Two news stories could lead to Chrysler surviving the current economic panic, and becoming a strong company again. The first is Chrysler’s deal with Fiat. The second is Obama’s order for the EPA to reconsider the Bush administration’s rule disallowing California from implementing emissions standards less lax than federal standards. This potential rule reversal is good for State’s rights and for the earth. The original improved standards were delayed by the Bush administration and car companies. If the ruling is updated, fourteen states–including half of the American population–will raise their CAFE standard to 35 miles per gallon by 2016. This is a logical and easy to reach goal. Chrysler’s deal with Fiat will give them easier access to efficient drivetrains. This lowers the number of new parts that must be developed. Instead, production can be increased on existing designs. This deal puts Chrysler in a better position than they would be otherwise.
(Anyone who doesn’t believe technology has advanced to the point where 35 mpg car CAFE by 2016 is a trivial goal had better be reading this on gopher using a terminal dialed into a VAX over a 1200 baud modem.)