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GM Plans Diesel Passenger Cars in United States by 2010

August 6, 2007

TOKYO – General Motors plans to offer diesel-engine cars under the Cadillac and Saturn brands in the United States by 2010, industry journal Automotive News reported, citing a source familiar with the plan, according to Reuters.

In a video blog on the company’s Web site, GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz confirmed the top U.S. automaker would use clean diesel engines in passenger cars, SUVs, and other light-duty trucks. However, the emissions hardware and control systems needed to meet new emissions standards would add another $2,000 to $2,800 to the $1,000-$2,000 premium that already exists for diesels over gasoline-engine cars.

GM would be joining diesel front-runners such as DaimlerChrysler AG and Volkswagen AG, as well as Japan’s Nissan Motor Co. and Honda Motor Co. in promising diesel cars compliant with the U.S. Tier 2 bin 5 emissions standards.

Company sources said that GM will show a diesel engine at the Frankfurt auto show in September on an e-flex Opel Vectra, Automotive News said on its Web site. In GM’s e-flex powertrain, a traditional engine recharges a battery pack that provides power for an electric motor.

GM will show the same variant at the Detroit auto show in January on a Saturn, most likely the Aura sedan, the industry journal said. The diesel engine will power the Opel Vectra in Europe in 2008, and the next-generation Aura in the United States if all goes as planned.

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Eddie Dame worked for Avis Rent-A-Car as the senior vice president and general manager of the worldwide car leasing division, retiring in 1986 after 40 years with the company.

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