End of the Road for US Gas Guzzlers

Detroit car manufacturers in turmoil as Americans switch to fuel efficiency.

Published: 16-Jan-2007

It is proving a hard winter in Dearborn - the rough, tough home of the Ford motor company. In the icy plains surrounding Detroit, the town is dominated by the carmaker's vast corporate headquarters with its blue oval logo gleaming in the night.

Dearborn's main street, Michigan Avenue, is dotted with strip bars offering "gentlemen's entertainment" and sprawling showrooms championing cut-price cars. At Miller's, a watering hole famous for its burgers, barman Jimmy gives a shrug of his shoulders when talk turns to 45,000 job losses at the 104-year-old motor company. Ford employs more than 300,000 people worldwide.

"It's a whole different deal in 2007," he says. "I'd say pretty much everyone who comes in here is feeling sombre."

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