2008 Toyota Tundra
The 5.7-liter V-8 under the hood of the show car
will be one of three different engines
2006 Chicago Auto Show Coverage by TCC Team (2/6/2006)
Boom Times for the Industry?
Last year was the
third-best ever for the
Domestics Pose Sales Surprise in
Jan. by Joseph Szczesny
GM, Ford and Chrysler all up for the month.
LaSorda: Reports of DCX Collapse Overdone
Tom LaSorda, the Chrysler Group
chief executive officer, said despite reports to the contrary, it was premature
to suggest that Chrysler's comeback is over. While the company has been reducing
production of some vehicles such as the Dodge Durango to reduce inventories, it
is using incentives to boost sales of other vehicles. But it also is preparing
to launch ten new vehicles this year, which promise to create new opportunities
for sales. Most of the new products won't hit the showroom until the second half
of the year, he added. However, the Chrysler Group is already studying the
feasibility of adding a third shift to its assembly plant in
Zetsche Tightens Control on DC by Joseph Szczesny
New DC CEO is putting more distance between his and the Schrempp era.
Chrysler Going Its Own Way to Fuel Gains
Ethanol fuel clearly
has a place in the
LaSorda Hits Cost of Litigation
Lawsuits are adding $500 to the
cost of every car and truck sold in the
"Perhaps a little blue-collar
grounding and manufacturing common sense could go a long way in making sense of
LaSorda said he was prompted to look at the high cost of the American legal system during his drive to cut costs within the Chrysler Group, which has eliminated 40,000 jobs since 2001. "It was the one area where costs kept rising and I asked why," he said.
What he found was that the legal system, which he says allows witnesses in product liability cases to tell only part of the truth, is badly in need of reform. In many states, juries aren't allowed to hear whether someone involved in an accident was wearing a seatbelt or if they were driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
"We need to set some reasonable
and fair limits on damages," he added. "For every dollar awarded in tort
liability, the typical injured party receives only about 46 cents to compensate
them for injuries. That means the majority of every dollar goes elsewhere,"
added LaSorda, who noted that lawsuits have become one of fastest growing
industries in the
LaSorda also said, "There is no
question that the employer-based healthcare system is broken. While other
countries have found a way to help their businesses with the burden, we've not
done this in the
OnStar Readies New Service
General Motors Corp. used the tenth anniversary of OnStar's introduction back in 1996 to bring on a new service that offers drivers directions through the car's audio system. The new system will eliminate the need for video screens and helps the driver keep his eyes firmly on the road, according to Chet Huber, OnStar President. Users call an OnStar advisor and ask for directions. In turn, the advisor, using GPS, sends the most direct, step-by-step directions to the vehicle via the OnStar system. Audio directions are then played through the vehicle's stereo system when they are needed even if the driver is playing the radio or a CD. A small display on the instrument cluster also can be used to relay text directions. The system also will automatically issue corrective instructions if the vehicle strays off course. Huber said GM believes the new system will appeal to consumers who already depend on OnStar for peace of mind. GM is prepared to equip as many as one million new vehicles with the turn-by-turn technology at the start of the 2007 model year later this year, Huber said. The system uses an enhanced wireless data network and improved positioning technology. -Joseph Szczesny
Humvee Out, International MXT In the Army?
A quiet revolution is underway in
the sourcing of military vehicles and the International Truck & Engine Corp.
York: GM Should Drop Saab,
HUMMER by Joseph Szczesny
Company has 1000 days of cash left, Kerkorian's wingman says.
MotorWeek Gives Civic the Nod
The Honda Civic walked away with "Best of Year" award from MotorWeek, the weekly PBS show that bills itself as television's "Original Automotive Magazine." John Davis of MotorWeek said that "the suite of Civics" that Honda brought out last fall were "the right vehicle for the right time." The Honda Civic also walked off with a Drivers' Choice award from MotorWeek as the Best Small Car, while the Hyundai Sonata was named the best family sedan. The Honda Odyssey was named the best minivan while the Pontiac Solstice was named the best convertible and the Infiniti M was named the best luxury sedan. The Ford Mustang was named the best peformance car and the Toyota RAV4 was named the best small sport-utility vehicle, while the Ford Explorer/Mercury Mountaineer walked off with a Driver's Choice Award as the best family sport-utility vehicle. The Ford F-150 was named the best pickup truck; the Toyota Highlander Hybrid was named the best eco-friendly vehicle; and the Chevrolet Corvette Z06, Dodge Viper SRT10 Coupe, and Ferrari F430 were named the best dream machines. -Joe Szczesny
AutoNation, Lithia Post 2005 Revenue, Profit Gains
AutoNation, Inc. and Lithia Motors weathered severe storms and sales downturns at General Motors and Ford in the fourth quarter, each publicly-owned dealership group recording revenues increases for the full year despite the challenging climate. Lithia's 94 western and southwestern dealers boosted total revenues for 2005 by ten percent to a record $2.94 billion. The Medford, Ore.-based Lithia, whose top vehicle supplier is Chrysler Group, reported that net income for the year advanced to $49.8 million despite a dip in the fourth quarter. Chairman and CEO Sid DeBoer attributed the late-year decline to a "pullback" of new-vehicle sales caused by the "employee price" strategy used by the American brands in the summer months.
Top megadealer AutoNation was hit hard in the final
period by Hurricane Wilma, which damaged nearly all the Fort Lauderdale-based
For the full year, AutoNation's 280 dealerships
tallied $19,253 billion in revenues, up one percent from the prior
year. Net income reached $496.5 million, up from $433.6 million in
A new survey reveals that more than 7 out of 10 consumers do not check their personal credit score (76 percent) or compare financing options from dealers (71 percent) and credit unions / banks (72 percent) before heading to the showroom. This is despite the fact that almost 6 out of 10 (57 percent) of those polled say they do conduct research on particular car or truck models before going to the dealer.
brand is celebrating 65 years of go anywhere/do anything capability with special
edition models of the 2006 Jeep Commander, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Jeep Liberty and
Jeep Wrangler, all equipped with popular and unique features. These limited
production vehicles will be on display during press and public days at the 2006
Chicago Auto Show, February 8-19 at
|American Axle & Mfr. Holdings Inc.||AXL||16.73|
|Ballard Power Systems Inc.||BLDP||5.37|
|DaimlerChrysler AG (ADR)||DCX||57.14|
|Dura Automotive Systems||DRRA||2.68|
|Ford Motor Company||F||8.36|
|General Motors Corporation||GM||22.14|
|Goodyear Tire & Rubber||GT||14.70|
|Honda Motor Co. Ltd. (ADR)||HMC||28.78|
|Johnson Controls Inc.||JCI||67.25|
|Magna International Inc.||MGA||72.14|
|Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. (ADR)||NSANY||22.09|
|Sonic Automotive Inc.||SAH||24.00|
|Sirius Satellite Radio||SIRI||5.80|
|Toyota Motor Corporation (ADR)||TM||102.51|
|TRW Automotive Holdings||TRW||25.76|
|Tower Automotive Inc.||TWRAQ.PK||0.075|
|United Auto Group Inc.||UAG||38.70|
|XM Satellite Radio Hold.||XMSR||25.78|