TCC'S DAILY EDITION: Feb. 3, 2004
January Sales Sluggish for GM, Ford
While Japanese companies and Chrysler Group posted sales gains in the first month of the new year, General Motors and Ford slumped. According to wire reports, total vehicle sales fell by about 0.7 percent in January, with General Motors posting a 1.8-percent drop in car and truck sales and Ford falling even further, by 9.8 percent in the month. Meanwhile Toyota, Japan’s biggest automaker, boosted its sales by 15.8 percent while Nissan’s sales skyrocketed by 25.7 percent. Chrysler Group sales increased by 9.4 percent, and Honda sales fell 3.7 percent. The seasonally adjusted annual sales rate for January came in at 16.1 million units, compared with 16.2 million in January 2003.
Small Cars Making a Comeback? by TCC Team (2/2/2004)
Buick LaCrosse Gets VVT V-6
Buick’s LaCrosse sedan shows its new sheetmetal off at today’s opening of the Chicago Auto Show to the media. It arrives for the 2005 model year in three models: CX, CXL, and the sporty CXS, which gets the new GM 3.6-liter V-6 engine already found in the Cadillac lineup. The other versions stick with GM’s 3800 V-6 with 200 hp. Buick says the suspension tuning is 80 percent new, compared with the departed Regal. Both five- and six-passenger versions will be offered. Dual airbags and four-wheel disc brakes are standard, while side-curtain airbags are optional, along with Ultrasonic Rear Parking Assist and a factory-installed remote starting system. Also standard: remote keyless entry, a power driver's seat, automatic programmable power door locks with lockout protection, power windows with express-down driver's window, and a six-speaker audio system with CD.
Flint: Detroit’s Losing Markets by Jerry Flint (1/26/2004)
Minivans and small pickups aren’t going the way of the dinosaur — unless you work for the Big 2.5.
Dodge Dakota Gets Revamp
Dodge’s 2005 Dakota gets brand-new sheetmetal and a new fully boxed frame, new front and rear suspensions and a pair of V-8 engines. Dodge says the new Dakota is 3.7 inches longer and 2.7 inches wider than before, and retains its 7000-lb towing capacity. The standard engine is a 3.7-liter Magnum V-6 with 210 horsepower; a 4.7-liter V-8 has 230 horsepower and the new High Output Magnum V-8 will sport 250-plus horsepower, Dodge says. The Dakota will only come as a four-door: in Club Cab configuration the doors are rear-hinged, and in the Quad Cab front-hinged. Dual-stage front airbags and an occupant-sensing system for the passenger-side front air bag are standard, while side-curtain airbags are an option.
Mitsu Considering Eight-Seater for U.S. by TCC Team (1/19/2004)
New chief hails new direction, calls current strategy “a dangerous place to be.”
Spy Shots: 2005 MINI Open
It’s now just a short time before BMW will release its topless version of the successful MINI. The car is to rival the likes of Citroën’s Pluriel in the European market, as well as the larger Volkswagen Beetle Convertible and upcoming PT Cruiser Convertible. The MINI Open, as it will be known by, will feature a conventional canvas top with a heated rear window made of glass, and a bottom-hinged tailgate as on the original MINI. The glass window will keep the cabin both warmer and quieter.
Spy Shots: ’05 MINI Open by Brenda Priddy (2/2/2004)
A MINI facelift to accompany the convertible.