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Ford Wants Other Automakers to Back California's Emission Regulations

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【Summary】After General Motors made an unexpected U-turn last month, Ford is now telling other automakers to back a possible California emissions deal before President-elect Joe Biden takes office.

Original Vineeth Joel Patel    Dec 06, 2020 7:30 AM PT
Ford Wants Other Automakers to Back California's Emission Regulations

When the Trump Administration and the EPA went after California's right to create its own emissions regulations last year, U.S. automaker Ford Motor Co. sided with the state. It was a bold decision, as the other major American automakers, General Motors and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, sided with President Donald Trump

While Ford produces some massive gas guzzling vehicles with big and powerful V8 engines, the automaker figured it was better to side with America's largest state and one of the country's largest automotive markets. Now that rival GM has changed its tune with President-elect Joe Biden set to take office within the next few months, Ford is now urging other automakers to consider building a deal with California on vehicle emissions.

Why A Single Deal Is Better

According to a letter viewed by Reuters, Ford reached out to other carmakers to join the company in a deal it made last year with California over car emissions. The outlet claims that major automakers are going to discuss possible next steps during a virtual meeting of their trade association later this month.

When Roadshow reached out to Ford for a comment, the company declined to comment on the letter, but stated, "From the beginning we've said that our agreement with California is the best path forward for the environment, our customers, and the short and long-term health of the auto industry. We believe this agreement should be the foundation for new regulations as the Biden administration considers stronger fuel economy standards in 2021."

In the unreported letter Reuters got a hold of, Ford Americas President Kumar Galhotra said that with President-elect Joe Biden set to take office over current President Donald Trump, the current administration's fight with California over vehicle emissions "is now, at least for the next set of years, essentially moot. The more relevant issue is thus the question of the standards." Galhotra urged automakers "to actively consider embracing the California framework."

California Is Incredibly Important

Additionally, Galhotra added, "The Biden Administration will not let the Trump standards stand, and either by way of litigation and/or a regulatory reboot, the new team will move in a different, more stringent direction."

Having every automaker come together to create one set of regulations for everyone to follow, even if it is just for California will prove to be beneficial for automakers. Not being able to sell vehicles in California also means not being able to sell vehicles in 13 other states that follow its emissions regulations. That's a large portion of the U.S. and would greatly affect an automaker's bottom line.

Going forward it's going to be interesting to see which automakers end up siding with California and which ones continue siding with the Trump Administration. President-elect Joe Biden is expected to be much more supportive of electric vehicles and will undoubtedly come out with a federal fuel economy standard that was similar to the one the Obama administration put into place. As with GM, automakers tend to try to appease any president and administration that's currently in power, so some may flip-flop over the next few years

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