TCC'S DAILY EDITION: August 15, 2003
Auto Plants Downed by Blackout
2004 Bugatti Veyron 16.4
2004 Bugatti Veyron 16.4Enlarge Photo
Bugatti has finally shown the first production car in its new, Volkswagen-owned iteration. The Veyron 16.4, with a 16-cylinder engine forged from two W8s, ambled around Laguna Seca Raceway on Thursday as it prepared for its world introduction at the Rolex Monterey Historic races on Saturday. The Veyron 16.4 has four turbochargers and makes 1001 horsepower at 6000 rpm. VW hasn’t released production estimates or prices.
Regal Gets LaCrossed in 2005
Buick is replacing its mainstay Regal in 2005 — and when it does the new vehicle will get a new, old-fashioned name. The LaCrosse will replace the Regal, according to Automotive News, because GM execs think the new name will better reflect the new car’s vast differences from the older model. AN adds that Buick dealers have been informed of the decision to rebrand the popular mid-size sedan.
DAILY IN DEPTH
Olds, at 107, Enters Home Stretch
Oldsmobile logoEnlarge Photo
Seeking to keep Olds owners in the GM fold, the number-one automaker has offered “loyalty” spiffs of $1500 for owners buying another Oldsmobile and $1000 for those buying another GM brand. Approximately half of Olds owners have stayed with GM, of which about one-fifth have gone to Chevrolet, one out of ten have stayed true to Olds, and one out of twelve have switched to Buick. In January, 2001, some 722,000 loyalty coupons were mailed to Olds owners. According to the Automotive News story, Darwin Clark, GM’s vice-president for industry-dealer affairs, and a former Olds general manager, says about 225,000 have been used, about 31.2 percent of those issued.
Dealers have been reimbursed for loss of the franchise on the basis of payment of $1675 to $3100 per new Olds sold in their best year from 1998 to 2000. There were 2801 Olds dealerships in the U.S. when the bell tolled for the brand’s finale. A dealer who sold 500 new vehicles in that time period received a check for $837,500 to $1,550,000, says GM. A total of 2515 dealerships have settled with GM, 50 are still negotiating, and 16 have filed compensation lawsuits.
Headquartered for most of its life in Lansing, Mich., near the state capital, Oldsmobile introduced the automatic transmission and the “Rocket V-8” engine. Its founder, Ransom Eli Olds, gave his initials to the Reo truck line, also a vehicle of the past, when the company started up in 1897. —Mac Gordon