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tv   Washington Journal  CSPAN  January 26, 2012 7:00am-10:00am EST

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today's "washington journal" is live from the washington ought to show. our guests is susan cishke, phil murtaugh and david zuchkowski. ♪ ♪ host: the annual washington auto show is this coming weekend. "washington journal" will be live from there all morning and talking to officials from ford, gm, hyundai, and a new company called coda. we want to hear from you about how involved the government should be in the auto industry
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and whether you think the bailout in 2009 was successful, etc. we've divided our phone numbers by car owners. host: front page of "being detroit free press -- of "the detroit free press" this morning. the u.s. new vehicle market is expected to grow 41% from 2010
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to 2015 according to ihs automotive, which is second only to china's 48%. president obama said tuesday the american auto industry is coming back. general motors, ford, and chrysler all plan to add jobs in michigan, which stands to benefit more than any other state.
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host: again, this is "the detroit free press" front-page article this morning. in some other news on the auto industry, romney and new gingrich are neck and neck. this is from "the hill." mitt romney leads newt gingrich 36% to 34%, which has a 5%
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margin of error. now to your calls. from an american car owner, kathy in rockford, illinois. what do you think the federal government's role should be in the auto industry? caller: i'm thinking about buying a ford because they did not bail out afford. i do own a buick, but it was manufactured in canada. i do not know how many of the parts were manufactured in the united states. host: go back to your remarks about wanting to buy a ford because they did not get billed out. what was it about the 2009 bailout that affected your opinion? caller: i just feel the government should not be involved in our private sector to the level that they have then -- have been and that the
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companies should compete. i understand bankruptcy law. i do not think gm would have been shut down. i do not like that stockholders were wiped out of their interest, because if you have stock in one of your mutual funds or one of your other retirement funds and you own stock for a bond, you lost money on that. the auto workers, they were bailed out, and the taxpayers were put at risk. it really decided to lost money and who did not. it did not go through the court process, which is what our bankruptcy laws are for, to make that decision of who took higher risk. they avoided the whole process. host: you are right there in the midwest where they build cars. don't you have a chrysler plant in that town? caller: we do.
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we are also very heavily tied to the parts industry for the automotive industry. i do not know why we do not make national news but i think our current unemployment rate is 13%. we think are real unemployment rate is between 20% to 25%. many manufacturing companies, through this whole process, all the small businesses, the supply line, have gone out of business. host: kathy, thank you for your time this morning. in louisville, ky is jenny, who drives a foreign car. good morning, jenny. caller: first of all, i had bought my car before i have seen some of the newer cars, the gm cars and the fords and all this. i would like to correct the lady who called before. it was not actually a bailout. it was a loan that's being paid
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back from these companies, ok. i have seen some of the cars and i think they are wonderful cars. like i said, if i had waited, yes, i would have bought one of the american cars. thank you have a good day -- thank you. have a good day. host: why do you drive a foreign car? caller: what happened was, i had accidentally -- i ended up buying it right before but i was not thinking, ok. a few months later, i regretted it. i was with someone else who was looking and a car. they were going to purchase one. then i really realized it was a mistake that i had made. i really felt bad about it. right now, i cannot get rid of the car i have. it is a fairly new car.
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if i had to do it over, it would have been an american made cars. host: this is from greentech media.com. "the recovery of the u.s. auto industry thanks to bush, obama." from again, that's greentechmedia.com.
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good morning, hunter, american car owner. caller: good morning. i do not think that bailing help the auto industry will solve the problem of car manufacturing not been competitive with overseas manufacturers. for instance, cash for clunkers, they give out these millions of dollars of rebates. most of those rebates got spent on the cars that were still made overseas. just like the bank bailout, you are addressing the symptom. the companies are bankrupt. you are not addressing the overall system a problem. that is, we are not competitive. in the case of the banking, i will not get into that, but you see my point. host: what kind of car you drive? caller: i drive a jeep grand cherokee. it's falling apart. host: how old is it?
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caller: 9095. host: that's going on 20 years old. by the way, if you want to make a comment electronically, you can send an e-mail. journal@c-span.org. you can make a twitter comment. and our facebook page. from "politico" this morning --
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host: that is in "politico," as is this article. bachmann will seek a fourth term in office. next call comes from david, who drives a foreign car in kentucky. hi, david. caller: my wife bought a new nissan in 2010. she loves it. it is a great car. i think it was made in mexico. we're kind of split. i have a chevrolet pickup truck and i love it. general motors, they came out
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with some great cars. those things are really nice. they are really nice cars. host: built in ohio, by the way. do you think the bailout in 2009 was a good idea? caller: yes, i think it was a great idea. we have a lot of car companies in kentucky. the corvette is made in bowling green about 25 miles from where i live. we have -- i remember mitt romney showing where he was against the bailout. a republican senator from alabama was against it. that would be a good campaign thing, it looks to me like. look how many jobs it saved. host: david, do you think there should be other regulations on cars, such as cafe standards, air bags, mileage, seatbelts? caller: yeah, they are, but i
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think they can overdo it. the gas mileage, it has to be like 45 miles per hour or somewhere in there. there has got to be some. if not, they would not do it. everyone has got to be pushed to do what they should do. host: what about subsidies for electric vehicles? guest: probably, because it costs so much to get something like that going. private enterprise -- it would be hard to do. host: david, thank you for calling in from kentucky. "houston chronicle" frontpage.
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host: again, front page of "the houston chronicle" this morning. in "the baltimore sun," "obama to address house democrats."
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host: next call, tom, american car owner from albany, k entucky. caller: i wanted to comment that obama's stimulus package for the auto bailout was 100% working. the high price of gas went up so high -- caused car values to devaluate. it made us less dependent on oil, which drives down the price of oil. lowering the speed limits lowers the price of gasoline down. i propose to the ears of government, if they build a road across the ohio river from cincinnati and kentucky for real
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way -- for railway. electricity is more important than gasoline. and for structure, our highways, our city, our government. people in poverty that need to work for skills, they can receive vocational training on the job. host: tom, let's leave it there. we move on to georgetown, indiana. ken, you do not own a car. caller: ken does own a car. host: are you foreign or domestic? caller: i am junkyards foreign. i put them back together, just good enough to get down the road safely. my comment was that these jobs
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that they are creating, general electric making the new icebox with the freezer on the bottom. they put out an additional 200 or 300 workers. each one of those employees cost the taxpayers over $200,000. when they talk about adding these jobs, general motors, ford, and all these other guys -- man, these industries have a stranglehold on us. they come in with a promise of jobs. when you get through with the taxes, and they're not the jobs of the old days -- these guys are making a nice, good living. i'm down here. i'm down here trying to hustle around to make a living.
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those are the folks that i worked for. i'm not working for anybody that's making $10 per hour. cannot afford not to make $10 or $12 per hour. host: where did you get the $200,000 per worker figure? caller: georgetown is 20 miles from louisville. we are right across the ohio river. it is in our local paper. general electric threatens to leave and take the icebox to mexico or to another state. florida says, we will build your factory and no taxes for 10 years. those are considered giveaways. tax incentives for these manufacturers to come into our communities. other communities are doing the same thing. locally, we lost colgate.
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colgate went to another state. 90% went to mexico. host: ken, in your own state, they built toyota trucks and the honda civic now. what do you think about indiana giving tax incentives to those companies? caller: i do not think we should. i am driving a 1999 audi. the wife drives a 1999 town car. these cars, i gave $25 cash. -- i gave 25 $1 cash. with the tax evasion's, you just put me in the car business. i'm not in the car business. host: this is from "the detroit free press." "employment in the auto
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industry." in 2010, 566,400. red below that is another charge. since this is about the michigan, they look at michigan auto industry employment, ohio, an indian appear right now, indiana has about 60,000 auto workers. michigan, almost 132,000 auto workers. that is where it stands now. the next call comes from bolton, mississippi. james drives an american car. hi, james. caller: yes, i cannot understand how we are still in debt when all these bailout people claim
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and the president admits they paid their bailout back with interest. where did that money go? that is my question. host: thank you for calling in. from "the wall street journal" -- "economic gains aid obama."
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hohost: that is in "the wall street journal." and in "the washington post," wikileaks founder, julian assange is getting his own tv show. in "the washington post." the next call comes from new york city. michael is a foreign car owner. what do you think about the u.s. being involves in the auto
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industry? caller: i am canadian. the germans subsidized their industry, and i think correctly so, and so did the japanese. i think obama has missed a unique opportunity of john f. kennedy and also nixon, who issued the 10% investment tax credit for all products made in the united states. that would put american industry in a position where, given the tax credits, which is the bottom-line tax credit, would force americans to -- american corporations and businesses buying van and trucks and so want to buy american products. you could drop the unemployment rate to about equivalent of about 5.5%.
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i think that's something obama should think about. host: thank you for calling in this morning did we have a lot of twitter comments. let's read some of those. maggie says, "the federal government saved the american auto industry." we have another comment from gold digger. and joseph says -- finally, monty. host: an e-mail from florida.
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and host: this e-mail from thank you in venice -- host: and this e-mail from bob in venice. the next call comes from regina in alexandria, virginia. you are a foreign car owner. caller: yes, i am. i kind of disagree with obama bailing out the auto industry. why should we reward people for their bad business practices and
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bad business models? the auto industry, the american auto industry, has not been doing that well since i have been driving. that's the reason i have been buying foreign cars. they've had better ratings. they do better than american cars. even though people say it saves jobs, that money could have been used in other areas to create jobs, as well. i disagree with the government bailing out any business with the business practices. they should be held accountable and to better fit the american households has been taking hits for years -- held accountable. the american households has been taking his three years. host: "the washington post" -- "the new york times."
