Infographic: Automakers Fight the Battle of the Bulging

It's an increasingly difficult situation for automakers: On one side, they face federal mandates and consumer demand for cars that get better gas mileage, and on the other side, they find Americans with ever- increasing waistlines. What's an automaker to do? took a look at the factors in the fight against the widening bottom line and found that automakers have several approaches to try to tilt the scales their way. Check it out below.

By Patrick Olsen | October 3, 2012 | Comments (9)



a more relevant factor that has affected vehicle weight is the always increasing requirements for safety features. you point out that americans have gotten fatter (which most have), but you failed to mention that cars have gained about 500-800lbs by class during the same period of time.

you just had an article about a new crash test standard, which will undoubtably result in heavier vehicles due to the increased structural reinforcement. every car must have multiple airbags, abs, traction control, hold many times its weight on it's roof, etc ,etc...all these requirement translate to heavier cars...oh, and they have to get better mileage on top of that.


One more good reason for us all to lose weight. It is good for the environment and for fuel economy.

Eco cheap skates

Keep the spare tire... looks like another way for them to cut costs and charge more if they remove it....

Anonymous Coward

Yeah, an inflator pump + tire goop isn't as reliable as a spare tire.

CA Lorie

Keep in mind that fat people tend to transport more food when they go shopping! :D


I could really care less.I love my 13 mpg Suburban and wouldn't trade it in for anything smaller.

Thanks for the infographic. Growing waistlines are definitely reducing our MPG over the long run.

I blogged awhile back on this same topic and found an interesting discovery...did you know the govt of Japan has a program in place to keep citizens from becoming obese? If they go over a certain weight, their employer can get fined, so businesses try to find ways to encourage active employees. Maybe we should consider a strategy like this?

Volume Van

Great article with nice pictures.

Most important thing in weight reduction is the conversion of SUVs to CUVs. Truck chassis is needed only for Pickups which carry heavy factory & farm material.

Explorer, Durango, Pathfinder have all changed from SUV to CUV and Liberty is going to be the next 1.

Ofcourse many companies can buy lighter Vans like NV, Transit instead of Pickups, if they dont carry heavy volume.


Gee, I wonder why Ford didn't reduce the weight of the new Fusion? I mean, the new Altima and the soon to be released 6 can claim that they had a weight reduction, thus increasing fuel economy.

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