New Gas Mandates Could Benefit U.S. Automakers

DETROIT (AP) -- University of Michigan researchers say federal fuel efficiency mandates will bring U.S. automakers billions more in profit.

According to a study released Monday by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, plans for vehicles to be 30 percent more efficient by 2016 will give consumers greater options. The study estimates a combined $3 billion a year profit for Detroit automakers as the new standards go into effect.

U.S. automakers underestimated the importance of fuel efficiency to consumers, with companies previously distorting results of internal research to make efforts on improving fuel economy a low priority, authors of the study say. Foreign automakers make lose market share -- and revenue, as a result.

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