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Argument: Fuel economy standards increase car manufacturing costs/prices

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Supporting quotations

Eric Peters. "No to New Fuel Economy Standards: Consumer Choice, Not Congress, Should Drive Detroit's Decisionmaking". National Policy Analysis. June 2007 - if the Markey-Platts bill becomes law, these options will become a mandate -- and we'll all have to pay in one form or another. The add-on cost of the necessary research and development, specialized technology (everything from advanced engine designs to hybrid systems, etc.) will be either tacked onto the price tag of larger vehicles, or spread out and hidden in higher across-the-board costs of each automaker's entire product lineup.1 Maybe the extra 5-10 mpg that could be realized is worth an extra grand or two in "up front" costs. But maybe not.

Shouldn't the choice be the consumer's to make?

And if the market plays its trump card and simply decides to say "thanks, but no" -- electing not to buy these more efficient but also more expensive vehicles -- it will mean reduced shareholder value and ultimately, plant closings and job losses for the auto industry. Even a relatively small decrease in demand for new vehicles -- say 5 percent or so -- could be absolutely devastating to an already shaky industry, with American brands suffering the most.

Backers of the Markey-Platts proposal seem rather cavalier about these potential repercussions. Perhaps it's easy to dismiss concerns about what could amount to as much as several thousand dollars in add-on costs per vehicle1,2 when you're a six-figure DC lawmaker, activist or editorial writer. But for the average person in this country, that kind of money is a big deal indeed.

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