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General Motors moves towards fuel efficiency

By Phillip Reynolds,2014-06-28 16:57
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General Motors moves towards fuel efficiency ...

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    http://www.breakingnewsenglish.com/book.html General Motors moves towards fuel efficiency

    URL: http://www.breakingnewsenglish.com/0806/080605-fuel_efficient_cars.html

    Contents

    The Article 2

    -Warmups 3 Before Reading / Listening 4 While Reading / Listening 5 Listening Gap Fill 6 After Reading / Listening 7 Student Survey 8 Discussion 9 Language Work 10 Writing 11 Homework 12 Answers 13

    th5 June, 2008

THE ARTICLE

    It‟s all change in the American auto industry. Just a fortnight after Ford

    Motor Company announced cuts to its sports utility vehicle (SUV) production, General Motors followed suit yesterday. GM, the world‟s

    largest auto maker, announced it would close four factories that make

    SUVs and pick-up trucks by 2010. Bosses said the decision reflects

    changes in consumer tastes towards smaller, more economical cars. A

    company spokesperson said SUVs were now hurting the company‟s

    bottom line. It sold 28 per cent fewer vehicles in May compared with the

    same period last year. The steepest declines were in the sales of the gas-guzzling SUVs. Recent oil price hikes have meant GM is now forced to

    focus on more environmentally-friendly cars. It said the new policy was

    “to aggressively respond to growing demand for fuel-efficient vehicles”. In a sign of desperate measures, GM is considering offloading its Hummer brand. Sales of this SUV-cum-tank have plummeted as motorists can no

    longer afford to fill its tank and keep it on the road. GM chief executive

    Rick Wagoner said: “At this point, we are considering all options for the

    Hummer brand…everything from a complete revamp of the product line-up to a partial or complete sale of the brand.” He added: “High gas prices

    are changing consumer behaviour and changing it rapidly. We don't

    believe it's a spike or a temporary shift. We believe it is, by and large, permanent." Wagoner said the emphasis now was on the production of

    the Chevrolet Volt, a plug-in electric car, scheduled to be in car

    showrooms by the end of 2010. GM is tied with Toyota for the title of the

    world‟s largest car maker, but Toyota is way ahead in producing fuel-efficient cars.

    thGeneral Motors moves towards fuel efficiency - 5 June, 2008

    More free lessons at www.BreakingNewsEnglish.com 2

WARM-UPS

    1. CARS: Walk around the class and talk to other students about cars. Change partners

    often. After you finish, sit with your partner(s) and share your findings.

    2. CHAT: In pairs / groups, decide which of these topics or words from the article are

    most interesting and which are most boring.

     auto industry / fortnight / SUVs / following suit / the bottom line / gas guzzlers /

    desperate measures / tanks / motorists / revamps / car showrooms / being way ahead

    Have a chat about the topics you liked. Change topics and partners frequently.

    3. CAR OPINIONS: What do you think of these car opinions? Why do you think

    people might have these opinions? Discuss them with your partner(s). Change partners and

    share your ideas.

    a. All cars over 1,000cc should be banned

    b. People worry too much about cars and pollution

    c. Car engines should be limited to a top speed of 80kph

    d. There should be no petrol-driven cars after 2010

    e. People should be able to drive as fast as they like

    f. Big, powerful cars are safer

    g. SUVs should be banned in cities

    h. Increased taxes on cars should help provide free public transportation

    4. WHY BUY?: What‟s important for you when buying a car? Rank the items below:

    10 = “so, so, so important;” 1 = “totally unimportant”. Compare your answers with your

    partner(s).

    _____ price _____ fuel-efficiency _____ colour _____ warranty _____ engine size / speed / power _____ central locking _____ stereo _____ maker 5. HEADLINE PREDICTION: With your partner(s), use the words in the “Chat” activity above to predict what the news article will be about. Once you have your story,

    change partners and share them. Who was closest to the real story?

    6. FUEL EFFICIENCY: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words

    you associate with the term „fuel efficiency‟. Share your words with your partner(s) and talk

    about them. Together, put the words into different categories.

    thGeneral Motors moves towards fuel efficiency - 5 June, 2008

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BEFORE READING / LISTENING

    1. TRUE / FALSE: Look at the article‟s headline and guess whether these sentences are true (T) or false (F):

    a. T / F A US car maker is going to reduce the number of big cars it produces. b. T / F The car maker is responding to changes in consumer preferences. c. T / F The production of SUVs is very good for the company‟s bottom line. d. T / F GM is selling fewer SUVs now than at the same time last year. e. T / F The Hummer is like a mixture of an SUV and a tank. f. T / F High gas prices have slowly changed consumers‟ behaviour. g. T / F GM believes the change in consumer spending patterns is temporary. h. T / F GM is tied with Toyota as leaders in producing fuel-efficient cars. 2. SYNONYM MATCH: Match the following synonyms from the article:

    a. mirrors 1. fortnight

    b. nose-dived 2 followed suit

    c. generally 3. reflects

    d. did the same 4. bottom line

    e. overhaul 5. hikes

    f. far 6. measures

    g. rises 7. plummeted

    h. two weeks 8. revamp

    i. profit 9. by and large

    j. actions 10. way

    3. PHRASE MATCH: Match the following phrases from the article (sometimes more

    than one combination is possible):

    It‟s all change in a. large, permanent 1.

    the decision reflects changes in b. the product line-up 2

    sales of the gas- c. hikes 3.

