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US Automakers Seek Help During White House Meeting


The heads of the three largest U.S. automakers are scheduled to meet with President Bush Tuesday, to ask for help in dealing with foreign competition.

U.S. auto manufacturers allege that Japan manipulates its currency to give its products an unfair price advantage.

They also are urging the president to support a national health care system so that U.S. car companies will not have to pay so much for workers' medical care.

And they are expected to ask for government incentives to support the development of alternative fuel vehicles.

In the past, Mr. Bush has urged car makers to build vehicles that are more "relevant" to the market.

Japanese car makers have emphasized smaller, more fuel-efficient cars, while Detroit auto companies have been focusing on SUV's and other large vehicles.

Ford reported losses of $5.8 billion for the three month period that ended on September 30.

Chrysler lost $1.5 billion while General Motors reported a loss of $91 million for the same quarter.

In the meantime, Toyota had a quarterly profit of $3.5 billion, and Honda made a little more than $1 billion in the same period.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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