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Stung by Foreign Truck Competition, Detroit Pins Hopes on Auto Redesigns

October 23, 2003

Detroit wants to get back into the car business. After spending most of the past decade pushing sport utility vehicles and pickup trucks, the North American units of General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co. andDaimlerChrysler AG's Chrysler Group are shifting investment and marketing energy to traditional passenger cars, according to the Wall Street Journal.During the coming 12 to 24 months, GM, Ford and Chrysler each plan product blitzes aimed atremaking a broad swath of their mainstream sedans and coupes. The reasoning behind the renewed attention to cars is basic, according to the Journal. With Japanese, European and Korean companies targeting the domestic brands' big profitmakers -- SUVs and pickups -- none of Detroit's Big Three is earning much, or any, money from U.S. auto operations, the Journal said.But if Detroit brands like Chevrolet, Pontiac, Buick, Ford, Dodge and Chrysler can field better cars that make money, or at least lose less money, their profit could get a substantialboost. "What we are going to do is show some clear leadership in areas that are important to customers," says Ben Poore, marketing manager ofFord's car group, according to the Journal.
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