Automakers putting brakes on options

February 16, 2009 10:32:08 AM PST

It's another case of U.S. automakers taking a cue from their Japanese counterparts as they try to cut costs amid slumping sales.

Industry consultant Laurie Harbour-Felax says reducing options streamlines the manufacturing process and cuts down on costs for engineering, design and marketing.

Car makers are taking note. For example, the 2010 version of the Ford Fusion will have 104 combinations of features, down from 2,600 for the 2008 model.

The Toyota Camry and the Honda Accord were the two best-selling cars in the U.S. in 2008. The people who purchased them picked from a total of just 15 versions.

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