The creed of the American auto-industry for years has been that Americans did not desire fuel-economy, but instead preferred gas-guzzling SUV’s over gas-sipping compacts. Edmunds reports however, that former GM economist Walter McManus is claiming that that is simply not true. McManus, now a professor at the Transportation Research Institute at the University of Michigan reports that often times during the 1990’s GM would receive outside information to the contrary, but McManus would just as routinely dismiss the same.
McManus told Energy & Environment News that “It’s my fault they had the wrong vehicles until now,”. Auto economists, he said, often operated under the ‘theory’ that they understood the market for what it really was, so the surveys received just could not be correct. “There was a systematic bias against such results,” the former GM suit said. “Our job was not to seek the truth, but to justify decisions that had already been made.”
McManus also recently served as head analyst for a Citigroup study of the new federally mandated CAFE standards for average fuel economy. The new standard calls for cars in America to be at an average fuel-economy of 35.5 mpg by the year 2016. The report also suggests that while the new standards will greatly benefit customer and manufacturer alike, the Japanese will not see as much of a boost in business as the Americans will since their cars already achieve relatively great fuel-economy. Basically, the Japanese have less room to improve in the department of fuel-economy than do the Americans.
– By: Stephen Calogera
Source: Green Car Advisor