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host: "most in the washington area." host: arnold, good morning. do you think the federal government should be involved in the auto industry? caller: negative. i just traded for a 2012 pickup, a chevrolet pickup. i am on the -- this vehicle is u.s./canada parts, 62%. mexico, 34%. final assembly point is mexico. the engine is made in the united states and so is the
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transmission grid is this an american made car or a foreign car? host: month hilliard, ohio, what do you think? caller: i think the federal government did a great job by getting involved in the auto industry. the problem is, a lot of jobs from ohio or being bled off into indiana right now because of mitch daniels and his gang of thugs and want indiana to be a right to work state. i am in a union shop and i make around $16 per hour. they want to transfer the work over to a plant in indiana where top money is $12 per hour. yeah, i think obama should keep going and keep supporting the auto industry, because it is really -- is saves american jobs, instead of watching jobs going overseas are going to
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another state. host: you are calling on the foreign car line. caller: yes, i own a foreign car. i graduated high school in 1976. i kept an eye on automobile quality and stuff like that. the american automobile is so much better than foreign made, unless you want to get into the high price models, like lexus, rolls-royce, or those kind of cars. the buick that gm makes is by far and away the best car on the market today. host: again, the washington auto show is at the convention center this weekend. "washington journal" will be live out there all morning talking to representatives from ford, general motors, hyundai,
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and a new company called coda. in "the washington post," " romney's wells compared with that of u.s. presidents." host: down below, they have an interesting fact about kennedy. nebraska, gary, good morning. caller: yes, i have two
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vehicles. i think the government should change them back. it used to be the older made vehicles. i like them because they are stronger. 1985 ford f-150. it was built with a lot of love and care. that's the way it should be made, instead of computers. host: gary, how many miles does your car have? caller: over 200,000 miles is still running strong. i also have a 1991 toyota mr-2, isery rare foreign car, tha tht fully restored. i like that because it has better gas mileage.
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i think they should go back to the way they used to build them, instead of with computers. host: on "the communicators" program, we were just recently at the consumer electronics show in las vegas, where we interviewed the chairman of mercedes-benz then we talked about some of the electronic communication equipment being put in cars today. that interview will be in just a couple of weeks on "the communicator's" at 6:30 p.m. on saturday. "the new york times" this morning has this article. "woman accuses police commissioner's son, a local television anchor, of rape."
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"the woman told police that the two went for drinks on october 8 of last year." host: again, that was in "the new york times" this morning. south carolina, wes drives an american car. caller: american all the way. sitting in my driveway is a 1966 chevy malibu with an original 327 in the engine. has had a transmission upgrade. that was a great car, but that's not an energy efficient car. of course, we have a 1999 plymouth voyager. beside that since a utility van that i own. it's a chevy. i drive a utility truck for the company i work for, which is a
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chevy. foreign and domestic, i don't know. they use the same frames they developed in japan for the plymouth voyager. i do not think there's one better than the other. the only thing i can say, fuel injection is a reliable start. host: wes, just down the street from you may -- be 20 miles of the most, they are building bmw 's. is that an american car now that they're building and in south carolina? caller: pretty much. it's i understand there's german engineering behind it. they steal from each other. that is fine. just to let you know about the bmw plant, they just built an entire solar array across the front of the plan. i do not know what is powering,
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whether it is the lights or the parking lot, but that place is clean up at night. it's nice to drive by the bmw manufacturing. it is an impressive facility but anyone in the area should take a tour of it. it's a monument to engineering. yes, it is an american car at this point. host: wes, thank you for calling in. from "the financial times," " promoting a new tax. we need to make it easier for american businesses to do business in america, the president said yesterday the "
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host: again, from "financial times" this morning. from "politico," "ray lahood's son barred from leaving egypt."
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host: to read the whole story, politico.com. mack, american car owner. caller: thank you for taking my call. i have three cars. i have a chevrolet that was built in canada. we have a nissan and toyota that was built in kentucky and tennessee. my son works for one of the plants that build a lot of the parts that goes for the toyota and nissan plants. he lives in central kentucky. the idea of what is a foreign car and what is an american car is a little bit skewed. i do not care to owns the stock. i happen to own stock in both toyota and nissan. what i do care about is where the jobs are. we need them. the problem with the bailout -- the bailout was necessary to save the [inaudible]
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host: i think he is gone. this is in "the hill" newspaper. there is the headline. at 2:00 p.m. this afternoon, secretary leon panetta will be outlining some of the defense cuts he wants to make. that will be live on c-span. in "the arizona republic" this morning, "brewer and obama exchange tends words -- exchange tense words at airports." obama appeared to walk away from her while they were still talking.
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"he was a little disturbed about my book, 'scorpion's for she told a reporter." if you would like to see jan brewer talking about her book, she was at the ronald reagan library in november of 2011. you can go to booktv.org, you can see it right below there. you can watch brewer talking about her book. "financial times," lead editorial this morning, "the state of barack obama." a little bit of this.
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host: cleveland, ohio. mary drives a foreign car did what do you think about the federal government's role in the auto industry? caller: i think president obama did the right thing bailing out the auto industry. i own a foreign car. it's a hyundai. i purchased it because it is built in ohio.
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i thank you, c-span, because i believe you are the only news that tells the truth. i recently started watching you and i really appreciate c-span. i also have a chevy astro my husband drives. it's a 2001 thing we have both an american-made vehicle and a foreign-made vehicle. as i stated, i purchased it only because it was built in ohio. i have another comment. i work for a company who imports all its products from china. i do not agree with this, because it is putting american workers out of business, an unemployed. the gentleman pays very low wages, but he makes a lot of money of the products. i see his business. i think that's another thing. the government should maybe get
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involved in some of these small businesses and see what they're doing. that's my comment. thank you, c-span, for listening. host: thank you for calling in this morning. hilton, new hampshire. hi, allen. caller: hello? hello? host: go ahead. caller: i apologize for the severe cold that i have. i lived in d.c. for 10 years. [inaudible] chevy chase, no problem. everyone complains about the price of gas. 15 miles each day to work and how healthy it was. get rid of their car, foreign or domestic. host: you might have seen the bloomberg interview last night. secretary of the treasury, tim geithner, saying that mr obama
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is free to choose a separate treasury secretary in his second term, if he wins a second term. at bloomberg.com, if you would like to see the full interview. that's where the interview was conducted. this picture is in most all of the papers. this is former rep giffords saying goodbye in the house. here she is hugging ella terry, who works in the house courtroom. she was escorted by speaker boehner and spent quite a bit of time on the floor reading and saying goodbye to her former colleagues in the house of representatives. we will show you a bit more of that. if you would like to see the whole thing, you can go to c- span.org and watch the entire gabrielle giffords tribute and seen her on the house floor, etc., at c-span.org.
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coming up, we will be talking to the vice president of ford at the washington auto show. after that, we will introduce you to the ceo of a company called coda automotive, which is hoping to come out shortly with an electric car. we'll also talk with gm and hyundai. we are live from the auto show in just a few minutes. here is a little bit of gabrielle giffords from the floor yesterday. >> gabby's courage, strength, and downright fortitude are in inspiration to all of us and all americans. as she leaves the house today, mr. speaker, she has decided to focus her energies on recovery. she has refused to give up her fight for the people of her
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beloved arizona and your country. as such, today, we will vote on her legislation to help secure our nation's southwestern border. for bill gives law-enforcement greater authority to penalize those who seek to do us harm by engaging in illegal activity along the border. i commend gabby for her commitment to work on this and her unwavering commitment to a safer, more secure america. >> we have all been through such a tumultuous year. the nation has been through a tumultuous year. no one more of tumultuous than gabby, her family, and her constituents in her beloved home city of tucson, arizona. i know, knowing her as well as i do, the one thing that has not
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been said is that she wants her constituents to know, her contentiouconstituents that she, that it has been the greatest -- that her public service has meant a great deal to her, and that this is only a pause in the public service, and that she will return one day to public service. [applause] to represent them, and she has so capably for the last five and a half years. >> "washington journal" continues. host: we are live from the washington auto show. that is the convention center on your screen. that's part of the ford exhibit at the auto show. joining us from the convention center is susan cischke, a group
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vice president for ford motor company. thank you for being with us here on the "washington journal." how would you describe the fiscal health of ford? guest: we'll have our earnings report out tomorrow. in general, i think we're doing quite well and we're very proud of the accomplishments we've had. we have an exciting lineup, which will be showing many of the new cars here today at the the washington auto show -- at the washington auto show. host: which car are you highlighting the most? guest: of the key messages we have is to show people that they really have the power of choice at ford. they can choose a lot of different vehicles with different power trains and be able to give fuel economy leaders in every segment we sell in. host: susan cischke, you've been in the auto business for quite a while. caller: that's right. a little over 35 years. host: you began with chrysler.
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how long have you been with ford? caller: 11 years. it has been a great ride. i am retiring next week. host: what are you responsible for? caller: are sustainability strategy, our environmental and safety strategy, our performance in the feel and how we're doing -- in the field and how we are doing, and shipping regulations when it comes to -- and shipping regulations. host: a lot of public policy in your world. caller: correct -- guest: correct. host: we started the show by asking our viewers -- if you want to talk with susan cischke, the numbers are on the screen. obviously, you can contact us electronically, as well. we started off this morning asking our viewers about the
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u.s. government role in the auto industry. is the government to involved, not involved enough? what does the cost to have the government involved in your industry? calguest: regulations play an important aspect in the auto industry. we've had a number of regulations over the years. that has been an important aspect. from ford's standpoint, affordability is very important. we tried to balance the regulations against other consumer needs. we're very proud of the fact that we did not have to take the government taxpayer assistance. ford was able to go through our recovery on our own. we know how important it is to have a strong auto industry, because it does mean jobs for the u.s. host: how many people in michigan are employed by ford? guest: i'm not quite sure of the michigan total, but i know we have over 150,000 employees.
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i should probably know that number better, but i do not. we have plants in the u.s. and around the world. in michigan, a pretty active auto production. host: are cafe standards in place reasonable in your view? guest: they are quite challenging. we knew it would be a stretch. we think it is something that's the right thing, because that's what our customers are seeking. when we ask people what they're looking for in a new car, it ranks very high on their list. host: we will begin with a call from los angeles. georgia, you are on the line. please go ahead with your comment. caller: i own a 2002 jag. at that time, it became ford, ok. what i want to know -- good morning, by the way.
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are any of those parts interchangeable with other ford parts? guest: no, we are a separate company. ford motor company owned jaguar during that timeframe. we sold the other auto brands so we could focus on ford motor company. a lot of the parts in the early years, you would have to go to a jag wire dealer in order to get the correct parts for your car. they're not interchangeable. host: susan cischke, how many women are involved in the auto industry? when you think of the auto industry, you do not necessarily think about women. guest: we have a growing number in product design, development, sales, every aspect. women influence over 80% of auto sales, whether they are the actual buyer or the influence someone who is by in case we think it's important to of women at all levels of the company.
