For Immediate Release
GM, Chrysler to Report Back to Congress Today
WASHINGTON - General Motors and Chrysler are scheduled to report back to
Congress today about how they have been using the billions in federal
dollars they received in December and their plans for achieving
financial viability over the next several months. They already have
publicly stated their intention to ask for billions more in federal
Ford did not receive bailout funds because it already is taking
steps to make its fleet more competitive, partly by strengthening its
vehicles' fuel economy with conventional and hybrid technology.
BusinessWeek last week credited the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS)
with creating a blueprint for fuel-efficiency that Ford is now
"Ford and its U.S. rivals could have acted much
sooner," BusinessWeek noted. "In 2003 the Union of Concerned Scientists
(UCS) published a paper explaining how a redesigned Ford Explorer could
achieve 28 mpg instead of the measly 15 mpg that Explorers got at the
time. In addition to light bodies and direct injection, the UCS list
included six-speed transmissions and turbocharging, a century-old
technology in which waste energy from the exhaust helps drive the
engine turbine. Ford's head of product development at the time quipped
that 'the UCS doesn't design vehicles for customers, and we do.'
"Now the Explorer team might as well be working off the UCS checklist." (For the BusinessWeek story, go to: www.businessweek.com/magazine/
UCS experts say GM and Chrysler should adopt many of the same
technologies Ford is installing in its fleet and produce cars that save
consumers money and reduce the heat-trapping emissions that cause
Two UCS experts, David Friedman and Jim Kliesch, are available to
discuss the bailout plans, fuel-efficient technology, and the future of
the U.S. auto industry.
Friedman, the research director for UCS' Clean Vehicles Program,
is a nationally recognized expert on fuel-efficient technology and the
author of the 2003 UCS report. (For a summary of the report, go to: www.suvsolutions.org/
Kliesch, a senior engineer in the Clean Vehicles Program, has been
closely following the status of the new fuel economy rules mandated by
Congress in 2007. The Obama administration is currently reviewing the
rules and plans to set maximum feasible standards for model year 2011
in the next few months.
The Union of Concerned Scientists is the leading science-based nonprofit working for a healthy environment and a safer world. UCS combines independent scientific research and citizen action to develop innovative, practical solutions and to secure responsible changes in government policy, corporate practices, and consumer choices.