TCC Drives: 2007 Jaguar XK Coupe/Convertible
In the rarified sphere of luxury cars, brands stay relevant as long as buyers believe they stand for one or two simple things. Lexus' hallmark is impeccable reliability, while BMW's is sporting attitude. Audi has sleek design and all-wheel drive to its credit, while Mercedes-Benz still carries the purple aura of Teutonic engineering despite what we in the South would call "the recent unpleasantness."
At Jaguar, the keyword of the day, as you might know from some fluffy high-gloss ads, is "gorgeous." But underlying that airy, accurate notion is something more substantial, and nearly as light: aluminum. Aluminum construction has changed the XJ sedan from a slight, ponderous sedan into a strong, sleek animal. And this year the already gorgeous XK undergoes an aluminum-based transformation that effects the same kind of change, making it quicker, roomier, and lighter than the former XK8.
2007 Jaguar XK
Coupe/Convertible by Marty Padgett
Gorgeous, yes - but technically tight, too.
Ten Questions: Ian Callum and the New XK
The new XK is sensuous, glamorous, and sleek. But how
did it get that way? Jaguar chief designer sat down with TheCarConnection at the
global launch of the new XK coupe and convertible in
Ten Questions: Ian Callum and the
XK by Marty Padgett
It's all about the stance, Jaguar designer says of new sportscar.
New Volvo S80 Gets V-8, Six-Cylinder Versions
2007 Volvo S80
2006 Volvo C70 by Marty Padgett
Two in one for four. Don't worry - there's no math quiz afterward.
New Avalanche Falling on
2007 Chevrolet Avalanche
Bush Boosts Ethanol, Hydrogen in
State of the
President Bush called on the
nation to begin a transition away from oil in his State of the Union address on
Tuesday night, an address which he delivered as the price of a barrel of oil
hovered near $70 a barrel. "
Study Boosts Ethanol As Fuel by Joseph Szczesny
Emissions study finds it's not "negative" on energy.
Harris In, Kowaleski Out at GM PR
Steve Harris, former head of General Motors' public relations department, is returning to the company as the replacement for Tom Kowaleski, who was Harris' replacement as vice president of global communications. GM said in a release today that the changes are effective tomorrow.
Harris returns to GM after a stint
with a communications firm in metro
Kowaleski will stay on through the month to assist in the transition, according to the company. "I've been doing a lot of thinking over the last months about what gives me the most satisfaction, and provides the highest value to those I work for and with," Kowaleski wrote in the official release. "I've also been presented with some excellent opportunities, and I've concluded that now is the best time to take advantage of them, to get closer to the kind of work I most enjoy."
Kowaleski came to GM from Chrysler's European operations and prior to that, the company's headquarters in Auburn Hills. Harris, 60, was a GM PR person before leaving for American Motors in 1979 and continuing with Chrysler until joining GM in the late 1990s.
Survey Puts Chrysler, Volvo Top by Gary Witzenburg
Which automakers are most, and least, adept players in the media relations game?
How GM Should Fix Itself by Gary Witzenburg
There's no quick and easy solution, but perceptions could help greatly.
Camaro and Camry Top Buzz Meter at Detroit/LA Shows
According to analysis of online
"buzz" about new cars introduced at January's
Intelliseek, which is about to join firms BuzzMetrics and Nielsen to offer the Nielsen BuzzMetrics solution, analyzed thousands of online discussions (Dec. 1, 2005 to Jan. 23, 2006) that originated on auto forums and blogs, including "buzz" about production vehicles and concept cars introduced at the auto shows. Among the top ten concept vehicles, the Chevrolet Camaro captured 26 percent of consumer "buzz," followed by the Dodge Challenger (24 percent), Buick Enclave (16 percent), Chrysler Imperial (10 percent), Nissan Urge (7 percent), Infiniti coupe concept (5 percent), Mazda Kabura (4 percent), Lincoln MKS (4 percent), Ford Super Chief (4 percent), and Ford Reflex (3 percent).
among the top ten production vehicles, the Toyota Camry captured 17 percent of
buzz, followed by the Honda Fit (13 percent), Lexus LS 460 (10 percent), Ford
Edge (8 percent), Chevrolet Tahoe (8 percent), Nissan Sentra (8 percent), Jeep
Compass (8 percent), Chrysler Aspen (7 percent), Dodge Caliber (6 percent), and
Jeep Wrangler (4 percent).
