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Green options grow for car makers

From csrwire| April 10,2007

Environmentally-friendly cars are growing into a class of their own with new shapes, sizes, and various types of power under the hood.

The early stars of the New York auto show were the Chevy Volt, the latest incarnation of the electric car and three new mini cars also unveiled by Chevrolet, a unit of General Motors.

He also said there is an all-new Falcon planned for next year, despite some pressure on the model.

"The Australian consumer is benefiting from a vast array of new products coming into this country and when you put that with the very strong Australian dollar it makes it attractive for all exporters to export into this country," he said.

"We are taking advantage of that to some degree, bringing in a lot of new products, particularly from Europe, and that is putting some challenges in front of the Falcon, but we are still committed to that segment.

"We're very, very excited about the future for that segment, even though it's quite a bit smaller than it was just two years ago."

Mr Gorman said the decision to cut 20 per cent of production capacity and 650 jobs last year was the right one, but tough.

"That was a very difficult decision for us to make at that time, but I think it was the right decision and we have clearly put ourselves in a better position to be successful going forward," he said.

But he indicated that further job or production cuts are unlikely.

"We think we've made the cuts that are necessary to be competitive at this point in time."

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