November 30, 2001

CAR's McAlinden discusses ways that product mix is affected by gas prices

Sean McAlinden, senior economist for the Center for Auto Research, talked about Michigan's recovery from the worst automotive industry downturn in 70 years and the auto industry's ongoing fortunes during a lecture at Wayne State University last week. During a Q&A session following the lecture, McAlinden tackled the persistent question about why the U.S. auto market has never embraced passenger car diesels with quite the same fervor that the Europeans have. "Direct fuel-injected, modern diesels give the French, already, 46 mpg for their fleet average," he said in pointing out the advantages of using diesel. "But many cars are 60 mpg in the B class, Fiats and Peugeots and the like. (print edition only)