TCC'S DAILY EDITION: June 26, 2003
Chevy Confirms “Cobalt”
2005 Chevrolet CobaltEnlarge Photo
Mazda Builds Mazda3
2004 Mazda3Enlarge Photo
Nissan Pathfinder Moving to Tennessee
Nissan Lays Foundation in Miss. by TCC Team (6/2/2003)
Nissan’s betting on Mississippi for big things ahead.
Polk: U.S. Brands Get More Loyal Customers
The midyear report from R.L. Polk & Co. finds that American brands are more likely to have loyal returning buyer than import brands. General Motors has some of the most loyal customers; 68.7 percent of GM owners who shopped for new vehicles from October 2002 to March 2003 returned to the GM dealer. Ford’s main blue-oval division saw a return rate of 57.6 percent, while the American brands as a group took ten of twelve model categories ranked by Polk. Get the full results atwww.polk.com.
GM Writing Off Fuel Cell Reformers
Perhaps the biggest obstacle to widespread use of the fuel cell is finding a suitable means of storing hydrogen onboard a vehicle, says Alan Taub, executive director of General Motors’ Science Labs. But the automaker is “shifting away from” the once-promising strategy of producing hydrogen, as needed, with a device dubbed the onboard reformer, Taub tells TheCarConnection.com. Onboard reformers are essentially mobile refineries, able to generate hydrogen from more conventional liquid fuels – GM has focused on gasoline, while other makers, including DaimlerChrysler, prefer methanol. But the bulky devices pose a variety of problems, such as “compromising the packaging of a vehicle,” notes Taub, who asks, “Why put that investment cost on every vehicle?” GM will now emphasize a hydrogen production system that produces the lightweight gas either at central refineries or right at the service station. The automaker continues to believe commercially viable fuel cell technology could begin to reach market by the beginning of the next decade, though many observers are warning it could be closer to 2020. —TCC Team