tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN January 22, 2014 4:00pm-6:01pm EST
added $60obama billion to that. gm received $50 billion from the u.s. government, $10 billion from the canadian government. in the case of the u.s., rather than require gm to repay it, the obama administration decided to swap $42 billion of that with stock and the company. so gm was only required to repay a billion dollars of the $50 billion. those shares were sold off to make more money, but in the end, the shares were only worth about $30 billion, which accounted for the $10 billion loss. host: why not hold him longer to see if you could make more money? guest: the stock has gone up. the government decided early on they did not want to own part of an auto company forever, as some of the european countries own parts of european automakers. they wanted to get out as
quickly as possible. however, during the 2012 campaign, governor romney made an issue of the gm potential losses, the $10 billion figure. the administration opted not to sell. the rest of the shares during the campaign. there was a concern about the ,mpact on the $10 billion loss sort of the overall assessment of the bailout. the reality is it would have taken me years, potentially ever , to get to that level. canada has elected not to sell its shares. talking to david shepardson, the washington bureau chief of "the detroit news.
you can call in. we will also look for your tweets and e-mails as well. for is waiting on our line republicans in silver spring, maryland. caller: since detroit has a large muslim tabulation that has population, there is scientific evidence proving tower building seven was brought down with pre- planted explosives. host: we will hold off on 9/11 calls. we will stick to the auto industry.
caller: why are you afraid to talk about building 7? host: not afraid to talk about it, but we have an expert here. we will go to ray. independent line. good morning. caller: good morning. you touched on this. backould be made to pay the losses on the stock, and obama should be brought up on charges like mcdonald's. he did a quick pro-crow. they gave -- pro-quote. they gave him shares. the uaw kicked back to his campaign. i do not see a difference between what obama did. madell not buy another uaw- car. giftwrap tothugs
this guy and the white house. it is no different than what whatald did in virginia -- bob mcdonnell did in virginia. guest: as part of the bailout, the unions took dramatic concessions. post-rkers at the company bailout only made $14 an hour, as the uaw president noted. for a family of four, a uaw worker would qualify for food stamps. in the most recent contracts, those wages have gone up, but they are still dramatically lower. significant concessions, but the caller certainly raises the anger a lot of people feel that the unions, especially in the case of the chrysler case, or put ahead of other creditors and
that is generated anger about the bailout. host: melissa in ohio on our line for democrats. caller: good morning. i actually work for a dealership. i have been in the automotive industry for four years now. what i have learned in the last four years is how far reaching the automotive industry is. people think of it in terms of the manufacturers or the dealerships, but we partner with so many different industries that supply goods and products. if the automotive industry would one or two, or even of the big three would have failed, the job loss would have been horrendous. i can appreciate people not wanting the government to get involved, but at the same time a what has happened to our economy had they not been there? you raise a good point.
at the time when they decided to rescue chrysler and gm, the economy was shedding 600,000 jobs a month. the impact to the auto industry is staggering. one of the largest purchasers of steel, electronics, other raw materials. in every part of the country, dealerships, repair shops, auto parts -- the massive impact of the auto industry is felt way beyond detroit and the industrial midwest. industrypse of the would have been felt and some argue would have pushed the u.s. into a depression. , we haveanted to ask been showing viewers live shots , ande washington auto show "the financial times" had a story.
the importance of the traditional car show has begun to fade. i want to get your thoughts on the importance of the car show. guest: i think there are a number of hurdles. a lot of these events are being live streamed. not as many reporters are going. a lot of auto companies are going to consumer electronics shows to introduce new vehicles. at the detroit show, you still had 5000 journalists. it is a moment where the financial press focuses on autos . i think there is a role for shows, but we do argue long-term are there other ways companies will opt to get their company out. host: some of the big innovations people were waiting to hear about were actually announced at the consumer electronic show, correct? guest: absolutely. the focus on autonomous vehicles, that stuff is
introduced there. detroit is focused on politics. if you have a policy or a green initiative, it is better to find a different place to do it. host: "the financial times" notes that car shows -- all over the world. all of the country, callers are calling in. chris is on our line for independents. good morning. i would like to state the state of the uaw and gm -- i retired from gm after 31 years -- right now they are doing great. i would like to state that the retirees, since the recession, they threw us out with the bathwater. that is my comment. host: chris.
that is your comment this morning. marty is waiting on our line for republicans. you are on with david shepardson of "detroit news." caller: thank you for taking my call. one of the biggest misconceptions pertaining to this bailout was a was not backed by mitt romney. he proposed a government bankruptcy versus a government -- host: marty, we can hear you. just go ahead with your comment. caller: versus a government bailout. a big deficit and to would have made the union contracts null and void, where a bailout cap them in place in some of these ceos are making $6 million in salary. i think you need to start trimming the fat from the top and work your way down.
int: is that playing out washington, d.c., as you are the washington bureau chief of "detroit news?" guest: there will never be a consensus about if it was a good or bad thing, especially from republicans who are angry about how it happened. bush important that the administration did consider having gm and chrysler filed for course,cy first, and of gm and chrysler did go through bankruptcy under the avernment's watch, but in traditional bankruptcy, gm and chrysler could have been in for years, and the concern was people would not buy cars from a bankrupt company. the administration's plan got them in and out in 40 days. the passions are cooling now that we are five years away from the bailout. host: as we look forward to 2014, what are some of the projections for the auto industry this year?
guest: pop open the champagne, right? everybody is pretty happy because the market is expected 6%, 7%.another we see new models. the concern is will companies go back to bed habits, cutting prices, increasing productions, which led to a vicious circle of higher production, lower prices, lower profits. there's been a lot of discipline. the average new car price today is above 30 thousand dollars. companies are making more money per vehicle and they are not keeping the company's -- factories running. host: comparisons to other places around the world -- japan, china, the european union? thet: the u.s. is not
fastest growing, but the most profitable. europe is still a problem. you have markets like india, russia, brazil and there is a long-term, worldwide question about will companies adopt autos at the same rate as u.s. and china? it poses a lot of questions for emissions as well as traffic. as the automobile continues to be adopted in broader terms of countries -- in countries of lower incomes, there is a rethinking of where that plays in along with mass transit. host: how are some of these other companies might -- countries, you mentioned china, getting involved in the u.s. auto industry? here is a story from "the
christian science monitor" from last month that notes that the know-how- detroit's and cheap real estate is a draw for chinese investment. detroit filed for bankruptcy in july, but has seen an influx in terms of real estate. in terms of chinese automakers coming in, that is a long way away, but chinese investors are a depressedit as area to invest the currency they on. host: a question from twitter -- the airlines have been bankrupt several times and they did not stop flying planes. is it dishonest to imply the auto industry would collapse? is you by difference
the airline ticket, and they asset disappears. the argument was able would not buy the second-biggest purchase they ever make if the company is bankrupt. would they stand by the warranty, would the parts be there? this drove the idea that the administration had to bailout the companies quickly or face uncertainty. joe writescan hero in that people would buy cars from bankrupt companies. they do that all of the time at the correct price, its actual value. david shepardson is taking your calls and comments. timothy is in spokane, washington on our line for republicans. caller: good morning. i want to say thank you to your guests for being sharp. he keeps hitting the points that i want to make. isis incredible that there
anger towards the auto industry bailout and the personal grudges. i am a contractor, and i drive a truck. i am not a redneck. roofing material. if i cannot buy material to put on your roof, how my supposed to get a truck? it is bottom-line to say we would be better off without our auto industry. is obama going to come and give us all a ride? we have to have our cars. is what has transported our on up.from world war ii it is what america is known for. it is a shame it went down that far and that everybody has their sides, but we have to keep our eyes on the prize. i am not mad at anybody in the country. i think the investment is a gift you gave us, and we have to make
it move forward. the typewriter became the computer. we had to go through a lot of changes. there is so much available out here for us if we will just slow down. host: we will let david shepardson jump in if he has some comments. guest: you raised points that a lot of people feel, especially in michigan and the midwest -- yes, there is a lot of anger. have been donet better, could the government have saved money, but the government will say true, we will lose money on the auto bailout, but with the bank bailout the government has made significant profit, so overall the taxpayer will come out ahead. -- the, you are right housing sector, construction, so much of the rest of the u.s. auto sales and auto sales have been one of the bright spots for the economy the last couple of years. host: we have been talking about gm a lot this morning.
