Mileage Meltdown?

1 decade 7 months 3 weeks ago Monday, October 01 2007 Oct 1, 2007 Monday, October 01, 2007 1:08:16 AM CDT October 01, 2007 in News

Under a new proposal from the Corporate Average Fuel Economy, or CAFE, big engine cars could be gone.

SUVs, vans and trucks would be most affected; Missouri makes many of those vehicles.

Perry Chevrolet technician, Tim Rainey, thinks the regulations are a little far-fetched.

"I think a lot of it that's coming up real quick, I don't know if it's '09 or 2010, I think it's gonna be very unrealistic, I'm afraid," Rainey said.

The expectations would require changing the way manufacturers produce their vehicles.

If the standards aren't met, everyone pays.

"If they can't get us the product, then we can't sell the product. If we can't sell the product, we can't service the product. So it's just going to be a trickle down effect from the top all the way down to us," Rainey said.

At least 50 percent of automobiles manufactured in Missouri are trucks, vans, and SUVs. But if the new CAFE regulations pass, the entire automotive industry could take a hit.

A new group, the Automotive Jobs Action Coalition (AJAC) opposes the proposal. It said excess increases in fuel economy standards would hurt Missouri car manufacturers.

"Consumer forces always direct this country's economy. And that's whats made this country's economy so unique. And when we start using government to artificially force these factors, you're gonna create problems, and start losing jobs in the process. And that's what this is about," said Michael Grote of the Missouri Chamber of Commerce.

And preserving that system is the main goal of AJAC.

In the state of Missouri, there are more than 56,000 auto-related jobs. There are more than 14,000 workers in the St. Louis area alone. The St. Louis area's auto and parts manufacturing accounts for $12 billion annually.

As of now, federal regulators have not approved the CAFE regulations.

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