Presidential road trip

George Bush at today's press conference

TEXT OF STORY

MARK AUSTIN THOMAS: President Bush is meeting with automakers today at assembly plants in the Midwest. This visit comes after a meeting back in November. Last year Detroit's top brass came to the White House to talk about the state of the auto industry. Some of their concerns: how much it's costing them to provide health care and fuel emission standards. Alisa Roth reports.


ALISA ROTH: President Bush will visit two plants in the Kansas City area. One GM, one Ford.

Both make hybrid vehicles. Fitting, since the President plans to talk about improving fuel efficiency.

Burnham Securities analyst David Healey says the real issue is the cost.

DAVID HEALEY: Everyone pays lip service to fuel economy and reducing carbon dioxide emissions, but everybody wants someone else to pay for it.

President Bush wants to cut gas consumption by 20 percent in the next decade.

Healey says the Big Three know how to make more efficient cars, the hard part is convincing American consumers to buy them.

Meanwhile, the car makers will be back in Washington again soon, reportedly to show off new models that use alternative energy sources.

In New York, I'm Alisa Roth for Marketplace.

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