a piece from "the detroit news," new ceo.ut the gm talk about her and her impact on the industry. guest: it is interesting. , the first woman ceo of any major auto company around the globe, she is a real star in the industry, and there is a lot of media attention around her. she has not had a big rollout yet. she made a couple of appearances at the detroit auto show with a huge number of journalists chasing her around to talk to her. she is the first break from the government appointed directors that came ceo -- became ceo. she was not named by the --vernment, as the prior two' were named bys
the government. she is a fresh face. freshfreshfaced -- any initiatives coming from her? gm the lastuest: couple of weeks been a lot of housekeeping. off paid a dividend, sold assets they did not want anymore. they announced they were selling off the australian market. the old leadership did the uncomfortable things and try to clean the slate, so the new ceo has only been on the job about one week now, so no big initiatives from her. host: is she expected at the washington auto show? guest: this show does not draw as many high-level executives as the detroit one. this is more of a policy on. i assume she'll be in d.c. in the coming months. host: ralph is in north carolina
on our line for democrats. ralph, you are on with david shepardson of "the detroit news ." c: yes, good morning. yes,proud of -- caller: good morning. i am proud of president obama's decision to bailout the auto and i am said some people took a loss because of it. i'm a proud african-american. japan,t live in china or and one caller spoke of charges being brought up on president obama. where is the return on my tax for the war in iraq, when we should've been given an oil check back and we would not be in the mess we're in right now. thank you. host: ralph's comments from north carolina. twitter -- australia is
losing its own auto industry. projections show 2016 will be the end of. ?hat do we know guest: the australian government has been giving subsidies to the companies to keep them in and gmia and with ford announcing they are going to withdraw production, it goes to the idea that auto production has been part of national pride. there are other intangibles beyond the direct jobs created. the country has been trying to keep production, but it is not like it will be successful. --t: from boring file clerk why can we not just invent something better than the conventional car. this is old technology. can you talk about new technology you will look for
this week? the car, the engine, is basically the same technology that was introduced 150 years ago. it has certainly gotten lighter, and we are going further. fuel-cell vehicles, those running on hydrogen fuel cells, we will see that, plug in there are a lot of alternative technologies, but with oil prices steady and expected to decline this year a little bit, there is not been as big of a push as others thought , even though sales were up. it is still a small percentage. showing have been viewers shots of the washington auto show that runs today through february 2.
we have been talking with david shepardson of "the detroit news ." rick is in ohio on our line for independents. ifler: i asked your producer they had a stock price for halliburton. before bush was elected, halliburton was going bankrupt. just got nailed for all kinds of fraud. as far as the card industry goes, i grew up in detroit in , and i0's and the 1970's have written books about the evolution of this country, and it goes back to henry ford. when henry ford gave his workers wages, a were able to buy a car with three months wages. when you look at capitalism and 35%,detroit was all about, 40% of the workforce were union.
the uaw basically created an environment where they protected tax law, trade laws, antitrust laws and banking laws. when you talk about the big three, you are actually talking an economic ideology that was based on capitalism and democracy going back to the constitution. they were creating wealth. steel, that creates wealth. you make the car, that creates wealth. the wealth, 99% of it was circulated through 95% of the people. today, the union is dead, and you can look at north versus south, union worker versus nonunion worker, union soldier , and youuthern soldier can go back to the depression and see where henry ford actually fought the jewish bankers in the 1920's because his ideology was middle-class.
the jewish bankers back then, they thought -- host: i will let david shepardson jumped in on some of the comments you bring up on the history. guest: uaw is facing difficult challenges. they have been trying unsuccessfully to unionize foreign auto plants in the u.s., and as they have not been successful as that, the lower wages of southern auto plants have basically pressured the detroit companies, which are unionized, to not pay higher wages. so, unless the uaw is successful, they have argued they do not have a long-term future. they are trying to unionize a vw volkswagen plant in tennessee and a plant in mississippi. they still have $1 billion in the bank, a lot of political clout, and a huge role in a lot of industries, but they face a challenge with foreign companies.
host: on some of the technology we're talking about earlier, james writes he and on twitter -- big trucks can now be equipped with a natural gas motor. any plans for cars to run on natural gas? guest: the honda civic runs on natural gas, and gm announced they are going to build a natural gas car in small numbers , but there are some issues in terms of the size of the fuel tanks. that is why some argued natural gas is a better solution for larger trucks and other your have -- other heavier duty term.es in the short certainly, with huge natural gas supplies in the u.s., there has been a lot of interest for adding incentives for those vehicles. in houston, texas, on our line for independents. you are on with david shepardson of "the detroit news." caller: good morning.
my question is why did chrysler stop making its best-selling pt cruiser, and why did it come up with and that designs on the minivans? was that to lower the value of the company prior to the sale? guest: i do not think i would agree that the minivans were in that. they are still the best sign in the u.s.. chrysler introduced the minivan about 25 years ago. a lot of automakers have gotten out of that sector and pushed toward smaller suvs as family haulers. cruiser, like others saw sales decline and it ended its natural length. , the from twitter government bailed out chrysler and turned over the keys to the plan to fiat. what kind of business movies that?
that?iness move is government is stupid. is any of this debate playing out on capitol hill? guest: strangely, no at the plight of auto dealers did get a ton of attention, and there have been hearings about delphi retirees. that was a former unit of gm and the retirees lost their pension benefits, but congress, in the aftermath of taking these two big losses as said well, and that was five years ago. it was a big issue during the 2012 campaign, but by and large it was more shrugging shoulders and moving on. department of transportation got a new secretary this last summer, anthony fox. any changes in policy that he has been pushing? guest: he made his first policy
speech last week here, and he talked about the auto industry and one of his issues is pedestrian safety and in fact recounted that he had been hit by a car as a jogger. pedestrian safety is a big issue. the number of fatalities has gone higher than the overall rate in 2012. he has also been dealing with lingering anxious -- lingering issues from his predecessors' 10 years including a long- require all cars to have rear cameras as you back out to prevent people from being struck. host: the highway trust fund is something he brought up. what is the status right now? guest: it is not good. it is running out of money and congress has had to make several emergency infusions of cash for
the simple reason that americans are driving less, driving more fuel-efficient cars, and therefore gas tax revenue is not keeping up with the demand for road repairs. there has been talking capitol hill about should gas taxes be raised to pay for the roads, and did endorse that i've talked about the need for more revenue. projections that he could run out of money as soon as 2015? guest: that is correct. it has not been raised, and not kept up with inflation. remember, the administration wanted to double fuel-efficient say by 2025. in the long-term, absent more gas tax revenue, it does not appear there will be enough money to keep up with rotary pair means -- road repair needs. host: troy is in winter haven,
with david shepardson of "the detroit news ." caller: good morning. these companies, ford, chevy, gm, before they went bankrupt, they had guys making $30 an hour to put a log not in, and then we bail them out, and they are doing good now. that is awesome. theirhey did not run business properly. they did not make a product people want to buy. they did not make it affordable, and now they are making profits. in my personal income, if somebody gives me a bunch of money, i am pretty sure five, six years later, i would be doing just fine. now it is time for them to be paying us back, and i'm not sure we should have help them out. thank you. guest: the caller -- you make a point about the moral hazard.
