Bush Tells Detroit to Build More Attractive Cars

President tells newspaper that he'd be reluctant to bail out nation's automakers just before GM posts devastating 4Q losses.

Published: 26-Jan-2006

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Bush said General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Co. should develop more appealing products rather than look to Washington for help with their heavy pension burdens, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

In an interview Wednesday, Bush said he had not talked to the struggling companies about their finances but hinted that he would take a dim view of a government bailout of the top two U.S. automakers, the newspaper reported.

"I have been very reluctant -- I'm mindful of the past where at one point in time, a predecessor of mine was faced with that same dilemma," Bush was quoted as saying. "I would hope I wouldn't be asked to make that decision."


Third quarter losses and fierce competition for American car and truck buyers, prompted the automaker to launch a corporate-wide campaign last month to reposition Ford Motor as a leader in innovation and cutting-edge energy policies.

While Ford is having trouble getting hybrids to American buyers, in the UK, Ford cars average 20-40 mpg more than their US counterparts.

Ford's next hybrid will be the Fusion slated to be introduced in 2008, along with the Mercury Milan Hybrid.


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