New regulations on fuel economy in U.S. and compliance plans among OEMs (2)

Detroit Three plans fuel economy improvement: greater availability of compact vehicles and downsized



 The MarkLines report "New regulations on fuel economy in U.S. and compliance plans among OEMs (1)" of October 21, 2011, outlined the U.S. regulations on CO2 emissions and fuel economy levels applicable to 2012-2016 MY light vehicles and reported their impact and fuel economy improving technologies that the automakers are likely to adopt to meet the regulations.

 See for details.

 This continuing report "New regulations on fuel economy in U.S. and compliance plans among OEMs (2)" reports the fuel economy improving technologies being adopted by the three U.S. automakers (GM, Ford, and Chrysler) on their vehicles sold in the United States.

 According to the governing agencies, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), technologies that will help automakers achieve the 2016 MY regulations have already been developed or put to commercial application and the automakers should be able to meet the regulations by increasing application of those technologies. The automakers intend to adopt fuel economy improving technologies as applicable coinciding with their full remodeling or midterm minor remodeling schedules. Many of the effective technologies, such as the gasoline direct-injection engines, 6-speed DCT, and start-stop systems, are likely to be adopted in 2012-2013 in particular.

 GM will have small vehicles available in its Cadillac, Buick and GMC fleets in addition to the three small cars under the Chevrolet brand. GM is said to be developing 1.0 to 1.5L direct-injection turbo-charged engines. GM will increase availability of the eAssist mild hybrid system in its midsize and compact segments. GM plans to adopt 8-speed AT and four-mode hybrid system in its large-size SUV and pickup trucks.

 Ford plans to increase the use of the direct-injection, turbo-charged EcoBoost engines and 6-speed DCT (dual clutch transmission) to improve fuel economy while keeping the driving performance. Ford's 3-cylinder 1.0L EcoBoost engines, being adopted in Europe in 2012, will be introduced in the U.S. market as well. Ford has announced the Start-Stop system will be used in its vehicles sold in North America starting in 2012. The company is also eyeing the use of 7- and 8-speed AT.

 Chrysler is adopting Fiat's fuel saving technologies toward a significant transformation of its lineup, which is currently dominated by large-size vehicles, in two or three years.