GM: $6 per gallon gas would make more fuel efficient cars available

The top executives from GM, Ford, Toyota and Chrysler will be going before Congress next week to talk about why they can't make American cars more fuel efficient. What they say in many cases will be so much hot air. A story in the Washington Post today shows an example of why that's so. At the Geneva Motor Show this week GM showed off its Opel Corsa OPC, a sports coupe that gets 30 miles per gallon. It can be parked in the tightest of parking spots. It proves beyond any reasonable doubt that fuel-efficient cars don't have to be boring, the story states. And even at the price of about $30,000 (34,664 Swiss francs - about 22,000 euros in most of Europe) which his a little hefty in the European market, Opel, the European subsidiary of General Motors, expects the Corsa OPC to be a big and profitable seller. But Opel has no plans to bring the car the United States.Why? "We could sell the OPC here and make money because gasoline is near $6 a gallon," said Robert Lutz, GM's vice chairman for global product development. "If we had $6 gasoline in the United States, we could sell it there at a profit, too," he said. But he said it is unlikely that Americans would buy a little car at $30,000 "when they're paying $2.50 for gasoline." "We need $6 gasoline" in America to make sense of the Corsa OPC in that market, Lutz said. It'll be interesting to hear him explain that to Congress.

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