Traffic deaths rose slightly last year, to the highest levels in 11 years, according to the Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In nearly 3 trillion miles traveled, some 42,116 Americans died as a result of car crashes, slightly more than 2000’s 41,945 deaths. About 60 percent of those killed were not wearing seat belts. The numbers were the highest since 1990; however, traffic injuries were down by nearly 5 percent.
FORD, BALLARD SHOW OFF FUEL-CELL GENERATOR
Ford and Ballard Power Systems on Wednesday showed a combustion-powered hydrogen generator that could make fuel cells reality at the end of the decade. The generator, powered by a Ford 6.8-liter V-10 engine, will go into production later this year. Power utilities and other like companies will be able to use the powerplant to generate electricity during peak periods. Ford is a part owner in Ballard, along with DaimlerChrysler.
Detroit Showing Green Bruises by Joseph Szczesny (8/5/2002)
VW ENDS CABRIO IN U.S.
Volkswagen AG said it will stop selling its Cabrio model in the U.S., replacing it with the 2003 New Beetle convertible to be introduced at the North American International Auto Show in January. The current Cabrio is built off the Golf III, not the Golf IV that is sold today, which accounts for why the Cabrio has been VW's worst-quality vehicle. The Cabrio, which retails for between $19,600 and $22,300, was introduced in 1979 as the Volkswagen Rabbit Convertible. The company said more than 223,000 Cabrios have been sold in the U.S. The Cabrio will still be available in Europe, the spokesman said. –Jim Burt
Spy Shots: ’03 VW Beetle Conv. by Brenda Priddy (7/15/2002)
SPECIAL REPORT: TRAVERSE CITY by the TCC Team
In the film industry, they’d call it a “bankable cast,” a selection of superstars guaranteed to pack ‘em in at the box office. That was certainly the case at the Management Briefing Seminars on Wednesday when the morning session brought together Ford Chairman Bill Ford, General Motors Vice Chairman Robert A. Lutz, Chrysler Group CEO Dieter Zetsche and Honda Motor Co. President Hiroyuki Yoshino. The assemblage took on a wide range of topics, both during the joint session and in a series of luncheons and interviews later in the day. Here’s what they offered up: