These photos show a first mule in high-speed testing at the Nürburgring. It has wider fenders and a big rear wing than the current car. More important is what will be underneath: the next Esprit gets a 32-valve, 4.8-liter V-8 engine from BMW delivering 367 hp.
Ghosn, Wagoner to Meet
The latest developments in the GM-Renault/Nissan story have Rick Wagoner, GM CEO, meeting with Carlos Ghosn later in the month in Detroit, according to a report from the Financial Times. GM's CFO, Fritz Henderson, will lead a group that will study the proposed alliance in the meantime. And on Friday, GM's board will convene by telephone, likely to discuss the proposal made last week by Kirk Kerkorian's Tracinda Corp. although the meeting had been scheduled prior to Tracinda's Renault/Nissan gambit. Last week in a stunning announcement, Tracinda Corp. let loose that it was trying to broker a deal to open the alliance to GM, in which Tracinda and Kerkorian hold a 9.9-percent stake. The boards of Renault and Nissan have okayed talks on bringing GM into the alliance, and separately, Japanese daily Nihon Keizai has reported that the alliance could benefit from adding GM to the mix in areas such as parts procurement, environmental and safety technology.
Are Wagoner's Days Numbered?
The writing's been on the wall - and now board members are reading it.
GM, Ford Ditching Some SUVs, Vans
Both General Motors and Ford will prune some light trucks from their lineups as consumer tastes seem to be shifting to car-based utility vehicles. Automotive News reports that GM is canceling production of the TrailBlazer and GMC Envoy sometime before the end of the decade, while Ford will drop the Monterey minivan from its lineup as soon as this summer. The GM twin SUVs were originally scheduled for a restyling in 2009, but the vehicles are being dropped so that GM can focus attention on new crossover vehicles like the GMC Acadia, Saturn Outlook, and Buick Enclave. The Monterey, meanwhile, will be followed into obsolescence by the Ford Freestar minivan at an unspecified date. Ford is planning to build a new family utility vehicle based on its Fairlane concept from the 2005 Detroit auto show. The News reports thatLincoln will get a version of this vehicle as well.
Chinese Carmakers Want Cobo Space
While car companies tussle over the smallish space at Detroit's Cobo Hall during auto-show days, even more automakers are angling for space at the prestigious show. The Detroit News reports that three Chinese automakers want to put up displays at the North American International Auto Show in January 2007 in advance ofU.S. car sales in a few years. The companies seeking Cobo space are Hunan Changfeng Motor Co. Ltd., Great Wall Motor Co. Ltd., and Hebei Zhongxing Automobile Co. Ltd. At the 2006 show, Chinese automaker Geely showed a single vehicle inside the Cobo complex, but not on the show floor, where companies like GM and Ford routinely spend millions of dollars to cover every inch of floor space in the aging facility. The former three Chinese companies likely will get space downstairs in Cobo Hall in the Michigan Hall, alongside specialty vehicle makes.
Chrysler, Benz Could Share V-6 Architecture
The deepening of development chores at DaimlerChrysler could result in a joint V-6 engine program that would share more technology between the Mercedes and Chrysler Group brands, according to a story in the Detroit Free Press. The paper reports that the shared engine program could shave costs while giving both companies access to a new range of V-6s, in either low-cost or high-end form. Chrysler Group will add a version of the Mercedes diesel six to its Grand Cherokee lineup later this fall.
FROM THE SOURCE headlines from the latest press releases
|Autobytel, Inc.||ABTL||3.21||+0.10 (+3.22%)|
|Autoliv Inc.||ALV||55.94||-0.36 (-0.64%)|
|AutoNation Inc.||AN||21.13||-0.55 (-2.54%)|
|ArvinMeritor Inc.||ARM||16.87||-0.13 (-0.76%)|
|American Axle & Mfr. Holdings Inc.||AXL||16.04||-0.31 (-1.90%)|
|Ballard Power Systems Inc.||BLDP||6.2528||+0.2028 (+3.35%)|
|BorgWarner Inc.||BWA||63.91||-0.29 (-0.45%)|
|Cummins Inc.||CMI||119.29||-2.34 (-1.92%)|
|DaimlerChrysler AG (ADR)||DCX||48.58||-1.07 (-2.16%)|
|Dura Automotive Systems||DRRA||1.96||+0.06 (+3.16%)|
|Eaton Corporation||ETN||74.40||-0.46 (-0.61%)|
|Ford Motor Company||F||6.61||-0.10 (-1.49%)|
|General Motors Corporation||GM||29.42||+0.01 (+0.03%)|
|Gentex Corporation||GNTX||13.42||-0.29 (-2.12%)|
|Goodyear Tire & Rubber||GT||10.89||-0.20 (-1.80%)|
|Honda Motor Co. Ltd. (ADR)||HMC||31.05||-1.42 (-4.37%)|
|Johnson Controls Inc.||JCI||84.48||+1.68 (+2.03%)|
|Lear Corporation||LEA||22.60||+1.11 (+5.17%)|
|Magna International Inc.||MGA||72.29||+1.39 (+1.96%)|
|Motorola Inc.||MOT||19.94||-0.33 (-1.63%)|
|Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. (ADR)||NSANY||21.27||-0.92 (-4.15%)|
|Sonic Automotive Inc.||SAH||22.08||-0.41 (-1.82%)|
|Siemens AG||SI||85.87||-1.77 (-2.02%)|
|Sirius Satellite Radio||SIRI||4.48||-0.13 (-2.82%)|
|Toyota Motor Corporation (ADR)||TM||102.36||-2.68 (-2.55%)|
|TRW Automotive Holdings||TRW||27.18||+0.26 (+0.97%)|
|Tower Automotive Inc.||TWRAQ.PK||0.09||-0.00 (-1.10%)|
|United Auto Group Inc.||UAG||20.65||-0.52 (-2.46%)|
|Visteon Corporation||VC||7.44||+0.34 (+4.79%)|
|XM Satellite Radio Hold.||XMSR||14.49||-0.44 (-2.95%)|