Toyota’s Jim Colon praises US government’s proposal on fuel-economy standards

Article by Christian Andrei, on January 31, 2011

Toyota Motor Corp. commended the Obama administration's preliminary proposal to increase fuel-economy standards to as high as 62 mpg for 2017-2025 vehicles. This is quite the opposite of the view of the auto industry's top trade group.

At the Washington auto show, Jim Colon, vice president for product communications at Toyota, said that the U.S. administration is “engaged” and that its intention to formalize new fuel efficiency rules by the summer of 2012 is exciting.

He said that Toyota has already embarked on this direction, which is evident in the new family of Prius hybrids that Toyota showcased at the Detroit auto show.

The government’s preliminary proposal would require automakers to incrementally raise fuel economy standards from 2017 to 2025 until they achieved goals of between 47 mpg and 62 mpg. Colon said that Toyota is prepared to comply with whatever standards are established by the government.

Martha Voss, another Toyota spokeswoman, said that the carmaker was not endorsing the 62 mpg target, adding that Toyota considers it too early to pinpoint a figure until studies offer more information and other factors are considered.

Meanwhile, it is notable that Colon's comments contrast with the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, which includes Toyota, the Detroit 3 automakers, Volkswagen and seven other companies.

Last October, the Alliance commented on the U.S. administration's plan, saying that it was “based on very preliminary and incomplete data at this point, and inevitably will change.” [via autonews - sub. required]

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