The government and the car industry wants you to think that building a car today, and everything under the hood has to do with safety and milage. It does not.
Much of the statistics in the lowering of car deaths can be directly attributed to a couple thing like air bags and mandatory seat belt use. The redesigning of targeted high crash area roads also come into play. In my area, four places (The Dauphin bypass north of Harrisburg, the Lewisburg narrows on 322 going to State College, route 15 north of Harrisburg, and the 83 loop south of York) have made HUGE impacts in car crashes. You can probably add in efforts to lower drinking and driving over the past 40 years also.
But it is the car industry, many times that suggests they are to be credited. And yes, we no longer build corsairs. but have you seen the massive damage with today's cars with basic 15 mile per hour bumper crash tests? Good thing we do have air bags nowadays. :roll:
So where is that fantastic miles per gallon increase you would think we should have after 40 years of technology advancement? Yes, those cars years ago did not have the comforts of today. But you would think that advancements would of kept up with any negative impacts of adding a bigger sound system, or other gadgets.
Reality is, there is only so much you can do with a gas engine. So when the government come along and suggests that they will require a minimum miles per gallon standard, car manufacturers have little choice other than cut the weight of cars, and go back to basics. It's not like they can keep the cars the same size, and rely on technology advancements to give them better gas milage alone. That is why hybrids and new higher mileage cars are much smaller and the consumer gives back a certain amount of luxury. They do their best to make them sleek, and add all the cheap plastic gadgets they can, but in the end, you have a smaller lighter car. That is the only way you can even approach the gas mileage of what cars in the past gave us.
We look at the car companies as the ones forcing these cars down our throats. Not true. It is the government, who passes mileage standards, (Via emissions requirements of lowering carbon tonnage), and then require the car companies to product, market, and sell, a certain amount to get the overall company mileage standard within the requirement.
This is the same government that feels we would better off if gas hits 8-10 dollars per gallon. Do you really think they care if you get better gas mileage and do twice the driving? Their goal is to appease environmentalists and pass standards that in their minds would lower carbon and green house gasses.
To even suggest that a car is designed and manufacturered with no regard to government standards to emissions, is exactly what they want you to think. :roll:
For all the technology that some say we have, the only way to get better mileage is to build shoe boxes, that did no better than cars 50 years ago.
The government spent billions in green energy. Why? Because they have an agenda. And for someone to say that this is not also infused or a factor in the car industry, is missing some key points in my opinion.