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2002 Los Angeles Show, Part I


2002 Los Angeles Auto Show logo

2002 Los Angeles Auto Show logo

2002 Los Angeles Auto Show by TCC Team (1/3/2002)


sponsored by Toyota

 

XLR ON HOLD, ART & SCIENCE UNDER ASSAULT

Evoq_Front

Evoq_Front

Enlarge Photo
The world will get its first look at the production version of Cadillac's Evoq concept roadster at the North American International Auto Show next week. But potential buyers will have to wait an extra six months to get their hands on what has been renamed the Caddy XLR. General Motors' product czar, Bob Lutz, tells TheCarConnection the last-minute delay is meant "to make sure of the XLR's execution," with a focus on ensuring good fit-and-finish of the roadster's composite panels. Look for the vehicle to now reach showrooms in spring of 2003. In his effort to reshape GM's product program, Lutz has also delayed the next-generation Cadillac Seville, to be called the STS. That delay is meant to improve its styling, Lutz acknowledges. Meanwhile, insiders say Lutz would like to abandon Caddy's controversial Art & Science design theme. While the 69-year-old executive wouldn't confirm that, he did admit wanting to soften and round out the knife-edge styling that debuted on the division's new CTS sedan.
Preview: 2003 Cadillac CTS by TCC Team (8/20/2001)

 

GREATER THAN ZERO?

Bob Lutz 2002 Los Angeles Show

Bob Lutz 2002 Los Angeles Show

Enlarge Photo
With GM abandoning its zero-interest loan program in favor of new cash rebates, many industry analysts now expect a sharp decline in U.S. auto sales in the coming months. The automaker's own forecast calls for a drop of more than one million units this year, to something over 15 million vehicles. But Bob Lutz, Chairman of GM's North American operations, is turning cautiously bullish. "My personal feeling is things have bottomed out," he told TheCarConnection at the L.A. Auto Show. "Personally, I would not be surprised to see (sales) somewhat better than that."
Trucks Set To Pass Cars by Joseph Szczesny (12/31/2001)

 

LUXURY MARKET RESISTS RECESSION

2003 Mercedes-Benz SL500

2003 Mercedes-Benz SL500

Enlarge Photo
Recession? What recession? It's certainly hard to measure the current economic climate by reading the latest luxury car sales numbers. Manufacturers like Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Jaguar used the L.A. Auto Show as the stage for announcing record sales tallied during 2001. And with a flood of new, top-end products coming, most of the luxury marques are looking for sales to match or exceed last year's levels in 2002. Mercedes' marketing chief, David Schembri, forecast his company would do "slightly better than last year," partially on the strength of the newly revised SL roadster. Jaguar officials were optimistic for their own brand, citing record sales since the introduction of the X-Type sedan in August. BMW chief Tom Purvis was only a bit more cautious, predicting flat sales for 2002, perhaps because of uncertainty about the critical reception for the new 7-Series sedan. The flagship line has been faulted for its quirky, bustle-back styling and high-tech iDrive control system. But adding in sales of the new Mini line, which launches in eight weeks, Purvis predicted BMW's total corporate volume would also be up, despite the recession.

 

LINCOLN GETS LUCAS’ SOUND
Ford's Lincoln luxury division has inked an agreement with THX, the spin-off of director George Lucas's film empire. Developed to enhance the realism of movie theater sound systems, THX has become a hot feature on high-end home audio systems. And starting with the redesigned 2003 LS sedan, Lincoln will begin rolling out THX-certified sound systems in its cars, a first for mobile sound. Audio systems have become increasingly important to U.S. car buyers trying to differentiate between otherwise similar vehicles, and carmakers like Lincoln, Cadillac and Lexus have been rushing to partner with top-end audio brands. As part of the Lincoln deal, THX will certify other audio manufacturers, rather than supply the hardware itself. The company's top executive, Monica Dashwood, cautioned that while Lincoln is its first automotive client, THX did not grant the carmaker an exclusive contract.


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