Raising stake in VW may help Porsche on fuel-economy fines

Raising its stake in Volkswagen AG may help Porsche avoid some strict U.S. fuel-economy fines without making big changes its sporty vehicle lineup. Last fall Porsche had lost a bid to get Congress to exempt it from tough U.S. fuel economy standards on the basis of the company’s sales volume.

But now Porsche is looking to merge its U.S. fuel-economy data with Volkswagen, a move that could help the high-performance automaker avoid some steep fuel-economy fines.

Currently, Porsche would only see modest benefits since Volkswagen’s light trucks, like the Tiguan and Touareg, do not meet current standards. Volkswagen’s fleet 28.6 mpg in 2007, ahead of the 27.5 mpg U.S. standard. VW executives say they intend to expand their U.S. offerings with more small, fuel-efficient vehicles.

Like its rivals BMW and Mercedes-Benz, Porsche has been routinely paying fines for not meeting fuel-economy standards. Its peak payout was around $5 million for the 2001 model year.

The new fuel economy standards call for an average 35 mpg by 2020, 40 percent more than today.


Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

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