Lhasa Monday, 11/03/08 01:49:10 AM Re: None Post # of 195 From Automotive News 11-3-08 Ford sticks with small-car plans Mulally banks on strategy despite F-150 marketing blitz Lower gasoline prices may create a better launch environment for the F-150, but they present a problem for Ford, too. Ford is betting that a wave of European-designed small cars will lead its turnaround. So will the drop in gasoline prices cause Ford to rethink its small-car onslaught? Not at all, says CEO Alan Mulally. NEWS ANALYSIS Cash crunch grows: GM delays vehicles General Motors executives are running the company "minute by minute" as they slash the product development budget to save as much as $1.5 billion. GM's decision to delay key vehicles such as the Chevrolet Cruze as long as a year is a sign of desperation, analysts warn. The bottom line: Dealers won't get a timely delivery of the products that are supposed to ensure GM's recovery. VEHICLE TECHNOLOGY Fuel efficiency is coming -- it just takes time Look to 2010 for wave of fuel-efficient vehicles Wait till next year. Or, rather, 2010. When gasoline prices hit an all-time high in July, consumers wanted fuel-efficient cars yesterday. But the rules of product development and testing mean that automakers need at least two years to launch a new fuel-efficient car. Companies had been working on higher-mileage cars for years, but those efforts went into overdrive in early 2008. TALK FROM THE TOP: TAKEO FUKUI Flexibility will help Honda survive the storm Honda Motor Co. has weathered the U.S. market downturn better than all its major competitors, thanks to fuel-efficient vehicles and flexible manufacturing. President Takeo Fukui says worse times are expected. The key to staying ahead of rivals will be making cars with ever-better mileage and not falling into the incentive trap, he says. Surely one of these companies will be wanting an IVT?