Business: More Dieting in Detroit

The squeeze of 79: downsizing spreads to the big cars

"In 1959 we designed what we thought would sell. Today the primary design objective is to suit the law."

So says Richard G. Macadam, design vice president for Chrysler, echoing a lament made by many U.S. automen. The 1979 models that are now popping up in showrooms are geared as much to beating a legal deadline as they are to cruising smoothly down an Interstate. Congress has said Detroit must increase the average fuel-efficiency of its cars in steps to 27.5 m.p.g. by 1985, and...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!