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i'm on the leadership team for ford and report directly to alan ford.y and billboar we find it very important to have women that influence the types of cars and trucks that we make. host: how did you get started in your career? guest: i am an engineer. i kind of work up through the ranks in engineering and got into the leadership aspect of it. i think just having the broad knowledge as far as the technical knowledge has been very important. i had a chance to be in a lot of scientific labs and then got into the regulatory side of the business. i've had an interesting time to see all aspects of the company. what we find, especially at team.and it's one
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host: what do you currently drive? guest: right now, i have a ford explorer and a ford edge. host: cris on our independent line, you are on with susan cischke. go ahead. caller: good morning. some years ago, ford bought volvo. prior to that, i saw a program on pbs that volvo developed a 100 miles per gallon car and you could use vegetable oil and it would burn just about anything. they said they were not building it because of the cheap gas prices. of course, we all know that gas went up. since ford bought volvo and i assume they bought the technology with it, i'm wondering why you have not come out with a 100 miles per gallon
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carpet i've never forgotten -- 100 miles per gallon car. i've never forgotten about it. host: susan cischke? guest: everybody is interested in to economy. on our new ford fusion, we will offer a vehicle that gives them 37 miles per hour. with the hybrid, we get 47. with the fusion energy, we get over 100 miles per gallon. regarding the volvo engine, we all work together. i think what you are referring to is the diesel engine that could run on vegetable oil. there's a lot of work being done on biofuels. from a production standpoint, believe me, it's a very competitive industry. if anybody had an engine capable of doing that from a productive
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and -- from a production standpoint and meet all the standards, then they would be in production. it's very challenging for us to get to that number with the conventional technology. with our hybrid technologies, we are achieving 100 miles per gallon. host: susan cischke, this tweet from you from james parker. guest: we did not take the government assistance when it came to what you would call the bailout money. we have taken the d.o.e. loans for fuel economy, which is something we applied for early on when we knew that you economy standards were becoming ever more challenging. ford was one of the few companies approved, as well as tesla and nissan. we have gotten the money in order to be able to invest in changing our plants over. as far as bailout money, no.
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ford was able to do it on their own. host: next call from new york city for susan cischke. caller: ford makes a great corporate i just bought a brand new ford -- makes a great car. i just bought a new ford escape. my next car will be a mustang. hopefully when we get a new president, i can afford to buy one. i just want to tell you that ford -- keep making them great cars. i used to buy gm. ever since they took the government bailout money, i went to ford. i love my ford. guest: thank you very much. that was terrific. host: susan cischke, we are looking at some of the cars you have on display at the auto
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show, such as the ford fusion. we looked at a focus. we saw the mustangs a little bit earlier. a caller talked about the percentage that's made in the u.s. and the percentage that is made internationally. our most cars just international production anymore -- are most cars just international production anymore? guest: we have global vehicles that may have been designed in a different part of the world and build in many other places in the world. we have quite a bit of production in the united states. on the sticker, it does show the content of the vehicle by cost in terms of the percent built in the united states. we follow that. that is something that's important to we are very proud of the production that we have in the u.s. -- important. we are proud of the production that we have in the u.s.
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host: what is your message to lawmakers? guest: for us, it's all about fuel economy and the power of choice ford choice is a fuel economy leader. we have 11 vehicles that will offer our eco-boost engine. we offer consumers a good fuel economy with no compromise in power or performance. we also want to talk about jobs. we will be adding 12,000 new jobs in the u.s. by 2015. there's a multiplier effect. every job we added, nine more jobs. you can see hundreds of thousands of jobs affected in the u.s. we are very proud of the work that we're bringing in from other countries back into the united states. host: the next call for susan cischke, group vice president for ford. caller: people have to
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understand that the automobiles were first invented in this country, people have to understand that. i believe people should not buy the vehicles from other countries. they should be built in this country. if they are going to buy them, they might as well by them here and let the money stay where it belongs. i have a murder reveal a juror, 2002. i love it. -- mercury villager. they stopped building them. guest: basically, we have discontinued the mercury brands, but we have a fine line up of ford vehicles. thanks for your confidence about the building in the u.s. we'd think it is very important.
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automobile jobs are very important to any country pose economy. so it is important we have a strong automotive and economy in the united states. host: why did the murder rate go away? guest: we wanted to focus on the ford brand. that is one of the reasons we divested from a lot of brands. there were a lot of products. we wanted to be able to focus on ford and lincoln. lincoln being a luxury brand and ford been our main brand. that helped us to focus our resources when it came to a new platforms and being able to offer the full range of products. it was a good thing for ford and got us focused on what it means to be a frod. host: islington going to survive? lincoln going to survive? car at thewon best "car at t
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detroit auto show. lunch buyers are looking for personal connection and i think they will be very excited with what they see from the lincoln. host: scott is on the line. caller: i have a question for the lady. i don't think any car is 100% for an or american. but i do agree we should not be bailing out these companies. if they cannot build quality products for consumers to buy, then we don't need to buy them. why should we bail them out? if my business fails because i don't provide a proper service, then i go out of business. host: susan. guest: what people need to understand overall is what we went through a few years ago when the whole banking industry was going through a crisis and consumers lost their ability to
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get loans, our business went down by about 50% in a short time. then what happens in all that is the supply base is affected. while ford did not need to take the bailout money, it was important that the government could step in and stabilize things. if all the suppliers had gone out of business, it would have brought down not only chrysler and gm, but ford and toyota and everybody that uses the same supply base. it would have been chaos for the u.s. and would put us into very difficult economic times. i agree with you that the free- market is what is important and companies should be strong enough to survive. but it was very unusual for that 60% of the market would go away so quickly if, gas prices of over $4 a gallon. so very important steps had to be stabilized -- had to be taken to stabilize the u.s. economy. that being said, we are a strong company and are able to size our
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production to demand. we have done a tough job of taking out excess of capacity and offering vehicles people want to buy. i am confident about ford and the products we offer. we are very competitive and are able to compete with the best of the industry. host: we are also showing your around the auto show, and use some ford and lincoln exhibits. what is the benefits of an auto show like this to your company? guest: first, before the show we have a chance to show the media and influence makers or the key influential people that want to hear our message. we will be talking about fuel economy and jobs today. for the consumers, being able to come in and see all the products all in one place, be able to see what we have. and they really get to kick the tires and see the product and get the feel of all we have to offer. we have an incredible lineup for ford.
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excited by the all new for a fusion. it won best in show for the detroit of a show, and exciting design. host: is that the one that was influenced by the aston martin design? guest: it looks like a lot of our other ford products with they grill and the fact it is very fast-looking and their european looking in some ways and very highly stylized designs. host: the official car at the show in las vegas recently. the use of electronic communication devices in cars, is that a policy area that you are focusing on now? guest: ford has been a leader in this. we have been the lead vehicle at the consumer electronic show for the last couple years. we are really proud of our
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technology, working with microsoft. we have been able to offer consumers voice activated controls from navigation, radio control, climate control, all the things in the car. we think people want to be connected in their vehicle and able to have access to everything they have when they are not in their car. so we do that in a very safe way so people can keep their hands on the wheel and their eyes on the road. we are very proud of the technology we have in our cars. you will see this in the future as we move to a vehicle to vehicle, communication and vehicle to infrastructure, communication, exciting things the cars will host: in west virginia, neil in on . caller: i bought a ford ranger pickup truck in 2003. i also have a 2007 ford edge.
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the frame on the pickup truck rusted away on me. i took it and got it welded. i have had nothing but problems since i did that just recently. i like to know why when i called ford motor company that they told me they were sorry that happened but there was nothing they could do? so you talk about your american cars and everything. i understood that when toyota had any problem with their trucks -- i don't know about the cars -- that they honor them and fixed them. but the lady up there at ford told me we are sorry, there's nothing we can do. host: susan cischke. guest: i'm sorry that happened to you. i'm not familiar with any particular problem we had on the ranger. aiken check into that.
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if you call back our customer center if maybe we can give you some updated information. host: the ranger has gone away, right? guest: that's right. it has gone away in the u.s.. we have a brand new ranger with worldwide entry in a lot of other markets. in the u.s., our focus is on the f-150. we have a range of those to be able to handle every aspect of the truck business. host: dennis tweets -- guest: i don't have a number. we work with all the states when we are trying to bring jobs into particular states. we do get subsidies from some of the cities. help for our workers or a number of different things. it is a very competitive business. we have a lot of choices of where we put our plants. a lot of times we go where we
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have a good relationship with the city or the state. host: is that standard business practice any more to work with states and local governments? guest: certainly, it is for everybody. it is a very competitive business. we think jobs are a key part of that. so we want to make sure we have a good relationship with the city and the state we are working in. host: suki tweets -- guest: we invest a significant amount in research. as far as an exact figure, i cannot tell you how much is that we put in from its safety and environmental standpoint. the vast majority of dollars we spent in research and development is focused on fuel economy and safety, because they are important aspects to the company.
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we will continue to take a look at a hybrid technology. we did announce a joint venture working with -- actually an agreement to work with toyota to understand how we could bring hybrid technology to trucks. it's a lot more challenging, but we know that is the future and the next opportunity we have. we have five electrified products we are offering just this year on the car side of the business. we have before fusion hybrid, the energy, which is a plug in hybrid. and the cmac hybrid and the simak energy. we have quite a bit of work on our electrified platform done. we will to continue looking for ways to improve fuel technology and working on ecoboost engines. host: i was told the joint venture with toyota came about because allen molality
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accidentally ran into the chairman of toyota? guest: we have a good working relationship with toyota on many levels. we constantly work with other people looking for partnership opportunities. i'm not sure what an accidental run in is. i think in this business everything has purpose. i do think that we have a lot of history on hybrids on the ford motor company sides. toyota does as well. we are able to board learn from each other. it helps, first, in trying to progress a supply base, and getting volumes ups so that we can get costs down. -- volumes up. there is collaboration on what we can do from the communications standpoint as well. we are always looking for ways to advance the technology in such a way that we can get the most from our investment. time that means partnership. host: martha in indianapolis, we
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are at the auto show in d.c.. caller: i just wanted to make a comment. thank you, i do enjoy your tv program. i have a ford f-150, 1992. it drives smooth. all i have to do is take good care of it. i do have a chevy sitting in the driveway. that's my daughter's car. i had a ford f-1502007. but now i'm driving the 1992 and i bought it brand new. it is still running very good. i do my own wires and spark plugs and it just keeps on running. i think i will drive that car until it stops and then i will buy another f-150.
