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April 8, 2008 10:30 AM, EDT

U.S. Automakers Planning More Exports, Journal Says

Tom Biery/Trans Pixs

U.S. automakers have set goals of exporting more American cars, following new labor agreements and a weaker U.S. dollar, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.

The moves are being spurred by the improved position of the ‘Big Three’ U.S. automakers — General Motors Corp., Chrysler LLC and Ford Motor Co. — and has raised concern of foreign-based automakers such as Toyota Corp., which also makes vehicles in the United States, the paper said.

GM plans to export vehicles to Europe, Asia and Latin America, the Journal reported in a front-page story.

Chrysler has already shifted some vehicle production to the United States from Europe, taking advantage of lower costs and more available plant capacity, while Ford is considering boosting its exports if it can bring its labor costs down.

Exporting more U.S.-made cars could go a long way in helping the Big Three turn around their unprofitable North American operations, the Journal said.