    Recent oil price d. consumer tastes 4.

    aggressively respond to growing e. have plummeted 5.

    In a sign of desperate f. guzzling SUVs 6.

    Sales of this SUV-cum-tank g. ahead 7.

    a complete revamp of h. the American auto industry 8.

    We believe it is, by and i. demand 9.

    Toyota is way j. measures 10.

    thGeneral Motors moves towards fuel efficiency - 5 June, 2008

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WHILE READING / LISTENING

    GAP FILL: Put the words into the gaps in the text.

     It‟s all __________ in the American auto industry. Just a fortnight after Ford Motor Company announced __________ to its sports guzzling utility vehicle (SUV) production, General Motors followed cuts __________ yesterday. GM, the world‟s largest auto maker,

    reflects announced it would close four factories that make SUVs and pick-

    up trucks by 2010. Bosses said the decision __________ changes respond in consumer tastes towards smaller, more economical cars. A

    change company spokesperson said SUVs were now hurting the

    company‟s bottom __________. It sold 28 per cent fewer vehicles line in May compared with the same period last year. The steepest

    hikes declines were in the sales of the gas-__________ SUVs. Recent oil

    price __________ have meant GM is now forced to focus on more suit environmentally-friendly cars. It said the new policy was “to aggressively __________ to growing demand for fuel-efficient

    vehicles”.

     In a __________ of desperate measures, GM is considering offloading its Hummer brand. Sales of this SUV-__________-tank shift have plummeted as motorists can no longer afford to fill its tank

     cum and keep it on the __________. GM chief executive Rick Wagoner

    said: “At this point, we are considering all options for the Hummer way brand…everything from a complete __________ of the product

    revamp line-up to a __________ or complete sale of the brand.” He

    added: “High gas prices are changing consumer behaviour and tied changing it rapidly. We don't believe it's a spike or a temporary sign __________. We believe it is, by and large, permanent." Wagoner

    road said the emphasis now was on the production of the Chevrolet

    Volt, a plug-in electric car, scheduled to be in car showrooms by partial the end of 2010. GM is __________ with Toyota for the title of the

    world‟s largest car maker, but Toyota is __________ ahead in

    producing fuel-efficient cars.

    thGeneral Motors moves towards fuel efficiency - 5 June, 2008

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LISTENING: Listen and fill in the spaces.

    It‟s _______________________ American auto industry. Just a fortnight

    after Ford Motor Company announced __________________ utility vehicle

    (SUV) production, General Motors __________________ yesterday. GM, the

    world‟s largest auto maker, announced it would close four factories that

    make SUVs and pick-up trucks by 2010. Bosses said the decision reflects

    _____________________ tastes towards smaller, more economical cars. A

    company spokesperson said SUVs __________________ company‟s bottom

    line. It sold 28 per cent fewer vehicles in May compared with the same

    period last year. The steepest declines were in the sales

    __________________ SUVs. Recent oil price hikes have meant GM is now

    forced to focus on more environmentally-friendly cars. It said the new policy

    was “to aggressively __________________ demand for fuel-efficient vehicles”.

    In a sign __________________, GM is considering offloading its Hummer

    brand. Sales of this SUV-cum-tank have plummeted as motorists can no

    longer afford to fill its tank and __________________ road. GM chief

    executive Rick Wagoner said: “At this point, we are __________________

    for the Hummer brand…everything from a complete revamp of the product

    line-up to a __________________ sale of the brand.” He added: “High gas prices are changing consumer behaviour and changing it rapidly. We don't

    believe it's a spike or a temporary shift. We believe __________________,

    permanent." Wagoner said the emphasis now was on the production of the

    Chevrolet Volt, __________________ car, scheduled to be in car

    showrooms by the end of 2010. GM is tied with Toyota for the title of the

    world‟s largest car maker, but Toyota __________________ producing fuel-

    efficient cars.

    thGeneral Motors moves towards fuel efficiency - 5 June, 2008

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AFTER READING / LISTENING

    1. WORD SEARCH: Look in your dictionaries / computer to find

    collocates, other meanings, information, synonyms … for the words „fuel‟

    and „efficient‟.

    fuel efficient

    ? Share your findings with your partners.

    ? Make questions using the words you found.

    ? Ask your partner / group your questions.

    2. ARTICLE QUESTIONS: Look back at the article and write down

    some questions you would like to ask the class about the text.

    ? Share your questions with other classmates / groups.

    ? Ask your partner / group your questions.

    3. GAP FILL: In pairs / groups, compare your answers to this exercise.

    Check your answers. Talk about the words from the activity. Were they new,

    interesting, worth learning…?

