Daily Edition: Nov. 22, 2005

November 21, 2005

Dodge Has Challenger Coupe for Detroit

2006 Dodge Challenger

2006 Dodge Challenger

A new concept coupe to be shown at the Detroit auto show in January will take the name of Challenger. The long-expected two-door will take on the Ford Mustang directly with a chassis derived from Chrysler's 300C/Magnum twins, along with a 425-hp version of the HEMI V-8 in the most thrilling versions. Chrysler is expected to show the car as a concept at the show, but insiders suggest the vehicle will be in production as early as 2009 on a new version of the 300C platform. Chrysler has only offered this official sketch of the concept prior to the January auto show debut, but these spy shots were taken last week as the vehicle was prepared for its auto-show debut. Stay tuned for more information on the Challenger as TCC previews the Detroit auto show on December 15.

Spy Shots: '09 Dodge Challenger by Brenda Priddy (11/21/2005)
A Detroit concept first, a production Mustang challenger second?

GM Cutting 30,000 Jobs, Eight Plants

Acknowledging the need for some "tough medicine" to stem mounting losses, General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner announced plans to close five North American assembly plants, while trimming production at two more. Along with cuts in powertrain and other operations, the turnaround plan is expected to eliminate 30,000 hourly jobs - but reduce costs by several billion dollars, according to GM, by the time the project is completed in 2008.

At that point, GM will wind up with 30 percent less North American capacity than it had in early 2002, but according to Wagoner, that should put production more in line with market demand. And operating at 100 percent capacity, he contended, should go a long way towards restoring the automaker's financial strength.

"It's tough medicine for us," acknowledged Wagoner, the troubled automaker's increasingly embattled chief executive. But there was little choice, in light of the North American market's increasingly competitive nature. "The difference in the business from 10 to 12 years ago has been startling."

General Motors has been the subject of almost daily headlines this year, few of them positive. The automaker's market share has been on the skids, and its employee pricing program provided only a brief and tenuous respite from the decline. Earnings have plunged, largely as the result of weak North American operations. Last month, the automaker reported $1.6 billion in third-quarter losses, though the blow was softened somewhat by an agreement with the United Autoworkers Union granting healthcare concessions that GM values at $15 billion.

The automaker's original goal was to shave about $6 billion in costs in 2006 from what Wagoner said Monday is a structural base "in the low-$40 billion range." With the plant cuts, that will increase to an estimated $7 billion in savings.

GM Cutting 30,000 Jobs, Eight Plants (11/21/2005)
"Tough medicine," but no guarantees, says Wagoner.

Hyundai HCD-9 Talus Concept Coming to Detroit

2006 Hyundai HCD-9 concept

2006 Hyundai HCD-9 concept

Coming to the Detroit auto show in January is the latest Hyundai concept vehicle to wear the HCD tag. Since the 1990s, Hyundai has used the letters to promote its concept coupes, and on the latest vehicle, the HCD-9 Talus, Hyundai provides little information other than the sketch distributed to the media this week. The sportscar is expected to be shown at the Detroit auto show alongside the new Santa Fe SUV, which makes its worldwide debut at the same show.

Survey Says 60 Percent Of Us Lost

More than half of us are, like, so lost. And that's not just the opinion of your spouse in the passenger seat - a new survey from Ford's Lincoln brand and Harris Interactive found that almost 60 percent of us are lost on the road at some point. And when it comes to being lost, the survey also says that women are more likely than men to stop and ask for directions, by a margin of 61 percent of women to only 42 percent of men. Of those men, 26 percent will stay lost for 30 minutes or more before breaking down and asking for directions. Lincoln's survey adds that 75 percent of women, versus 61 percent of men, have directions in hand before they set out for a trip, but 75 percent of men will have a map in the car versus 60 percent of women. The selling point, Lincoln hopes, is for navigation systems, which it outfits on new vehicles like its 2006 Zephyr sedan. Men, the survey says, are more likely to have a GPS navi system (36 percent of those polled) than women (26 percent) - but more than 60 percent say they'd use a GPS over regular directions and 42 percent want it on their next car. The Harris survey polled 580 car owners, nearly equally split between men and women, all over 18 years old.

