Thursday, October 11, 2007
Two Toyopet Crowns, Toyota’s first exports to the United States, wait to be loaded on a ship at Yokohama harbor in August 1957. Nearly half a century later, Toyota is on track to surpass General Motors as the world’s No. 1 automaker.
* Union of Concerned Scientists*
10/03/2007 03:38 PM
President, Toyota North America Shigeru Hayakawa
Dear Mr. Hayakawa,
I am writing to express my deep concern that your company has
decided to actively oppose the Senate-passed increase to U.S.
fuel economy standards. Toyota already complies with Japanese
fuel economy standards aimed at reaching approximately 46 miles
per gallon (U.S.) by 2010. Why are you denying American
consumers the access to fuel efficient choices that both hybrid
and conventional technologies can deliver in all vehicle
When I decide what type of vehicle I want to drive, I take a
company's overall reputation into consideration. Toyota's
credibility is on the line.
I ask that you reverse your current course of action and declare
publicly that Toyota can and will comply with the Senate fuel
economy standards of 35 miles per gallon. You have the power to
help Americans meet their varied driving needs while reducing
oil dependence and global warming pollution.
I look forward to your reply.
Response (Corporate Communications)
10/09/2007 03:43 PM
Thank you for contacting Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc. regarding your concerns with Toyota's position on federally mandated fuel economy increases.
We share your interest in strengthening automotive fuel economy and, in fact, are actively lobbying for a significant increase in the Corporate Average Fuel Economy Standards (CAFE). Any assertion by anyone or any one website or blog that we are doing otherwise, is simply not true.
There are various bills before Congress that would mandate new CAFE targets by 2020 and require both cars and trucks to meet that standard. At Toyota, we favor proposed legislation known as H.R. 2927, the Hill-Terry bill. This measure is aggressive and calls for increases in CAFE by as much as 40% by 2022. Although this won't be easy, we believe it is achievable. The bill maintains separate categories for cars and trucks.
Please also note the following:
- Toyota has always exceeded federal fuel economy requirements, and our passenger car line-up has the highest CAFE rating in the automotive industry.
- Toyota is the only major automaker to consistently improve global warming performance since 2001, thanks to hybrids and better conventional technology.*
- We're totally committed to ongoing improvement of fuel economy and emissions in all of our vehicles. In fact, our commitment to this is so deep, we spend $23 million every day on green initiatives and research.
We are continuously striving to improve our fuel economy, regardless of federal mandates.
So please understand that we, too, strongly support increased fuel economy standards. It's the right thing to do-and, we hope that we've been able to provide a little more insight into our environmental commitments and actions.
To learn more, please visit our corporate blog and see our recent posts regarding this topic at http://blog.toyota.com/2007/10/post.html and at http://blog.toyota.com/2007/09/irvs-sheet-a-ca.html.
The contents of H.R. 2927 can be found HERE
EXERPT: `(B) The alternative minimum standard referred to in subparagraph (A) shall be the greater of--
`(i) 27.5 miles per gallon; or
`(ii) 92 percent of the average fuel economy projected by the Secretary for the combined domestic and foreign fleets manufactured for sale in the United States by all manufacturers in that model year, which projection shall be published in the Federal Register when the standard for that model year is promulgated in accordance with this section.
`(C) The alternative minimum standard under this paragraph shall apply to a manufacturer's domestically manufactured passenger automobiles only if the passenger automobile standard established on the basis of vehicle attributes pursuant to this subsection, excluding any credits transferred by the manufacturer pursuant to section 32903(g) from other categories of automobiles described in such section, would allow that manufacturer to comply with a less stringent passenger automobile standard than the alternative minimum standard.'; and
(3) by amending subsection (c) to read as follows:
`(c) Average Fuel Economy for Automobiles After 2021- In prescribing standards under subsections (a) and (b), the Secretary shall prescribe separate average fuel economy standards for passenger automobiles and non-passenger automobiles such that--
`(1) the projected combined fuel economy average for model year 2022 shall not be greater than 35 miles per gallon; and
`(2) the projected combined fuel economy average for model year 2022 and subsequent model years shall be not less than 32 miles per gallon,
Rather weak standards if you ask me, why? Well I had a Fiat 850, actually several, that routinely got 40mpg in the 70's, city driving. If the diligent, fuel conscious people at Fiat could do it back then, we should realistically be looking at 80mpg today as a common thing given the advancements in technology since then.
Like all things corporate, greed is good, worse gas mileage equals more gas sold equals more profit. Any attempt to upset that would surely result in banishment from the corporate culture as an subversive element.
The letter from Toyota confirms the stoic nature that will not be changed.
35mpg ain't shit!