Before you listen to a report on the North American car industry, answer the
following questions. Then listen to check your answers.
Name 2 of the traditional ‘Big Three’ North American car manufacturers.
2. Toyota is the car company in the world.
3. Mazda is controlled by
4. General Motors sells cars in
5. True or false? The car company Daimler-Chrysler is listed as an
Match the following phrases to make logical sentences.
Debt ratings (or credit ratings)
2. If a company suspend payments into a retirement plan,
3. To say that foreign competition has made its mark
4. Ford owns Volvo and Jaguar, among others,
5. When you invest heavily in something,
Listen again and answer the following questions.
Which two companies have had their debt ratings cut?
2. What are hybrid vehicles powered by?
3. How many jobs are General Motors planning to cut in the next three
years in North America?
4. In which year did Chrysler join with Daimler-Benz to form
5. Which car company is the largest in the world at the moment?
6. In which foreign country has G.M. invested heavily?
Listen again, read the transcription and write the missing words. Use the
pause button on your audio player to give you time to write.
Motors, Ford and Chrysler are traditionally known as the "Big Three"
carmakers in North America. But the
has been going through a
lot of changes.
Recently both G.M. and Ford have had their debt ratings
. Agencies that advise investors
on said that both companies
depend too much on sales of big sports-utility vehicles. Higher fuel
prices have cut into sales of S.U.V.'s.
G.M. and Ford have been for not
developing more hybrid vehicles. These use both electrical and gasoline
Ford and G.M. also face growing
costs connected with their retirement programs. General Motors says it
will cut twenty-five thousand jobs in North America in the next three
years. G.M. announced a of more
than one thousand million dollars in the first three months of this year.
Ford, too, has announced job and spending cuts. It plans to cut two
thousand seven hundred jobs this year. Ford also said it would suspend
payments into one of its employee retirement plans. And it plans to sell
in its Hertz car-rental business
Foreign competition has made its mark on the American auto industry. In
nineteen ninety-eight, Chrysler
with Daimler-Benz to form Daimler-Chrysler. Headquarters are in Michigan
and Germany. But this third member of the Big Three is no longer listed as
an American company. And, last year, Toyota of Japan sold more cars than
Ford to become the second largest car company in the world. General Motors
is the . But industry observers
are not sure how much longer that will be true.
As foreign carmakers have in the
United States, they have built factories here. Similarly, the Big Three
have joined with foreign carmakers to sell cars all over the world. For
example, Ford Volvo and Jaguar,
among others. It also controls the Japanese carmaker Mazda.
G.M.'s holdings include Saab. General Motors has factories in thirty-two
countries and sells cars in two hundred countries. G.M. has invested
heavily in China. It has
investments with the Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation.
America's "Big Two," General Motors and Ford, must
problems. But they remain the third and fourth largest companies in the