GM has unveiled cars that on average are nearly a foot shorter and 700 lbs. lighter.
In 1974 the Olds 98 managed only 7.6 m.p.g. on city streets and 11.2 m.p.g. on the highway. In 1977 it posts marks of 16 and 21 m.p.g., respectively.
Time Magazine, 1976
"Hell, the people have been telling us for years that they wanted smaller, lighter cars. This industry just has not been listening,” said the vice president of American Motors in 1975. With higher oil prices, the people spoke a little louder, and by the 1977 model year, every car maker except Ford took dramatic steps to raise fuel economy. That was the model year before fuel-economy standards went into effect, so Ford bet on stealing big-car customers from GM. Standards shouldn't get all the credit.