should companies that did not succeed, should the government stepped in to save them, and certainly a lot of people agree with you. the executives at gm and chrysler, they lost about two -- two thirds of their pensions. mode -- most of the top leadership was completely removed from the companies. i think you hit on a lot of .nger that a lot of people feel on the other hand, you had hundreds of thousands of workers that did not make mistakes and would have lost their jobs, health care -- the administration said yes, the top executives made mistakes, but we will not let the companies die because of that. host: on the subject of the highway trust fund that we were just talking about, a tweet from dfw librarian -- yes, raise the to tax and put some people
work to fix the roads. donna is waiting in glen falls, new york. caller: good morning. thank you for taking my call. the question is would it have been beneficial if we did a partial buyout as opposed to a full buyout? guest: in terms of the bailout? gm and chrysler? caller: yes. could we have done a partial buyout and try to have gm and chrysler, with the other half? in 2009, the obama administration opted to give gm significantly more cash than they needed because they were afraid congress would not agree to a second bailout, so they gave gm far more money than they --ded add a dash at the time at the time. in retrospect, some of the sayout officers -- authors
they could have required gm to pay more of the money back and gotten more returns. hindsight is always 2020, but there are certainly plenty of alternative scenarios where the government could have been repaid more and the company would have been saved. obviously, we will not know if those would have worked or not. host: david shepardson is the washington bureau chief of "the detroit news." to ever talking to our viewers. guest: thank you, jon. host: our next guest served as the head of the national transportation safety administration. first he want to head back to the floor of the washington auto show. you.: thank host: electric and alternative vehicles are a big part of the washington auto show, and joins
us now, bob from toyota. tell us about what you do. director of the research and the toyota north america. host: one of the things toyota vehicle.g about is a what is the concept? guest: the concept of the -- hydrogen cell vehicle. it is not dissimilar from the electric vehicle. it has zero emissions. alike an electric vehicle, or battery-electric vehicle, it has a quick refill time. and it also has a range of over a single filling of hydrogen that would get you to philadelphia and back on one tank. went -- for the folks that
would invest, would it be different? guest: hydrogen is a gas, and it would involve a station similar to a gasoline station. in southern california we have 100ted a process to deploy stations over the next, roughly 10 years with $200 million from the state of california in funding, and partners from both the industrial gas community, this date, as well as the other auto companies. thingsuest: one of the you have is an inside version of the fcv. talk about the battery, and if somebody has to replace it, how expensive is it? guest: our battery has the fuel cell stack and the power
electronics to drive the vehicle. these components are based on our hybrid systems, so we have managed to reduce the costs 95% from the original fuel cell vehicles that we developed 8, 9 years ago. so, the cost and the durability life of those components are coming down and they are in line with conventional vehicles. somebody has to fix this, what kind of costs are they looking at -- host: if somebody has to fix it, what kind of costs are they looking at? guest: those have not been operating coste will be inefficient. -- efficient. to from whatu look washington does? creating a level playing field, and that can be
from infrastructure support to actual vehicle support. whether we are looking at a battery electric technology or a fuel-cell technology, support from the public sector is equal, and it will allow consumers in the marketplace to choose the winners and the losers, not public policy. host: does the government favor one type of technology over another? guest: over the last decade, the naturalnt has favored gas, methanol, fuel cells under the bush administration, and now there is a strong focus on plug- in vehicles. we will like to see the playing field as level as possible and let the market choose. what does the government do to make that level? started thehave process. we have incentives for both technologies. we want to make sure the incentives continue to be in place so that when the vehicles
come to market there is the infrastructure and vehicle incentives for fuel cells that are currently in place. host: does the government still offer tax breaks for people that purchase these types of vehicles? yes, it can be up to $8,000. our hope is the federal government will continue to keep that incentive. , whatas far as the fcv once it hits cost market? guest: once it gets closer to market, will be able to disclose the cost. next page as the far as the world of energy and environmental issues when it auto issues -- what you see down the road? guest: we really see fuel cells as the game changer that we are
just darting out on today. over the next five-to-10 years we see this as the future. host: we're talking with bob from toyota. thank you for your time. guest: you are welcome. studio, we areur joined by david strickland, former administrator of the national highway transportation safety administration. mr. strickland, for those unfamiliar with the agency, what mr. --nhtsa do? guest: it as two missions. safety responsible for standards and behavioral safety, trying to encourage people to wear seatbelts, not drive impaired or distracted. in addition to the safety mission, there is the mission on fuel economy. shares jurisdiction
responsibility with the environmental protection agency. when you think about café standards, nhtsa has been responsible for 30 years. host: you have worked -- you worked at nhtsa from 2010-to- 2013, and "a wall -- a wall article saidl" your initiative -- your legacy -- guest: we look at a number of issues including the level of fines, our ability to reach andrtant vehicles -- issues vehicles themselves. there was a conversation with
congress, and they agreed to some of those changes, and the agency has been fortunate to have that increased authority that will pay off for the safety of americans for years to come. host: how might viewers to ignite your work at nhtsa? what were some of the major headlines? been a numberas of things the agency has been successful on in the past several years. since 2005, the agency and partners across the country have seen a reduction of 25% in the fatality number, which is significant. it is a long issue, and we resell law -- lowest number since we have been keeping 2011.s in fuel economy standards, where the passenger fleet will be doubled to approximately 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025 is a hallmark for the obama administration and the agency, along with a couple of fairly major rules the agency was able
to issue during my tenure. first, injection mitigation -- when the car is struck and rolls over, making sure the car keeps people in the passenger compartment, as opposed to being thrown out of the vehicle, which increases the chance of death. also, most recently, the agency mandate to make sure all have seatbelts on board. host: agencies recently laid out rules they are looking at through the next year. what are some of the major regulatory rules that nhtsa is looking to come down the pipe in 2014? ofst: there are a number issues the agency is working on right now. one is the issue of a deck camera -- back camera roll. i know secretary fox is passionate about that to protect children and seniors. .gencies are working very hard
there are rules regarding trucks -- electronic stability control for heavy duty vehicles is also on the list of rules we are working on that will have a impact on improving the safety of the fleet, and there are a number of other issues regarding , includingafety adding sound to electric vehicles. i know a lot of folks that are out there in parking lots across andcountry, hybrid vehicles electric vehicles, one there at speeds of less than 10 miles an hour, you do not really hear them. one of the issues the agency is working on is adding the right sound so that people can recognize and electric vehicle is a car, but not having so much sound that you are creating more noise pollution. host: essentially speakers on an engine?
guest: they are looking at a number of research pipelines to do that. i do not think you will see a situation where you have a ring tone for a car, but you will have something that can be heard a long distance that is louder than a tire noise. is notrtain speed, it the engine that you hear, but the friction from the tires. there are a lot of electronic and other sounds that are pleasing, if you will. host: we are talking to david strickland, former administrator want to talkf you about some the safety issues. give us a ring. phone lines are open.
