Daily Edition: Feb. 2, 2006

February 2, 2006

Domestics Pose Sales Surprise in Jan.

Hard-pressed General Motors and Ford Motor Co. surprised analysts and posted sales increases in January, halting a four-month-long string of sales declines that had cost both companies market share and had magnified other corporate difficulties.

Strong fleet sales last month, however, helped overcome softness on the retail side during January, GM and Ford officials said. Future prospects for both companies were clouded, however, by a decline in truck sales that suggested consumers are still looking for alternatives to traditional sport-utility vehicles.

Mark LaNeve, pointing to the 53-percent increase in sales of the Chevrolet Tahoe, insisted GM's new full-size SUVs are off to a strong start. "Sales, production, inventory turn rates and dealer orders are all ahead of plan. It's January, it's early, but we're optimistic that these great new products will be successful," LaNeve added.

However, sales of other GM SUVs, pickup trucks and crossovers were weak last month.

Ford also reported a 7-percent decline in truck and SUV sales. The decline at Ford was paced by a 23-percent drop in sales of the Explorer and a 30-percent decline in the sales of the Expedition.

Domestics Pose Sales Surprise in Jan. by Joseph Szczesny (2/1/2006)
GM, Ford and Chrysler all up for the month.

Delphi Lost $1.13B in December

Losses at Delphi Corp. in December ballooned to $1.13 billion as the company continues to battle with its unions to cut costs. The Detroit News reports that the supplier reported the figures as a requirement of its filing with the federal bankruptcy courts. Some 58 percent of the supplier's business came from General Motors, which is locked in negotiations with Delphi and the United Auto Workers over job and pension cuts at the supplier, for which GM may take some financial responsibility. Delphi filed for bankruptcy on Oct. 8 and has asked the union to accept deep cuts in wages and benefits-and has asked the courts to nullify its contracts if the union doesn't agree to cuts by Feb. 17.

GM Asks UAW for More by Joseph Szczesny (1/30/2006)
Company needs more concessions to fix finances.

GM Building Hybrid Escalade

Cadillac will get its first hybrid vehicle in 2007 as the brand adds an Escalade Hybrid to its lineup. GM CEO Rick Wagoner confirmed the addition to Automotive News at a press conference to open production of a new transmission that will be team with GM's new dual-mode hybrid system. The two-mode transmission goes into production next year and will be put into the coming hybrid versions of the Chevy Tahoe and GMC Yukon that will be built in Arlington, Texas, beginning next year. GM will invest up to $118 million in its Baltimore transmission plant to make the new gearboxes for the hybrids, which GM says will have fuel economy up to 25 percent better than that of the standard 2007 full-size utes.

2007 Chevrolet Tahoe by Eric Peters (1/2/2006)
A most impressive full-size effort.

Lexus Has Most Useful Web Site, Power Says

J.D. Power's latest Manufacturer Web Site Evaluation Study finds that Lexus.com is ranked as the most useful site by car shoppers online. The twice-yearly study evaluates sites based on appearance, speed, navigation and information and content. On the 1000-point Power scale, Lexus scored 874, with only 6 percent of users ranking it below 700. The industry average for the survey rose to 834 this year, and no manufacturer scored below 800 for its online site. Other Power studies cite data that 57 percent of new-car shoppers visit at least one manufacturer site while shopping, with most visiting a number of them.

Accord Hybrid Priced from $31,540

The revised 2006 Honda Accord Hybrid will be priced from $31,540 in dealerships nationwide as it rolls out in updated form. The facelifted Hybrid gets additional equipment, including standard stability control, to go along with the mild facelift applied to the front and rear ends. A rear decklid spoiler and new wheels are exclusive to the Hybrid model, as are the clear taillights. A power moonroof is also standard for 2006. The Hybrid with navigation system has a base price of $32,840.

2005 Honda Accord Hybrid by Marc K. Stengel (7/4/2005)
The numbers don't add up - but it's still a smart buy.


FROM THE SOURCE headlines from the latest press releases


When Beasley Broadcasting Group's WXKB-FM flipped the switch and turned on its digital signal on January 26, it signaled the 700th U.S. radio station to begin broadcasting with HD Radio technology. Radio stations serving every Arbitron market plus dozens of unrated markets are now providing listeners with digital AM and FM coverage, and, in many of these markets, broadcasting innovative new programming via HD2 multicasting.


Name Symbol Last Change
Autobytel, Inc. ABTL 4.85 0.00 (0.00%)
Autoliv Inc. ALV 48.80 -0.19 (-0.39%)
AutoNation Inc. AN 22.34 +0.05 (+0.22%)
ArvinMeritor Inc. ARM 17.15 -0.30 (-1.72%)
American Axle & Mfr. Holdings Inc. AXL 18.85 +0.26 (+1.40%)
Ballard Power Systems Inc. BLDP 5.34 -0.33 (-5.82%)
BorgWarner Inc. BWA 55.99 +0.86 (+1.56%)
Cummins Inc. CMI 99.92 +2.62 (+2.69%)
Dana Corporation DCN 5.11 +0.24 (+4.93%)
DaimlerChrysler AG (ADR) DCX 58.11 +0.79 (+1.38%)
Dura Automotive Systems DRRA 2.45 +0.08 (+3.38%)
Eaton Corporation ETN 66.47 +0.27 (+0.41%)
Ford Motor Company F 8.66 +0.08 (+0.93%)
General Motors Corporation GM 24.50 +0.44 (+1.83%)
Gentex Corporation GNTX 16.81 +0.11 (+0.66%)
Goodyear Tire & Rubber GT 15.54 -0.10 (-0.64%)
Honda Motor Co. Ltd. (ADR) HMC 29.06 +0.61 (+2.14%)
Johnson Controls Inc. JCI 69.38 +0.14 (+0.20%)
Lear Corporation LEA 25.82 +0.47 (+1.85%)
Magna International Inc. MGA 74.16 +0.16 (+0.22%)
Motorola Inc. MOT 22.80 +0.09 (+0.40%)
Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. (ADR) NSANY 22.04 -0.31 (-1.39%)
Sonic Automotive Inc. SAH 23.54 +0.01 (+0.04%)
Siemens AG SI 91.34 -0.26 (-0.28%)
Sirius Satellite Radio SIRI 5.71 +0.04 (+0.71%)
Toyota Motor Corporation (ADR) TM 103.80 +0.09 (+0.09%)
TRW Automotive Holdings TRW 25.60 -0.10 (-0.39%)
Tower Automotive Inc. TWRAQ.PK 0.0775 +0.0175 (+29.17%)
United Auto Group Inc. UAG 39.14 +0.84 (+2.19%)
Visteon Corporation VC 5.51 +0.26 (+4.95%)
XM Satellite Radio Hold. XMSR 25.95 -0.23 (-0.88%)
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