- The Washington Times - Friday, August 1, 2008

DEARBORN, Mich. | Ford Motor Co. plans to start producing smaller models now made and sold in Europe in the United States, The Wall Street Journal has reported.

The newspaper, citing “people familiar with the matter,” said Ford wants to convert truck plants to production of models such as the Mondeo, a mid-size car sold in Europe. It would be the most drastic step any U.S. automaker has made in response to the run-up in gas prices.

Toyota plans to build Prius hybrids at a plant now being built in Mississippi, instead of the sports utility vehicles originally planned. General Motors plans to increase the output of its car plants but has not made any plans to convert truck plants to car production.

GM is believed to lose money on the Saturn Astra, which it imports from Europe to the United States, because of the weak dollar. Ford, by producing European models in the U.S., will avoid problems with currency exchange.

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