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It's Not Easy Being Green: Honda Stands Alone

June 12, 2002

When it comes to fuel economy and the environment, there is Honda and there is the rest of the auto industry. The difference has come into sharp relief as battles rageover how to curb the nation's swelling appetite for oil, according to a New York Times article by Danny Hakim.Honda is the only major automaker that has not joined the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, the industry trade group that has led the fight against tougher fuel and emissions standards. Earlier this year, Honda was the only big automaker that did not back an industry advertising campaign that helpeddefeat a Senate proposal to raise gasoline mileage standards for the first time since the 1980's.Honda is also not taking part in an industry campaign against a California bill to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In a stand that amounts to heresy in much of the industry, Honda has told federal regulators that most sport utility vehicles, pickup trucks and minivans should meet the much higher fuel standards required of passenger cars.And the company, based in Japan and ranked fifth in sales in the United States, has led the industry in the development of fuel-saving technologies. "They've sensed there's a market allure to being green, and they've worked at it," said Peter Pestillo, a former vice chairman of Ford and now chief executive of the auto supply giant Visteon.
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