with dave in wilmington, delaware, you are on with david strickland. caller: as we look forward in the global markets and especially the asian markets, for example india right now underthey can build a car their market for about two thousand dollars. if a car like that was to come to the u.s. in terms of meeting safety and café standards, does your desk have any idea what the conversion costs and effort would be to bring the car to market? host: thank you for the question. mr. strickland? is a great question, and the standards in the united states are the strongest in the world in terms of detecting occupants and pedestrians as well. the fuel economy standards are also strict. it is difficult to say what the
cost differential would be for a vehicle that is only for sally and other parts of the world for being compliant -- for sale in other parts of the world, for being compliant. the reason is americans in our driving environment facing number of different issues. we have very different terrain across the country. different levels of pedestrian congestion. higher levels of speed. decadesw the data for in terms of making sure you have the right crash pulses and elements addressed to reduce fatalities. yes, there will be a differential from a vehicle produced in india. host: from twitter -- auto safety -- how safe can cars the u.n. hackers commandeer your new web-connected smart car? is anyone looking into this issue? guest: it is an important issue not only from the issue of cyber security, but the other societal
issues of data privacy. at this point, right now common in order to be able to take over a car, a hacker would have to toe physical presence actually touch the car, make a change, and then execute a cyber attack. however, we see some manufacturers can make dynamic changes to the vehicle with upgrades from the sky. tesla is one of those manufacturers. clearly, the manufacturers and the agencies will have to work very hard to make sure there is rigorous cyber security protection. everybody is working very hard on it. i think it is a point where everybody to be thinking about. -- an excellent point for everybody to be thinking about. host: with vehicle technology improving, and more distractions for drivers, and does nhtsa get
involved to say enough is enough and there are too many distractions in terms of technology for drivers? guest: the agency is working on guidelines right now. the first set was for what the interface looks like, they can sure there is no streaming movie or video in the front, or long, streaming text to be read. you can interact with two seconds between an individual task, or 12 seconds for back- and-forth tasks. that is the template. the next guidelines will be on handheld devices, and the proper uses of handheld devices and how they are being connected into the vehicle to make sure they are not too distracting. on third phase will be voice, making sure there is not a high level of cognitive distraction in the vehicle. the agency is very focused on while you havet
innovation and technology -- it mightple want, improve the safety, but there is a point where you have to make sure the driver is doing the thing they're supposed to be doing, which is driving. host: you mentioned voice distraction -- will there be rules that you cannot talk to the driver too much? guest: no, but there is a cognitive load in terms of what you are doing, and trying to find what the breakpoint is for the common person. whether it is having conversations, wirelessly, or with a hands-free device, things of that nature. the interesting thing that the data shows is when you have a passenger with you, you actually improve safety and decrease the distraction in some ways because you have an extra set of eyes helping you drive versus the person being by himself driving. a lot of research to go. things are promising in terms of having a viable interface, but
really we need to learn a lot more before the agency is able to make a decision. in baltimore, maryland. you are on with david strickland of nhtsa. met once.vid, we work the original seatbelt in 1951. guest: yes, sir. great hearing from you again. caller: i want to bring up the unsung nameye, the of seatbelts. the other is on the fuel utilization by cars, the one thing that we discovered there was that the best way to was two things -- how easily is it portable and loadabley is it
question red hat is what makes gasoline so good. anybody can load it -- loadable? gasoline so makes good. anybody can load it, whereas natural gas is difficult to load and very dangerous to load, even though it is portable. thing i want to get out, and i certainly appreciate the tremendous work that nhtsa has done, is that we seem to have a tendency to go away from the basic problem of there is and one cause for action that is in attention. anything that provides in attention will increase the accident rate. and to tammy, i wrote the original accident report 4 -- incidentally, i wrote the
original accident report for state police. that is the biggest thing, and it seems to be the simplest. reduce the inattention makers, or talkingbe drunk, or texting and you'll reduce accidents. strickland? points,e made excellent and i want to take a moment to talk about seatbelts. we are focused on active technology, where the seatbelt intervenes or the vehicle intervenes with the person driving has not made the right decision. usage ofare up to 87% seatbelts in the united states, the highest ever, and is a huge achievement both from the agency and the state partners, but please recognize the fact that half of the fatalities in elted.a are unb
it is a huge issue. one of the things that nhtsa is working on the part of a new initiative called significant and seamless, which is focusing on safety technologies that can drive down risk factors is seatbelt interlocks. it is something the agency 1970's, butn the mid- it was withdrawn because of a backlash. it was not ready at that point. it was easily defeated. it was very uncomfortable. it into lock the engine when it should not have -- interlocked the engine when it should not have been. now, the agency is looking at seatbelt interlocks were the technology is now much more elegant and a number of manufacturers are looking at the technology as a way forward to improve the seat belt use rate. as opposed to it being a mandate, the agency is looking at creating an incentive.
there is a thing right now called the unbelted test. because we have so many people in the united states that do not wear seatbelts, one of the safety countermeasures is to try to make the vehicle more protective of undoubted occupants. elted occupants. if you have certainty that everybody is wearing seatbelts, you do not need the test anymore . manufacturers and the agency, nhtsa, are working on a research project to see if they can create a system that cannot be defeated and can be in every seated position. if manufacturers use that, they do not have to use the unbelted protocol, which would save millions of dollars and at the same time everybody would be wearing a seat belt and it would save thousands of lives. regarding distractions --
everybody talks about distraction is a fairly recent phenomenon because of cell phone use, etc.. involved inhas been the fleet since the first radio was put in the first early vehicle that was available. it has always been there. it is also doing other things you should not be doing -- shaving, eating a large, greasy hamburger and driving with your knees -- these are things you want to discourage drivers from doing, and there will be a long- term effort to address inattention, but distraction- related crashes have taken the lives of over 3000 people. it is a significant issue. host: we are talking with david strickland who served as the administrator of nhtsa from 2010-to-2013 and work with the subcommittee from 2001-to-2009
and, you work at venable llp. what do you do there? yet,: i have not started but i'll be working on a number of consumer issues, privacy, federal trade commission, and super product safety commission issues -- i was very active in that in the senate. also, privacy and connectivity issues is something i'm interested in working on. it is a new world when you talk about connectivity for vehicles, things like vehicle-to-vehicle communications, and i'm looking forward to finding cost-cutting solutions to get these in the fleet. host: weighing in shreveport, louisiana, on our line for republicans. wayne, you are in -- on with david strickland.
ram, and drive a dodge i would not traded it in for 10 electric cars. you cannot go anywhere in them. if you got caught in a snowstorm, the batteries run down, and then what can you do? about electricl cars, they are the most worthless piles of junk. they will fail again. who wants to buy $60,000 car that you cannot go anywhere in? i think it is ridiculous. wayne in louisiana. as we show a bloomberg headline. vehicles havec enormous problems, and one of the things that the fuel economy standards are aimed to do is to amount ofdiverse
standards. the range is improving as the technology is getting better. also, there is extended range hybrid like the chevrolet volt, where you have an electric motor that can take you approximately have 40 miles and then gasoline. there are a number of applications along with diesel and natural gas, which has been mentioned a number of times this morning on this program. the goal is to achieve the fuel useof reducing and decreasing greenhouse gas emissions. yes, all vehicle pipelines regarding propulsion have risk. electric vehicles are just as safe, or even safer than gasoline-powered vehicles, they just pose a different set of risks because of a thing called
thermal overrun on the battery, when it is too hot, and of that nature. folks have to realize that gasoline fires from crashes in the existing fleet had happened several times a day, -- happen several times a day. it is a tragic situation. electric vehicles are very safe to drive, along with a number of technologies manufacturers are making, and it is good to have a consumer technology. host: re: electric cars catching on? g: they are. -- guest: they are. several vehicles are at lower price points. luxury brands at the upper end. up to thel the way upper end, which is the tesla
model s, which has done very well. host: steve in oklahoma on our line for republicans. you are on with david strickland, former administrator at nhtsa. caller: good morning, mr. strickland. guest: good morning. caller: i am a former truck have six month and one-year intervals on safety and they push safety on the drivers. -- you are armer former administrator, so there is not a lot you can do about -- a lot ofn companies will take advantage of drivers by calling a pickup just before 5:00 on friday.
i would get stuck with a load, wasat the next place there a scale, and a way station. i had no truck stop. they are off. it was probably about 39,000, and then i find out it was overloaded late on a friday. they put it on the driver to get be, orhere it should the -- not to put it on the driver, because that wasn't their fault. >> mr. strict hand, how does that help us understand what the was talking about there? >> sure. there's a thing called hours of service rules and also driver responsibilities in terms of making sure your vehicle is properly weighted. the one interesting thing, i think the, owe i thank the
caller for the question. thate have several modes are responsible for different things at the department of transportation. responsible for passenger cars and heavy duty vehicles in terms of the actual crashes. for there is another fantastic anncy led by administrator farro called the federal motor carrier safety administration which deals with professional and driver safety and making sure that drivers are not on the road too long, via hours of service, making sure that there's inspection stayings staff is across the country to assist and make sure that trucks are compliant making sures and that drivers are not being taken advantage of and are comporting with the law. they do a fantastic job and they leadership over there. and i think the driver flagged several issues that they are on.sed host: we talked about regulations on distractions for cars, "i'd be happy
mandate that people not sing in their car." and one other tweet, what regulations to keep hi in place dro general fuel cells safe from hazards? guest: actually the hydrogen a greatl question is one. there's a global technical regulation, the united states and several other countries the world come together and try to harmonize regulations fewert there are differences between safety standards between the countries, safetys the level of around the world which is always the first goal. but also helps in terms of the theciency for each of manufacturers so you don have to make different types of vehicles market.y different and these are especially important when you have new technologist which you don't have any prior work done, it's a good tub to harmonize. cell safetyel global technical regulation that was just approved a few months in geneva, and national
highway traffic safety thenistration was one of leaders in formulating that particular global technical regulation that now has to come back to the united states and be a regulation here in the united thees and has to go through formal process. but we are moving forward on working on hydrogen safety and important work, and very excited for the agency to reach that nile ston on this issue. host: how long until that regulation goes through the in the united states? guest: it going to take some time. regulatory process has to be very careful, it always takes some time. the very beginning, i would guess it will probably take a handful of years probably initiation to completion. but the fact is that the united states in a lot of the research behind the hydrogen global technical regulation, so they'll be able to get that within a few years. brp joseph is next in cleveland, ohio.
