During the interview, Al-Waleed said the price of oil should be in the neighborhood of $70 to $80 a barrel. Today it’s trading around $102 a barrel. "We don't want the West to go and find alternatives, because, clearly, the higher the price of oil goes, the more they have incentives to go and find alternatives," Al-Waleed said on the CNN program. Saudi Arabia is very concerned about the auto industry’s technology breakthroughs. In particular, the Herculean efforts by American and European auto industry to reduce gasoline consumption drastically. The hybrids, plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles are apparently causing sleepless nights for the royal family, and so is President Obama’s corporate average fuel economy and emissions proposal, which is aimed at boosting dramatically the fuel economy of future vehicles. The new federal fuel economy and emissions rules that took effect on 1 Jan require automakers to achieve a corporate average fuel economy of 35.5 mpg by the 2016 model year. This could go up to a range of 47 to 62 mpg by 2025 model year, as proposed by Obama.
All these could lower indicate lower petroleum consumption in the coming decades, hurting the GDP growth of the oil-rich country. However, Prince Talal should not be worried. With rising affluence, China has surged past the United States as the world’s largest car market. In addition to increasing car sales in China, the Chinese likes large sedans as evident in the introduction of extended models specifically built for the China market. With a greater mass to move, fuel consumption will suffer. Hence, Prince Talal can go ahead and eye for the latest Lamborghini Aventador or Ferrari FF.