TCC's Daily Edition: 8/28/01

August 28, 2001

FUTURE CORVETTE MAY BE SLATED TO JOIN 400+ HORSEPOWER (AND SIX-FIGURE-PRICE) CLUB
The word on the street is that General Motors is toying seriously with idea of building a Chevrolet Corvette to compete with the elite European supercars. The super-Corvette’s estimated $100,000 price tag and significant bump in horsepower would make it the most expensive production car in America (if you don’t count the $395,000 Saleen S7). Currently, the flagship ‘Vette, the Z06, lists for around $45,000 and tops out at 385 horsepower. The SuperVette would be a showcase of GM materials and engine technology, designed to run with the best that Porsche, BMW and Ferrari have to offer, at a relatively bargain price when compared to those lofty European makes. Such a marketing move has a clean logic to it, considering GM’s efforts to expand itself as an international automaker and the emerging climate for exclusive supercars in Europe, Japan and the U.S.
Preview: 2002 Corvette Z06 by Marty Padgett (6/20/2001)

 

WHAT’S NEW FOR 2002: ASTON MARTIN
Although most of us will be standing at the sidelines when it comes to driving the latest offerings from Aston Martin, the company’s 2002 lineup is nothing if not fascinating to read about. The new model year will see the luxury carmaker’s roster double from one model to two—the DB7 and the Vanquish. All-new for 2002, the Vanquish is a 460-horsepower 6.0-liter V-12 engine wrapped in an aluminum and carbon-fiber shape that rings in with both classic and contemporary accents. Even by conservative estimates, the Vanquish will vanquish a 0-60 sprint in under five seconds. With the "base" DB7 (with a supercharged in-line six) dropped, the DB7 Vantage (coupe) and DB7 Volante (convertible)—both powered by a 420-hp 5.9-liter V-12—will live on as two of the most beautiful cars in the world.
Preview: Aston Martin V12 Vanquish by TCC Team (10/16/2000)

 

CHRYSLER AIMS AT DOMINATING AN EVEN BIGGER CHUNK OF THE MINIVAN MARKET (39 PERCENT ISN’T ENOUGH?)
The world’s largest seller of minivans continues to remain bullish on the minivan market for the near future. Putting its manufacturing where its mouth is, the Chrysler Group called the minivan segment "vibrant" and announced four new models for 2002. Built to be bargains, the Chrysler Voyager eC and Dodge Caravan eC, both start at $16,995 and are positioned as the most affordable minivans on the market. Rounding out the Chrysler’s quartet of new minivans, the 2002 Chrysler Town & Country eL and Dodge Grand Caravan eL are long-wheelbase versions of the already popular Town & Country eX and Grand Caravan eX models launched earlier this year. These latest Chrysler Group minivans will be launched this fall.
2001 Chrysler Town & Country by Marty Padgett (8/20/2001)

TOYOTA NAMED AS A PROBABLE DIESEL ENGINE SUPPLIER TO BMW
German automaker BMW says that it is close to reaching an agreement with Toyota in which the Japanese giant will supply diesel engines for BMW’s Mini. It’ll be a very different world before diesel Minis make it to the U.S., but diesels are terrifically popular in Europe. And what really makes this story interesting is the level of international cooperation between sometime rivals BMW and Toyota (which owns the Lexus luxury line). Maybe a different world is coming after all.

 

TOYOTA LAUNCHES THE BIGGEST, MOST EXPENSIVE MARKETING CAMPAIGN IN ITS HISTORY
If, by the end of this week, you haven’t been touched in some way by the 2002 Toyota Camry sedan, then we guess you’re not faking that coma. Spending $160 million and enlisting the broad multimedia outlets of AOL Time Warner, Microsoft and Conde Nast Publications, the Japanese automaker plans to reach nine out of every ten Americans at least eight times over the next 60 days with Camry messages. Toyota will see the investment as money well spent if the Camry remains the best-selling car in the U.S. for 2002—an all-new (and ultra-competitive) Nissan Altima and Honda Accord are slated to arrive within the next year.

