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GM plans to build more models capable of reaching 40mpg by 2017. According to a GM sustainability report the company plans to build 8 models capable of 40 mpg, along with increasing the amount of electric vehicles on the road and a dedication to emission reductions.

Dan Akerson, chairman and CEO of General Motors, says, “Our long-term approach to sustainability enables us to increase efficiency and reimagine personal mobility to best meet customer needs and lifestyles.”

Automakers are under regulatory pressure to meet U.S CAFE standards of 35.5 mpg by 2016 and 54.5 mpg by 2025.
 

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I think the decision to do this comes more from the new US regulations than it does from market pressure. Most consumers want more fuel efficient cars, but I don't think that is the first priority for most consumers. Now instead of GM just making one or two cars that have great mpg, it have to make all of its cars reach a similar standard. And its definitely possible so i'm glad that the change is happening.
 

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I think the decision to do this comes more from the new US regulations than it does from market pressure. Most consumers want more fuel efficient cars, but I don't think that is the first priority for most consumers. Now instead of GM just making one or two cars that have great mpg, it have to make all of its cars reach a similar standard. And its definitely possible so i'm glad that the change is happening.
with gas prices between $3 and $4 a gallon across amerika I think market pressure is a big big big part of this. especially when competing with the diminutive asian offerings that sip fuel like rookies on a whisky binge. Self preservation is the name of the game
 
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