[google5c69d2d86a1bf98c.html] Autos, Test Drive, Noticias y mucho más.: Tough future for U.S. Automakers


viernes, noviembre 14, 2008

Tough future for U.S. Automakers

Wayne Cunningham

Every day the financial news for American automakers GM, Ford, and Chrysler looks more depressing. Cerberus wants to sell Chrysler to GM, and GM is interested, but will need a loan from the government to make it work. Meanwhile, Ford already sold off a number of assets to keep itself afloat, but still posted losses.

What can these companies do to bring sales back up? Build the kind of car that people want, and can afford, to buy. Ford had great success with its retro Mustang, and it will be launching the 2010 update at the upcoming LA Auto Show. While it is appealing, it's not the most practical car around.

We just finished testing the Ford Flex, a car with unique appeal and some practical turns for people who need something of that size. The Chevrolet Cobalt SS also came through our garage, which showed that GM can build an economical and quality car with a huge fun factor.

However, GM's great hope, the Volt, doesn't come around until 2010, and we have yet to see if it will work as advertised. Ford's best hope is the new Ford Fiesta, but that car won't come to the U.S. until 2010, either. Meanwhile, Nissan launched a sub-$10,000 version of its Versa.

With no game-changing launches for 2009, it's going to be a tough year for the American automakers.

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