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it just won't stop. that's great to hear that you have got a lot of use out of it. sounds like it's been a great vehicle for you. host: michigan, gordon on the line. caller: good morning. you are going to love retirement. i do. the first 25 years of my career i worked at a company where we made punch presses. ew bliss.alled bw my only hobby that i can afford now that i'm retired is fishing. i have a dakota truck, v6, just the right size for pulling my boat around. could they not make a small engine truck with different beers that would give you the mileage in them? guest: for the f-150 we have an
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ecoboost engine which for the first time we are seeing a big shift in people going from v8 to v6. it has the fuel economy of a v-6 engine with the power of a v-8. over 50% of our truck buyers are going for this one because of the fuel savings. maybe it's time to look at getting a new truck, f-150 with ecoboost, and you will be able to get the better mileage and the power and performance you need. host: if somebody gets a fourth vehicle, can you point to something that you can say, yes, i did that, i am responsible for that aspect? guest: we are all part of the 14. it's tough to say there's any single contributor. what i am very proud of its advances we have made in safety and how we're doing all the safety testing and five-star
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ratings we have had if, along with the safety features we have added to our vehicles, as well as our fuel economy. there's no one contributor. it's the idea that we are all part of a team and working very closely together to make sure that we offer our customers the vehicles if they would like. host: tom and los angeles. caller: good morning. i was watching another network this morning. it seems that california is passing regulations requiring zero emissions from any automobile. because we have extremists here that are a pain. is there any way of meeting that? i know that hybrids and electric vehicles don't have the power to pull large boats. is it possible to meet that by 2015? and i want to thank you for
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coming on and being an isolated and i want to thank c-span. is it possible? host: we got the point, tom. guest: we have a different emission standards in california. they are negotiating right now the lead free standard as well as the zero emission vehicle mandate. right now they're looking at making changes to that to increase the number of vehicles that would fall under that category. certainly, it is challenging, because the best way to been to do that right now is electrification. we are doing that with our cars. we don't have that right now for the trucks. it will be challenging. at the same time we are part of the one national program for fuel economy standards. california has worked closely with epa. they have won national standard that goes across the whole country. that is extremely important to us. we are already trying to balance
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the requirements from the mission standpoint and that mandate sitting in with the one national from the fuel economy standpoint. while it is talented, we participate in the discussions and tell them what our capabilities are. at the end of the day it is what the consumers want to buy. the challenges with mandates and with requirements withcafe is not what -- requirements with cafe is not what we produce about what consumers want to buy. the technology may be there but it may be too costly for consumers. host: susan, thanks for being on the washington journal and taking calls from our viewers. coming up, the ceo of a company called coda automotive. he will be joining us from the auto show. his name is phil murtaugh. he will talk about what they hoped to produce and put into production shortly.
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the president spoke about the auto industry in the state of the union address on tuesday. >> the day i took office our automotive industry was on the verge of collapse. some even said we should let it die. with 1 million jobs at stake, i refused to let that happen. in exchange for help, we demanded responsibility. we got workers and automakers to settle their differences. we got the industry to retool and restructure. today general motors is back on top as the world's number one automaker. [cheers and applause] chrysler has grown faster in the u.s. than any major car company. ford is investing billions in u.s. plants and factories.
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together the entire industry added nearly 160,000 jobs. we bet on american workers. we bet on american ingenuity. and tonight the american auto industry is back. so my message is simple. it is time to stop rewarding businesses that ship jobs overseas and start rewarding companies that create jobs right here in america. send me these tax reforms and i will sign them right away. [cheers and applause] we are also making it easier for american businesses to sell products all over the world. two years ago i set a goal of doubling u.s. exports over five years. with bipartisan trade agreements, we are on track to
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meet that goal ahead of schedule. [applause] soon there will be millions of new customers for american goods in panama, colombia, and south korea. soon there will be new cars on the streets of seoul, south korea, imported from detroit, toledo, and chicago. >> washington journal continues. host: we are back live at the washington auto show at the convention center here in d.c. on your screen is a vehicle called the coda. joining us is the ceo of coda automotive, phil murtaugh. what is coda automotive? guest: good morning, peter. nice to be on your show this morning. it is a los angeles-based clean energy technology company.
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our technology is centered around lithium ion battery systems and battery management systems. we use our technology to develop in california 3 different product lines. first is the sedan that uc. our second product is the vehicle will propose a system, electric. our third product is energy storage systems using lithium bbattery. >host: how old is your company? guest: about three years old. originally it was miles electric vehicles, which manufactured low-speed, off-highway vehicles. and about three years ago they decided to get into the and highway speed vehicles. we began developing the first electric vehicle at that point in time. all our products are pure electric vehicles.
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we don't burn any petroleum- based products. host: we are looking at the automobile that you have on display at the auto show. what made you decide to get into the electric car business? is it fair to call this an electric car? guest: this is a pure electric car, not a hybrid. we have a range of up to 150 miles per charge. we have the most dependable range in the industry. we have what we believe will prove to be the best promotion system in the industry. the reason we decided to get into the pure electric vehicle business is that energy security is a growing concern glint. 50% of our petroleum in the u.s. is imported. as you have seen over the last few years, the source of our energy is becoming more unstable as time goes by. we think it is crucial that the
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united states, with ways to continue our leadership and transportation development by using american-sourced energy. the best way to do that is to switch from petroleum-based transportation to electric transportation. we believe that will come. we don't think that the industry is going to change to electric overnight. but we believe now is the right time to get started. we want to be among the leaders in moving the industry in this direction. host: you talk about having the best promotion system in the business. is it proprietary? is it your own patented systems and batteries? guest: are propulsion system is made up of our battery and our battery management system and thermal management system. we integrate those with purchased motors, inverters, and controllers. then we integrate all that system into a base vehicle,
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taking out the petroleum-based engine. the technology that we develop is the battery management system and thermal management system. that is what is critical in optimizing the performance of the battery, which leads to what we believe is class-leading dependable range. host: we have several tweets and phone calls already for you. but we begin with a tweet from stella. guest: i will go backwards. we manufacture the battery in a joint venture with a chinese company, the fifth largest lithium ion battery manufacturer in the world. they are the leading manufacturer of batteries for the apple iphone and apple ipads, motorola, and samsung
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consumer electronic products. it is an extremely solid company with good lithium ion technology. we manufacturer that battery in china in our joint venture back three. we have an application with the the department of energy for loans that would allow us to move our battery manufacturing to the united states. and we have enhanced our application recently to include vehicle manufacturing in the united states. in terms of the battery range, the battery ranges up to 150 miles. we are just now in the beginning of phase of our production launch. we have actual introduced a second proposal system that has a somewhat smaller battery that will get up to 125 miles
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per charge that will sell for $37,250, after the 7500 u.s. dollar tax credit. a consumer can buy an electric vehicle for less than $30,000, which we believe is important to where we can make electric vehicles available to virtually all car buyers. host: is getting a loan or working with the federal government more difficult after what happened with solyndra? guest: the atvm program is a great program that will help companies like ours, a startup company, to be able to enter a very competitive market. gasoline-driven vehicles have been around 100 years. the infrastructure is completely developed. electric vehicles are starting. in the structure needs to be developed. the technology is extremely
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expensive to start. the cost will come down over time. it is getting over this initial phase that is important. stella ask a question about that a replacement cost. one thing we are very proud upon of, in our partnership with the chinese firm, we have the industry-leading battery warranty, 10 years, 100,000 miles. we actually believe our batteries will outlast the vehicle. we have no plans to post a better replacement charts because we don't think consumers will ever need to. obviously, if the battery fails during the warranty period, we will do that. but we don't think the price of a replacement battery will ever be an issue. host: phil murtaugh is ceo of coda automotive that was began in 2009. prior to that he served as chairman and ceo of gm china, executive vice president of shanghai gm, directed asia
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operations for chrysler, a longtime in the automobile business. all of it focused in asia -- a lot of it focused in asia. guest: that's true. i left the u.s. in 1991, spent two years in japan, two years in england and roughly 16 years in china. host: are you fluent in mandarin? guest: i can get by in a taxicab, but only plumas in english. host: you are on the line from austin, texas. caller: first thing i would like to say is there's no such thing as a green car. that's never going to happen. my question is, since the fleet of u.s. automobiles is about 250 million cars, cowen the world do you think's you are going to plug in all those cars into the
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grid? i don't understand that. guest: in made quite a few comments. if you consider a green card a car that does not use energy, and you're right. there's no such thing as a green -- car. what is important about electric vehicles is energy independence. 125 million of the vehicles you mentioned are driven by imported fuel. imported fuel is becoming much more expensive and is becoming unstable. we believe that it is really important to get focus put on energy independence in the united states. energy independence is a major concern in all major economies around the world, the route to
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europe, china, japan imports nearly 100% of their fuel. that is really the driver. what coda is able to do with our technology, one of the things we would like to do is shift the energy production from petroleum-based products to grenoble products. solar and wind, which i'd think most people would consider to be green. the thing about solar and wind is the energy storage systems products we are in the possprocs of developing will help improve the dependability of green energy, because we can store window and solar power during peak production. when demand is not so high and put it back on there when the demand is high. i think what we are doing is
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leading the way and introducing technologies that will help move the industry over time. as i said earlier, this is not something that will happen tomorrow, but it is a start and it is an important start. host: phil murtaugh is ceo of coda automotive, at the d.c. convention center. so you hear a little noise in the background as people are setting up for the auto show which kicks off tomorrow. in missouri, ron is on the democrat line. caller: good morning. you answered part of my question with the previous gentlemen's question. but my point is, everyone jumps on the bandwagon of electric vehicles. you plug them into the grid and they think they are green or saving the economy or saving the ecology when indeed half the united states is powered by coal-fired plants or nuclear power plants. we both know it there's been
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problems with those. you should know better than anyone, living in china as long as you did, how coal does. i agree with what you say and bringing the technologies is a great thing. i still think there's a long way to go. if we are foolish enough to think we can just plug it in and get a free ride and the sun will shine, i don't see it happening. it has a long way to go. guest: you are right. we have a long way to go. every journey starts with a first step. there's no one who believes that we can convert the u.s. car industry into electric tomorrow. the grid cannot take that. infrastructure is not developed. but over the next 20 or 25 years there will be roughly $13 trillion spent upgrading the u.s. electrical infrastructure. as we move forward to the car
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industry will gradually move from petroleum-based products to electric-based products. as that happens, the investment in infrastructure will allow us to build that infrastructure to support the gradual change from petroleum-based transportation to elektra-based transportation. part of the issue is green, but the biggest issues, once again, is energy independence. host: if it was not for the federal subsidies, would electric cars be viable? guest: electric cars are viable. we don't believe that our consumer is a person who owns one car. we have the longest range in the industry, up to 150 miles. our car is not for everybody.
