Toyota Chips Away at GMToyota Motor Corp. is moving steadily closer to its goal of unseating General Motors Corp. as the world's leading automaker.
In fact, with General Motors preparing to slash production capacity in North America by one million units over the next three years,
Right now the consensus is that GM will hang on to the top spot for 2006 - but after that,
"We aren't forecasting that
Toyota Chips Away at GM (11/28/2005)
Sales lead is slipping; 2006 could be a momentous year in auto history.
2001 Infiniti G20
2001 Infiniti G20
But no more, organizers say. This coming year marks a break for the
As a result, in 2006 there will be two Los Angeles auto shows, one to greet the New Year (from Jan. 6-15) and one just prior to the holiday season in '06 (Dec. 1-10).
As it switches to a new date and a new focus, the show will once again spin off a Design Challenge competition. Inaugurated last year, the Challenge returns for the January show as an adjunct to the Design Los Angeles automobile designers' conference also held during the show days. This year's challenge will again help cast a spotlight on the
Los Angeles Show Gets Stylish (11/28/2005)
Design Challenge presages the big move to a fall schedule.
Overstock.com Stocks Chrysler Crossfire
Chrysler's Crossfire will be marketed through a new deal with Overstock.com, the automaker said last week. In an unusual deal with untold consequences for the two-seat sportscar's resale value, Chrysler will offload remaining 2005 Crossfire coupes and roadsters through the Web site that also sells factory remainders on consumer products from bedding to electronics to furniture. The site, which also features products from brands like Ralph Lauren and Prada, will provide Chrysler buyers with a coupon that they can redeem for up to $8,900 off the MSRP of any 2005 Crossfire. The deal expires on Jan. 3.
TCC's Top Picks: Convertibles by Eric Peters (6/27/2005)
Summer's here - what are you waiting for?
European SUV for Chevrolet
Chevrolet announced that its new SUV will debut at the
We saw the predecessor of the Captiva in
The Captiva will first be equipped with a 150-hp 2.0-liter common-rail diesel engine. This powerplant has been developed by GM Daewoo Auto & Technology Company together with GM Powertrain and VM Motori. Later that summer, the Captiva will also be available with a 2.4-liter four and a 3.2-liter V-6. The Captiva will be the first Euro Chevrolet equipped with stability control. -Henny Hemmes
Smart has dropped the biggest clue yet that it will launch in
A company insider told us: "It will have a much more pronounced nose because of the American pedestrian crash safety regulations. The windscreen wiper arm bases have to be a certain distance from the furthest forward part of the car, which is the front bumper." There's still no confirmation when the German-based brand - part of DaimlerChrysler - will launch Stateside, but bosses clearly want to be ready with legal vehicles. Shown here is one such test vehicle, a 2007 prototype being prepped for testing.
Our source said the revised two-seater will go on sale in
Smart's Hero? MacGyver, of Course
Engineers at Smart have an unusual role model when it comes to developing innovative new products. Apparently their hero is MacGyver, fictional star of the hit late-Eighties TV series of the same name who was famous for getting out of scrapes by inventing things from what was lying around. "The question we ask ourselves is 'What would MacGyver do?'" said a spokesman. -Richard Yarrow
Ghosn Reassures Renault Samsung
Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn said the group's South Korean unit Renault Samsung Motors will begin to export about 30,000 units of its smallest passenger car SM3 model under its affiliate Nissan Motor brand to global markets beginning next year. The model will first be exported to
Ghosn, who was in Seoul on a two-day visit, expressed strong confidence in the future of Renault Samsung Motors and confirmed the key role Renault Samsung Motors will play within the Renault-Nissan Alliance as a supplier of sport-utility vehicles and sedans for the Renault Group.
"I am proud of Renault Samsung Motors' achievement, and am convinced that Renault Samsung Motors' potential is still higher than what has been achieved until now. Our role will be to identify this potential and translate it into performance," he said.
Renault Samsung Motors is 70-percent-owned by Renault while
Renault Samsung is the fifth-largest automaker in
Building the SM3 for export will increase Renault Samsung's production to about 150,000 units annually from the current 120,000 units.
