World's Carmakers Shift Stance on Fuel Economy
DETROIT - Faced with the stark choice between feeding Americans' appetite for big, powerful cars and embracing new technologies that will use less fuel and emit fewer gases, the world's automakers appear intent on having it both ways.
A year ago, auto industry executives arrived here at the North American International Auto Show under intense scrutiny from lawmakers, environmental groups and consumers demanding solutions to climate change and the nation's dependence on foreign oil. Now that Congress has agreed to an energy bill requiring car companies to raise their corporate average fuel economy to 35 miles per gallon by 2020, the uncertainty has passed and the industry's dynamics have shifted.
This year almost all major manufacturers are engaged in a technological arms race to appear fuel-efficient while still conveying speed and excitement.
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