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we believe most of our consumers will already have two or three cars and will be using the electric vehicle as a second or third car. our car is ideal for doing day trips around town, running to the grocery, things like that, where you are driving typically less than 100 miles. 96% of all drives in the u.s. are less than 90 miles. so we think that our car is very good for those applications. host: 4 walton beach, florida, georgia, good morning. caller: good morning. my question is about the middle. you say the car will travel 160 miles on a charge. are there any plans to establish charging stations on the highways where the gas stations are right now to
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service these vehicles? guest: there are companies who are investing in infrastructure to support exchangeable battery vehicles. our vehicle when it comes out will be a fixed battery. you drive it, take it home, plug it in overnight. if the next morning you are ready to go for up to another 150 miles. there are companies who are thatsting in technologies t would allow the building of and exchangeable battery infrastructure. we are investing in infrastructure. we are investing in the transportation products. we are working closely with companies interested in exchangeable, batteries. if that technology does come to fruition, we will be ready to provide extendible battery products as well. host: where did the startup capital comes from?
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guest: all of our capital has privately with the la private equity companies and venture capital companies and individuals. host: union city, new jersey, arthur. caller: good morning. thanks for taking my call. he answered basically all my questions. if you have a question in any form for this, is there a person to respond? why would technology, anyone not be able to have a laptop next to them and answer every question? [unintelligible] it surprises me that you as the
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spokesperson would not have a backup. guest: having a laptop sitting right here nectary actually would probably help , because i am not smart enough to know the answers to. every to but that also would probably interfere a lot with the pace of an interview like this. host: :telematix? guest: we will probably have such a system. we will be introducing more and more later this year with car applications. host: dayton, ohio, go ahead, kathleen. caller: most of us applaud your companies and other companies' efforts to get off of depending on oil from other countries. but one thing i want to ask the
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c-span to do, i'm hanging out with all of these gm union guys in a nursing home with my father, so we are talking a lot about the history of unions. i want to ask, how do you really measure the real cost of a car produced overseas or locally here versus electric, because you have to plug into the grid? compare that with imported oil. how do you figure out the real cost? use a technology for electric cars is been around 100 years. if you could also talk about why we have been so hesitant to go that way? president obama said the other night that oil companies have been subsidized for over 100 years as well. guest: that's a lot to talk about. please say hello to your uaw
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friends. i worked in wilmington, delaware, and mansfield, ohio for quite some time and have many friends in the union there. it is interesting. electric vehicles started in the very early 1900's. ev penetration in the industry in the early 1900's was probably 20% to 50%. i don't know the exact number, but it was very good. what happened was with the advent of internal combustion engines, cars went farther. ev's depend on batteries. battery technology for the last 80 years has been lead acid, which is very heavy. what you consider the energy storage in a battery, cars don't go very far with acid batteries. that's why the internal
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combustion engine products took over the industry. the auto industry has done a fabulous job upgrading technology. gasoline engines go twice as far now as they did 20 years ago because of improvements in combustion technology. so, we are not here to say that although makers are doing. the doing. what we believe is that energy independence really is a crucial national interest and we want to be in the forefront of moving away from having to import all this fuel to drive our transportation infrastructure. host: you do not get a loan from the the problem of energy, would you not to build a battery is in columbus, ohio? guest: i think that the issue that we face is we are a startup
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company. we would love to been to invest in a battery plant in ohio. we would love to bid to invest in a vehicle assembly plant. what we do today, we do a partial assembly in china, we ship gliders from china to benicia, california. we do our final assembly in california. we would love to be booked through invest to build a complete vehicle plant. but that costs money. being a startup company, it's very difficult to do that. the advantage of a loan from the department of energy through the program iis it allows us to make those moves much faster. without a loan, we probably would have to go into production and be in production five years to a year to been to generate enough -- to 8 years to get enough earnings to make that kind of investment during the
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issue is one of timing and not one of desire or intent. host: ben is on the air from washington state. caller: i am an electrical engineer. i realize there are a lot of issues that some people have already brought up such as the support from the grid, the current infrastructure. one thing that has not been addressed is the fact that currently are roads and bridges are supported primarily through funding from taxes on fuel. electric vehicles themselves don't have a direct tax system. how do you propose that we meet this need? guest: i think that we have all seen tax policy has changed over the years to suit the existing demands at those times. as the industry changes, as the
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economy changes, tax policy will change to be able to come up with sufficient funding for critical national needs. host: we have this tweet for you. susan is asking -- guest: $0.0. not very heavily subsidized at all. again, zero. host: how many people are employed in the u.s.? guest: we are the fastest- growing company in los angeles. our employment has tripled over the last year. we now have over 300 employees. all our research and development comes out of los
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angeles for the battery technology. host: when will people one of your products and purchase one if they want to? guest: our sales started in california. september 2011 we opened the first coda experience of the west field mall in century city. we have one on display there. we have cars available for test drives so los angeles residents can come see one any time. we will expand across the u.s. throughout 2012. we start delivering products to consumers in late february. host: are you working with the dealership system? guest: we have a somewhat hybrid distribution system. we will we will have coda experience centers in major cities, but we will support that with dealers
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in those cities who we will funnel sales grow. the dealers will deliver vehicles to consumers and the dealers will provide services. -- dealers in those cities who we will funnel sales through. host: chesapeake, virginia, go ahead, samuel. caller: -- guest: he was asking about charging time on the vehicle. we have the fastest in the industry. we have a 6.6 kilowatt charger on board. but that will give you with a completely depleted battery, a six-hour charge will get you a 150 mile range. if we can deliver a 100 mile range within four. within four hours of
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charging. host: -- guest: it is way too expensive to put on a car and sell it although the technology is available. there are different technologies. you could put solar panels on a car. but you would have to probably drive smi to get a solar panel large enough to charge at a rate enough to keep the car running. there are induction technologies that you can put induction charging on the car and then you would have to -- on every road in the u.s. you have to put induction chargers. the technologies to exist but are not affordable at this time. host: the last call comes from titlistsville, florida.
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larry is gone. sorry about that. phil murtaugh is ceo of coda automotive, joining us from the convention center where the washington auto show is kicking off today. today is policy day. it opens to the public tomorrow and will be open all weekend here in washington, d.c. coda automotive is the web site. thanks for your time. guest: thank you very much. host: we will still be talking with gm and hyundai and we will be right back. >> april 15, 2010 i had arrived in paris, walked into the hotel lobby, met general stanley mcchrystal for the first time. he looked at me and said, so you are the rolling stone guy. i don't care about the article, i just want to be on the cover, he said. >> he wrote about afghanistan and nato forces in the 2010
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issue in june of rolling stone. >> i said, is between you and lady gaga, try to make a joke. the general replied, just put me and lady gaga in a heart-shaped --. so i thought, this is going to be a different kind of story. >> as a result of the article, the general was fired. michael hastings continues the story and talks about his new book. sunday night at 8:00 eastern, on c-span. >> i do believe that the west, for all its historical shortcomings -- and i am scathing in my book in discussing these shortcomings, because they have to be admitted -- for all of these shortcomings, the west still today represents the most acceptable it and workable -- universally workable political culture. >> in 1991 the u.s. was the only
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global superpower. today, how to restore its status in the world. from a former national security adviser on the strategic vision, saturday night at 10:00 eastern. also this weekend, did fdr news world war ii as a cover to create a more powerful executive branch? that is saturday at 11:00 p.m. sunday night at 10:00, the new privacy is no privacy. how your rights are being eroded by social networks. every weekend on c-span 2. >> washington journal continues. >> we are live all morning at the washington auto show at the convention center here in d.c., talking with various auto makers. and now we are talking with david zuchowsk, executive vice- president of hyundai usa. how many are made in the u.s.?
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guest: we represent 94,000 jobs in the private sector. we have two assembly plants and produced 420,000 vehicles. we sold about 645,000 vehicles in 2011. about 420 built-in united states. we have a plant in montgomery, alabama and one in georgia. host: where are you based as executive vice president? guest: orange county, california. host: how long has hyundai been in business? guest: came to the market in 1986. last year we celebrated our 25th birthday. host: as a company, long has it been business? guest: nearly 50 years, surely following the korean war. host: what is your growth rate in the u.s.? guest: it has been fairly fast the last couple years, exponential. the industry was up 10% and we
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were up 20%. that's our third consecutive year of substantially overperforming industry. we have been in a growth mode really sense the 2008 crash of the industry and the overall economy. a value brand that provided a great opportunity for us to grow. i am the executive vice president of sales. we have 850 dealers across the united states. we have five regional offices located across the u.s. which all report to me. i handle distribution and market representation, incentives, certified preowned vehicles, sales and production forecasting, a whole gamut of sales-related activity. host: today is policy day. lawmakers will be coming to the auto show at the convention center. you are giving a speech. what is your message to them? guest: it's about the convergence of technology in the auto business and government.
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things are changing. the automakers and the regulators cannot afford to fight anymore. we have some pretty steep fuel economy standards that we are looking at on the immediate horizon. we have to work together to get better and that's what i will be talking about, types of things hyundai is doing to deliver upon our commitments to improve fuel economy. host: 202 is the area code. we have separate lines for republicans, democrats, and independence. we begin with a call from darren in green bay, tennessee. we are talking with the executive vice-president of hyundai. caller: yes, good morning. i have a simple question. i use a lot of air tools and an air compressor. i was wondering if everybody agreed to anybody is ever looked into using compressed air to drive a vehicle or even with the technology changing of actually looking backwards in terms of
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steam power? guest: i will tell you this, it's a great question, we are looking at everything. for hyundai, we have taken the lead in terms of first focusing on our traditional gasoline-part engines and trying to do everything we can to improve fuel economy there. gas-direct technology, turbocharging, hb transmissions, lighter composite fuels, materials, things like that. we are also developing in our emerging technologies. we came here with our hybrid and are looking at fuel cell technology, electric, everything is being considered. nobody is quite sure how this shakes out going forward. the transportation industry in the future may not look a lot like it looks right now. so we are leaving no stone unturned to. we are looking at everything. it is changing daily as we work on these new technologies.
