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2002 Detroit Show, Part IV Page 2

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The midsize, rear-drive Infiniti G35 will be priced from $27,100, company officials announced at the Detroit show. The G35 sports a 260-hp V-6 engine, a five-speed automatic transmission, and a six-disc changer in the dash. With leather, the price rises to $28,950. The sedan is to go on sale in March, but before it does, Infiniti and its dealers are opening the order books. As of yesterday, buyers can price and order G35s on the Web, at a dealer, or by filling out an information card on a brochure.


General Motors has begun rolling out a new Internet service that will let consumers get up-close-and-personal, and learn a lot more about their individual cars in the process. will provide more than 80 pages of personalized information, some so precise it responds to the vehicle's specific VIN number. Among other things, owners will be able to check service manuals, locate service centers and get e-mail recall notices. They'll also be able to post some information of their own, including pictures and any nicknames for their cars. The program is already in place for many Pontiac and Chevrolet models, and should cover all U.S. GM brands shortly. By year's end, a range of additional countries will get access to the service, including Japan and Australia. "We're trying to build a one-to-one-to-one relationship" between factory, dealer and customer, said the project's director, Stu Dressler. He admits the automaker has some ulterior motives: MyGMLink could help drive business to GM dealers and parts distributors, and increase loyalty rates, which translates into repeat buyers.


Meanwhile, GM's OnStar unit will launch its own customized service, OnStar@Home. Users with the right services and equipment will be able to check and set their home alarms, monitor video cameras linked to the Web, even close their garage doors or adjust thermostats by remote control. Asked about the potential for outsiders to breach the new system, Mark Hogan, director of the eGM unit operating OnStar, asserted "It is a concern you are raising, but we have put security systems into place to protect our customers.”

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