"Nissan needs a competitive car to sell in some countries," said Ghosn. "The deal will be good for Nissan and also for Renault Samsung."
Last year, Renault said it would invest 600 billion won in
Jaguar Adds Armor to Catalog
Previously, if you wanted to be driven in an armored Jaguar, your name needed to be Tony Blair. The British Prime Minister and other top government officials are conveyed in Jaguar sedans that have been specially modified to make their occupants safe from bombs, machine guns, and a host of other nasties. But these cars were not available to ordinary mortals; unless the owner was prepared to buy an XJ and have it stripped down and suitable protection added, then an explosion-resistant Jag was out of the question. But personal protection is big business now, and Jaguar is now able to offer a long-wheelbase XJ sedan that offers all the style and performance associated with the brand plus bullet-resistant laminated glazing, underbody protection, steel armoring, and run-flat tires.
The 'Armored XJ Long Wheelbase' can be ordered through your local Jaguar dealer at a price in Britain of around $340,000 and although it will look like a normal XJ from the outside, under the skin it will have everything needed to keep the occupants alive in any hazardous situation.
The chassis of the Armored XJ has been extensively adapted, with reinforced springs and dampers to compensate for additional weight and a potentially more aggressive driving style. This, says Jaguar, ensures that it is just as agile and safe to drive as the production version as well as being lighter than its armored competitors. The lightness comes from the XJ's aluminum construction, which means the base car on which the armored version is based enjoys a useful advantage against the heavier Mercedes and BMW limousines that are its main competitors. The car is still heavy, however, so part of the conversion process is the addition of a tougher power-steering system and more efficient brakes.
The actual armoring is applied to all parts of the car. Bullet resistant borosilicate glazing is designed to withstand a comprehensive range of handguns and assault rifles. The armored body shell is reinforced with ballistic resistant steel and underfloor protection is provided by high-tech Kevlar fiber material.
The car is designed to provide protection against high velocity assault rifle rounds as well as side blast, with the overall design preventing any penetration of the passenger cell by shrapnel or blast fragments.
The car is produced in collaboration with Centigon, a British company well-known for vehicle armoring expertise, and is the result of complete integration of Jaguar's and Centigon's design and engineering operations, backed up by extensive prototype testing and Jaguar's quality control and sign-off standards.
The vehicle has undergone extensive ballistic and blast testing by the independent test agency QinetiQ and has been accredited to European standards. As the first ever fully engineered and warranted armored vehicle from Jaguar, customers will have full factory support during purchase and throughout the vehicle's life. Jaguar's new Global After-Sales Support program is designed to offer support in the most remote territories. Four scheduled visits per year by a dedicated Jaguar technician should ensure complete customer satisfaction, providing reassurance that the vehicle is maintained to the very highest possible standards. Well, you'd expect that level of support for something that your life could depend on. -Ian Norris
The auto site I visit most, other than TCC, is:
4% Kelley Blue Book
9.8% Car and Driver
6.2% Motor Trend
2.7% Yahoo! Autos
FROM THE SOURCE headlines from the latest press releases
Hammers will once again be the music that drives the hearts of
|American Axle & Mfr. Holdings Inc.||AXL||20.98|
|Ballard Power Systems Inc.||BLDP||4.75|
|DaimlerChrysler AG (ADR)||DCX||50.32|
|Dura Automotive Systems||DRRA||2.50|
|Ford Motor Company||F||8.32|
|General Motors Corporation||GM||22.86|
|Goodyear Tire & Rubber||GT||16.97|
|Honda Motor Co. Ltd. (ADR)||HMC||27.91|
|Johnson Controls Inc.||JCI||69.99|
|Magna International Inc.||MGA||68.95|
|Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. (ADR)||NSANY||20.96|
|Sonic Automotive Inc.||SAH||20.73|
|Sirius Satellite Radio||SIRI||7.13|
|Toyota Motor Corporation (ADR)||TM||98.28|
|TRW Automotive Holdings||TRW||25.59|
|Tower Automotive Inc.||TWRAQ.PK||0.10|
|United Auto Group Inc.||UAG||35.82|
|XM Satellite Radio Hold.||XMSR||30.35|