Keith Crain is absolutely wrong on corporate average fuel economy ("Industry must raise CAFE now," April 25).
CAFE disrupts the market. It has artificially constricted the large rear-wheel-drive auto market and chilled innovation in the sector.
Circumventing it has driven the rush to SUVs and other light trucks. It has shifted the automobile sales battleground into territory dominated by imports and has single-handedly killed off about 90 percent of the products Detroit was best at.
It forced odd, if not ill-fated, production decisions, such as shifting all production of General Motors'
F-bodies to Canada. It has cost our domestic industry thousands of jobs.
The last thing the struggling Big 3 need is any more unfunded mandates from Washington. Increasing CAFE merely tilts the market more in favor of the Japanese and saps declining profits. Increased standards will damage niche markets even more than mainstream product lines, as engineering and development dollars are pinched.
The market, not government standards, should decide product mix.
Incentives for development of alternative fuel infrastructure and products are better alternatives than increasing CAFE.
The writer is an attorney who represents an aftermarket automobile service warranty company in litigation.