The Future of The Hybrid Vehicle

A Times editorial.

Published: 03-Feb-2003

General Motors used to sneer at the fuel-efficient hybrid vehicles being produced by Toyota and Honda. No more. At the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, GM announced that it would build a hybrid version of the Saturn Vue, a mid-sized SUV, that will get almost twice the mileage of its gas-only version.

And listen to Ken Baker, GM's vice president of research. "No car company will be able to thrive in the 21st century if it relies solely on internal-combustion engines. Issues such as global warming, clean air and energy conservation demand fundamental change from all industries and all nations."

We will know soon if GM really means it, but it is a good sign that American automakers are finally paying attention to the progress made by their Japanese competitors. American automakers were late recognizing the compact-car boom of the '70s and it took them years to recover.

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