TO THE EDITOR:
I assume I'm missing something. Reading the multitude of articles citing auto manufacturers who are up in arms about the differing fuel economy standards proposed by the Trump administration, I find there seem to be two primary concerns: environmental prudence and the incremental costs associated with producing differentiated vehicles that conform to individual local jurisdictions. The question is, why do either of these things matter?
If cost is the concern, I assume a manufacturer would want to make all vehicles the same regardless of the market to take advantage of the economies of scale. If prudence is the concern, they would want to produce the most efficient car regardless of the cost. Either way, would it not be wiser and/or cheaper to simply produce cars that conform to the strictest standard in the global market regardless of the leniency one market may allow?
In my lifetime, I had never heard of a manufacturer lobbying for increased restrictions, yet today I read time and again the argument that the reduction of emissions standards in America will be a burden. Are they saying someone will complain if they make cars exceeding emissions standards in a particular market? Surely there must be a more nuanced reason they feel the need to spend enormous amounts of cash to fight the proposed relaxation of standards in the U.S. After all, they have the ability to produce cars to any standard they believe in, whether the law requires it or not!
TIM HARTT, San Antonio. The writer works for a supplier to the auto industry.