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host: macon, georgia, edward, good morning. caller: yes, sir. host: go-ahead. caller: my question is why could they not put an alternator on the powertrain? if a car would run on half the battery for certain miles, they could charge the other part of the battery in connection with the alternator? guest: i am sorry, i'm not an engineer and cannot answer that question. we'd do develop the most efficient system in are hybrids, certainly. we have the latest technology in a hybrid is. we have looked at every possible scenario. what we have now is the greatest fuel economy with the fewest compromises to performance. host: when did you become your
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although career? guest: i started in 1980. 32 years this year. i have 23 years with ford and i spent some time with mazda. february next month will be my fifth year with hyundai. host: somerset, pennsylvania. caller: i would like to know why we could not promote natural gas and propane to cut down on the oil. there's a lot of vehicles that run on propane and natural gas. that works in factories on forklifts because it's more efficient and puts off less emissions. why can they not transfer those over to propane or natural gas? guest: we have looked at that. i'm not sure the exact reason, but it's probably due to the trade offs or maybe the risk. i'm not exactly sure. but propane is one of the things we have looked at. host: davis, during the
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recession that we have been in the last couple years, what were some of conde's strategies to survive and prosper? guest: number one, it works in our favor. we have always been a value brand and recognized as such. we have great quality and america's best warranty. beautiful styling. a great value story, great fuel economy. to be in a position like that going into a downturn was very important if. it played right into our hands in retrospect. it put us on a shopping list we were not on before. what we did that was probably most impact 0, when things got difficult to be got into an insurance program where we guaranteed -- we don't want people to worry about the economy is what it said. if you buy a car from monday and then lose your job, we will take your car back. that is something that resonated
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with the consumer. things were very dark and the message we sent at that time is we are in this together and will get through this together. it was very impact will it. we are developing big ideas we think are very important to the consumer and tried to get in front of it and try to figure out what will be possible for consumers in the next 12 months and how we can develop a program to provide confidence and assurance and it has worked very well for us. host: there is a wall street drawl article this morning, car makers turning to u.s. plants because of the value of the dollar. does hyundai benefit from the current value of the dollar? and what about the free-trade agreement with south korea? guest: yes, the korean currency has been stable over the last few years. two thirds of our production is in the united states market anyway. so it has not had a huge impact on our business operations.
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the korean free-trade arrangement -- agreement, we are happy about that and happy about anything that helps the american worker. the initial benefits are really in korea at in terms of immediate access in korea. our ability to utilize the terms of the free-trade agreement. we are very happy the this was negotiated. we feel very positive about the impact it will have on the u.s. economy and u.s. workers. host: florida, phil, good morning. caller: first i want to take a couple seconds to recognize c- span. you are probably the most educational station on tv. thanks for being there. for your guest, i have a vision i want him to comment on. i envision in the future having
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refueling stations rather than gas stations where i drive my car in with either gas, diesel, hydrogen, fuel cell, battery, interchangeable battery. my question is, does the auto industry see that same vision? and do you think that there's anyone working on the infrastructure necessary to support thank you. guest: that is a great question. that's the key to where transportation those in the next 10, 15, 20 years. it is all about infrastructure. the current administration has been very focused on electric vehicles and electric infrastructure pre your approach is probably a very sound one. everyone's focusing on different
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technologies. no one's quite sure where they will shake out bit as we develop infrastructure, the ability to develop very flexible infrastructure probably makes the most sense. this is all going to be about infrastructure. in terms of government support and developing the technologies and the infrastructure to have widespread application. host: rick tweet to you -- guest: yes, within the next several years. the beauty of the caribbean free-trade agreement is that it works both ways. -- duty of the caribbeathe beaun free-trade agreement works both
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ways. it serves many different constituents. host: will hyundai build a pickup truck? guest: it's a question we get all the time. it's not currently in our plants. we like to say never say never. it's a difficult business really have a tremendous amount of respect for toyota. the full-size pickup truck market is a struggle. you are dealing with ford and chevrolet, that have been there long time with amortized cost s. we don't have heavy trucks. we do not have full size suv's. we do not have minivan's right now. our plan right now is to not go into the heavy truck business. host: are hyundai plants in the u.s. unionized? guest: no, they are not. host: silver spring, maryland,
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jim. please go ahead with your question for david zuchowski. caller: i want to congratulate hyundai for setting the bar on warranties. it shows the confidence they have in their own vehicles. it really helps the industry. it gives us all better products. congratulations to hyundai. guest: thank you very much. it was very important to us. last year was our 10th anniversary. it really change the way we, as a company, operated. was the late 1990's and we were struggling in this market. we read a juncture where we were not sure if it made sense. we went dramatically with the 10/100. it resonated extremely well. it has worked for us. the most important thing that
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happened with our warranty is that it forced our manufacturing and engineering community to build better cars. if we did not approve our call the discipline, then the company was at great risk. it allowed us to put our money where our mouth was and deliver great quality in order to fulfil our commitments. it works both ways for us. it's a tremendous part of our marketing platform. had it for more than 10 years. i appreciate the comments. host: jim, please go ahead with your question or comment. caller: hi. i was just wondering if hyundai /kia, perhaps, had any plans for building and all will drive -- an all-wheel drive, or choose a two-wheel or 4-wheel drive in your smaller, more fuel-
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efficient vehicles. we have to go with vehicles such as your large trucks, etc. the rest of the year, they get terrible mileage. do you have any plans for doing that? i think that would be a great market, especially for the northern parts of this entire country. guest: great question. subaru has carved out a niche for themselves. we certainly have a strategy in place for all-wheel drive. our first approach is the premium vehicles with genesis. there are no immediate plans for our smaller vehicles, like accent or sonata. it is something we study all the time. we have crossover vehicles that
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fit that price category. we have not really gone there yet freed when we do, it will be the upper end of our vehicles -- not gone there yet. when we do go there, it will be the upper end of our vehicles. host: a tweet -- guest: it depends on overtime and that sort of thing. it is about $60,000. host: how many cars do you sell annually in the west? how many u.s. workers do you have? guest: we just broke the record in 2011. we sold 645,000 cars. about 420,000 were built in the u.s.. we have about 25,000 workers in our plant in montgomery, alabama. we have about the same amount in our plant in west point, georgia.
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we are expanding both plants. host: how large is your dealership system? 815.: about sales volumes have almost doubled over the last four years. we look at it in terms of the health of our dealership organization. we are right up there with toyota, nissan, and honda. host: linda in west virginia. good morning. caller: good morning. first of all, i want to tell you that i love my hyundai. it is a very reasonable car. it works well. what i want to say more than anything else is -- you never get a number where you can call anybody. the republicans are greedy. they are self indulged. everything you hear them say about cutting the government,
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all they are talking about is cutting everybody else but themselves. it is really, really disgusting. it has been that way for decades. now, a president comes along who wants to do something and change a little bit, and they get up there and they are little kids. take some of the waste. you can clear out some of the waste and the perks from these people. host: linda, we are going to leave your comments there. david zuchowski spoke about the auto industry and investing -- david zuchowski, the president spoke about the auto industry in his state of the union address. is that important for your company? guest: it is. we have a global strategy. it is all about the ability for us to be a good corporate citizen, to deliver not only
quote
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wonderful products, but to deliver products that deliver great fuel economy and are friendly to our environment. it's a key part to our strategy and has been for quite some time. host: the next call for david zuchowski comes from mcdonald county, missouri. tom on the line for independents. good morning. caller: good morning. thank you for taking my call. i watch c-span every day since i've been retired for nine years now. i was affiliated with the oil and natural gas industry since the early 1970's. our so-called oil shortage in 1973 -- we had a compressed natural gas system that would go right into any automobile, be it a car or a truck. see, that was 35 years ago. here we are still without the natural gas. your engine will last a whole lot longer than gasoline is
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cleaner burning -- than gasoline. it is cleaner burning. 80% of the american population has access to natural gas. out in the country, we have propane. you know, compressed. the united states wants to put all their eggs in the same basket but everyone's pushing electric. goes. not the way it' let's diversify. guest: it's a fair point. we do not have a hybrid strategy. we do not have an electric strategy. we have an alternative fuel strategy. that includes looking at everything. some of those are new, emerging technologies, and some have been around for a long, long time. as we get around to new advancements, things that were problematic in the past may work better now.
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each of these generations of product advancement looks at things that might not have been applicable in the past and maybe makes them more viable now. everyone is looking at old technologies, at emerging technologies, and trying to figure out what the best balance is. that's a very good point. there are a lot of good options out there. nobody is certain that there's one answer. i think it's a combination of the above. host: david zuchowski, you are giving a speech today at the washington auto show. what is your message to lawmakers? guest: our message to lawmakers is what we just talked about free our strategy has been threefold. we want to look at improving our existing dazzling technology through gas-direct engines and turbocharging and better transmissions to improve -- existing technology through gas-
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direct injuns and turbocharging -- gas-direct engines and turbocharging transmissions. we have a fully -- we have a steel plant in south korea. that allows us to build a really safe, really stable vehicles that we can take out a significant amount of weight, which obviously drives fuel economy. that threefold strategy is driving our fuel economy. we made a commitment that we were going to hit 35.5 mpg standard that is required by 2016. we made a commitment we would get there. we are already at 36.1 miles per gallon. everyone of these approaches is helping us accomplish our commitments to the government.
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host: is hyundai profitable, your u.s. operations? guest: yes, we have been in a favorable position. we have doubled market share. we have been able to reduce our incentive spending to where we were on the high end of the entire industry several years ago and now we are at the lowest volume in suspendepender. it has a positive impact. we are a very frugal company. we operate very lean in the united states. we have a good business model. we are continuing to grow and invest in this u.s. market, which is extremely important for us. host: june in jacksonville. you are on with david zuchowski of hyundai. caller: i love c-span. you and your employees should be proud to work for a wonderful company that produces a
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wonderful product with a wonderful guaranteed. i own a 2011 sonata which i love. my girlfriend in ohio has the same car. my girlfriend in orlando has the same car. another girlfriend has a used sonata. another girlfriend has a genesis. i traded in a 2003 honda civic hybrid, which i'm now under a class action suit for not getting enough gas mileage. also interesting -- i drove 120 miles at 56 mpg and i a got 41 miles per gallon. if you go more than 56 miles per hour, you start losing gas mileage. why can i not buy your stock in your company in this country? host: we got it, june. guest: june, i love you and your
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friends. you are representative of a lot of what's happened to hyundai in this country. we've been added to a lot of shopping lists. one of the keys for us, one of the secrets for us over the last couple of years -- we think you have to be an "and" company. we think you have to of great styling and great functionality. we think you have to a great performance and great function of the belief that figure out a way where we do not have to make any compromising. we were fairly conservative in styling. over the last couple of years, we've got some of the most dramatically styled vehicles in the industry. they are very striking and they are very noticeably hyundai. all that is coming together to improve consideration of our brand and change people's opinion about our brand. i think you are a great example
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of what we're starting to see in the u.s. thank you. host: what about not being able to buy stock in the u.s.? guest: it's not publicly traded here. as an employee, we asked the same questions, too. that is just not available right now. host: is it a publicly traded company in south korea? guest: yes. host: do you see it expanding to the u.s. market? guest: not at this point in time. host: louisville, good morning. caller: good morning to both of you. i was just wondering. there's always the big three. how many retirees are on the hyundai rolls? guest: we're obviously a younger company. we first came into the u.s. in terms of manufacturing in 1986 with our plans in montgomery,
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--, excuse me, 2006, with our plant in montgomery, alabama. we are certainly not as secure as the domestic industry. the overall labor costs -- it's just a matter of the time of the company. as we continue to develop and hire more faults and are in this market longer, that will change, too. host: david zuchowski is the executive vice president for sales for hyundai. thank you for joining us from the washington auto show. we appreciate it. guest: no problem. thank you very much. host: mark reuss is the vice president of gm north america and he will be our guest next. >> one of the standout is a truck by boise state university. what is different about this
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truck? >> world's fastest vegetable-oil vehicle. we took the existing technology and ran with it. >> if you go to the back of the truck, there's a sign that says "cooking oil." tell us a little bit about how this was designed. >> we took a stock 1998 s-10 and build a land speed racing vehicle to run vegetable oil. we had to get a second fuel tank. >> how did you make vegetable oil able to run this truck. >> it does not require modifications. we just have to bring it up to. >> patrick johnston, you said land speed.