good morning. caller. morning. caller: my question is when it comes to safety. cars with onlye drive?eel fuel spill, that can be one of the most dangerous things on the road, so why don't where thestandard cars are all wheel drive or front wheel drive? have never wanted to be beside a car that skidded out because wheel drive on ice. host: mr. strickland, on a snowy d.c.? guest: it's a great question. the one thing that the sureacturers have to make is that you maintain consumer choice because there's different needs and different applications different vehicles, and rear
rear drive vehicles on winter do not necessarily have success when getting stuck. there are choices for people vehicles, and some can affly different levels of torque wheelsn to individual depending on how the vehicle is stuck, and you have front wheel drive cars as well. leave it up to the particular driver to figure out what is the best technology. they all have did it price points, advantages and disadvantages, and you don't to takeily want something away and say you only have all-wheel drive available in the united states, because may not be the most efficient technology for a particular consumer need. host: we've been showing shot from the washington auto show this morning as part of our running todayshow through february 2. a lot of new technologist being at that show. i want to ask you on the government's position on driverless cars.
and where -- amazingt's an technology, and i never want to jump all the way to the end point of the fully automated that doesn't require a human being. that is a long way off. many advantages for things the active safety technologist, which are the toments of getting automation, things like crash imminent braking where the radar system will pick up the fact you're driving too fast and approaching another car and will apply the brakes for you. systems thatng will keep you between the lane lines, or blind shot detections. are thee things elements you think about for automated driving. theobama administration, department of transportation, are very supportive of this innovation because we have truly to a new era in traffic safety. years, nhtsa has been focused on how well a car you when you get into a crash.
during the four years that i was blessed to serve as administrator, the agency has really turned the corner to look north star for safety, which is how the car can the crash from ever happening. and automated vehicles are a to that.one the agency issued a statement of policy for automated vehicles to help support testing regimes in the states and support the develop thesethat technologist. the agency is also supporting active safety systems and try to figure out a way to encourage manufacturers to provide more vehicles, and that work is under way, especially things like mitigation which is part of the technology initiative and a number of other elements which are so important the future of automation and frankly to make sure that we don't havewhere you a vehicle that is capable of being crashed. it is a goal that the agency
support.y wants to host: before the segment you mention that there's been some flying cars? guest: actually, yes, we had a waitingtion that we're for the day for flying cars to happen. car,lly is there a flying and they actually applied to the national highway traffic safety certification for for federal motor vehicle safety standards. so yes, ladies and gentlemen, it happened, there is such thing as a flying car. host: and how many of these are now? out there guest: i don't know how many, i can't imagine there being a ton of them. say that when you think you thought about all the we seein the future, those old 1950's world fairs and expos, you know, driverless cars of them, flying cars being one of them, all the way whereh to night rider your vehicle has a relationship with you. elements of all those things that are coming
into the fleet right now, and funny in some elements, very exciting, especially the prospects of safety. host: drew in new jersey on our line for democrats, good morning. toler: good morning, thanks c-span for the important subject and also to mr. strickland who across as an excellent example of public employees. guest: thank you. limitedgiven the distance technology, why didn't create a standard for battery size, so replacement available,ould be similar to gas stations? could be as simple as removing a of battery selfs -- cells that unplug into the not have an option to connect some to extend the range. my understanding is batteries in a car maybe 300-pound, and maybe 20-poundfew that are extra packs could really help,
that way the distance issue would be eliminated and the adoption could have been beth. can you speak to that issue? guest: i can a little bit. interesting thing about nhtsa's responsibilities and jurisdiction, it is safety jurisdiction and is not designed, is not a design jurisdiction, if you will. we leave it up to the the suppliersand to come up with technology on the question that we face, is it safe, or does it pose an illegal risk to safety. so different battery and ability togs change out batteries is purely a decision made by the manufacturer. the agency looks at whether or it's safe. the one thing that nhtsa is now is an right upgrading or improving of safety motor vehicle standard, battery safety, which is how well the battery is of a crashthe event to make sure, especially in
electric vehicles when you have battery which has a larger wider footprint, that it doesn't get penetrated or that if it does get penetrated it doesn't go to whata thermal overrun, is the professional term is. that's what the agency is taking on right now. those variants will be making about making sure they're safe and compliant with standards. but giving the manufacturers the changeableaving battery packs. i know there was one technology company that was looking at that having sort of a battery change, you lease the vehicle and then you have sort of, you change the batteries as needed, razorwas more of like a blade and razor model where they sell you the actual razor handle less money to look at the chance to sell you razor blades in the future. i know there are companies looking at that, but nhtsa is safety.solely on host: jimmy in florida, on our
line for independents. good morning. caller: good morning. i need to know, should it be my wear a seat belt or not? because you have all these motor vehicle drivers that don't have -- motorcycle drivers that don't have helmets on, and most school wearing a only one seat belt is the driver. and i'm in a car with airbags got to drive and i several hours and i weigh over 300 pounds and it's very uncomfortable. the seat belt off i get a ticket. and i think we should go to vehicles. guest: wearing your seat belt is important. that is the one thing that yourbly best predicts ability to survive a crash. the reason why nhtsa and the hard toave worked so encourage seat belt use is because it is the most effective of almostntermeasure any in the vehicle. that definitely understand people feel it is their particular right to not wear a
seat belt. but you also look at societal impact and individual impact. not wearing that seat belt may make a difference when you do may nott crash and you go home and see your family. and we feel that it's very agency, at the usage isng seat belt the best thing you can do every one.e trip, that's number host: the caller seemed concerned about the inconsistencies and bringing up buses and that issue. guest: that's also a great point. at schoole looking busses, school bus travel for children is the safest means to child to school, period. unfortunately school bus probably we lose, unfortunately, about eight to 10 children a year. two ofically only one or those children are lost because the actual crash is inside the bus. children eight or nine are usually victims of being struck outside the bus when through the stop placard that's extended.
at hundreds ofng thousands of miles a year of bus one orand virtually only two children a year losing their life. the reason is because of the countermeasure you have around the school bus, the speeds that all are driven around, that the vehicles stop around them, all those measures work. so the most important value is to make sure that there are as many school busses as possible to carry children. agency haswhy the not mandated seat belts on school busses, because it busseses the cost of approximately three to $8,000 per bus, which may ultimately mean that there's fewer busses available which means that we've now put more children into which increases their risk of crashes and fatalities. so this is one of these things, where the optics of the situation versus the real world don't match up. and you have compartmentalization where the benches are configured so that they hold the
children very tightly, there's lots of cushioning around it and that's the countermeasure to there is ahat if crash there's not a bad outcome, and it's been very effective. the decision is for safety, children in school busses are the safest. if we take away more busses we're going to hurt or possibly even kill more children. so that's the reason why you see seat belts in every vehicle because of the risk in every see seeand why you school busses at this point in time not have it. now, on the other hand the did, regarding school busses, states can make their own choice if they want to belts on the school busses, they can do so. and every state has the ability part of nhtsa's rules. but that's the reason why you contrast between a passenger vehicle versus the safety of school busses. chris in new haven, connecticut on our line for democrats. good morning, you're on with david strickland, the former administrator of nhtsa.