    4. VOCABULARY: Circle any words you do not understand. In groups,

    pool unknown words and use dictionaries to find their meanings.

    5. TEST EACH OTHER: Look at the words below. With your partner, try

    to recall how they were used in the text:

    ? fortnight ? sign

    ? suit ? afford

    ? reflects ? partial

    ? bottom ? large

    ? hikes ? emphasis

    ? respond ? way

    thGeneral Motors moves towards fuel efficiency - 5 June, 2008

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STUDENT CAR SURVEY

    Write five GOOD questions about cars in the table. Do this in pairs. Each student must

    write the questions on his / her own paper.

    When you have finished, interview other students. Write down their answers.

     STUDENT 1 STUDENT 2 STUDENT 3

    _____________ _____________ _____________

     Q.1.

     Q.2.

     Q.3.

     Q.4.

     Q.5.

    ? Now return to your original partner and share and talk about what you found

    out. Change partners often.

    ? Make mini-presentations to other groups on your findings.

    thGeneral Motors moves towards fuel efficiency - 5 June, 2008

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CARS DISCUSSION

    STUDENT A‟s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

    a) What did you think when you read the headline? b) What springs to mind when you hear the abbreviation „SUV‟? c) What do you think of gas-guzzling SUVs?

    d) Do you think in future the world will be full of small cars? e) Are you worried the tribe will now be destroyed by the modern world? f) Does your country, like America, have a love affair with cars? g) How have your tastes in cars changed over the years? h) Do you think it‟s time people started buying smaller, more economical

    cars?

    i) How have the recent oil price hikes affected you? j) What do you think of GM‟s decision to close four of its factories?

    thGeneral Motors moves towards fuel efficiency - 5 June, 2008

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    CARS DISCUSSION

    STUDENT B‟s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

    a) Did you like reading this article?

    b) Have you ever taken any desperate measures in your life? c) What do you think of people who drive cars that are like tanks when

    they don‟t really need such a huge car?

    d) What do you know about the Hummer brand of vehicles? e) What kinds of things change your spending behaviour? f) Would you feel strange driving a car you plug in to the electricity to

    recharge it?

    g) What is your favourite car?

    h) Who do you think is the world‟s best auto maker? i) Are you happy to change your lifestyle in response to global warming? j) What questions would you like to ask GM CEO Rick Wagoner?

    thGeneral Motors moves towards fuel efficiency - 5 June, 2008

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LANGUAGE

    It‟s all change (1) ____ the American auto industry. Just a (2) ____ after Ford

    Motor Company announced cuts to its sports utility vehicle (SUV) production,

    General Motors followed (3) ____ yesterday. GM, the world‟s largest auto maker,

    announced it would close four factories that make SUVs and pick-up trucks by 2010.

    Bosses said the decision (4) ____ changes in consumer tastes towards smaller,

    more economical cars. A company spokesperson said SUVs were now (5) ____

    the company‟s bottom line. It sold 28 per cent fewer vehicles in May compared with

    the same period last year. The steepest declines were in the sales of the gas-

    guzzling SUVs. Recent oil price (6) ____ have meant GM is now forced to focus on

    more environmentally-friendly cars. It said the new policy was “to aggressively

    respond to growing demand for fuel-efficient vehicles”.

    In a sign of desperate measures, GM is considering offloading its Hummer brand.

    Sales of this SUV-cum-tank have plummeted (7) ____ motorists can no longer

    afford to fill its tank and (8) ____ it on the road. GM chief executive Rick Wagoner

    said: “At (9) ____ point, we are considering all options for the Hummer

    brand…everything from a complete (10) ____ of the product line-up to a partial or

    complete sale of the brand.” He added: “High gas prices are changing consumer

    behaviour and changing it rapidly. We don't believe it's a spike or a temporary shift.

    We believe it is, by and (11) ____, permanent." Wagoner said the emphasis now

    was on the production of the Chevrolet Volt, a plug-in electric car, scheduled to be

    in car showrooms by the end of 2010. GM is tied with Toyota for the title of the

    world‟s largest car maker, but Toyota is (12) ____ ahead in producing fuel-efficient

    cars.

    Put the correct words from the table below in the above article.

    1. (a) in (b) on (c) by (d) to 2. (a) fortnightly (b) four nights (c) fortnight (d) fort 3. (a) jacket (b) costume (c) dress (d) suit 4. (a) reflection (b) reflects (c) reflective (d) reflectors 5. (a) halting (b) hunting (c) hating (d) hurting 6. (a) hiking (b) hikers (c) hikes (d) hiked 7. (a) why (b) as (c) for (d) sure 8. (a) keep (b) kept (c) keeping (d) keeps 9. (a) this (b) these (c) that (d) those 10. (a) rev (b) vampire (c) revamp (d) revise 11. (a) enormous (b) huge (c) big (d) large 12. (a) weigh (b) way (c) why (d) weight

    thGeneral Motors moves towards fuel efficiency - 5 June, 2008

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