President Bush to Meet with Big Three Auto Chiefs

The chief executive officers of General Motors Corp. (GM), Ford Motor Co. (F) and DaimlerChrysler AG's (DMX) Chrysler unit will meet with President George W. Bush, a Ford spokesman said on Thursday.

A second person familiar with preparations for the meeting said it would be held on May 18 and would focus on alternative fuels, including ethanol, the high pension and health-care costs borne by the Detroit automakers and their concern on foreign exchange rates.

The White House had no comment on plans for a meeting, first reported by the New York Times based on an interview with Ford Chief Executive Bill Ford.

"We don't announce the president's schedule that far in advance," White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said.

But Ford spokesman Josh Gottheimer said plans for the meeting were the result of "an ongoing, constructive dialogue with the White House."

Gottheimer said: "We are meeting in the near future."