Marketing Report: Mar. 27, 2006

March 25, 2006

Nissan Plans New York Debut for New Altima

The New York auto show will be the first public display of the new 2007 Nissan Altima, the company confirmed on Wednesday. A new body style arrives in 2007 on a new "D" platform, promising better body rigidity and a newly penned suspension. Nissan's Xtronic CVT will be standard on all models, while the 3.5-liter V-6 and 2.5-liter four-cylinder engines will remain on the roster. On sale in the fall of 2006, the Altima, Nissan says, will be one of the best-performing front-drive sedans on the market.

Scion's tC Release Series 2.0 Coming to N.Y., Too

Scion's latest Release Series 2.0 will show off its goods at the New York show, too - but this time the special edition is based on the brand's two-door tC coupe. On sale in mid-April, the tC 2.0 gets Blue Blitz paint, 17-inch wheels, side and curtain airbags, and a new stainless-steel grille. A Pioneer sound system is outfitted, too, and comes with three months of standard XM service, along with an iPod jack. Scion says only 2600 copies will be built, to be sold for $18,260 each.


Isuzu's Changing Fortunes

Following up on my recent report about General Motors' global alliance strategy, Isuzu Motors took exception to comments I made about their financial outlook. Isuzu officials note the Japanese maker posted operating profits in each of the last four fiscal years, including an 87-billion yen operating profit in 2005, and was profitable in the U.S. for the first time since 2000. Now I admit that saying "Isuzu is all but bankrupt" was going too far. Even so, we must also add, Isuzu's model lineup has been shrinking, along with U.S. sales, which fell from over 100,000 at the beginning of the decade to about 12,000 last year. So while Isuzu argues it is in robust health, there have been recent news reports speculating that it may pull out of the U.S. auto market entirely. The company denies that. Meanwhile, other reports speculate that GM will sell off its remaining stake in its long-time Japanese partner.-TCC Team


Honda's Fit Starts Under $14K

2007 Honda Fit

2007 Honda Fit

Enlarge Photo
The new Honda Fit subcompact will start at a base price of $13,850. The 2006 model goes on sale on April 20 nationwide with a long list of standard safety equipment, including dual side and curtain airbags and anti-lock brakes. The standard powertrain-a 109-hp, 1.5-liter four-comes with either a five-speed manual or automatic transmission. With the automatic, the base price creeps up to $14,650; a Sport model with a hatchback spoiler, for lights, cruise control and a 160-watt audio system, starts from $15,970. Honda promises the most features in its class and 111 cubic feet of interior room, once the rear bench is folded flat.

Car News: GTO Dead, SL Goes to 55 by TCC Team (2/27/2006)
Honda preps hybrid Fit, Street Names Contest Winners and more.


Girls Play With Dolls?

Chevrolet and its advertising agency have pushed the wrong button in their time machine, and they've ended up back in the Fifties.

Chevrolet's brochure "Men, Women and the Truck," has a message:  "Girls Play with Dolls, Boys Play with Trucks." Talk about being dated!

Wait! It goes on: "Men are born with the horsepower gene.  Just as some women are born with the shoe gene."

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