Carmakers more and more are tracking online buzz to find out what consumers and influential bloggers and online communities are spreading about their brands. And in the case of greenlighting auto show concepts, online buzz has become as valuable to companies as show floor interviews and chatter. -Jim Burt
Tower Says It Wants Out Of Court Settlement
Tower Automotive Corp. said the company is looking for a way to settle its differences with the United Auto Workers and other unions outside of court - despite the company's motion in court to have a judge set aside its labor contracts.
The company's preference is to reach a negotiated settlement with the UAW, United Steel Workers of America, and the CWA-IUE, said Tower spokeswoman Sharon Wenzl. "We're ready to meet with them at any time," she said.
The judge presiding over the Tower bankruptcy has set a hearing on Feb. 27 to hear arguments on whether to set aside the company's current labor agreements.
Wenzl added Tower's goal is to emerge from bankruptcy as soon as next summer as a profitable and competitive enterprise without using the court to set aside the labor contracts. However, the successful reorganization of the company requires sacrifice from all key parties, she said. "Salaried and non-union colleagues have already made concessions totaling $32 million annually. We need our union colleagues to participate in a fair and equitable manner or many jobs will be jeopardized," she said.
Tower has already cut the wages and benefits of
non-union employees. The concessions being sought by the company would roll back
union wages to the regional averages for manufacturing employees that are
calculated by the U.S. Department of Labor, she added.
The three unions, representing more than 3000 workers at nine Tower plants in
Bob King, who directs the UAW's Parts and Suppliers Department, said workers have been asked to accept wage cuts ranging from $1.50 to $3 per hour. "Unfortunately, Tower's reorganization plan is a recipe for failure. It takes money from workers, enriches executives, and does nothing to really fix the company," said King, who noted Tower was demanding wage cuts with no commitments whatsoever to retain jobs or make new investments. -Joe Szczesny
Polk: First-Time Buyers Shun Traditional Media
Dead-tree publications, broadcast
TV, and daily newspapers are a thing of the past when it comes to wooing
first-time car buyers, according to a new study compiled by the
The Oprah touch apparently hasn't
lifted the Pontiac G6 to the stellar sales heights reached by, say, A Million Little Pieces.
GMC's zooty Yukon Denali has a new look for the 2007 model year - and now it has a new price tag, too. GMC says the Yukon Denali will go on sale with a base price of $47,990, including $875 destination, which would be $3070 less than the last edition of the vehicle. Standard gear on the Denali version includes chrome trim and special head and taillamps, wood trim, 18-inch wheels, power-folding second-row seats, and a 380-hp, 6.2-liter V-8 with a six-speed automatic transmission. Options that can be ordered include a navigation system, a DVD entertainment system, and 20-inch wheels. Sales begin in late spring.
WJR Auto Report: Hardtop Convertibles Take Off
While some companies
are waiting until Sunday to debut their Super Bowl ads,
|American Axle & Mfr. Holdings Inc.||AXL||18.80|
|Ballard Power Systems Inc.||BLDP||5.45|
|DaimlerChrysler AG (ADR)||DCX||57.31|
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|Ford Motor Company||F||8.68|
|General Motors Corporation||GM||24.34|
|Goodyear Tire & Rubber||GT||18.76|
|Honda Motor Co. Ltd. (ADR)||HMC||28.24|
|Johnson Controls Inc.||JCI||70.52|
|Magna International Inc.||MGA||74.00|
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|Sonic Automotive Inc.||SAH||23.55|
|Sirius Satellite Radio||SIRI||5.86|
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|TRW Automotive Holdings||TRW||25.70|
|Tower Automotive Inc.||TWRAQ.PK||0.06|
|United Auto Group Inc.||UAG||38.39|
|XM Satellite Radio Hold.||XMSR||26.43|