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The lobbying group for automobile dealerships is contesting a claim by a consumer group that higher fuel standards for cars will lead to happy drivers.

Instead, the McLean, Va.-based National Automobile Dealers Association said Wednesday the Obama administration’s proposed fuel economy standard of 54.5 miles per gallon will lead to less drivers because few people will be able to afford cars.

“If you increase the price of a car, fewer people are going to be able to qualify for a loan. It’s a simple as that,” NADA spokesman Bailey Wood told The Hill Wednesday.

Wood said that 90 percent of all new cars are financed in some capacity, including loans and leases.

The Consumer Federation of America, which is based in Washington, released a list of 10 reasons the proposed higher emission standard would be popular with drivers. Among them was that higher fuel efficiency rules would lower the overall cost of driving, and that the rules will be applied to all cars, so consumers would still have their choice of various types.

But the NADA released a study last month saying there would be “unintended consequence” of increasing the emission rules for cars.

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