General Motors, the largest automaker in the world, announced today that it will sell a variety of gas-electric vehicles over the next four years, a move that could help push hybrids into the mainstream. The company will sell hybrid versions of cars, pickup trucks, and SUVs, thereby creating some competition for Honda and Toyota, currently the only automakers that sell hybrids in the U.S. GM plans to unveil two hybrid pickups, the GMC Sierra and Chevrolet Silverado, for use in commercial fleets later this year; the trucks will be 10 to 12 percent more fuel-efficient than their conventional counterparts. In 2004, GM will begin selling the same models to retail consumers, and in 2005, it will introduce the Saturn VUE sport utility, which will get nearly 40 miles to the gallon. Ford and DaimlerChrysler are also poised to enter the hybrid vehicle market in the next couple of years.
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