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Automakers say they can't fund development

Nov. 20, 2008 at 9:48 AM   |   Comments

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LOS ANGELES, Nov. 20 (UPI) -- U.S. and foreign automakers have said development of fuel-efficient cars cannot proceed under the current economic environment.

Carlos Ghosn, chief executive officer of Nissan Motor Company of Japan and Renault said Wednesday that automakers "can't find the financing" for development of alternate-fueled cars and hybrids.

Ghosn made his remarks as the keynote speaker at the Los Angeles Auto Show, USA Today reported Thursday.

General Motors Corp., while claiming it is quickly running out of cash, has said it has delayed production of an advanced Saturn Vue, a gas-and-electric hybrid that was due to go on sale in December. It is now scheduled for a launch in 2009.

Delays in dealer training and new service equipment purchases "helps everybody right now," Saturn spokesman Steve Janisse told the newspaper.

Chrysler LLC said it doesn't have the funds to continue Aspen hybrid SUV production at its Delaware plant, which it will close at the end of the year.

Ghosn said the United States is guiding the direction for the industry.

"I think the United States is being taken as a kind of benchmark," he said in the USA Today article. "Financing for these kind of products is absolutely essential, and only states can do it."

Topics: Carlos Ghosn
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