Daily Edition: Mar. 28, 2006

March 26, 2006

GM Says Pricing Is Working

Despite an anticipated one-percent decline in its first-quarter market share, General Motors' marketing czar insists the automaker's "value pricing" strategy is working. Since last autumn, the troubled automaker has trimmed prices on the vast majority of its cars, crossover, and light trucks, while slashing back on its incentives. And the strategy is paying off, asserted GM Vice President Mark LaNeve, through rising retail sales, higher residuals, and increased awareness among buyers who might otherwise ignore the offerings from the General's eight North American brands. Even so, "there's a strong sense of urgency to show results," the executive admitted, and a lot of challenges yet to overcome. So is GM's gas tank half full or half empty?




Black Tuesday Hits GM Tech Center

It's being called "Black Tuesday" by those working at General Motors' mile-square Technical Center, in Warren, Mich. And though it may actually take several days for all affected employees to receive notice, the automaker is expected to terminate hundreds of design and engineering staff starting today, as part of its latest turnaround plan. Last November, CEO Rick Wagoner announced plans to trim seven percent of GM's salaried workforce, a figure including 36,000 staff members, as well as an unspecified number of contract employees. A number of Tech Center contract workers have already been trimmed, a company source told TheCarConnection.com. Prior to naming affected employees, team leaders at the Tech Center plan to hold group meetings to discuss the company's plans. Those GM staffers affected involuntarily are likely to receive some form of buyout offer. The automaker already has announced plans to offer buyouts to 113,000 employees as part of a deal worked out with Delphi, its former parts-making subsidiary, now in bankruptcy. Meanwhile, Mark LaNeve, director of sales, service and marketing for North America, revealed on Monday that his operation has trimmed its employment ranks by 40 percent over the last five years. "We'll do a little more (cutting) this year, and a little more forever," said LaNeve, adding that "I don't headcount has anything to do with your ability to grow" the business because of increases in productivity. -TCC Team



Acura Bringing MDX Concept to New York

2007 Acura MDX concept

2007 Acura MDX concept

Along with its new RDX compact crossover, Acura will also have a concept vehicle based around the next MDX large crossover for the upcoming New York auto show. The new version will be the second generation of the vehicle; a production version goes on sale in the fall. The MDX joins the RDX, the Saturn Outlook, Nissan Altima, and a slew of other new products coming to the New York show in April - get the rest of the debuts in our show preview now:

2006 New York Auto Show Preview by Marty Padgett (3/27/2006)
For the capital of the world, some global introductions.


Chrysler Adds Long-Wheelbase 300

2007 Chrysler 300 Long Wheelbase

2007 Chrysler 300 Long Wheelbase

A new long-wheelbase edition of the glam Chrysler 300 sedan joins the automaker's lineup in the fall. The stretch 300 will be built by a limousine maker, Accubuilt, in Ohio. With a six-inch stretch in wheelbase, the 300 Long Wheelbase is expected to draw customers from the showroom as well as the limo market. The basic long-wheelbase car will offer additional features like lighted rear writing tables, more power outlets, footrests and custom paint colors. Engines will include the 3.5-liter V-6 and the 340-hp, 5.7-liter HEMI V-8.





Hyundai HQ Raided

South Korean prosecution investigators Sunday stormed the headquarters of Hyundai-Kia Motor Group in an expanding corruption probe into a local business lobbyist. Local media said the investigators seized about 100 boxes of data from the headquarters in southern Seoul after hours of searching.

The seizure came after the arrest of Kim Jae-Rok, a 49-year-old business consultant, Friday for allegedly bribing politicians and others while negotiating mergers and acquisitions of South Korea's companies.

Kim is reportedly had taken "billions of won" from a Hyundai Motor affiliate called Glovis to lobby government officials over the Hyundai Motor's merger of Kia Motors.

Because of the news, share prices of Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors fell sharply Monday. -Peter Chang


FROM THE SOURCE headlines from the latest press releases


Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc., announced manufacturer's suggested retail prices (MSRP) today for the all-new and much-anticipated 2007 Camry Hybrid. The all-new Camry Hybrid will have a base MSRP of $25,900. The new Camry Hybrid will reach Toyota dealers this May.


Name Symbol Last Change
Autobytel, Inc. ABTL 4.62 +0.02 (+0.43%)
Autoliv Inc. ALV 56.60 -0.81 (-1.41%)
AutoNation Inc. AN 21.32 -0.21 (-0.98%)
ArvinMeritor Inc. ARM 15.20 -0.01 (-0.07%)
American Axle & Mfr. Holdings Inc. AXL 18.40 +0.35 (+1.94%)
Ballard Power Systems Inc. BLDP 7.01 +0.59 (+9.19%)
BorgWarner Inc. BWA 60.33 +0.04 (+0.07%)
Cummins Inc. CMI 106.03 +0.90 (+0.86%)
Dana Corporation DCN 0.66 0.00 (0.00%)
DaimlerChrysler AG (ADR) DCX 55.64 -0.66 (-1.17%)
Dura Automotive Systems DRRA 2.17 -0.07 (-3.12%)
Eaton Corporation ETN 71.26 +0.32 (+0.45%)
Ford Motor Company F 8.06 -0.03 (-0.37%)
General Motors Corporation GM 22.93 +0.28 (+1.24%)
Gentex Corporation GNTX 17.31 -0.18 (-1.03%)
Goodyear Tire & Rubber GT 14.01 -0.01 (-0.07%)
Honda Motor Co. Ltd. (ADR) HMC 31.43 +0.54 (+1.75%)
Johnson Controls Inc. JCI 76.90 -0.08 (-0.10%)
Lear Corporation LEA 17.14 -0.13 (-0.75%)
Magna International Inc. MGA 74.77 -0.41 (-0.55%)
Motorola Inc. MOT 22.17 -0.16 (-0.72%)
Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. (ADR) NSANY 24.23 +0.31 (+1.30%)
Sonic Automotive Inc. SAH 27.89 -0.54 (-1.90%)
Siemens AG SI 89.79 -0.81 (-0.89%)
Sirius Satellite Radio SIRI 5.01 -0.02 (-0.40%)
Toyota Motor Corporation (ADR) TM 109.25 +1.07 (+0.99%)
TRW Automotive Holdings TRW 23.32 -0.23 (-0.98%)
Tower Automotive Inc. TWRAQ.PK 0.11 0.00 (0.00%)
United Auto Group Inc. UAG 43.44 +0.21 (+0.49%)
Visteon Corporation VC 4.68 +0.06 (+1.30%)
XM Satellite Radio Hold. XMSR 21.18 -0.52 (-2.40%)
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