2006 Detroit Auto Show Index by TCC Team (1/7/2006)
Hyundai Strengthens its
Hyundai Motor America President and CEO Bob Cosmai briefly mentioned that this year is Hyundai’s 20th anniversary in
2007 Hyundai Santa Fe
While the current
Talus More About Hyundai’s Future
2006 Hyundai HCD-9 Talus concept
Designed at the Hyundai Design Center in Irvine, Calif., the Talus is a generous 184 inches long, rides on a rear-wheel-drive platform with all-wheel-drive capability, and carries an “extremely powerful” 4.6-liter V-8 underhood, mated to a six-speed automatic—a powertrain combination that’s already in the works for an upcoming premium sedan from the automaker.
Eric Stoddard, the car’s chief designer, said that one of the primary ideas behind the concept was to “take away some of the compromises that sports cars have.” The interior is uncommonly roomy for a sport coupe, with a raked forward center stack that edges back as a center console. There’s also blue LED lighting throughout the interior. DVD-player screens for back-seat occupants are built into the back of the front-seat headrests, and rear passengers also get secondary audio controls. The Talus also boasts night vision and adaptive cruise control for the driver, as well as in-car wireless Internet access. Besides the requisite smaller, rear-hinged back doors, the cargo area also boasts a clamshell design that can open three different ways to help fit tight cargo or when there are passengers in the back seat.
Stoddard said that the automaker is considering the model not as a replacement for the Tiburon but as a standalone model next to the Tiburon. “We see an emerging market segment in four-door sporty vehicles,” said Stoddard. Cosmai said that there are no production plans for the Talus, but that it “alludes to the future design direction” of the brand.—Bengt Halvorson
Car Makers Can't Go Chapter 11
The chances of General Motors Corp. or any other automaker filing for bankruptcy are remote, says Sean McAlinden of the Center For Automotive Research. Since World War II, no automaker in any part of the world has filed for bankruptcy. Instead, companies like American Motors Corp., have been bought by other automakers or the have merged, or they've sold off their assets like Packard, Hudson and Studebaker did back in the 1950s. "There is no Chapter 11 for automakers. If they go into Chapter 11, the customers will not buy their products," McAlinden said in a "What Drives Detroit" conference sponsored by the Foundation For American Communications, which sponsors educational seminars for working journalists. McAlinden's point is supported by new surveys indicating that only one in four consumers would even consider buying a car from a bankrupt automaker. "It's just something that's never been done.” Thus speculation is on Wall Street about GM or Ford filing bankruptcy is just that—speculation, McAlinden said. "Now the suppliers, they can go bankrupt and things work out fine," he said. The more likely scenario if an automaker gets into serious trouble is "liquidation," he added. Somebody will come in and buy a piece of one company or have assets transferred to somebody else. In fact, in some case the process is already underway via downsizing or restructuring.—Joe Szczesny
Five-Day Car is Dead
The idea of a five-day car has dropped off the auto industry's radar screen, said Michael Robinet, CSM Worldwide vice president. Robinet noted there was a lot of talk during the Internet boom of the late 1990s of letting individual customers any new vehicle with more of a personal flavor. The era of mass customization never materialized, said Robinet, and is no longer something manufacturers, who are facing the need to consolidate platforms and make wider use of common parts, are actively pursuing, he suggested during the "What Drivers Detroit" conference sponsored by the Foundation For American Communications. Robinet, however, said more and more of the customization work is being done by dealers. The aftermarket is continuing to grow and has become an important component of the business of many dealers, whose profit margins on the sale of new cars have been squeezed. Manufacturers also are helping by making cars easier for dealers to trim out with aftermarket parts.—Joe Szczesny
2006 Detroit Auto Show, Part I by TCC Team (1/8/2006)
Car and Truck of the year, Lexus LS has eight speeds, Enclave concept..
2006 Detroit Auto Show, Part II by TCC Team (1/8/2006)
Shelby GT500, Ford Reflex, predictions for 2006 and Lutz on GM financials.
2006 Detroit Auto Show, Part IV (1/8/2006)
Nissan's next steps, Benz GL-Class, GM hybrids.
2006 Detroit Auto Show, Part V by Bengt Halvorson (1/8/2006)
Honda Fit, Ford Edge, and more from Bill Ford.
2006 Detroit Show, Part VI by TCC Team (1/9/2006)
The new face of Lincoln, Mazda Kabura, Infiniti G35 and MINI Clubman.
2006 Detroit Show, Part VII by TCC Team (1/9/2006)
GM planning big price cuts, Aston Rapide, Volvo C30, XK pricing.
2006 Detroit Auto Show, Part VIII by Bengt Halvorson (1/9/2006)
Jeep Compass, Toyota Camry, Nissan Sentra and Urge.
2006 Detroit Auto Show, Part IX by TCC Team (1/10/2006)
Camaro by the numbers, Acura RDX, Jaguar gets Ford help.