Daily Edition: Feb. 3, 2006

February 2, 2006

Chicago Show Debuts Include Ralliart

2007 Mitsubishi Galant Ralliart

2007 Mitsubishi Galant Ralliart

The Chicago Auto Show begins next week for the media and the public. And among the introductions you'll see here next week on TheCarConnection are a handful of trucks, including the critical new Toyota Tundra and the updated Chevrolet Avalanche we showed you last week. Coming too to Chicago are the new Lexus ES330, the Hyundai Entourage minivan and Accent three-door hatch, a pair of Dodge trucks we'll tell you more about early next week, and this Mitsubishi Galant Ralliart, details of which we'll bring you in next week's coverage of the show. The media days begin Feb. 8 - stay tuned for all the Chicago introductions here at TCC.

Spy Shots: '07 Toyota Tundra by Hans Lehmann/Hidden Image (1/30/2006)
The first pictures, ahead of Chicago's launch.

Ford, Chrysler Add Incentives

Though both companies saw their car sales rise in the month of January, both Ford Motor Co. and the Chrysler Group added new incentives to some models in their lineups after releasing sales figures yesterday. Ford, which saw its sales rise about two percent last month, has put $500 more in cash rebates on the Focus sedan, boosting the total incentive on that vehicle for 2006 models to $2500. Chrysler, meanwhile, is offering zero-percent loans on some models for a period of up to five years. Ford's incentives on its fleet averaged $2839 per vehicle last month, while Chrysler's hit $3317 against an industry average of $2391 per vehicle, according to Autodata figures.

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

Toyota Hits 15 Million Mark

Twenty years and $16 billion later, Toyota says that it has built its 15 millionth vehicle in North America. The company didn't specify at which plant the vehicle was built-because at best it's an estimate, since Toyota operates twelve assembly, powertrain and components plants in North America, with two more assembly plants under construction in Ontario and San Antonio, Texas. Ten Toyota models are built in North America: they include the Toyota Avalon, Camry, Corolla, Matrix, Sequoia, Sienna, Solara, Tacoma, Tundra, and Lexus RX330. The Camry Hybrid and RAV4 will be added to that list in the next two years. Toyota says it will have capacity to build 1.83 million cars and trucks, 1.44 million engines, and 600,000 automatic transmissions in North America by 2008.

2007 Toyota Camry by Bengt Halvorson (1/30/2006)
Ready to spoil a new round of frugal family buyers - and keep its best-selling title.

TCConfidential: The United Nations of Chrysler Design

2005 Dodge Caliber Concept

2005 Dodge Caliber Concept

In many car-design studios around the world, global competition is the order of the day - designers in Barcelona fight it out with those in San Diego and Stuttgart and Tokyo for the right to pen a new car. Not so at Dodge, even though the new Caliber  is a world car with big European ambitions. Greg Howell, senior product designer, says there's little need to go abroad for inspiration: "When you go into the styling studios it's like the U.N. anyway," he says.

Like most auto design departments, Chrysler fields most of its art talent from four schools - the Royal College of Art in the U.K., the Center for Creative Studies in Detroit, the Cleveland Institute of Art, and Art Center College in Pasadena. Other places like Detroit's Wayne State U. are represented, but the change to sophisticated and expensive design software like Alias and CATIA has made the rich schools richer.

And when it comes to moving their designs from paper and clay into production, stylists still haven't reached the nirvana of a totally paperless design studio. You still need to print it out and look at it on paper, Powell says. And, he adds, you still "cut clay as soon as you can."

Stay tuned this weekend for the first review of the new Dodge Caliber!


FROM THE SOURCE headlines from the latest press releases


With support from Volkswagen of America, Inc., the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) brings us Black History Month with a variety of African-American fine art to educate, honor and raise awareness of this culture's significant contributions. During the month of February and into the beginning of March, the DIA will showcase paintings, music, and films that depict the African-American heritage. Drop-in workshops, storytelling, and lectures will further enhance visitors' awareness and understanding of this group's culture.


Name Symbol Last Change
Autobytel, Inc. ABTL 4.93 +0.08 (+1.65%)
Autoliv Inc. ALV 48.60 -0.20 (-0.41%)
AutoNation Inc. AN 22.28 -0.06 (-0.27%)
ArvinMeritor Inc. ARM 16.30 -0.85 (-4.96%)
American Axle & Mfr. Holdings Inc. AXL 18.44 -0.41 (-2.18%)
Ballard Power Systems Inc. BLDP 5.18 -0.16 (-3.00%)
BorgWarner Inc. BWA 55.02 -0.97 (-1.73%)
Cummins Inc. CMI 97.85 -2.07 (-2.07%)
Dana Corporation DCN 4.68 -0.43 (-8.41%)
DaimlerChrysler AG (ADR) DCX 57.06 -1.05 (-1.81%)
Dura Automotive Systems DRRA 2.41 -0.04 (-1.63%)
Eaton Corporation ETN 66.32 +0.20 (+0.30%)
Ford Motor Company F 8.37 -0.29 (-3.35%)
General Motors Corporation GM 23.60 -0.90 (-3.67%)
Gentex Corporation GNTX 17.32 +0.51 (+3.03%)
Goodyear Tire & Rubber GT 15.41 -0.13 (-0.84%)
Honda Motor Co. Ltd. (ADR) HMC 28.86 -0.20 (-0.69%)
Johnson Controls Inc. JCI 68.82 -0.56 (-0.81%)
Lear Corporation LEA 25.25 -0.57 (-2.21%)
Magna International Inc. MGA 73.15 -1.01 (-1.36%)
Motorola Inc. MOT 21.82 -0.98 (-4.30%)
Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. (ADR) NSANY 21.82 -0.22 (-1.00%)
Sonic Automotive Inc. SAH 23.70 +0.16 (+0.68%)
Siemens AG SI 89.67 -1.67 (-1.83%)
Sirius Satellite Radio SIRI 5.5401 -0.1699 (-2.98%)
Toyota Motor Corporation (ADR) TM 102.10 -1.70 (-1.64%)
TRW Automotive Holdings TRW 25.60 0.00 (0.00%)
Tower Automotive Inc. TWRAQ.PK 0.0765 -0.001 (-1.29%)
United Auto Group Inc. UAG 39.10 -0.04 (-0.10%)
Visteon Corporation VC 5.09 -0.42 (-7.62%)
XM Satellite Radio Hold. XMSR 25.04 -0.91 (-3.51%)
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