DAILY EDITION: June 26, 2003

June 25, 2003

Daily Edition TCC WJR

Daily Edition TCC WJR

TCC'S DAILY EDITION: June 26, 2003

Chevy Confirms “Cobalt”

2005 Chevrolet Cobalt

2005 Chevrolet Cobalt

Chevrolet will indeed be calling its new entry-level car the Cobalt. Mary Larson, marketing director for Cavalier and Cobalt, said in a release that the Cobalt will compete against the likes of the Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic, leaving the new Korean-made Aveo subcompacts to duke it out with the cheapest Hyundais and Kias. The 2005 Cobalt will be built at GM's Lordstown, Ohio, complex.

Mazda Builds Mazda3

2004 Mazda3

2004 Mazda3

More name games — this time from Mazda, which confirmed on Wednesday that its new compact car will be called the Mazda3. The new vehicle went into production in Japan, where the car will be called Axela instead. The production version of the vehicle will be shown at the Frankfurt show in September, but a thinly disguised version was shown at the New York auto show in April as well. The photo released by Mazda, shown here, is of the production vehicle. The Mazda3 goes on sale in Europe in the fall and is expected to show up in North America early in 2004.

Nissan Pathfinder Moving to Tennessee

As Nissan moves to the final phase of its North American product renaissance, the Pathfinder SUV is moving to the company’s Smyrna, Tenn., assembly plant, where it seems likely it will share a common architecture with the next Xterra and Frontier trucks. Nissan says the new Pathfinder — not to be confused with the Titan-based, full-size Pathfinder Armada SUV built in Mississippi — will enter production in Smyrna in the fall of 2004. The company will add 800 new jobs at the sprawling factory and its Decherd, Tenn., engine plant to accommodate the new vehicle.

Nissan Lays Foundation in Miss. by TCC Team (6/2/2003)
Nissan’s betting on Mississippi for big things ahead.

Polk: U.S. Brands Get More Loyal Customers

The midyear report from R.L. Polk & Co. finds that American brands are more likely to have loyal returning buyer than import brands. General Motors has some of the most loyal customers; 68.7 percent of GM owners who shopped for new vehicles from October 2002 to March 2003 returned to the GM dealer. Ford’s main blue-oval division saw a return rate of 57.6 percent, while the American brands as a group took ten of twelve model categories ranked by Polk. Get the full results atwww.polk.com.

GM Writing Off Fuel Cell Reformers

Perhaps the biggest obstacle to widespread use of the fuel cell is finding a suitable means of storing hydrogen onboard a vehicle, says Alan Taub, executive director of General Motors’ Science Labs. But the automaker is “shifting away from” the once-promising strategy of producing hydrogen, as needed, with a device dubbed the onboard reformer, Taub tells TheCarConnection.com. Onboard reformers are essentially mobile refineries, able to generate hydrogen from more conventional liquid fuels – GM has focused on gasoline, while other makers, including DaimlerChrysler, prefer methanol. But the bulky devices pose a variety of problems, such as “compromising the packaging of a vehicle,” notes Taub, who asks, “Why put that investment cost on every vehicle?” GM will now emphasize a hydrogen production system that produces the lightweight gas either at central refineries or right at the service station. The automaker continues to believe commercially viable fuel cell technology could begin to reach market by the beginning of the next decade, though many observers are warning it could be closer to 2020. —TCC Team

Iceland Powers Up with Hydrogen by TCC Team (4/28/2003)
Nation seizes opportunity to lead global push for hydrogen cars.

TCC Takes Top Honors from SPJ

TheCarConnection.com has taken home a wide range of honors from the Metro Detroit Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. TCC’s Excellence in Media Awards include:

Spot News Reporting
1st Ford Cuts 35,000 Jobs, 5 Plants by TCC Team (12/30/2002)

General News Reporting
1st Kia Keeping the Neighbors Up by Jim Burt (12/30/2002)
With the new Sorento and a great value proposition, little Kia is beginning to worry some big guys.

2nd Big 3, UAW Face Health Crunch by Joseph Szczesny (12/2/2002)
The cost of keeping workers well begins to wear on the carmakers and the union alike.

Feature Reporting

1st Mike Davis "Is Consumer Reports biased?"
2nd 2002 Mini Cooper by Marty Padgett (12/23/2002)
What’s that about small things in good packages?

Investigative Reporting
1st "High and Mighty": Just That by TCC Team (12/30/2002)
How SUVs — and the authors who hate them — got that way.

Business Reporting
1st TCC Team, "Carmakers in horsepower war-when is 500 HP not enough?"
2nd GM, Ford Get Pension Blues by Joseph Szczesny (12/30/2002)
A shaky economy only exacerbates the retiree costs at America’s big two automakers.

During the Detroit SPJ chapter’s annual banquet, TCC contributor Al Rothenberg, a 55-year veteran of the auto beat, was given a Lifetime Achievement Award. Officially, Rothenberg retired in 1989, but he remains an active freelancer. Meanwhile, TheCarConnection Publisher TCC Team was first runner-up in the SPJ Journalist-of-the-Year balloting.

FROM THE SOURCE headlines from the latest press releases


Porsche Cars North America Inc. (PCNA) this month launched Porsche Approved Certified Pre-Owned, a program intended to bring younger buyers to the Porsche brand, strengthen brand loyalty and awareness, and increase the value of pre-owned Porsches.

TiVo (Nasdaq:TIVO), the creator of television services for digital video recorders (DVR), and theChrysler Group announced today that the automaker will air long form content on the TiVo service promoting the new 2004 Chrysler Crossfire. The branded entertainment package will allow viewers to instantly request more information on the new sports coupe and schedule a recording for the five short films selected as finalists in the Chrysler Million Dollar Film Festival (MDFF).


Name Symbol Last Chg
AUTOLIV ALV 26.12 +0.13
AMER AXLE & MANU AXL 24.05 -0.07
BORG WARNER BWA 63.91 +0.12
CUMMINS INC CUM 36.82 -0.43
DANA CORP DCN 11.37 +0.02
DELPHI CORP DPH 8.71 -0.09
EATON CORP ETN 77.45 -2.87
FORD MOTOR CO F 11.21 -0.14
GENTEX CORP GNTX 30.68 -0.37
HONDA MOTOR CO HMC 18.66 -0.24
LEAR CORP LEA 44.75 -0.55
MAGNA INTL MGA 67.20 +0.40
TOWER AUTO TWR 3.57 -0.01
TOYOTA MOTOR TM 51.40 0.00
UNIT AUTO GRP UAG 21.78 +0.25
VISTEON CORP VC 6.96 -0.13

Brought to you by TheCarConnection.com and WJR-AM 760

The Car Connection
See the winners »
The Car Connection
Commenting is closed for this article
Ratings and Reviews
Rate and review your car for The Car Connection
Review your car
The Car Connection Daily Headlines
I agree to receive emails from The Car Connection. I understand that I can unsubscribe at any time. Privacy Policy.
Thank you! Please check your email for confirmation.