Driver's News: 10/01/01

October 1, 2001

The word’s been on the street for quite some time now, but General Motors Corporation finally made it official: 2002 will be the last model year for the Chevrolet Camaro and Pontiac Firebird models. It fell to GM Vice President John G. Middlebrook to make the announcement that the company’s venerable, enduring ponycars had fallen victim to the demise of a sports-car segment they had helped create in the 1960s. The passing of the Camaro and Firebird into history will be commemorated by special editions of each for their farewell season—a 35th Anniversary Edition Camaro and a Collector Edition Firebird Trans Am.
GM: Camaro Factory to Close by Joseph Szczesny (9/25/2001)


CHRYSLER MATCHES 0% FINANCING Following hard-times announcements from General Motors and Ford, the Chrysler Group has announced that it will join its Big 3 colleagues in offering zero-interest financing on select 2002 Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep models. The zero-percent deal is available on 36-month loans. Longer-term loans (up to 60 months) are available at 2.9 percent for cars and 4.9 percent for trucks and minivans. Sadly for the deal hunters, Chrysler’s PT Cruiser and Prowler, Dodge’s Viper and Ram trucks, Jeep’s Liberty, and all of the new e-minivans (eC, eL and eX) are all excluded from the zero-percent incentive, as are other incentive initiatives. The program will be in effect until October 31st.
Keep American Rolling: Time to Buy? by Marty Padgett (9/24/2001)


Stealing as much thunder as it possibly can from General Motors Corporation, Ford Motor Company and DaimlerChrysler’s Chrysler Group, American Suzuki Motor Corporation is offering interest-free financing across the board on all of its 2001 cars and sport-utility vehicles. GM, Ford and Chrysler are offering 36-month no-interest vehicle loans on select models, but the little Japanese automaker is going the giants one better by extending the term of the loan to 60 months. The program ends on October 31st.
Suzuki Video Library (7/20/2001)


U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta released highway fatality figures for 2000, and the numbers are revealing. First the good news: Fatal accidents involving children up to 15 years old declined to their lowest level since the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) began keeping tabs on them in 1975. Now the bad news: Alcohol-related deaths and motorcycle deaths both rose in 2000. Alcohol was involved in 40 percent of the highway fatalities from last year, while motorcycle deaths took a 15.3-percent jump, according to NHTSA.
Recall, Rollover and Safety Info by TCC Team (9/24/2001)


Ford Motor Company’s Mercury division is adding three new variants to its car and SUV lineup for 2002. First up next month is the limited-production Cougar XR featuring a 170-horsepower V-6 engine and an $18,945 price tag ($19,940 with an automatic transmission). Then in January comes the upscale Mercury Sable Platinum Edition ($23,275 for the sedan, $24,440 for the station wagon). Sometime next spring, Mercury will introduce the Mountaineer Premier Edition. No equipment details or prices have yet been released on this SUV, so you can use your imagination. We’re visualizing the nicest Ford Explorer we’ve ever seen.


XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc. has launched its inaugural radio service in San Diego, California and Dallas, Texas. Satellite radio is a subscription-based option that allows customers to "personalize" their listening by offering digital-quality radio playing dozens of channels covering nearly every imaginable style of music and format, available anywhere they might be driving. For $9.95 a month, XM subscribers can tune in 100 channels of music and such news and information outlets as CNBC, CNN Headline News, USA Today and the BBC World Service. A nationwide launch is slated for mid-November.
Auto Tech Talk: Satellite Radio by TCC Team (4/23/2001 )


Struggling to get out from under a costly rebate program offered on Jeep’s most popular model, the Chrysler Group is lowering prices on 2002 Grand Cherokees. The 2001 Grand Cherokees were leaning heavily on incentives—to the cash-back tune of $2,000 each—and were still selling at a pace 20 percent slower than last year. So for 2002, Chrysler has decided to lower Grand Cherokee prices—rather than subsidize sales with rebates—to bring the SUV’s sticker more in line with the competition. To that end, a 2002 Grand Cherokee Laredo two-wheel-drive starts at $26,025, the Limited at $30,870. In four-wheel-drive, the Grand Cherokee prices start low at $27,995 for the Laredo but go all the way up to a segment-topping $37,430 for the new Overland model.
Chrysler Cuts 2002 Prices by Joseph Szczesny (9/3/2001)


Infiniti has cast a vote in favor of online advertising, introducing a new campaign that uses the Web’s interactive capabilities to promote the new Infiniti I35 sedan. Using online animation, video and audio, the campaign will focus on I35 features and the Infiniti brand messages by drawing curious Internet users to I35-specific mini-sites where they can use the Web's interactive abilities to "drill" deeper into information and animation about the car’s features.
’01 New York Auto Show, Day II by TCC Team (4/13/2001)


Flood Damage: It’s Rare, But It’s Out There

Sometimes Mother Nature just doesn't like cars. When she expresses her anger with floods, many of these vehicles are fixed and then sold to the public with no indication of its actual history or repairs. According to Experian Automotive's National Vehicle Database, about one in 2,262 cars on the road have flood-related damage.

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