US president also outlines plans to improve average fuel efficiency
27 March 2009

American president Barack Obama has indicated the car industry will get "some" financial aid imminently.

The US government intends to roll out a number of plans to help car makers over the next few days.

However, Obama has said that the car maker must focus on more fuel-efficient cars instead of large SUVs in exchange for the aid.

“We will provide them some help,” Obama said of the automotive industry in a televised town hall meeting yesterday.

“I think it is appropriate for us to say, Aare there ways we can provide help for the US auto industry to get through this difficult time?’ But the price is you’ve got to finally restructure to deal with these long-standing problems.”

Obama has also outlined new fuel efficiency standards, raising passenger car requirements for the first time in more than 20 years.

The 2011 model year standard set by the president will require cars and trucks to meet a fleetwide average of 27.3mpg, more than 2mpg up on the current level.

The new standard is not as aggressive as the 27.8mpg proposed by the Bush administration, although this was abandoned before Obama took office.

The new fuel efficiency standards have to be agreed by Tuesday under a 2007 energy law.

The improvements are estimated to save around 887 million gallons of fuel and wipe out 8.3 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions.

The energy bill has called for an industry fleet average of 35mpg by 2020 for cars and trucks combined.

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