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Automakers to rally against fuel standards

Aug. 15, 2007 at 2:02 PM

CHICAGO, Aug. 15 (UPI) -- U.S. automakers said proposed fuel-efficiency standards would cost billions and risk jobs if they had to stop making their biggest, most profitable models.

General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler LLC have scheduled a rally in downtown Chicago Thursday in the hope of developing grass-roots support of their position.

Hundreds of United Auto Workers members at Ford's South Side Chicago assembly plant and Chrysler's Belvidere, Ill., factory are expected to attend the rally at Chicago’s Federal Plaza, The Detroit News said.

A similar rally with UAW members from all three Detroit automakers will be in St. Louis next Wednesday.

The automakers want to beat back a proposal passed by the U.S. Senate that would raise corporate average fuel economy mandates 40 percent to 35 miles a gallon for cars and trucks combined by 2020.

The rallies seek to build support for a measure sponsored by U.S. Reps. Baron Hill, D-Ind., and Lee Terry, R-Neb., that would lower the rise in mandates to 35 mpg for passenger cars by 2022 and 32 mpg for light trucks by 2022.

"The rallies give an outside-the-Beltway voice to our position that you can have improved fuel economy and protect jobs," GM spokesman Greg Martin said.

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