Oil and auto industries trade shots over fuel prices

| 4/12/2006

The oil and auto industries – both under pressure to explain rising fuel prices – have begun pointing fingers at each other.

The Wall Street Journal reported that a senior official from DaimlerChrysler AG’s U.S. division has publicly taken ExxonMobil to task over the rising cost of fuel.

The Journal reported that Jason Vines, vice president of communications for DaimlerChrysler’s U.S division, posted a note on a blog the company publishes for reporters and financial analysts that essentially laid the blame for high oil prices on the shoulders of Big Oil.

“Big Oil would rather fill the pockets of its executives and shareholders … than spend sufficient amounts to reduce the price of fuel, letting consumers, during tough economic times, pick up the tab,” he wrote.

According to The Journal, the posting was partly a response to a recent ExxonMobil advertisement that appeared in several newspapers blaming automakers for fuel costs.

The ad featured a cartoon of a giant sport-utility vehicle filling up with fuel, while the text of the ad stated that the auto industry knows how to build more fuel-efficient vehicles but just isn’t doing it, The Journal reported.