SPY SHOTS: ’05 FORD CROSSTRAINER
From sketch to test mule, Ford’s 2005 CrossTrainer was caught taking a break during its first cold weather test season. Shown in illustrated form only at the Chicago Auto Show earlier this month, the all-new crossover from Ford will begin production in Chicago in early 2004. The CrossTrainer will be available in front-wheel drive, as well as all-wheel drive. The unibody seven-passenger vehicle will be equipped with a V-6 engine and CVT. See more of it in today’s edition of TheCarConnection.com:
Spy Shots: ’05 Ford CrossTrainer by Brenda Priddy (3/11/2002)
CAFE DECISION COMING THIS WEEK
The U.S Senate has begun debate on proposal to raise the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standard. A final vote is still expected this week and the best guess is that the automakers have succeeded in derailing any changes to the CAFE rules as they stand. Also dead on arrival is President George Bush's proposal to drill for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Preserve. One feature of the final phase of the fight was that Honda, which early on had opted out of the coalition of domestic, Asian and European automakers fighting the increase, finally decided to support the Levin-Bond bill, which is favored by the industry. Named for Carl Levin, the Democratic senator from Michigan, and Christopher Bond, the Republican Senator from Missouri, the so-called compromise would allow the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) to set CAFE standards. The current standards are 27.5 mpg for passenger cars, and 20.7 mpg for trucks.--Joe Szczesny
Detroit Girds Against CAFE Rise by Joseph Szczesny (3/4/2002)
HONDA FLEXES MOBILITY
American Honda Motor Co. Inc. says it has bought an 18.4-percent stake in a Seattle company that provides vehicles to its users on an hourly basis. Mobility Inc. operates FlexCar, which allows customers in some Pacific Northwest areas to use one of the company’s fleet of cars; a $25 membership gets access, and hourly charges pay for car use, maintenance, gas and insurance. Honda takes part in similar programs in Asia.
FORD TREASURER ACTON RESIGNS
Ford Motor Co. treasurer Elizabeth Acton has resigned, the company announced on Tuesday. Acton will become the new CFO of Comerica Inc. Acton, 50, joined Ford in October of 2000; she is to be replaced by Malcolm McDonald on an interim basis.
PORSCHE CLOSING S.C. FACILITY
Porsche Cars North America will close an inspection center in Charleston, S.C., the company said on Tuesday. The closure is effective at the end of May. Some 33 employees will be affected by the decision. Porsche will use port facilities in Baltimore and Brunswick, Ga., for the inspections, as well as San Diego.
GM TO BUILD RUSSIAN CHEVYS
GM plans to build 35,000 vehicles each year in Russia and will export some to Western Europe by mid-decade, according to a Reuters report. The news service quotes GM Europe VP David Herman as saying the company’s joint venture with Russia’s AvtoVAZ will be building in earnest by 2003, with exports set for 2005. GM inked the deal with Russia’s AvtoVAZ last summer, and will build an off-road vehicle to be marketed under the Chevy nameplate.
FORD AHEAD OF SKED IN CHINA
Ford’s new car plant in southwest China should begin production in early 2003, Reuters reports. The $98 million plant, a joint venture with Chongqing Changan Automobile Co., is ahead of schedule and likely will be ready before the original April 2003 start date, a Ford spokesman told the news service. Ford will build a small sedan for the Chinese market at the plant, and will market it for about $12,000.
FROM THE SOURCE
Siemens VDO Automotive today announced the promotion of Brian FitzGerald to Director of Diesel Systems - North America. He now is responsible for developing and promoting the company's diesel initiatives for original equipment manufacturer (OEM) customers in the NAFTA region. He also will continue in his role as manager of Siemens VDO Automotive's Auburn Hills, Mich. Test Center.
|AMER AXLE & MANU||AXL||30.05||+1.14|
|BALLARD PWR SYS||BLDP||31||-0.28|
|DELPHI AUTO SYS||DPH||17.07||+0.07|
|FORD MOTOR CO||F||17.01||-0.19|
|HONDA MOTOR CO||HMC||21.30||-0.11|
|UNIT AUTO GRP||UAG||23.39||-0.51|