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Porsche faces hefty fines from US fuel efficiency law

The Local · 22 Feb 2010, 11:48

Published: 22 Feb 2010 11:48 GMT+01:00

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“For the model years of 2012 to 2015 we’ve received a special exemption,” the company’s chief lobbyist Stephan Schläfli told the paper. “But as of 2016 it’s no longer valid.”

The paper reported the new regulations could go into effect this May, and means that Porsche will have to improve average new vehicle fuel efficiency to 41.4 miles per gallon, or about 5.7 litres per 100 kilometres. But this level is significantly higher than current measurements of about 27 miles to the gallon, and the new target is unrealistic within the time frame - despite receiving an extension until 2016, experts told the paper.

“To reach this value we have to reduce fuel consumption by around 10 percent year for year,” Schläfli said.

Critics of the bill have also said that other German car companies, who tend to sell powerful cars with big motors in the United States, are being unfairly disadvantaged, the paper reported. Some experts believe this may not be a coincidence, because most US carmakers are able to fulfil the new rules.

“Economically this rule will restructure the entire industry,” warned Walter Lewis, Porsche’s liaison to US lawmakers. “It’s not the task of the government to decide on the winners and losers in the auto industry. This is not environmental policy, it’s industrial policy.”

For years Porsche has paid fines for not reaching American fuel efficiency standards, but the cost to consumers has only been about $100 per car, the paper reported.

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“With the new law the highest fine is now $37,500 per car,” Schläfli told the paper. “We can’t pay that any more.”

One solution may be for Porsche to offer its larger Cayenne and Panamera models with hybrid engines, he said, adding that it remains doubtful whether customers would be interested in the change.

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

13:00 February 22, 2010 by So36
No, being taken over doesn't help them because they were independent when the regulations were drawn up.
16:01 February 22, 2010 by MJTinNOLA
"Critics of the bill have also said that other German car companies, who tend to sell powerful cars with big motors in the United States, are being unfairly disadvantaged, the paper reported. Some experts believe this may not be a coincidence, because most US carmakers are able to fulfil the new rules."


I cannot believe this! Germans actually admitting that their technology and engineering is not as good as an obvious inferior like the US auto industry! Not like the US does not produce big muscle cars like the Corvette. But the Germans can't compete? Funny thing is they would complain that the US were not doing enough to protect the environment. Well, buddy, you cannot have it both ways.
16:13 February 22, 2010 by tollermann
MJTinNOLA excellent post! I would also like to add that Germans driving at 160KPH are not getting 4L per 100KM fuel economy either!
17:17 February 22, 2010 by Bruce_Garrett
It's the fleet averages I think. This wasn't made clear in the article. Ironically, it's that German car makers have a lot of the high end cars in their fleets that's got them in this fix. They don't have all the junk low end cars that Detroit does, which get better gas mileage even if they aren't worth the scrap metal you could get out of them.

VW may be better able to deal with this. Daimler perhaps, if they can count the diesels the sell in the rest of the world in the fleet average. So I'm told, they put a four cylinder diesel in their current C class that gets 40+ mpg, and the six isn't bad either. Yes, MJTinNOLA, U.S. car companies make muscle cars. They also make a boatload of gas guzzling pickups and SUVs that...somehow...for some odd reason...don't count in Their fleet averages. Of course politics has nothing to do with that...
18:37 February 22, 2010 by Richard Blaine
You all are missing the point. The most fuel efficient cars sold in the United States get only 50 MPG on an indoor test platform. What is the most fuel effecient auto sold in Germany? It isn't a Toyota Hybrid, I wager. What does a Polo TDi get? Or an Audi diesel?

It is pure hypocracy to fine a motor car company for failing to meet fuel economy "standards" while at the same time preventing industry leading fuel economy technologies from entering said country and competing on the roads.

