Hyundai HQ in
2007 Hyundai Santa Fe
Big Three Have to Woo Back Consumers, Ford Says
"It's up to us (the Big Three U.S. carmakers) to prove to the American buying public…that our products are attractive and represent good value and also feature cutting-edge technology," Bill Ford, CEO of his namesake company, said Tuesday. Ford faced a polite but tough audience during an appearance in
In his speech, the CEO suggested that his strategy for Ford is to focus on more fuel-efficient and environmentally-friendly vehicles. "We're transitioning to a more fuel-efficient fleet and a smaller fleet," he asserted in response to a follow-up question. The automaker is also shifting emphasis to hybrids and other alternative forms of power. But Ford stressed his belief that the government needs to participate in the transition. Among other things, he called for tax credits to help develop future powertrain technologies, as well as the infrastructure to produce and distribute alternative fuels. The CEO noted that right now, there are only 500 service stations providing ethanol in the entire U.S. Federal support is needed, he said, "so we can go from hundreds of stations, to thousands." Following his speech, Ford headed over to the White House to outline his plan to government leaders. The proposals were "non-partisan," he insisted, stressing that, "If we don't adapt" to a world without cheap and plentiful gasoline, "we deserve the consequences." -TCC Team
TCConfidential: The End of the UAW?
Is there still room for the United Auto Workers union?
Just writing that headline makes me wonder how many angry calls, letters, and e-mails I will receive in the days to come. But even if the answer is, "yes," it's critical we ask that question. Actually, it's a question the UAW must ask of itself.
The union was born of confrontation. The sit-down strikes in
Okay, so here's the case one can make against the UAW: The fact that workers at the various "transplants" keep rejecting union organizing bids cannot and should not be ignored. No question, management at companies like
I find it hard to believe I'm actually making these points, having grown up in a decidedly union household. I'd prefer to remain pro-UAW. But it's becoming harder and harder to argue labor's case.
Now let me be clear, I think GM has a lot of 'splaining to do, too. In reality, it seems like virtually everyone in
WJR Auto Report: GM's Big Cuts
The big cuts announced at General Motors this week are "tough medicine," in the words of CEO Rick Wagoner. The question is whether GM has taken a large enough dose to cure what ails it. Sadly, it's not the first bitter pill GM has had to swallow over the years. It ordered a procession of cut backs in the wake of the 1979 oil crisis. And in 1984, the company completely reorganized, in an ill-conceived plan that virtually paralyzed operations for two years. That prompted a series of follow-up cuts and reorganizations that started to feel like the plan-of-the-month club. Yet in 1992, it was obvious that things weren't working, as GM came within an inch of bankruptcy. Since then, the company has continued to cut and reorganize. But as Wagoner pointed out, the pace of change in the auto industry has been startling, and so, still more cuts are now needed. Yet there's one constant in the business, and that's the need for good product. And that's where GM has routinely fallen short. If it doesn't deliver soon, there'll be more tough medicine needed later.
VW's 4x4s - Ersatz and Extreme
2006 Volkswagen Polo Dune
The Dune has 17-inch wheels as standard, plus body-cladding and unique front and rear bumpers for the tough look, along with roof rails to cater for bringing home that extra-large order of sushi. To complete the pseudo SUV look, the five-door HUMMERette has raised suspension as standard. This is not for better ground clearance, but for "better visibility and easier access." This could be the weirdest suspension modification since British Leyland lifted the classic MGB off the ground back in 1975 to meet
Volkswagen Race Touareg 2
The name Race Touareg 2 reflects the fact that this is the second version of VW's ultimate rally weapon. The new machine is just under eight inches shorter than its predecessor yet has an increased wheelbase to help improve rough-terrain handling and allow the crew greater cockpit space. The machine's centre of gravity has also been lowered and visibility from the cockpit enhanced.
Power comes from a five-cylinder turbocharged diesel that produces around 270 hp and over 400 lb-ft of torque. The engine features dry-sump lubrication and a new two-stage turbocharging system. VW has its eyes set on an outright win in the
VW has put together a top-class team of drivers and navigators for the event, drawing together such drivers as rally veteran Carlos Sainz of
The exact route of the Dakar Rally for 2006 is due to be revealed later this month. It is expected to cover a total distance in excess of 5600 miles and will lead competitors from
Ferrari Picks the Winners
Ferrari winners 2005
Four designs were chosen from twenty finalists, and the students who created them will be offered work experience at the concept design departments of either Ferrari or Pininfarina.
The competition, organized by Ferrari in partnership with Pininfarina and with the support of Alcoa (the company that produces aluminium space frames for Ferrari) attracted works from the most talented students of each college, who challenged themselves to produce 1:4 scale Ferrari models, proposing stimulating alternatives to the shapes of the current and previous mid-engined eight-cylinder cars and the front-engined twelve-cylinder cars. The students had total creative freedom, although their designs had to retain the recognizable features and values of the Ferrari marque.
The winning models were:
- "Ascari" - by Manuele Amprimo (
FROM THE SOURCE headlines from the latest press releases
Ken Okuyama, design director for Turin, Italy-based Pininfarina, the world's oldest established automotive styling house, will provide a first-hand look into reinterpreting an automotive icon - the Maserati Birdcage - as a guest speaker at the Design Los Angeles automobile designers' conference. The conference is held concurrently with the LA Auto Show's second media day on January 5, 2006. All conference participants and media days' attendees - including journalists and automobile industry personnel - are welcome to attend Ken Okuyama's presentation, as well as BMW Group AG's Chief of Design Chris Bangle's opening address in the morning.
|American Axle & Mfr. Holdings Inc.||AXL||21.45|
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