caller: good morning, david, morning, john. we got off on the wrong track. withtle over 100 years ago these individual vehicles. mass transit is the answer. belts on school busses, put seat belts on trains, put busses.ts on the only vehicle i saw that you the vehicle show in the onlya bus, it's thing that appealed to me. i think that we have accidents so maybehere are drivers -- so many drivers. we have traffic reporters on every station now because we have accidents on every highway, every morning. and we just can't be trusted to just don't know how to do it. we need less drivers, less distractions, more accountability and responsibility on the part of drivers. we need to take cars off the
roads and keep them away from trucks. trucks cause a lot of accidents with cars. cars cause a lot of accidents with trucks. put them on busses, put them on on airplanes,em make them all wear seat belts a lotthink we'll all be safer. thanks. host: mr. strickland, your thoughts. guest: absolutely, kid say that the obama administration and the transportation, these issues of mass transit getting more people to walk, to the safest way for us to convey people from place to place. individual mobility will never the expud we have to work very hard to make sure that it's as safe as it can be. is absolutely right in the fact that mass transit has so many benefits not for for safety but also fuel economy and fuel efficiency and on green house gas and so benefits. the federal transit
administration led by peter rogoff who is now going to be the acting under secretary of transportation, he was just positionto that recently, worked very hard over improve four years to transit to make it more expansive and also to improve safety. federal transit administration has the safety authority talking about i'mtermeasures in crashes, not sure about seat belts on transit. thing you want is the highest level of safety in the most efficient way possible. for people,hoices whether it's great choices of choice of very mobility, but the caller made a good point. get more people who take mass transit, we gain so many benefits. frontthe subject of a pale story on "u.s.a. today" talking about small cars and their ability to pass crash i can get to you talk about this issue, the crash
test they're talking about in small front is the overlap crash test in way car hits a barrier with the front corner at 40 miles per hour, of the eleven cars the testly one passed by the insurance institute for highway safety. the small recovery test.st is a very severe to help the viewers visualize what that is, as opposed to for basically when frontal crashes would have the car running directly into a wall barrier, but the data showed that more likely what you cars actually clip each other over the corners of the bumper. like when you have a person come the center line and clip you. that is a very, very severe unfortunately also means that there's usually very fay talts --es and fatal is the from that. to rep plictied that crash to encourage
manufacturers to beef up their in this area.s and you're going to have the type of results you see in the lot of where you have a vehicles that aren't passing. the safety administration is similar crash, crash test,fset which is a variant of what the doing.ce institute is so in the future you'll see a lot of vehicles that don't do well in these tests in the as new vehicles come online you will see their performance improve, which is to have happen. host: david strickland, appreciate you stopping by the washington journal today. guest: thank you so much, it was great. host: when we come back we'll phones to our viewers, we're asking you in our last 30 minutes of the "washington journal" today, is the u.s. auto best in the world. our phone lines are open.
but first we want to bring you back to the floor of the washington auto show. the chevrolet section of the auto show, and as you can see one of the standout sting raychevrolet for 2015. tuolumne to talk to james bell, head of consume affairs for g.m., hi. having me on. >> how would you describe your job to people. >> fantastic question. between the industry and the consumer. i used to work for kelly blue book. in detroit, i'm based in southern california and i keep find out the business, where the trends are, and make sure summers are come back in marketplace. >> since you're in washington and since washington had a hand g.m. what would you tell consumers as far as the washington vent in g.m., when of it?t out >> the easiest way i would
explain it is there's an old hey in the business that there's no problem a good car won't fix, and that's what that investment has allowed. see the awards from the detroit auto show, the corvette american car of the truck, the silverado the truck of the year. given.re not lightly the journalists who give these awards are a tough crew. so the fact that we've got vehicles are capturing the imagination and the excitement of the judges and the journalists, but more importantly consumers. i think the easiest way i can whenhis, once upon a time i was with kelly blue book somebody would say, oh, i bought dodge, oh,ford, a you must have got a good deal on it. now jump ahead five, six years later, it's oh, no, check out this buick, it rides great or voltat the way this technology works. the game is completely changed and it's really put the imports notice.g >> would you say that g.m. is a different company in how it's run because of the influence of the federal government?
>> here's the best way i can put it. for been with general motor a little over three and a half years now. what i see is two different groups of people within the that haveon, those been there before the trouble came and like myself that came after. and there's an attitude within company that we're not sliding backwards, we're not doing things the old way. amount ofere's a fair hand slapping if somebody says anything goes back to the old style. so it's really focused on making that we can be proud to drive. as an employee of general motors drive, iompany car to want to be proud of what i'm driving. that's important stuff, especially in the car business, so connected to an emotional appeal. appeal too,e because fuel efficiency is a big selling point. >> even with cars like the sting ray, can you talk about fuel efficiency? doings the requirement of business today with the regulations in the u.s. and the in otherregulations parts of the world, if you want
to be in the car business you that.o address the sting ray has a 6.2 letter v8. when you're cruising down the highway, four of the cylinders will turn tem themselves off and you just roll as a four cylinder. when you need the power, everything lights back up again. sites just being smart with the fuel that we're bringing on board. >> one of the things that was as influence of the bailout the volt. obviously the administration touted its virtues. the volt you as far as is concerned in 2015? >> that was on our drawing books troubles.e any of the it was a vehicle that was allowed to continue in its has been on the market for a few years. the volt is the first page in a of what's going on in the car business, it's not the end of the story. bore, thelogy is on fact that you can plug in and electric, but then when you need to go a further need to beou don't worry about being left at the
side of the road. that technology has gone onto cadillac er, which is here at the show, and you'll see it in other vehicles. you have me on your show in five years and we'll look back at the volt and say that's where it all began. >> so how much influence should washington now have on the operation of g.m.? be very plunt it had very little influence even when there was still a stake this the company. they set us up to say, hey, make good cars, be a good business, get yourself in order, and that's what the company went out to do. now that the government has off its stock, we're allowed to refocus on ourselves and become the next great american car company. >> which made a lot of news. did hear about that, it was one of the big err news stories from the detroit auto show. fantastic. i think what she is going to capture is the fact that you've peopleocused group of inside g.m. now that love being part of the car business that into want to slide back old habits.
if you're a guy like me, the effect that i can come in and perspective, i can shake it up a little bit. that is kind of a new thing, and fact that that outside view i think mary will be very receptive of that. a companyd you had car. do you get a sting ray? >> i don't yet, but i'm going to soon.o i get to drive them on occasion. no, i think having that in my the most fun. be >> james bell with general motors, head of consumer yourrs, thank you for time. >> my pleasure, thank you. host: back in our capitol hill studio we're opening up our phones to you in this last half-hour of the "washington journal" today. we've asked you this question. is the u.s. auto industry the best in the world? we want to get your thoughts and comments, and we're separating little bit differently as we do this. if you own an american car the 202-585-3880. if you own a foreign car it's
202-585-3881. if you don't own a car, it's 202-585-3882. our phone lines are open and happy to take your thoughts here of today's segment "washington journal." as we do in, i want tohone read you a little bit from a market watch piece that we showed you earlier today on the rebound in u.s. auto sales, the vehicle sales, there's a chart there showing the rebound from 2009 to where today. still below where it used to be, but rebounding significantly from that 2009 losses. in 2013 the story notes u.s. brand accounted for 46% of u.s. sales outselling their japanese, korean and german competitors, toht vehicle sales climbed 15.6 million, the highest level in six years. comparison, i want to show you some stats from a "new york
times" piece from last week on the european auto market, the last yearline of 1.7% in the european market was smaller than some analysts had anticipated after a dismal start, the story notes, the december gain of 13.3% from a was the biggest monthly increase since 2009, the european union's new car registrations total about 12 million vehicles for the year, the smallest number since 1995. and the block had about half as many countries. about the u.s.u auto sector. do you think it's the best in the world? if so, why. not, why not? and one other piece i want to today's "quavment times" has an entire section dealing with the washington auto that arepart of separate views from capitol hill on the auto industry and the auto parts of industry much here's congressman comments on new innovations that he says will
drive the american auto industry, he's from nebraska, he says in his "washington times" that our nation of builders is inding the renaissance american manufacturing and our automobile manufacturers, almost these hard working men and women in all 50 states are illustrating the best america has to offer. throughout the recession we saw drop 50% inuction two years. in 2009, however, automobile manufacturing began to bounce producing 8.7 million vehicles and recouping 100,000 jobs. great progress, lee terry writes, but there is much more work to do. to re: more on his opinions and other members of congress, that's in today's self pieces,imes," in a special section on the washington auto show. our phones. charlie is waiting in heyward, california, owns an american car.
