With President-elect Donald Trump set to begin his four-year term in January of next year, the automobile industry has already started to look into how they can benefit from his intention to reduce regulations. Specifically, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, a lobby group, has revealed it has sent a letter to President-elect Trump’s transition team asking for a review on the proposed greenhouse emission and fuel economy regulations set to be implemented by 2025.
This lobby group represents 12 of the world’s major automakers which include Volvo Cars USA, Volkswagen Group of America, Toyota, Porsche, Mitsubishi Motors, Mercedes-Benz, Mazda, Jaguar Land Rover, General Motors, Ford Motor Company, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, and BMW Group.
While environmental regulators have already established compliance levels until 2021, the same regulators are looking into the possibility of implementing a 50 mpg fleet average starting 2022 and up to 2025. This is part of the renewable fuel standard program created by Congress with the hopes of not only lowering the greenhouse gas emissions but also in improving the renewable fuels sector of the country to reduce dependence on importing oil.
According to the Auto Alliance, the thrust for vehicles that are more efficient and cleaner could result in increased cost for buyers and could even help them by reforming this system. As such, the lobby group requests that all automotive regulations proposed starting September 1 should be reviewed. A report by Automotive News revealed that part of the group’s letter stated while the regulatory actions may have good intentions, there is the risk of the compliance costs increasing. It could come to a point, according to the letter, that new technologies aimed at fuel efficiency and enhance safety equipped inside could result in new cars being out of reach, financially, for many new buyers.
That is not all as the Auto Alliance also wants more unified rules as it relates to the vehicle mandate on zero emissions. California in particular is in the lead regarding a plan to make sure that around 15% of new deliveries will have no emissions. Aside from California, 9 other states are included in this plan. Automotive News adds that in the letter the lobby group sent, they are requesting the incoming administration to put appropriate measures to address the issues regarding zero-emission vehicles. In particular, the group does not want to have a patchwork of requirements that will hinder the One National Program’s overall objective.
What this all means is that should the incoming Trump administration consider this request, then the additional changes being proposed by regulators may not occur. However there is also the possibility that the request will not be approved considering that the President-elect is not much of an ally of the auto industry. Though Trump has revealed that he does not support regulation, he is also threatening U.S. automakers with high tariffs, especially those who import models from Mexico.