 

FACTOIDS

Boosting Your Fuel Efficiency is the Name of the Game, Expert Says
Even with the high price of gasoline in most places this year, the road trip you're planning this Labor Day weekend does not need to break the family bank. According to Fuel Specialist Tom Mulrane, a manager in STP Research and Development who has studied the flow of gasoline for more than 20 years, it is easier to stretch your gas dollar than most people think. He advises you to pay careful attention to the following:
-- Driving Habits: You can't do much about stop-and-go traffic, but you can stop tailgating. Sudden stops and starts are a major drain on fuel economy.
-- Gas Flow: Make sure your gas is flowing properly. Even small carbon deposits that form on injector tips can decrease fuel efficiency by as much as 11 percent by interfering with the flow of gas.
-- Tire Pressure: According to industry sources, under-inflated tires can cut your fuel economy by as much as two percent for each missing pound of pressure. Check your owners' manual for the manufacturer's recommended pressure level.
-- Weight: Make sure the weight in your car is evenly distributed. Try not to put anything on the roof of your car. If you do, use a carrier.
-- Aerodynamics: Keeping your car's speed below 55 miles per hour can help to minimize drag. This lower resistance on your vehicle can improve your fuel economy.

 

FROM THE SOURCE:

FUEL PRICES DROP FOR LABOR DAY HOLIDAY TRAVEL, AAA REPORTS
The price of self-serve regular unleaded gasoline has decreased 14.7 cents since Fourth of July, and 17.5 cents since last Labor Day, to an average of $1.455 per gallon, AAA reports. Nationally, fuel prices have increased five cents in the last month to an average of $1.455 per gallon for self-serve regular unleaded gasoline. The increase is attributed to a major Midwest refinery outage that has boosted gasoline prices in that region by 20 cents per gallon last week. In all, 33.2 million travelers will take a trip 50 miles or more from home this Labor Day holiday, up from the 32.6 million estimated to have traveled last year. Of those traveling, 27.7 million are expected to go by motor vehicle.—PR Newswire

NATIONAL REPORT REVEALS NEW DATA ON AIRBAG SAFETY: NATION HAS MADE DRAMATIC CHANGES IN TRANSPORTING CHILDREN IN MOTOR VEHICLES
While the number of passenger air bags on the road has tripled in the past five years, the rate of child deaths from airbags has dramatically declined. Contributing to this result is a stunning change in self-reported behavior by drivers with passenger airbags who regularly transport children. Despite progress, the Air Bag & Seat Belt Safety Campaign continues its work as air bag equipped vehicles move through the fleet into the hands of first-time airbag owners. Research shows they are less likely to know about the potential risks airbags pose, especially to children. In addition, advanced technology to make airbags safer is not a panacea. Consumers must continue to heed urgent safety advice.—PR Newswire

THE TICKER:

Autoliv (ALV), Closed 19,97, down 0.08

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ArvinMeritor (ARM), Closed 18.51, down 0.21

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American Axle (AXL), Closed 18.70, up 0.20

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Dana (DCN), Closed 20.72, down 0.24

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DaimlerChrysler (DCX), Closed 46.45, down 0.55

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Donnelly (DON), Closed 15.30, down 0.01

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Delphi Automotive (DPH), Closed 14.65, up 0.16

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Eaton (ETN), Closed 73.80, down 0.78

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Ford (F), Closed 20.25, down 0.14

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General Motors (GM), Closed 56.69, down 0.30

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Gentex (GNTX), Closed 29.91, up 0.42

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Goodyear (GT), Closed 24.94, down 0.29

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Johnson Controls (JCI), Closed 74.32, up 0.22

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Lear (LEA), Closed 35.40, unchanged

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Magna International (MGA), Closed 63.30, down 0.69

------------------------Nissan (NSANY), Closed 12.10, down 0.25

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SDRC (SDRC), Closed 24.93, down 0.03

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Toyota (TM), Closed 63.30, down 0.90

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TRW (TRW), Closed 39.08, up 0.18

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Visteon (VC), Closed 16.75, down 0.23

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