"We have to build cars and trucks that people want to buy." So said Rick Wagoner, head of General Motors, at a recent conference in Dallas, Texas in response to why GM didn't begin offering hybrid cars earlier. Yeah, Rick, that's entirely true. But, your company also has to have at least a modicum of foresight in order to be successful in the tough American market these days. For instance, Toyota is just now reaping the benefits of its hybrid electric vehicles, despite the fact that the automaker has been building them since 1997. Did Toyota know something that GM didn't? Not really, as the entire world has been watching oil prices climb for the last few decades. It was bound to happen in the United States -- GM's own backyard -- as well, and now that it has indeed taken place, the three remaining American automakers have been caught with the wrong product at the wrong time sitting on dealer lots.

[Source: MSN Money Central]

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