UAW Solidarity House | 8000 East Jefferson Avenue
Detroit, Michigan 48214 | p. (313) 926-5000
© Copyright 2013 UAW. All Rights Reserved.
By Bob King
This is an exciting time to be involved in the American automobile industry. After coming perilously close to the brink of disaster during the global financial crisis, the industry is coming back strong.
The last year has brought solid gains in sales and employment and we're seeing an unprecedented pace of new product introductions. Detroit's Big Three are more competitive than they have been in years and are beginning to show the kind of profitability we believe can be maintained. UAW members in the auto industry have expressed clear priorities to their elected leadership: Long term job and income security.
The 21st-century UAW understands that job security ultimately comes from providing customers the highest quality and best value vehicles.
One clear priority of consumers today is for more fuel-efficient vehicles. UAW members and Chrysler, Ford, and GM are committed to producing the most fuel efficient vehicles for customers.
Improvements in fuel economy are important for reasons beyond the need to meet customer demands for relief at the gas pump. The auto industry has a significant role to play in reducing our demand for imported oil and solving the problem of climate change. The UAW understands the threat to the well being of Americans these problems pose.
That is why, along with auto industry, environmentalist and energy-security groups, the UAW is strongly supportive of the Obama administration's formal proposal to extend fuel-efficiency and tailpipe emissions rules to 2025.
These proposals were developed after extensive discussions and data sharing between government experts, auto industry executives, environmentalists, and the UAW. We think the Obama administration was wise to seek as much information as possible from all these stakeholders before crafting regulations.
The UAW was actively involved in this process, and we believe it resulted in proposed regulations that are sensible and achievable. We are especially pleased that the proposal recognizes the complexities of the auto market and the wide variety of products that customers want.
The drive to improve fuel economy is already paying off in jobs, with significant investments for the production of fuel-saving technology in UAW-represented plants in the domestic auto industry.
The simple equation for understanding how this job creation occurs is that the new technology required to increase fuel economy and reduce tailpipe emissions represents additional content on each vehicle, and bringing that additional content to market requires more engineers and more production workers.
The UAW believes that the fuel-economy and tailpipe pollution proposals put forward by the Obama administration deserve the support of everyone who has a stake in the ongoing revival of the auto industry. We are on our way to a greener, more successful future, and producing cleaner, more efficient vehicles in the United States will be a key part of that success.
Bob King is president of the UAW. This opinion piece originally appeared in the Feb. 1, 2012 edition of the Detroit News.