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01/04/2004 05:20 AM ID: 35668 Permalink   

Emphasis for US Automakers is On Design


As mentioned in the media numerous times, US auto makers are facing heavier competition from imports. The Detroit-based International Auto Show is starting and the Big 3 want to be noticed. This year, they are experimenting more with design.

The Big 3 auto makers figure that if they make their vehicles more noticeable, they will win over more consumers. One vehicle on display, the Chevy SSR roadster, is described as a sports car with a bed a pickup would have and as a sporty pickup.

J Mays, the Ford VP for Design, says that fuel efficiency and higher horsepower will still be factors but design will be key. Ed Welburn, who heads Design for GM, wants to make sure their brand names are more distinctive from each other.

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