Global-warming science is under renewed scrutiny thanks to the CRU e-mails, but government policies to fight the phantom menace are already in place and are now forcing changes among manufacturers and consumers.
Despite the global downturn in the auto market, sales in China have risen by 40 percent this year. But the bulk of those sales are small cars, since the communist government meddled with market demand by introducing a “government tax on vehicles with engines larger than three liters,” reports Just-auto.com.
Ironically for Americans (we’re looking at you, President Obama) who associate Toyota with fuel efficiency, China’s green tax has hammered the Japanese automaker, as it had targeted the Chinese market for its luxury Lexus brand.
“The sales tax change hit us substantially,” says Toyota sales exec Shoju Nozaki, who says Lexus will introduce more and smaller engines that qualify for the lower taxes. “The most important take-away from late last year and the start of this year when sales struggled is . . . we need to respond more quickly to policy change,” Nozaki said.
The question for a democratic America is whether the mpg “policy changes” in the works for cars in the next five years will be noticeable enough to cause a consumer backlash.