Motor City Going for Green

Automakers blame environmental concerns for falling sales
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 24, 2007 3:02 PM CST
A Toyota Prius hybrid compact car is exhibited at the Tokyo Motor Show in Makuhari, east of Tokyo, in this Oct. 19, 2005 file photo. The Prius, which celebrates its 10th anniversary in December, 2007,...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Auto industry bigwigs at the Reuters Auto Summit in Detroit this week seem finally to have gotten the message on cleaner, more fuel-efficient vehicles; one after another they cited going green (or at least greener) as the path to more competitive cars and trucks. GM honcho Robert Lutz admitted that the Prius helped Toyota get a jump on GM while his company was busy building guzzlers like the Hummer.

"People buy Toyota because it is seen as the sane and responsible thing to do," Lutz said. GM  plans to introduce a dozen hybrid cars over the next three years. It hopes to have the Chevy Volt, a mass-market electric car, ready by 2010. "We have to re-establish GM's leadership, and the Volt is, frankly, an effort to leapfrog anything that is done by any other competitor," Lutz said.