Oh how I wish I had a European spec Ford Focus RS or any TDi. Something else you can't get in the States...a Ford Focus RS of any stripe.
18:51 February 22, 2010 by tollermann
Richard Blaine you are missing the point. The Diesel cars you point out do not meet US emission control laws. No matter how much extra clean exhaust treatment you put on they still do not meet particulate emission standards. Besides whether an auto uses benzine or Diesel it is still a fossil fuel!
19:06 February 22, 2010 by Owned_VW_Forever
We've been forced for years to suffer with watered down versions of proper German cars here in the US. What amazes me is that I very much doubt there is an American car that can meet these standards (fleet or individual)...and if one exists, I would not want to drive it. I would loved to have owned a nice A4 Diesel but it does not exist in California. In fact, they finally have started selling diesel cars here again after converting to a proper low sulfur fuel. In fact, most diesels in the US are found in large trucks and these 8 cylinder engines get 15 mpg if you're lucky. Bring back the VW diesel small pickup. America does not understand the concept of a small diesel...but that goes along with their lack of understanding automotive quality, style, comfort, handling, or longevity.

Let's face it, the US wouldn't know what to do with a proper German car...our freeways are too overcrowded, our speed limits are too restrictive, and our drivers are too dangerous. Don't believe me??? How many people drive around in their Mercedes, Volvo's, Audi's, etc with their Rear Fog light on because they don't know how to even operate the light switch. Send me back to Germany, please!!!
21:46 February 22, 2010 by ebermannstadt
There's a simple solution to this. Porsche just needs to build about 100,000 sporty "Porsche" versions of the VW "UP".

Nice wheels, leather Porsche style interior but with the 80mpg economy of the standard "UP". I'm sure VW won't mind building them for Porsche either, just putting Porsche badges on them instaed of VW. They could be sold at Porsche dealers for about $3000 or €3000 more than the standard "UP" Hey Presto, average fuel economy across the range meets target.

16:17 February 23, 2010 by dbert4
"Richard Blaine you are missing the point. The Diesel cars you point out do not meet US emission control laws. No matter how much extra clean exhaust treatment you put on they still do not meet particulate emission standards. "

That is complete BS, ALL German US spec diesel vehicles are 50 State compliant. My 2009 VW TDI is cleaner than anything available from a US producer and at 40+ mpg.
17:13 February 23, 2010 by Lexicon
If German cars are so clean, why is every building, tunnel, and overpass in Germany constantly covered with a layer of soot?

It surely isn't leftover from the days of coal.

American buildings don't get that. Neither do Canadian or Mexican ones.
14:35 February 24, 2010 by dbert4
ALL European diesel cars and trucks currently being built have particle filters...unlike their American counterparts. Prior to 2008 American diesel fuel was of such poor quality with a high sulfur content that particle filters had to be removed from Europe diesels sent to the States.

The soot that one sees came from the legacy days if diesel autos. The current system of coded placards is designed to remove the last of the legacy diesels from the Germany autobahn.

Try that system in the States! Every old piece of technology in the US is, "grandfathered" so as to not burden those responsible for fouling the air and water be it person or corporation. DAMN that government intrusion, we should be all FREE to choke on the lazy man's soot!
17:30 February 24, 2010 by hanskarl
The other German manufacturers could easily compete if they did not limit their sales in the US to their top model luxury versions of their cars. In most cases these all have the larger engine size and use more petrol and until recently were normally all gas and not diesel. One does not see the smaller model Mercedes, BMW's and Audi's in the US. They started for decades with sizes such as the C Class, 3 Series and A4 model.
23:38 February 28, 2010 by PierceArrow
If Porsche want to sell gas guzzlers in the United States of America, they SHOULD pay big fines and pass the costs on to their customers. Ditto for all makers of gas guzzlers, including Rolls-Royce, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Range Rover, etc.

As an American, I admit that most of my fellow Americans waste too much energy, and the USA imports too much oil from Islamo-fascist dictatorships. The new gas-guzzler fines are one solution to those problems.

As an American, I will also admit that most of my fellow Americans stupidly oppose raising the gasoline tax in my country. The USA's national gasoline tax should be at least one dollar per gallon, and all 50 states should have gasoline taxes of at least one dollar per gallon.
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