Pirelli Unleashes 2006 Calendar

The 2006 edition of the Pirelli calendar has been presented at the Palais Brongniart in Paris, also known as the Paris School for Fine Arts. The 2006 edition was designed by the portrait photographers Alas and Marcus Piggot. They used Cap d'Antibes and the French Rivièra for the 1960s-ish background of the new calendar, which features six women, including Jennifer Lopez, who makes her debut in the calendar. She is in the good company of Pirelli veterans Gisele Bundschen, Guinevere Van Seenus, Kate Moss, Karen Elson, and Natalia Vodianova. -Henny Hemmes


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FROM THE SOURCE headlines from the latest press releases


Seagate Technology (NYSE: STX), the world's leading supplier of disc drives, today announced that the Seagate Barracuda family of hard drives will provide up to 400GB of tire-squealing storage for the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing's (NASCAR) first officially licensed PC. Now available at select North American retailers including CompUSA and online at Target.com, the NASCAR PC by Cisnet, a division of ZT Group International, includes a NASCAR-branded keyboard, mouse, and speakers, NASCAR-themed Windows Media Player and screensaver, and free offers and discounts for several NASCAR partner services. The desktop computer also includes free lifetime 24/7 telephone technical support from ZT Group International. NASCAR is the premiere sanctioning body of stock car racing in North America, claiming one in three American adults as fans.

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Name Symbol Last Change
Autobytel, Inc. ABTL 5.27 +0.16 (+3.13%)
Autoliv Inc. ALV 44.82 +0.19 (+0.43%)
AutoNation Inc. AN 20.39 +0.22 (+1.09%)
ArvinMeritor Inc. ARM 13.58 -0.52 (-3.69%)
American Axle & Mfr. Holdings Inc. AXL 21.40 -0.02 (-0.09%)
Ballard Power Systems Inc. BLDP 4.81 +0.14 (+3.00%)
BorgWarner Inc. BWA 61.06 +1.31 (+2.19%)
Cummins Inc. CMI 87.85 +0.56 (+0.64%)
Dana Corporation DCN 7.38
DaimlerChrysler AG (ADR) DCX 51.83 +0.74 (+1.45%)
Dura Automotive Systems DRRA 2.54 +0.09 (+3.67%)
Eaton Corporation ETN 63.40 -0.04 (-0.06%)
Ford Motor Company F 8.32 -0.08 (-0.95%)
General Motors Corporation GM 23.58 -0.47 (-1.95%)
Gentex Corporation GNTX 18.64 +0.44 (+2.42%)
Goodyear Tire & Rubber GT 16.55 +0.42 (+2.60%)
Honda Motor Co. Ltd. (ADR) HMC 28.04 +0.01 (+0.04%)
Johnson Controls Inc. JCI 69.84 +0.10 (+0.14%)
Lear Corporation LEA 28.89
Magna International Inc. MGA 70.23 +0.42 (+0.60%)
Motorola Inc. MOT 23.90 +0.04 (+0.17%)
Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. (ADR) NSANY 21.11 +0.31 (+1.49%)
Sonic Automotive Inc. SAH 20.17 +0.38 (+1.92%)
Siemens AG SI 76.76 +0.22 (+0.29%)
Sirius Satellite Radio SIRI 7.13 -0.15 (-2.06%)
Toyota Motor Corporation (ADR) TM 99.40 +0.74 (+0.75%)
TRW Automotive Holdings TRW 24.53 -0.52 (-2.08%)
Tower Automotive Inc. TWRAQ.PK 0.10
United Auto Group Inc. UAG 35.27 +0.53 (+1.53%)
Visteon Corporation VC 6.99 -0.05 (-0.71%)
XM Satellite Radio Hold. XMSR 31.12 +0.37 (+1.20%)

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