, taking excellent care of our vehicles is smart. Cars today are built to last … and last, leading to an increase in the average age of the fleet over the last two decades from 8.5 years to now over 12.5 years. That represents a 50 percent increase in the average age of the fleet in just 20 short years, reports CBT News. The auto industry and government at all levels must do much more to help hold down the cost of buying, owning, driving, and parking motor vehicles for entry-level and less-affluent car buyers. We should all urge all industry and government leaders to collaborate effectively on ways to reduce the price of vehicles, especially entry-level starter vehicles. Otherwise, society risks making it impossible for would-be car buyers to access essential mobility, forcing them toward less convenient alternatives like transit, bus, bike and walking … anything but cars. Click here for the full story.

10 Interesting Facts You Should Know About Mercedes-Benz

Few car brands are as iconic as Mercedes-Benz, and you only become an icon by accomplishing some truly impressive feats during your lifetime. From the brand's motto to its name, there are hidden facts everywhere in its history. Karl Benz invented the "first" motorcar, but did you know Gottlieb Daimler invented the first motorcycle? Or that the brand's most famous silver color came from simply trying to save weight during a race? Most of you probably do, as many of its iconic stories are well-known at this point. This is why Carbuzz wanted to curate a list of some of the lesser-known facts about Mercedes that will make you sound like a genius at your next Cars and Coffee. Now, you can bring up some real automotive gems next time the conversation gets boring. Having just invented the first practical automobile, Karl Benz was venturing into revolutionary territory nobody knew anything about. This new-fangled self-driving carriage was unlike anything anyone had ever seen, and more importantly, no one knew how to regulate it. Complaints about the vehicle's noise and smell poured in, and soon his Patent Motorwagen was banned from the streets of Mannheim by order of the Mayor. Click here for 9 more interesting facts about Mercedes-Benz.

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