The Obama administration issued on Tuesday the final version of new rules that require automakers to nearly double the average fuel economy of new cars and trucks by 2025.

New leadership from outside Detroit was a deciding factor in the Big Three automakers’ acceptance of strict new fuel-economy standards, the chief executive of Chrysler said Wednesday.

President Obama announced new automobile fuel-efficiency standards on Friday that require an average 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025.

The Obama administration and automakers are nearing an agreement to increase fuel economy standards for vehicles to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025, a lower target than the White House had sought.

After years of being outgunned by Japanese rivals, the American auto industry has made small cars a central part of its strategy, seeking to capitalize on a fundamental shift in the preferences of consumers in an era of fast-rising gas prices.

By refocusing on small cars and de-emphasizing the gas-guzzlers that had long sustained the industry, General Motors and Ford in particular are preservin

Vehicle sales rose 18 percent in April, automakers said Tuesday, as consumers flocked to smaller cars in response to higher fuel prices and improved models from surging American companies.

General Motors led the Detroit automakers last month with a 27 percent gain in American sales, led by strong demand for its Chevrolet Cruze compact sedan and smaller, more fuel-efficient sport utility vehic

DETROIT: Nissan Motor plans to sell an electric car in the United States and Japan by 2010, raising the stakes in the race to develop environmentally friendly vehicles. The commitment is the first by a major automaker to bring a zero-emission vehicle to the U.S. market. Nissan also expects to sell a lineup of electric vehicles globally by 2012.

DETROIT: Soaring gasoline prices have turned the steady migration by Americans to smaller cars into a stampede. In what industry analysts are calling a first, about one in five vehicles sold in the United States was a compact or subcompact car during April, based on monthly sales data released Thursday. Almost a decade ago, when sport utility vehicles were at their peak of popularity, only one in every eight vehicles sold was a small car.