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2005 New York Show, Part IV

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Sean P. Diddy Combs

Sean P. Diddy Combs

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2005 New York Auto Show Index by TCC Team (3/21/2005)

 

Make Room for Diddy

New York is the obvious location for carmakers to hook up with business titans to promote their wares. And while Volvo’s deal with Richard Branson and Cadillac’s giveaway to Donald Trump gave this year’s New York show an ample splash of eau de celeb, the introduction of Sean “P. Diddy” Combs’ new line of aftermarket wheels showed how the new generation of mogul is doing it aftermarket-style. Combs’ wheels are a new line built by Weld Wheel Industries in Kansas City, Mo. A specialty maker of custom wheels, Weld and president Greg Weld were lacking only in one thing, according to Combs: “[He’s] missing a little sexy in his life,” the rapper turned music and fashion mogul told press audiences. Combs, who kept the press waiting 45 minutes, was on hand for the debut of the resulting Sean John wheels, multi-spoke designs to be sold through the Sean John Web site and select retail outlets. "Wheels have become a fashion statement--a badge of taste and style,” said Combs.  “We see an opportunity to bring excitement to the wheel category by delivering the Sean John sophisticated design with the best quality production.”

 

Scion t2b

2005 Scion t2b conceptt

2005 Scion t2b conceptt

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Scion’s out-of-the-box success in the U.S. has left even Toyota a little surprised—but having sold 140,000 units since the debut of the brand in 2003, and counting on 120,000 sales this year, Scion isn’t slowing down its quest to grab the Gen-Y crowd by the wallet. At New York, Scion chief Jim Farley introduced the t2b concept, a five-seater wagon that could predict the future of Scion’s xB and certainly indicates that Scion is looking for ways to produce its future lineup more efficiently. The t2b was shown in full-size concept form, but Scion also sculpted two additional small-scale models that show what the t2b could look like in cargo-carrier and fastback form. The t2b concept on the show floor sports far-out features like a power-sliding side door on one flank and suicide doors on the other, an MP3-player dock, twin skylights over the back seats and a tickertape-style dash readout that also shifts its color. A new 2.4-liter powerplant is anticipated for the design.

2005 Scion t2b

2005 Scion t2b

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While Scion chief Jim Farley gives no indication on the production potential of the t2b, he did emphasize the future of Scion lies in spinning more vehicles off common platforms. As for hybrids, they are “getting a lot of traction,” but until they become more cost-efficient they can’t appeal to Scion’s budget-conscious buyers, who don’t spend much for the vehicles despite an average income of about $60,000 a year. A hybrid that used electric power to provide four-wheel drive would be one way to bring Scion buyers hybrid power, he noted.

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