Toyota Motor is creating US jobs, making friends in Washington and leading in fuel-saving technology, yet will not be at the table when President George W. Bush meets major automakers today to talk energy policy.
Chief executives of General Motors, Ford Motor and Chrysler Group will roll into the White House to discuss Bush's proposal to cut fuel consumption by 20 per cent over 10 years by encouraging gasoline alternatives and imposing tougher mileage standards. The meeting is central to Bush's push to generate support for his energy proposals, which for autos have received a mixed reception from the industry and congressional lawmakers.
The discussions will build on talks that Alan Mulally of Ford, Rick Wagoner of GM and Tom LaSorda of Chrysler had with Bush four months ago on similar energy issues as well as concerns about Asian currencies and trade.
All three companies are closing plants, cutting jobs and looking for tax breaks and other government help on energy initiatives to revive their prospects.
Bush irritated automakers and their political allies last year when he said they must build more relevant products. He has been reaching out to them this year.
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