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>> it is raising as far as top speed over a longer distance. >> what was the genesis of this project. >> about 10 years ago, i heard about some crazy people who were running their old cars on vegetable oil. it was not until i started school that i realized this could become a reality. >> how long did it take to put this project together? >> it has been going on for just over two and a half years. it culminated this august with a competition at speed week. >> is there a larger issue about what this says about the future of alternative fuels? >> are trying to raise awareness. >> patrick johnson, now that
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you've completed this project, is this where it stops? what are your ambitions? >> in the future, we plan on meeting the petroleum record for diesel. we will be going back this august in pursuit of that record. we will try to beat that with vegetable oil just to show the power. >> dave and patrick johnson, thank you for a time. >> thank you. host: we are back live at the washington auto show at the convention center. you can see some of the displays on your screen. joining us now is mark reuss, general motors vice president. thank you for being on "washington journal." guest: great to be here. one, are we going to talk about a vegetable oil? that is one of my -- it's great
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to see those guys doing that. host: i thought we would talk to you about what the company is like and some of the public policy issues is facing -- public policy issues gm is facing. guest: i've seen it before and after. i've been here for 20 years. i'm very happy with the focus on the customer and the products. the biggest change is the laser light focus -- laser-like focus. host: how many employees does gm have? how many did it have? guest: i hate to the estimates on that. we have roughly 100,000 people
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who make our cars across the world. before and after its kind of tough to live there was not one point where i can draw the line -- before and after is kind of tough. there's not one point where i can draw a line. we are opening our facilities that were either closed or not operational anymore. a lot of that. it's not over. we are progressing the company and growing the company once again, which has been decades since we've been able to do that. the next question is, how many people were working in those ranks before bankruptcy? i would have trouble giving you a number on that, also. host: mark reuss is president of gm north america. what are your responsibilities? guest: i have responsibility for markets in canada, mexico,
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and the united states. i have the product plans for that. our dealer network and customer attention and satisfaction service. those are pretty much the parameters. host: are you based in detroit? guest: i am based in detroit, but i spend little time in detroit. host: your boss was on capitol hill yesterday. the general motors ceo. gm recently had this full-page ad in a lot of the national newspapers. a few words about the volt, saying that the news about the volt is wrong. guest: i guess that is a paraphrase. i think you are referencing "the wall street journal." there was an open letter on the
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investigation of post-crash fires. that's what happened over the last day. our volt owners have gotten a lot of e-mail's today. he gave a window of transparency into the way the new company is operating. we can always do better. the volt was basically validated by every agency out there. five-star ratings and everything. it clearly had safety leadership. what we have done with an extraordinary test that punctures the battery and dumps a ton of coolant on to the battery and then lets it set for a while and then rotates it over a long period of time. it's not something we've seen in the real world. we can always make our cars and
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trucks better, so we have. there was never a recall. my kids drive the car. my two girls and my son drive the car. i drive it every day. i've driven about 6,000 miles. it's a great car. it is technical leadership. i think it is the best car out there. we are behind it. it is something that we want to do and have to do to show the world what we can do. two, this is where the industry is headed believed to get off of our reliance on foreign oil. these are the things we have to do. we are still very excited about the car. if you are an average person and you read headlines, like you just did, we have to get the transparency out there. what really happened and how we can make it even better
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better. host: in this full-page ad, the chairman and ceo writes -- mr. reuss, where is the volt built? guest: right in detroit, michigan, about five minutes from my office. it's a very nice area. host: would it be a viable without federal subsidies? would the bible to build electric cars? guest: -- would it be viable to build electric cars? guest: yes. we showed the car the first time in 2007 at the detroit auto show. during that time, the company went through bankruptcy. a lot of the subsidies were put in place around tax credits and stuff.
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that technology, if you do not start somewhere and you do not get scale into the technology and the battery, then you will never get to the point where you can commercially offer a car like the volt and make money on it. the industry and general motors has to take a leadership position to move the industry to what we think is the next type of vehicle that gets us out of reliance on foreign oil and gets us into a different kind of sustainability in the united states and around the world tha. that is what we have done. you never build them and you never try to do that, then we'd be stuck in the stone ages of of will build an engine design. leaf blowers put out more pollution and the missions then a heavy dyfed thduty pickup tru.
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the industry has come a long way. the reason, we have skill as an industry. host: mark reuss, general motors vice president. newcastle, pa.. go ahead with your question or comment. caller: good morning. thank you for taking my call. i just tuned in. first of all, i think you realize that many people across the united states are very upset about the bailout. you know, ford motor did not need a bailout. they did not need it. gm and chrysler both did. now, did they keep the same people in that company, or did they get rid of them? it was a fact that they certainly did not know how to run the business. number two, if they manage to
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get themselves into another dilemma like this, are they expecting the government to bail them out? the taxpayers are real fed up. host: mr. reuss? guest: will start with the first question. personally, i've been in the company as an engineer for many years. i started as an engine engineer in 1986. i have seen the company all the way through all of this. your question on the bailout part of it, i'm not proud of that. i am grateful for the opportunity to add the jobs and the investment back in the united states, which we are doing at a fairly good rate here. this is a jobs recovery that is real for the industry, i think, in this country for a long sustainable period of time. if you look at the company today, there's no one in the leadership team that was here
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during those times. in answer to your question, the company is led by a completely different team. it was very public. it was very humiliating for a lot of those people. the company needed to get a new direction and new leadership to be successful again. we are rebuilding that trust with our products. that is the answer to the question. question two, i think we are headed in the right direction. we have seen the company grow for the first time in decades. we are grateful, again, for the second chance. i am a taxpayer, too. i am an investor and a taxpayer in the company. it's not our proudest moment. the worst thing we could have done is to abandon or leave or clquit.
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we're here to make the taxpayers, including myself, proud again. there's nothing that drives me every day harder than that. i think that's really where we are. the transparency of how the company operates and what we do, i think there's a huge opportunity with the testimony around the volt that happened on capitol hill. i'm very proud of the way the company operates today. i think it's a big difference. host: mr. reuss has served as vice president of engineering of gm. he has -- how many years have you been with gm? very quickly, run through your progression. guest: ok, i started as a college intern in 1986 in an engine lab. i worked on engine noise and
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vibration. i worked in vehicle dynamics after that. i took a leave and went back to graduate school and got a graduate degree. i came back and refine assembly plants for four or five years, retooling body shops and programming robots for about five or six years. then i had an opportunity to the chief engineer during that time period. for the most recent part of my career before this job, i was chairman and managing director of holden, which is our brand in australia. i was over in australia for a few years before i came back post-bankruptcy for general motors and running the north american operation. it's not about me, anyway, but that's my history. host: the recent article about gm once again becoming the largest auto company in the
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world. guest: again, we are grateful the president mentioned that in his state of the union speech. there is really so much more for us to do to make the company strong again. we are not chasing a number one title. we want to satisfy our customers better than anyone else in the industry. that's where our focus is, customer service and providing the products that people want. it sounds pretty fundamental, but i'm not sure we were doing that for a lot of years. host: indian river, michigan, bill, you are on with mark reuss of gm north america. caller: good morning. guest: good morning. caller: i am a retiree. i worked 37 years at go ahead. i am very proud to be an american. i'm very proud of general motors. i would like to make a comment.
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what happened with go ahead is -- what happened with general motors is they needed a loan. was that simple. when it fell through, the only thing that happened was the republican party saw a chance to break the union. that's what they thought general motors on -- they fought general motors on. there are 500,000 people who are retirees. my wife and i both have cancer. if that industry went dead, none of us would have health insurance and we would not be able to buy any because of pre- existing conditions. host: mr. reuss? guest: first of all, i wanted to say thank you for your service of 37 years to both you and your wife. i am proud that you called in.
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it makes me very sad that you have cancer. that is very sad. i appreciate your comments. we could not access capital. there were some other companies that were able to access capital earlier before the global financial crisis, and they did. if it is implied that we are sitting around waiting to see if the company fails or is successful, expecting some other sort of help, that is not what is happening here. i give a lot of credit to a lot of people for helping the auto industry survive this for people like yourself that have called in, because you have given everything and you have given your life to the industry into the company. we have a recovery that is happening with jobs. that is the result. i feel good about it. it is certainly no time to let
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up or lose focus or talk about any success until we have permanent and long-term sustainability, which is why we come to work every day. thank you for calling in. host: mr. reuss, what percentage of gm is still owned by the government? on a stock about 1/3 basis. the cash positions have been repaid. we cannot control when someone divest in the company. we can control growth and earnings, which we have done for the last two years. we are on that track. we've just got to keep the focus. host: do you see a schedule for divestments? guest: no. the united states government and mine and your taxpayer dollars are really the investments. that's the way i look at it.
