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"We have to solve the real underlying problem and make sure road funding isn’t being siphoned off every single year," said Chatfield, a Republican from Emmet County. "And the fact is by eliminating the sales tax at the pump and making that up in a revenue-neutral gas tax, we’ll be dedicating nearly $1 billion in additional funding to our roads."

To satisfy Bolger and House Republicans, Snyder and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle — including then-Sen. electricity a level physics Whitmer — concocted an amendment to put before voters that would have removed the sales tax on gasoline, replaced it with a higher fuel tax generating $1.2 billion more for roads and raised the sales tax by one cent to make the schools more than whole.

In November 2015, Snyder begrudgingly accepted a compromise to get his $1.2 billion more per year for roads: a 7-cent gas tax increase and 20 percent vehicle registration fee hike to raise $600 million in new revenue that took effect Jan. 1, 2017. The remaining $600 million is gradually being siphoned from the state’s general fund by 2021.

That’s the plan Shirkey wants to stick to, even though a 21st Century Infrastructure Commission appointed by Snyder concluded that plan is $1.5 billion short of what’s needed annually. The Michigan Department of Transportation has said overall pavement conditions on state trunkline roads will continue deteriorate every year, even with the extra $1.2 billion each year.

The Ford Fusion is an excellent car. First manufactured in 2005, it’s a stylish midsize sedan in the same basic price range as the Honda Civic or the Toyota Camry. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named it one of its top safety picks for 2017. It gets decent gas mileage. Edmunds.com, which rates autos, gave it high marks, praising the "comfortable interior, user-friendly tech and great driving dynamics" of the 2018 model.

In 2013 and 2014, years in which the price of oil hovered around $100 a barrel, Ford sold 295,000 and 307,000 Fusions. Although the price of oil dropped drastically in 2015, Ford still sold 300,000 Fusions. But last year, that number fell by almost 100,000 cars. gas in oil pan If current trends continue, Ford will sell no more than 180,000 Fusions when 2018 ends.

At General Motors, the picture is just as ugly. The Chevrolet Cruze — that’s the car made in the Ohio factory the company is shutting down, to the great annoyance of President Donald Trump — saw sales drop from a peak of 273,000 in 2014 to a likely 145,000 in 2018. types of electricity tariff The Chevy Impala topped 300,000 in sales in 2007. The number was under 76,000 last year. And so on.

But it’s not like nobody’s buying sedans. The Toyota Camry and Corolla sold a combined 700,000 cars in 2017. Ditto the Honda Civic and Accord. And the Nissan Altima and Sentra came in at around 475,000 last year. If you look at the historical sales figures of the top Japanese sedans, you’ll see a small decline in recent years, but nothing like the big drop-off in sales that have hammered the American companies.

Not long ago I wrote a column pointing out that the seeds of Sears’ destruction were sown not in 2003, when the hedge fund manager Eddie Lampert took control of the company, but decades earlier, when its management failed to understand the nature of upstart competitors like Walmart Inc. youtube gas laws The same, I’m convinced, is true of the U.S. auto companies.

Think back to the early 1970s, when OPEC imposed its oil embargo, causing Americans to care for the first time about gas mileage. The U.S. car companies were caught flatfooted, but Honda and Toyota were perfectly positioned. The Honda Civic, for instance, got 39 miles a gallon, according to "Engines of Change," Paul Ingrassia’s history of the auto industry. Like Sears, the U.S. car companies had never taken this new competition seriously, and they were about to pay the price.

Once Americans began driving Hondas and Toyotas, they discovered that these cars had a lot more going for them than just gas mileage — they broke down infrequently, could last for hundreds of thousands of miles, and were even fun to drive. electricity history timeline In 1978, the legendary auto writer, Brock Yates, who had long championed the American muscle car, admitted in Car and Driver magazine that he owned a Honda Accord. "A wide body of customers exists for a car that embodies proper integration of form and function, a car that works," he wrote. To Ingrassia, "this was the automotive equivalent of Nixon going to China."

Meanwhile, the American automakers raced to come out with their own small, fuel-efficient sedans. But their products were often shoddy, poorly designed and technologically deficient. It was during this time that it became commonplace to scorn U.S. cars as inferior to Japanese autos. And they were. la gas prices In 1981, when Ford adopted the slogan "Quality is Job 1," it was an acknowledgment that its cars left much to be desired.

It doesn’t matter. Most car reviewers still rate Japanese cars like the Accord and the Camry a bit higher than American sedans. The Big Three have never been able to convince the reviewers — or, more importantly, the car-buying public — that their sedans were as good as their Japanese competition. q gases componen el aire To put it another way, the American car companies have never been able to shed the reputation they gained in the 1970s for making lousy sedans.

What’s more, most sedans are bought in big cities where trucks make no sense. City dwellers by and large are globalization’s winners. They — we — are far more likely to stick with the Japanese sedans we’ve been buying for years than switch to an American car. The tug of nationalism is nonexistent. (Of course it doesn’t hurt that most Japanese cars sold in the U.S. are made in the American South.)

The American car companies now say they are going to count on profits from trucks and SUVs while moving toward autonomous and all-electric vehicles. They had better hope that transition takes place quickly. I couldn’t help noticing that while the top three selling vehicles in the U.S. are, indeed, American-made trucks, No. 4 on the list is Nissan’s top SUV, the Rogue, the sales of which have gone from 18,000 in 2007 to 403,000 last year. No. 5 is a Toyota SUV, the Rav4 (407,000 in 2017). No. 6 is the Honda CR-V (378,000).