Hyundai CEO Bemoans CAFE Loopholes, Halo Sports Cars

Derek Kreindler
by Derek Kreindler

Hyundai CEO John Krafcik will keep his company’s focus on being a fuel economy leader, and has ruled out a high-performance sports car, even as he discussed the various ways in which the new CAFE regulations can be gamed to produce low fleet fuel economy ratings.

With large vehicles being held to less stringent standards under CAFE (as well as a different formula for measuring MPG than the one used for consumers), Krafcik said that auto makers may not have as strong an incentive to produce compact, fuel efficient vehicles.

Giving the full-size truck market as an example (full-size trucks will be able to comply with more lax regulations) Krafcik told Ward’s Auto that “every well-intentioned action has an unintended negative consequence. This is a classic one. Because of the new CAFE guidelines, the most fuel-efficient segment for pickup trucks, the small ones, aren’t going to be available in the U.S. market. That’s crazy.”

While Hyundai had the best fleet average fuel economy of any auto maker in the 2010 model year, Krafcik said that hitting the 2025 target of a 54.5 mpg fleet average will be tough. Krafcik also ruled out the idea of a high-end sports car, stating “… it would be expensive, and what would it really do for us?”

[Source: Ward’s Auto]

Derek Kreindler
Derek Kreindler

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