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U.S. Automakers Built Their Own Problems

June 10, 2005

Re "GM to Slash Payroll in U.S.," June 8: General Motors wonders what went wrong. The answer, my friend, isn't blowing in the wind. It's in GM showrooms.

Instead of creating smaller, fuel-efficient cars or hybrids, as the foreign automakers have, GM's answer to economy was the Hummer 3.

GM looks to end its problems by laying off 25,000 workers and closing plants. Ford's answer is a hybrid -- a hybrid Explorer. Excuse me?

American automakers just don't get it. Gas prices keep going up and U.S. automakers keep giving the American drivers bigger, heavier and less fuel-efficient cars, and wonder why Toyota has the No. 1-selling hybrid.

U.S. automakers need a reality check, and unfortunately more Americans will be unemployed before that happens.

Lloyd A Fradkin

Newhall

GM has no one but itself to blame for its financial woes.

While automakers like Toyota have rolled out hot-selling attractive cars such as the hybrid gas-electric Prius, GM has been crushing its widely acclaimed electric car, the EV-1, despite public protests.

GM will not be back in the driver's seat until it emulates Toyota and develops hybrid cars or reintroduces an updated electric car.

People want an attractive car to get out from underneath the Middle East oil lobby and high gasoline prices, and become energy self-sufficient in the United States. I recently bought a Prius.

Jan Vandersloot

Newport Beach

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