Monday, March 20, 2006

Pearl of Wisdom from a former Auto Executive

Robert McNamara, former President of the Ford Motor Company and former US Secretary of Defence, on fuel consumption in the US -

The objective and responsibility of the auto industry should be to produce safer cars. Cheaper cars, more functional cars, more environmentally sustainable cars..................... I just read the other day that gasoline consumption has risen, I think they said 25 percent per year from 1980 until today. And that is disgraceful. In the first place, our(i.e the US) automotive fuel consumption per capita is roughly twice that of, say, Germany. And this is a problem. It's an environmental problem: we are putting more greenhouse gas emissions in the upper atmosphere that are going to lead to climate change. It's a financial problem: it costs us far more. It's a security problem, this fuel comes out of the Middle East and we are more dependent on a very volatile region. We are not buying anything for it. We are not buying greater comfort, more convenience, or greater mobility. We could achieve the comfort, the convenience, the safety, and the mobility with much greater fuel efficiency. The automobile industry today, I think responsibly, would move toward greater fuel efficiency. The petroleum companies are not willing to do so.

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