Daily Edition: Dec. 6, 2005

December 5, 2005

Mitsu Has Eclipse Spyder, Concept-CT for Detroit

The Mitsu Eclipse coupe is being joined by a convertible version set to show up at the Detroit auto show in four weeks. Mitsubishi confirmed the appearance by issuing this sketch of the new ragtop, which it will sell as a 2007 model. The convertible will offer 2+2 seating and a choice of GS or GT trim levels; four- and six-cylinder engines are expected, and a 650-watt Rockford Fosgate sound system will be an option.

Alongside the Eclipse Spyder on the show floor will be a new concept from Mitsubishi, the Concept-CT. A B-car concept conceived as a city vehicle with green technology, the vehicle will sport a hybrid powertrain that uses electric motors at each wheel to deliver all-wheel drive. The concept was penned at the company's Cypress, Calif., design studio.

2006 Detroit Auto Show Preview by TCC Team (12/5/2005)
More sheetmetal than your average showroom.

GM Closing Okla. City in Feb.

General Motors confirmed on Monday that the first plant closure of those announced recently by the company would be that in Oklahoma City, Okla. The plant, which builds versions of the company's mid-size SUVs, was extensively repaired just two years ago in the wake of tornadoes that struck the city. The plant employs about 2000 people and will close in the first week of February, 2006, according to a letter sent to those workers. GM says it will cut 30,000 jobs and close eight assembly and parts plants by 2008 in its latest turnaround effort.

GM Cutting 30,000 Jobs, Eight Plants by TCC Team (11/28/2005)
"Tough medicine," but no guarantees, says Wagoner.

IIHS Rates Best with "Gold" Award

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says its new "gold" award will clarify to consumers which vehicles achieve the group's best ratings in all crash tests it performs - thus making it simpler to see which vehicles are the best overall in crash performance. The insurance industry-funded research group named five vehicles to its newly minted "gold" designation. Those cars include the Ford Five Hundred/Mercury Montego, outfitted with optional side airbags and considered the same car for the IIHS' purposes; the Saab 9-3; the Subaru Legacy; and the Honda Civic four-door. It also named vehicles to a "silver" list, including the Audi A6, A3, and A4; the Chevrolet Malibu with optional side airbags; and the VW Jetta and Passat. "Gold" vehicles earned the group's best scores in front, side, and rear-impact protection; while the silver vehicles earned top rankings in front and side impacts, and the second-best ranking in rear-impact head protection.

Jaguar, Land Rover Dropping Ads in Gay Pubs

Jaguar and Land Rover will no longer advertise in gay publications, a Ford spokesman told a prominent gay magazine, in the wake of a boycott by the American Family Association. A report in The Advocate says the brands have stopped advertising in gay publications due to pressure from the AFA, a staunchly anti-gay rights group led by Rev. Donald Wildmon. Earlier this year the AFA had threatened to boycott Ford over the company's advertising in gay publications through its Jaguar, Land Rover, and Volvo brands, the Advocate reports. A Ford spokesman told the magazine's Web site that the company would stop running ads for Jaguar and Land Rover in gay publications but that the decision was made strictly for business reasons. The Volvo brand, a prominent advertiser in the niche, is expected to continue to advertise as in the past. Ford Motor Company, the Advocate says, has been a strong supporter of gay causes and has made contributions to groups like the Human Rights Campaign. The AFA had insisted that Ford stop donating cash and vehicles to gay causes and stop endorsing activities such as gay pride celebrations. Those donations might continue, the magazine says, but the AFA warns it could reinstate its boycott if its demands are not met.

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