What Obama, Auto Executives Are Saying About Low Gas Prices

APDETROIT — Some reaction from auto executives — and the nation’s chief executive — to low gasoline prices and their impact on the industry and consumers. Answers edited for length and clarity.


“America is now the world’s No. 1 producer in oil, gas. We’ve doubled the production of clean energy. And, by the way, you’re saving about a buck-ten a gallon at the pump over this time last year. Although I keep on reminding folks, gas prices, they go up and they come down and then they go up. So I just want everybody to know that you should enjoy this. Take the money you’re saving, pay off the credit card or go get a new appliance, or buy a fuel-efficient car — so that when prices go back up, you’re still well-positioned.” — President Barack Obama, from a Friday appearance in in Knoxville, Tennessee.


“You just have to gut it out, because the reality is, over the long term gas is only going one direction, and that is up. And that’s why, as a full-line manufacturer, you just have to stick to your plan of having a full product portfolio. As fuel prices go up, and they will over time, it will be a tailwind because of our hybrids and our passenger cars. So as a manufacturer, you just have to stick with it. You need to have as much flexibility as you can in manufacturing, to build what customers want. But now is not the time to panic.” — Toyota North American CEO Jim Lentz.


“We have taken a point of view that over time, prices will go up. And so to pursue these fuel-saving technologies, I believe, absolutely is the right thing to do.” — Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford.


“Fuel prices above all are going to be good. I think they’re going to be a catalyst for further industry growth. (But) we know they’re not going to be there forever. We’ve seen these kinds of swings before. … If SkyActiv (Mazda’s suite of fuel- and weight-saving technologies) was nothing but fuel economy — not good-looking cars, not good safety cars, not fun to drive — then I would be very, very concerned.” — Mazda North American CEO Jim O’Sullivan.



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