charlie, good morning. is the u.s. auto industry the best in the world? caller: well, that's a good question when the amount of into that we're putting hydrogen fuel cells, and i can't even figure out what it's going andost for the hydrogen what kind of hydrogen pressure in those cars, we seem to be spending huge amounts of money to generate these cars and looks carswe're going to have with a tank that holds 10,000 pounds of hydrogen. understand where this is going to go. how do you think the technology advances of other countries compare to the u.s. auto industry? something you follow? and theyes, i do, primary core of the hydrogen the cell technology for past decades has been a huge of staket of all kinds holders, so the amount of beentment for a car has absolutely horrendous. the total number of fuel cell
iss in california approximately two to 300 total vehicles and we're spending a car in putting in hydrogen fuel stations where the people that drive the car will get free fuel. going to work in the marketplace? that seems to be putting the disadvantage at a in this overall market, putting all of this concentrated effort hydrogen fuel cell that just doesn't make any sense to all. host: charlie in california this morning, as our viewers look at washingtonfrom the auto show. running today through february 2. than 700 new makes and models from over 42 manufacturers are going to be on display at that eight acres worth of display at the walter e. washington convention center, not far from capitol hill. u.s. asking you if the auto industry is the best in the
world. we want to get your thoughts and segment of our last the "washington june al" today. rhonda is in vancouver, washington, she owns a foreign car. good morning. caller: morning. ahead, you're on q. the washington journal." question was in regards to your article with the spark and how it fared in sub is cans and my question you fine out whether that was whetherctric spark or it was internal combustion spark. because i have two nissan leaves and two corvettes. to corvettes get 30 miles the gallon, and the electric 2.4 miles a kilowatt, so two cents a mile. question. host: that article that you're referencing is in today's today" money section, note that just one car among the 2013 and 2014 models tested received an acceptable rating in
the test in which a car is hit with the driver's front side corner at 40 miles per hour, it noted the spark was who had the acceptable rating, doesn't say any more about what specific model was tested for you. but that's in the u.s.a. today money, if you want to re: more bit. we're asking you're viewers whether they think the u.s. auto industry is the best in the world. waiting in mount victory, ohio, lowell owns an american car. good morning. morning, john. it was kind of a coincidence here that i have an american it's kind of a coincidence that just when you showed the right front end with some damage on it, that's in a little i did bit of snow here a while ago, and i wasn't going fast or a pole, andt i hit it did considerable damage to car. they don't have decent bumpers
any more, that's one thing to say. about the, about whether it's the best in the world. it's the only kind that i've ever had. but since the shakeup about 20 years ago or so, i lotk they're getting a better and lasting a lot longer. and there's one thing i would about the other segment. you had a real good show this morning. i liked it all. but then i also wanted to say about the very tiny size and the magnitude of the controls of the cars. the heater, and all of the other things. button with the mirrors and everything else, you know, so they're just too many buttons and too small. a pencil to hit because they're so small, especially if you're getting a longer along in life. thank you, john.
host: calling in from ohio this morning. the conversation about is the u.s. auto industry the best in happening on our facebook page, facebook.com/c-span. catherine writes in, i hate to sound unamerican, but one word, germany. the u.s. auto industry the best in the world, kevin writes in no, the europeans, and now the koreans are producing better looking longer vehicles.ss expensive we want to get your thoughts on this question. waiting in massachusetts. joseph owns a foreign car. own?kind of car do you own a bmw, and my bmw.few wars were and i would say that the in thence from sitting showroom when i'm buying that years remember about 15 ago my last purchase of a
domestic car, i didn't feel good experience, i drove off and i had a terrible time with it. and since then i've purchased cars, and i would say that the biggest challenge that industry has is fighting that perception for the consumer when they are going to buy a car. host: joseph calling from massachusetts this morning. on facebook, "i have only driven american and german cars, likeyou our cars were more german, the drive features and technology bmw, awe day and to mine fast." and ronald below that, that the more intrusive the government the auto industry, the more it fails. u.s. auto industry the best in the world? maryland, in waldorf, owns an american car. what kind of car do you own? an f150.ewith no, america definitely does not
make the best cars. also to the point the gentleman from the g.m. auto show was vote is not g.m. -- the volt is not g.m.'s first page on electric cars. about 20 years ago they had an electric car and they krawshed -- crushed it. they were at the forefront, but they didn't want that technology to get out to the people. we were just talking about this on a chat site, local space, about american cars. chrysler, for example, has come 200.ith the new it might be an okay car, has a lot of horsepower, but that design looks like something that have been out 20 years ago. a car,ve got to design you might as well make it look good. just because it's inexpensive not mean it doesn't have to look good. so this is not g.m.'s first shot at electric it 20 years ago, but they didn't want the technology to get out and toyota jumped on and it
that's why toyota is at the forefront right now. will have to rectify that problem. host: darnell from maryland. some stats courtesy of the "financial times" on u.s. car ines and the annual change 2013, this is u.s. car sales as carsight imagine american selling, having the best change termscentage in 2013 in of sales. overall up just under 10%, ford up over 10%. 10% asr up just under well. toyota also up in the united but volkswagen, volvo hyundai, down, losing market hyundai up13, and slightly. currency on the financial times. to jim in signal
mountain, tennessee, jim owns a foreign car. asking our viewers, is the u.s. auto industry the best in the world what do you think? caller: not in my opinion, it's the worst. jim? why is that, caller: i'm still upset about the fact that they turned to the bludgeon the taxpayers out of money to bail them out, plus the nonsense that theing around bailout saved the auto industry and the employees. have disappeared, bankruptcy doesn't take a curl it up you know, into mid air, it allows the company to reconstruct. in that, they did go through bankruptcy, but the government and saved the union at the cost of the bond holders who were, you know, we had bankruptcyes in court that were thrown out, and saved thement employees because they could
vote. savehey really didn't them. they would have been working afterwards for who ever bought remainder of the company out of bankruptcy. but i'll never own a general motors car nor a chrysler car that.ecause of host: that's jim calling from signal mountain, tennessee. our facebook page says the only reason that this question that we're talking is becausee ask competition from foreign auto makers making higher quality inferiorforced unionized american auto workers to compete for a share in the market. john is in richfield, ohio, owns an american car. u.s. auto industry the best in the world? caller: absolutely. by ayou buy a car made u.s. made u.a.w. car, you buy a the suppliers, you know, the auto workers, about 10%, the suppliers another of the employees, that you
know they're going to have a good income with good benefits be there and the pollution, everything is in place. police and levies, fire levies, you have people with good jobs that will vote levies, pay for these things. every time you buy an american car you help your community. to mention that their quality has improved vastly. host: what kind of car do you own? caller: i own a dodge caravan. you always owned an american car? caller: yes. general motors for some time, then i went to chrysler. host: john calling in from ohio. is in charleston, south carolina, owns a foreign car. good morning, what kind of car do you own? caller: oh, good morning. actually my husband drives the nissan and our family is split, , and here weillac bmw's,charleston where all you see are big ships
putsing the bmw's on the water germany, i guess. but our family is split. retired. i think a lot of families in the united states would buy used we do, and you just buy your best deal. and both the nissan and cadillac are satisfactory to us. call in fromfor south carolina this morning with your thoughts. birch smith on our facebook pain the world, you're going to compare american made japan, ohrerm any, even italian and ask that as a serious question? comparison i'd say we're at least fourth best. let's go to thomas waiting in berlin, wisconsin, owns an car.can thomas, good morning. morning, sir, great show. whichestion you asked, is, is it the best vehicle.
my point is that that would be everyone isbecause looking for different things in a vehicle. is overall,opinion by far americans are the best. if you can figure out a way to -- to give my problem with the american vehicles and others, economy you save in an and actually in fuel cost, then paying forxes you're or fuel, so the more taxes, the less taxes you're sending in for fuel, so the less taxes they get the more they have to raise the taxes and the people that goinge the cars are not to absorb that cost. so actually the small guy gets again with higher taxes, and higher vehiclings, which is a problem in just about everything in the united states builds right now. butover all my opinion is that by far build the best cars and foreign countries,
worked on many german machines and other foreign vehicles, their technology is probably borrowed or somehow acquired from the united states to begin with. the americans by far win. host: thomas calling in from we talk about car issues and comparisons to other countries between the u.s. auto industry and others. i want to bring you some stats, monthrom earlier this from delight l.l.p. in its generationing about is a chart that deloitte online. nearly 80,notes that generation y is nearly 80 million strong and generation will buy 40% of new cars by 2020. ages 19 to 36.re
they'reey notes that three times more likely than their parents to abandon car costs escalate according to that deloitte survey and more than half of said they expect to drive a vehicle with an alternative engine such as a hybrid electric. go to j.r. in woodlawn, .ennessee caller: i believe it's still one of the best in the world, it's as what itt what s used to be. have hurt theions car industry. you go buy a brand-new car today and it costs almost as much as brand-new house costs you, and not quite, but very close to it. and so i believe the unions are
the main reason why a car costs .o much i believe that the idea that ford didn't take a bell out but the others did -- a bailout, yet the others did, is pretty amazing. and i think that people ought to be asking that. g.m. took a bailout and they to have one,ght well, why, information didn't get one. you.at's my comment, thank host: carol says i have had had id american and foreign cars, prefer foreign cars, my infinniti is the best car i've ever had. own a in alaska doesn't car, alfred, good morning to you, your thoughts on the auto industry. caller: hello. my whole message is really that reason why they went to no
speed bumpers is because they wanted it to fold up like an savedion on both ends and lives somehow. but i partially agree that bumpers should some cases at strong bumper. a host: okay, al free calling in from alaska today. hero joe on our question of is the u.s. auto industry the best in the world, is no such thing as buying american. every car is made from things the world. all are world cars. let's go to steve in seattle, washington, steve owns an american car. steve, good morning. the q. washington journal." caller: good morning. question was, is it comparing artery -- ferrari, their standards are far above ours, then you can go to
have anyre they don't standards, or they're far below ours. i believe the question is, is the industry better, not whether the car is better. our industry is fine, but we're nowhere near the germans as far as our what we people, what their environmental benefits are. calling in from washington. we want to you keep calling in, we'll keep talking with this "the washington journal." but we want to take you back quickly to the floor of washington auto show, and now.you live there >> we're in the lower level of the washington auto show joined cogan, the publisher of the green car journal. welcome. >> thank you. givesry year this journal out an award, most awards deal with the wheels and looks. your award, though, deals on a different level. tell us bit.
