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GM Official: Goal For Hybrids May Be Lofty

April 17, 2003

General Motors Corp. Vice Chairman Robert Lutz says he's doubtful that GM would be able to sell 1 million gasoline-electric hybrid vehicles by 2007 because of the high cost of making the vehicles, according to the Detroit Free Press.The company said a few months ago that it has the capacity to build a million hybrids by that time. But Lutz said hybrids don't make a lot of sense now because many consumers aren't willing to pay premium prices for them, the Free Press reported.On average, hybrids are $3,000 to $4,000 more expensive to build than traditional gas-powered vehicles.Toyota Motor Corp., the first automaker to sell cars powered by a mix of gasoline and electricity, unveiled a larger, faster Prius hybrid April 16, hoping to widen its lead in the market for more fuel-efficient vehicles. The 2004 model -- which arrives at dealerships late this year -- is a midsize hatchback that will replace the current compact version, and is expected to average combined city and highway fuel economy of about 55 miles per gallon, up from 48 mpg for the current version, Toyota said, according to the Free Press.
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