Fuel efficiency rule change to help GM

July 29, 2005 at 10:52 AM

WASHINGTON, July 29 (UPI) -- The White House appears to be tweaking fuel-efficiency standards on behalf of domestic automakers and at the expense of Toyota Motor Corp.

Current fuel-efficiency rules penalize manufacturers who -- like GM and Ford -- rely on sales of big sports utility vehicles and big pickups; they do not particularly bother Toyota, which poses a serious threat to GM and Ford's current dominance in pickup trucks.

Proposed rule changes that would go into effect in the 2008 model year recalibrate how fuel efficient a company's overall mix of models is deemed, in a way that shifts the current burden from GM and Ford and moves it to Toyota, the Wall Street Journal said Friday.

The proposed changes came from one of Toyota's Japanese competitors, Honda Motor Co., which makes very few large vehicles and would not be affected by its own proposals.

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