Automakers may have given in to the 800-pound gorilla that is the US government when it comes to more stringent fuel-economy standards. But the Mexican government? That's a smaller monkey that the companies are apparently more than willing to battle.
Ford and Chrysler have joined Toyota in opposition to Mexico's fuel-economy standards that Mexican officials say would simply be increased so they are consistent with the increasingly stringent mandates throughout the rest of North America, Automotive News reports.
When it comes to selling cars south of the border, US automakers point out the lack of incentives for hybrid and alternative-fuel vehicle production and say there needs to be consideration for factors such as Mexico's higher altitude and more challenging road conditions. The companies are asking for more lead time and more flexibility than what's being proposed.
The International Council on Clean Transportation's Kate Blumberg argues that the companies have been aware of Mexico's intentions for more than two years and therefore can't say they don't have enough lead time to meet the mandate, Automotive News reports.
Late last month, Toyota got a court injunction against Nom-163, which would require Mexico's fleetwide fuel economy to reach 35 miles per gallon by 2016. Officials in Mexico, where auto sales are just a fraction of the US's, say the new standards would cut fuel use by 18 billion gallons by 2030.