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Auto Industry CEOs Ride Out Spiking Gas Prices

Natalie Erlich,|News Associate
Wednesday, 30 Apr 2008 | 1:06 PM ET

As gasoline prices continue to weigh heavily on the consumer, America's auto industry executives share their outlook on what that means for the car industry.

GM Earnings & Outlook
A look at the numbers, with Richard Wagoner, General Motors CEO and CNBC's Phil Lebeau

GM CEO on Inventories

“We’re seeing a mix-shift in response to higher gas prices. So, it’s created some challenges, but when you get behind it, frankly, [we’re] continuing to make progress in North America, continuing to make progress on product. We’re going to have to ride through this tougher time here in North America, keep our inventories tight.”

- Rick Wagoner, General Motors CEO

Auto Outlook
Weighing in on the economy, with Mike Jackson, AutoNation CEO and Robert Nardelli, Chrysler CEO

Chrysler CEO Responds

“As a consumer myself, and certainly an intimate understanding of the consumer, we say we really don’t want higher gas prices. On the other hand, … it will nudge the consumer into a more conservative view of the use of fuel. It certainly will drive the consumer … from the larger vehicles to a smaller vehicle for more conservation.”

- Robert Nardelli, Chrysler Chairman & CEO

AutoNation CEO On Driving Trends

“When you get a better fuel economy, not changing the price of gas, the cost per mile driven goes down. They buy a bigger home further away from where they work, and they want a bigger, more comfortable, faster vehicle for the longer commute. And here are the statistics: the average household is driving 40 percent more miles, the average home is 30 percent larger, and the average vehicle is 30 percent heavier. It’s a complete contradiction.”

- Mike Jackson, AutoNation CEO

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