Clean Automotive Tidbits

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Ford (NYSE:F) just announced that it was going to unveil a suite of new vehicles based on clean powertrain technologies at the upcoming LA Auto Show. Too little too late? The company, which failed to anticipate the impact of sustained high gas prices on demand for gas-guzzling SUVs, has been haemorrhaging market share over the past 2 years to rivals with greater foresight like Toyota (NYSE:TM). To many observers, the future doesn’t look particularly bright for this icon of the US auto industry. On a related note, the US Supreme Court will hear arguments today on a petition from 12 states and several environmental groups arguing that CO2 falls within the remit of the Clean Air Act, and that it should thus be regulated by the EPA. This case was identified in a recent report by Merrill Lynch and the World Resource Institute as one of the key legal developments to watch out for over the next few months. If successful, this could significantly impact the US auto industry as it would most likely mean either more stringent fuel efficiency standards or some form of a cap-and-trade system. The latter would likely represent the most efficient option for the industry. (DISCLOSURE: We do not have any position, long or short, or any other form of financial interest in any of the companies mentioned in this article)

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