>> it's the green car technology award. of the do the green car year, that focuses on the vehicle. technologieson the that enable these vehicles to do what they do so well. unsung heros of the advanced technology vehicles on the show floor. when what do you look for you're judging the unsung heros? >> we're looking for things that efficiency,reater or better interaction between a speaks and a driver that to higher efficiency, alternative fuels, hybrid power plug-in power trains, things that give a vehicle the have lower co2 emissions, lower tailpipe emissions, higher fuel efficiency. >> several models out hire, a porsche, but also a cadillac than most, whynt is that? >> it's a cadillac elr, it's an extended range electric car, it runs on electricity for the so, and, 37 miles or
then the on board internal generator creates electricity that powers the electric motors, so it's unique is an electric car but there are no limitations you're going greater distances, you you put fuel in the tank, it generates electricity on bore. >> seems like we've seen a move away from the boxy types of vehicles that we used to, a lot of interesting body designs out there. what does that say about the future of this market? >> it isn't just about efficiency, it's about creating buy,les people want to that's the thing. so if you have a vehicle that's boxy that's unattractive yet offers great environmental performance, it's going to be sold in much more limited numbers. have taken this mainstream. they've made the vehicles wonderful vehicles that drive really well, but just happen to get extremely high fuel efficiency or drive on fuels, that's the win. >> so as far as washington is here, doesince we're washington have a role in all
this? >> yeah, i mean, washington really spurred a lot of activity the higher cafe corporate average fuel economy by 2025, fleet wide average has to be 54.5 miles per gallon. huge, i mean that's a huge step from where we are now, and there are increment al steps along the way. that has driven a lot of innovation, because auto makers have to meet that goal. are complaining or have been complaining of what it costs to do that, in the end goal and we'reat seeing amazing vehicles coming out on the road to that goal. are thejournalist, things that washington has done maybe not so good in this market? >> there's plenty of things hasn't done well in this market, i think. but i try to look at the cafeive things, and that's increases and fleet average, that's a good thing. for electric drive vehicles, that's a good thing, althoughthe market, that can only stay in place so ing and should only stay place so long. but all these moves by
washington are spurring inmo vagues in the auto industry. to go back to the investment in advanced vehicles, advanced technology manufacturing, some things have worked out well, worked out have not well, but the industry is better for it. and drivers are better for it, that investment has come from washington over the years. >> one more question. porsche, aa cadillac, what are the price guzzlingto their gas counterparts? >> they're ways more expensive, lithium ion batteries are more expensive. some speak to the regular line, the 3.0-liter tdi that'siesel engine, maybe, maybe $5,000, or it's a small number higher than the but it getscle, exceptionally high fuel efficiency and great performance. ones like the porsche, well, you expensive to are begin with, so a $100,000
porsche that happens to be electric makes sense. a slightlways increase, but not so much in ones like the honda accord hybrid, the plug-in is a little more. but they're always a little more expensive. >> ron cogan, the publisher of the green car journal also award here at the auto show, thanks for your time. on.ppreciate you having me host: and that's the washington place throughng february 2, some 700 new makes display from over 42 manufacturers. we've been giving you interviews morning from the floor of the auto show. but we've got a few minutes left in the "washington journal" today to have our viewers answer question. u.s. auto industry, is it the best in the world? a few meant on our facebook sharon says do we still have a u.s. auto industry as it outsideey are all may the u.s. and jim says below that, seems
industry, my kia is more american made tonight fords and gm's. on twitter, the u.s. industry is best now, but have always bought u.s.a., don't own when they make what i want and can afford will buy american always. to audrey waiting in hixon, ten seen on our line for american made cars. audrey, what model car do you own? own the 99, we bought new 99 monte carlo. and the transmission went out, the paint started peeling off, other started to happen to the car, it wouldn't pull a hill, okay. then 14 year ago, it is won't run.l still won't run at all.
we have called the consumer affair, we wrote them numerous letters, we've done everything our power about this car. and we can't seem to get any help. all they owe us is $40,000, for's all we was asking what we paid for the car. host: audrey, how has this feel aboutmade you owning an american car? caller: oh, lord, you just don't know. you don't know how i feel about this car. every time i look at it, it just turns me stomach. to think it was a beautiful and dream.the car of his he loved it, black on black, he it.d host: audrey calling in from tennessee. we've got a few minutes for hear your comments on the u.s. auto industry. do you think it's the best in the world? is in wading river, new york, owns a foreign car. good morning. there. hi,
host: go ahead. caller: good morning, yes, i truck, i had a 2001 chevy s10 that i kept right lasttil springtime of year. when all the bailout stuff was a lot of the union and their rules and compensation packages were in the national started hearing about people who when there was nothing for them to do they were up forxpected to show work and they were paid to sit in the break room all day. now, i'm a contractor, i run a small business, we don't have a lot of guarantees and my men do very dangerous work. when there's no work or bad weather, we don't work, and around.ays us to sit so i opened up my mind to buying foreign, and when i started around last spring for a new vehicle, nobody was really making small pickup trucks any more, the s10 wasn't made. i decided i was not going to buy really makingn't anything. so i had toyota and i had nissan. and i went out and i bought that nissan, why should i be expected
to be loyal to g.m., because i'm going to work for my money and give to it a guy that's being paid to sit in the break so i bought a niece soon frontier, and let me tell you, it's twice the truck that chevy great vehicle.a host: matt calling in from new york talking about his experience. facebook page, the u.s. auto industry might be currently the best in the world in our minds, however when the make it here another recession or worse is way.g our and average american writes in on our twitter page, if you count the cars made by american companies in mexico and canada, then the american car industry in themost confused world. let's go to remy in baltimore, maryland, owns a foreign car. on. morning, you're caller: good morning, thanks for a couple call, just quick comment.
i have a '91 volvo, 240. was a vw passat. and what i've noticed over the is basically what the three manufacturers did, general motors, ford and chrysler, if look back, you've got ford because volvoolvo wasn't getting a market share i guess back in the 90's, and into thewas running same problem. and the problem they were running into was that these automobile manufacturers were too rough, but information managed to take chrysler took and mercedes, and showed them how to these automobiles where ory become either perceived obsolescent in order to get that market share back. and you see that take place even, the manufacturers of
the american automobiles, they tot to take and continue build automobiles that you're going to be going out and replacing, either because you perceive it to be obsolete or it becomes obsolete because of the computer technology that goes into it. remy from baltimore. john is calling in from illinois our line for folks who own american made cars. john, good morning. caller: good morning. host: your thoughts, is the u.s. auto industry the best in the world? are.r: yes, they for 13 '94 silverado years, i sold it and bought all had a prompto, i with the instrument clusser and the dealership said -- an, andk had low mile they said i was out of my time frame on the warranty but the mileage was good. motors, toldeneral them and they backed it up, they problem. of the and i was glad for that, general motors stood behind their product. but anhe