BUSH PROPOSES HYBRID CREDIT
The Bush administration’s plan to cut fuel consumption includes tax credits for the purchase of hybrid gas-electric and fuel-cell vehicles. As Congress debates whether to increase Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards — currently at 20.7 mpg for trucks, 27.5 for cars — the White House is proposing a credit of up to $4000 for buyers of hybrids and $8000 for buyers of fuel-cell vehicles who purchase before January 1, 2008. The credits are part of the $2.1 trillion budget for 2003 just sent to Congress by the administration. Current hybrids on the market include the Toyota Prius and Honda Insight; the Honda Civic hybrid goes on sale in March, and Ford and GM are both promising hybrid trucks in the near term.Honda Bets on Hybrids
by Frank Bohanan (1/28/2002)
SATURN TO BOOST SALES 25 PERCENT
GM’s youngest brand hopes to boost its sales by 25 percent thanks to the introduction of new models, says Saturn brand chief Jill Lajdziak. The Wall Street Journal quotes Lajdziak on brand’s sales troubles, which she hopes will turn around with the introduction of the VUE sport-utility vehicle and ION compact cars, as well as a facelifted version of the L-Series cars. Last week, Saturn canned Hal Riney and named Goodby Silverstein Mathers as its new ad house in anticipation of the launch of the ION.
CHICAGO SHOW TOMORROW; SATURN SKY NOW
Chicago’s auto show opens to the media on Wednesday, and to kick things off, GM is unveiling the Saturn Sky concept convertible Tuesday afternoon. The Sky is another vehicle that could find a place in the production roster along other recent GM concepts like the Cadillac Evoq. “It’s a logical step…and one direction the brand could go in the future,” Jill Lajdziak, vice president of Saturn Sales, Service and Marketing, told TheCarConnection recently. The open-air roadster is designed to provide a variety of seating configurations; in production form, Sky would feature a power rear tonneau that could open or close over removable rear seats, allowing the Sky to shift from a two to a four-seater. Prep yourself for Chicago by checking out more on the Sky, and stay tuned to Daily Edition this week for more from Chicago:Preview: GM's '02 Concepts
by TCC Team (8/20/2001)
SPY SHOTS: ’04 FORD FUSION
While other publications have word on the coming Ford Fusion sport-ute, TheCarConnection.com has the first spy pictures of the 2004 vehicle in today’s edition of the Web’s automotive authority. The Ford Fusion, first shown in concept form at the 2001 Frankfurt Motor Show, is getting ready for a 2003 calendar-year introduction. Based on the new Ford Fiesta platform, the minicar-based ute will be available in both front- and all-wheel-drive versions. Built in Brazil and codenamed B226, the tall-wagon crossover will have a PT Cruiser-like flexible interior and be priced competitively for an entry-level MPV. Read more about the Fusion by clicking here:Spy Shots: ’04 Ford Fusion
REUTERS: DAIMLER CUTTING DIVIDEND
DaimlerChrysler AG is expected to cut its dividend roughly in half this week when it announces its 2001 earnings on Wednesday, the Reuters news service reports. The dividend slice is expected to net shareholders $1.38 a share, according to a poll of ten analysts. A company source told Reuters that it’s “very likely” that the company would cut its dividend; continued difficulties at the Chrysler Group are one of the root causes for the reduction. The company still expects to post an operating profit of about $1 billion for 2001.