Spy Shots: 2006 Benz CSTIt’s been recently reported that the second-generation A-Class will not be sold here in the States, but instead an all-new vehicle with more of an American appeal will come off the same platform. The brand’s base model in the U.S. will be a sport tourer based on the A-Class platform and sold under the CST badge. The CST arrives in 2005 and will resemble the GST — a new six-passenger sport tourer also due in 2005 and to be built alongside the M-Class SUV in Vance, Ala. Pricing should slot beneath the current C-Class at less than $30,000. This photo illustration is based on spy photos of the coming A-Class and GST wagon, and suggests what the CST is expected to look like when it bows in late 2005.
Spy Shots: ’06 Mercedes-Benz CST (8/11/2003)
A new German-American flavor of sport wagon.
Spy Shots: 2005 Acura RL
Spy Shots: ’05 Acura RL (8/11/2003)
Euro handling and sharper styling comes to Acura’s elder statesman.
DAILY IN DEPTH
Roscommon Dealer McNamara a Ford Achiever
Scott E. McNamara’s three Ford-Lincoln Mercury dealerships are located in small towns in central Michigan, about halfway between the Greater Detroit area and Traverse City – which is why I took the time to stop and interview Scott on the way up to the Management Briefing Seminars last week. Ford’s president and COO, Nicholas V. Scheele, and product creation vice-president, Chris Theodore were among the speakers at the seminars but, after all, dealers big and small are the automakers’ primary customers. And Ford dealers have been around longer than any other U.S. automakers because Ford, at 100, is older than GM (95) and Chrysler (79).
But at age 35, McNamara is on a roll. He just added the Lincoln franchise in Roscommon, a town of 1,000 residents, as a reward for renovating a Ford-Mercury store he acquired twelve years ago that was on the rocks. McNamara left a job as manager at Matthew Hargraves Chevrolet in Royal Oak, Mich., to buy the Roscommon store in 1992. His sales have grown steadily, as have his employee count (now up to 82) and his number of stores. He added a Ford-Mercury dealership in Gladwin three years ago and a Ford-Mercury store in Grayling last December. He’s on track to selling a record 1500 new and used units this year in the flagship Roscommon dealership, and says his ultimate goal is to build a central Michigan chain of seven or eight Ford dealerships, helped by Ford Credit as needed.
Trucks are 80 to 85 percent of his business, and he waited eagerly for the first 2004 F-150 to reach his Roscommon store. “I drove it at the dealer preview, and it’s great,” he declared. “It’ll help me outsell the Chevrolet dealer here and stay above averages in customer satisfaction and penetration, that’s for sure.” The Roscommon store, serving about 20,000 residents in Roscommon County, boasts an 83 percent CSI “fully satisfied” average and an over-achieving 120 percent sales pace above the Detroit regional average.