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when they're ready to divest, they will divest. i can not worry about the schedule. i have to worry about the results. host: what do you think when you hear the term "government motors"? guest: a lot of things motivate me every day. i think that's true for all of the gm employees out there. that is not a proud title that any of us like or enjoy. that is where we are and that's what we have to change. host: baltimore, please go ahead with your question or comment for mark reuss. caller: yes, i am so happy to speak to this morning since you are the engineer and president of the north american company with gm. over the years, i have listened to the art bell program. over the years, i have heard ideas for automotive improvements. there are a group of students
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in san diego university who have built a car that gets 100 miles per hour and another one that runs on water. have you ever thought about taking some of your nt plants in -- your empty plants in detroit and making them some sort of research center? maybe you can access them and ask for a recount or collection of all these ideas. some seem to be fantastic. some seem to be compressed because of the competitive nature of the market. it would be great if you could bring all these people together. host: i think we got the point. mr. reuss? guest: thank you for calling in to it it's a pleasure to hear someone who is so enthusiastic -- thank you for calling in. it is a pleasure to hear someone
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so enthusiastic. we do not have any of the empty plants in detroit. they are all full again, ours and the whole industry. i think detroit is on the verge of some great things in the state of michigan again. it is happening. to your point on alternative fuels, we have produced a car like the volt. we have also produced and have leadership in fuel cell technology. it is because of some of the ideas you mentioned. i'm not sure we will produce a car that runs on water quite yet but i have not seen that as an engineer. the cost of the fuel cell stacks and the commercialization is sort of what is next on the agenda. it is sort of the end-game of
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fuel efficiencies. what we are doing around things like cng, i do not know if you've seen a big chevrolet express van that runs on regular gasoline that a lot of people who earn their living with all in the commercial trade. we just introduced a compressed natural gas version of that they will market these things with some of the things you mentioned. we are driving the infrastructure that can supply the fuel from a fleet standpoint. our commercial people that make a living with these are very concerned about the operating costs. on a business basis, those make a big difference in terms of how profitable these businesses are. that is the opportunity that we look at here. our r&d facility looks at all of
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these things. we also have a new business venture that vets all of these ideas and the business opportunities. it is something we've never had in the company before. they are out here taking chances. you will see things like power charging mats that go into the cars so you can charge your cell phone. we look at those things every day. they come into our r&d center and we look at all of them. host: colorado. doug, go ahead with your question for the president of gm north america. he is gone. we will move on to virginia. robert, please go ahead. caller: good morning. i am from way back.
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might pick up is a chevy -- my pickup truck is a chevy. a lot of the foreign car makers have diluted the market over here. we need more americans that want to buy american. you see people running around in these vehicles, the police department, the meter maids, and things like that. those smaller vehicles can beat ran on alternative fuels. stuff like that. nice talking to you. have a good day. host: mr. reuss? guest: thank you, robert. thank you for buying chevrolet, by the way. that's a terrific perspective on it. the auto industry in america went through some very tough times. we're happy to have people like
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robert that valued the long- lasting durability of our severally trucks. i agree. the smaller fleets, we see those as opportunities to drive infrastructure. there are a lot of towns and a lot of cities that have gone through this crisis that are very concerned about operational costs. the faster we can help reduce those operational costs with alternative energy and lower emissions, the more money we can put into the people that actually operate those fleets -- the police, the fire departments, all those things. then we can begin to see jobs grow again. the money that is around for those infrastructures in towns -- it's not getting any bigger yet. host: mr. reuss, there was a recent report in mliev.com
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that you were concerned that the salary caps will chase away talent. guest: that is right. do you want me to comment on that? host: yes, please. guest: there are salary caps around the tarp part of this. i'm not going to get into a debate on whether this was right or not. frankly, they had to do what they had to do. on a long-term basis, as we see talent -- concerned about that, then i am concerned about it. i had one of my very best people who ran communications for me leave on a salary basis to go to australia and work for a great company in australia. i wish him the best. we will see those things happen and we cannot respond. that is really what i'm worried about. host: the next call for mark reuss. just a few minutes left.
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milwaukee, go ahead. caller: good morning. i, too, am a gm retiree of 13 years. you mentioned that all the plants in detroit are filled. we have a plant in wisconsin that is closed. are there any plans to reopen it? if not, why? guest: it does remain idle. by the way, i've been through quite a few launches. you have a great town. we cannot make a pronouncement on any production facility when we look at the economy and the fragility of the economy, and the policies of economies worldwide, including europe, and
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some of the natural disasters that have happened. i wish i could tell someone exactly what it will run at. it would make my life a lot easier. i do not all that -- i do not know all of that. i do know we have to preserve the agility of the company to be able to make money at the very bottom of the cycle, which is about 10.5 million to 11 million units and not have big swings in employment at plants until we have a sustained recovery in place that's based on jobs in the united states and north america. it is long answer to the question, but there's nothing wrong with any of our facilities that have made high-quality products. it is my job to make sure the sustained recovery of general motors is permanent and the agility around the uncertainty
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and the greater economy is, you know, i intaintact for general motors so we can continue to make money on a sustainable basis. i hope that makes sense. i love janesville. it is a great place. host: last call for mark reuss, general motors vice president. tracy in massachusetts. caller: good morning. guest: good morning. caller: first of all, i would like to congratulate you for your thrifty use of the tarp money, which the financial sector cannot claim. i want to ask about the battery technology. chevron subsequently sequestered it from the automotive market, forcing companies like tesla and coda to use foreign batteries
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for their technology. how is this technology going to become no longer sequestered? guest: we have a partner, nlg, that i think you are speaking of free we have other partners that are new venture -- that i think you are speaking of. we have other partners that are new venture. we have a portfolio of battery launches. the rest of the industry uses lg battery cells. there's a whole host of people that are in it. we're getting scale. i'm not sure there's only one. when we put together the ip around the volt battery, for instance, we really relied on lg to the high volume cell
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production. the cells create a t-shaped battery. the battery pack itself, we developed it in warren, michigan. the coolant was developed proprietary by gm. finally, the integration of the battery into the car is proprietary. when we are talking about scale, we are talking about that right outside a bar plant in detroit, michigan. we are talking about the cell scale in michigan. there are a couple components of that. finally, the spark will use a123 technology battery.
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there are different cycles. there are different cars. there's no magical solution that we will bet the farm on as an industry, nor should we. the next element may come from one of the investments that we've made. we have to get off the ground in terms of scale so we can find out where the next development will come from, instead of just putting on one of those chemistries on a cell-basis and then getting the industry on it. that's what we used to do. we are going to see these things happen. that's what i really mean when i talk about scale. host: mark reuss, final question. during our national debate a couple years ago on health-care policy, there was a lot of news about it costing car companies to pay for someone's health care than it did for the steel that
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went into someone's car. is that an accurate assessment? guest: we do not really look at it that way. we just went through a remarkable set of collaboration with the uaw and our unions on a local basis throughout general motors in the united states over the last summer. we have a very good competitive agreement. i feel really good about that. healthcare is a part of that. i do not think on a percentage basis, i do not think that agreement is something that is going to be a detriment to us over a long period of time because of the relationship we have with all of our workers that work for gm in our unions. host: mark reuss, general motors vice president and president of gm north america. he joins us on "washington
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journal" from the washington auto show. guest: thank you. thank you for your questions and calls. host: we have a few minutes left on "washington journal." we will go back to the convention center. we do have time for comments about the auto industry. we will put the numbers up on the screen. we will get to those calls in just a few minutes. after this look at diesel technology at the convention center. >> the diesel technology forum. alan schafer is the executive director. why discuss these zero? >> it is a great story today. a new generation of clean diesel cars are incredible. they have incredible range. this volkswagen can go almost a
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hundred miles on a single tank of fuel. diesels have no trade-offs. you are not worried about where to plug in or charge up. they offer you great value in the long term. they typically have higher resale value. if you're looking at making a sound investment in advanced technology, you cannot go wrong diesel.es the 24 models are currently available for consumers. there are a lot of vehicles available. consumers are voting for diesel. it looks a lot different today than it did 15 years ago. it can do everything i want it to do. these things are really fun to drive. lots. zip. >> we are here on policy day.
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is it based on the gasoline engine? >> lots of things are based on the gasoline engine. president obama's state of the union address highlighted what we are all talking about today, which is an all of the above strategy. that's why at the auto show, you will see a wide array of vehicles. you will see clean diesel, natural gas, electric, hybrids. at the end of the day, we need all these solutions. the diesels have great range. they get great fuel economy, in the city or on the highway. you can have small vehicles are very large vehicles with a diesel engine. >> we have about 30 seconds left. is there a difference between having a diesel engine and a gasoline engine with
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maintenance? >> typically lower cost over time. these cars are meant to last. they are really great value for consumers. nothing really special for consumers other than making sure you put in diesel fuel. >> alan schafer, thank you for your time. >> thank you very much. have a great day. host: that was pedro at the convention center for the washington auto show which kicks off tomorrow. today is policy day. a lot of lawmakers will be out there. we have a few minutes left before the senate budget committee comes in. we'll take you to that hearing. at 10:00 first, saginaw, michigan. larry, what are your comments? caller: i wanted to get in before this. the big three made the middle class. they are the ones that could
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switch over. if we ever got in a war and stuff -- those three are the ones that protect our country. these people by the in the foreign vehicles, as far as i'm concerned, they are non americans. i've got to take my hat's off to the big three. that's all i've got to say. thank you. host: back to pedro at the convention center. >> 750,000 square feet of cars. that's what the vice chairman of the washington auto show tells me. with all the cars here, what are the policy implications? >> it's tremendous for policy. of the 750,000 square feet, we dedicate 65,000 square feet to the advanced technology.
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if you are a policy maker, you definitely want to be here at the washington auto show. >> what's the purpose of the auto show? >> first of all, entertainment. maybe a shop for a new car, as well. bring your kids. a wonderful time. also, educational. go to the advanced technology superhighway. they can learn more about where our industry is going and what we're doing to make a better planet. >> for planning purposes, how long does it take to put these several days together? >> the whole year. >> tell us a little bit about what to expect in the next 30 seconds. >> you will see a lot of innovations here in electric technology, hybrid technology, and a lot of safety technologies, too.
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700,000 square feet of cars. you will not be disappointed. host: back to your calls on the auto industry. hartford, connecticut. go ahead. caller: sure. this is in reference to the lady who called earlier complaining about the taxpayer bailout of gm. i believe that gm, when they got the tarp money, they paid it all back ahead of schedule. the u.s. taxpayers actually made money on it, as well as saving thousands of jobs. there was a previous guest on the hyundai who stated that models were made for ford -- 420 built in america.
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my third comment is, i bought a new honda odyssey in 2002 and i paid $32,000, which i thought was quite a bit of money, thinking that it would be problem-free for the life of the car. after going through a transmission that was not -- big not it was not big enough for the weight of the vehicle. i had to replace debt at 75,000 miles -- replace that at 75,000 miles. i'm currently on my third recall. toyota's issues in the last couple years in the news -- i think i will be buying american. the quality is much better now

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