The Detroit auto show will not be displaying the Model S, an eagerly awaited, more affordable new sibling to the Tesla Roadster (pictured). (Photo courtesy of Tesla Motors)
SAN CARLOS, California —
Inside Line has confirmed that Tesla Motors\’ highly anticipated Model S sedan will
not be unveiled in Detroit next month at the 2009 North American International Auto Show.
\”The plan is to unveil that in late February or March,\” said Rachel Konrad, Tesla Motors spokesperson, in an e-mail response to a query from
The electric four-door Model S is half the price of the $109,000 Tesla Roadster. The electric-car startup reached a modest milestone… Read the rest of this entry
Outgoing Renault chairman Louis Schweitzer, pictured with CEO and soon chairman Carlos Ghosn at the 2008 annual general meeting. (Photo courtesy of Renault)
PARIS — Carlos Ghosn will cement his role as overall leader of the Renault/Nissan group by taking over the chairmanship of Renault next May. Ghosn, already CEO of the French company, will succeed Louis Schweitzer, who is stepping down as chairman at Renault\’s annual meeting next May 6.
Ghosn is already president and CEO of Nissan and CEO of Renault, and his constant travel between Japan and France has been extensively covered in world media. At the annual meeting, Renault said, Ghosn is to be named chairman and CEO as well as chairman of the board of directors.
Renault also said it plans to add an… Read the rest of this entry
Jeep brand may be sold off by Chrysler owner Cerberus Capital Management while most other parts of the automaker cease to exist, predicts CSM. Pictured: 2009 Wrangler. (Photo courtesy of Chrysler LLC)
WASHINGTON — The Motor City appears to be needing a Plan B. The U.S. House of Representatives approved $14 billion in legislation to revive ailing General Motors and Chrysler late Wednesday, but Washington observers were predicting a tough fight in the Senate
\”Senate could kill auto bailout,\” read the headline in Politico.com on Thursday.
Congressional Quarterly reported, \”If opponents use all of the procedural options available to… Read the rest of this entry
Football hero John Elway has lent his name to a limited-edition lineup of custom motorcycles from Cheetah Choppers. Elway\’s number 7 will be prominently displayed on the bikes. (Photo courtesy of Cheetah Choppers)
GREELEY, Colorado — Former Denver Broncos quarterback John Elway is lending his name to a limited-edition run of custom-built choppers. Cheetah Choppers will build just 20 of the motorcycles with the seventh production bike going to Elway himself.
The bikes are marked with Elway\’s name and the number (seven) that he wore on his jersey. Most of the bikes will come covered in either blue or orange paint to commemorate Elway\’s jersey colors, while three of the choppers will be sold in white. Power for each chopper comes from a Buell Harley Davidson 1200-cc V-twin engine. Buyers… Read the rest of this entry
Silver is considered the top color by PPG Industries in a different study. (Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company)
WILMINGTON, Delaware — White is the top vehicle color choice in North America for the second year in a row, according to the 2008 DuPont Automotive Color Popularity Report. The survey emphasizes that \”conservative differentiation among consumers may be [a] sign of the times.\”
This latest survey is somewhat at odds with an earlier survey released in October by PPG Industries. In that survey, PPG Industries said that silver continues to win the automotive color popularity contest.
\”Neutral colors like silver and light gray shades capture a high volume, but long-term they show a decreasing tendency in almost… Read the rest of this entry
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — Concerned about the global economic downturn and its possible effect on the jobs of auto workers here, the Argentine government has announced a plan under which auto dealers will be helped to sell cars at cost for first-time car buyers. The government is backing that up with almost $900 million in low-cost loans. It is part of a larger $3.8 billion stimulus package the government has come up with to minimize the effects of the economic crisis.
The government auto-loan program helps each auto company sell its two lowest-priced (under $10,000) models at cost while the government offers a choice of three auto loans at below-market interest rates.
The Wall Street Journal said the program will aim for an average loan payment of $230 per month.
Reuters reported that the plan is intended to \”protect 150,000 auto industry jobs and… Read the rest of this entry
Mitsubishi is closing down the Illinois plant that builds the Eclipse and Galant for seven weeks, citing slow U.S. sales. Pictured: 2009 Eclipse GT. (Photo courtesy of Mitsubishi Motor Sales of America)
NORMAL, Illinois — Mitsubishi Motors will temporarily shutter its assembly plant here for seven weeks, from February 16 to April 3, to cope with a continuing falloff in U.S. sales.
The Normal plant, which builds the Eclipse sports car and the Galant sedan, opened 20 years ago. It is one of the few Japanese assembly plants in North America with workers who are UAW members. While the factory is idle, about 1,200 hourly workers will continue to receive their pay while shifting to non-production work such as training and maintenance, according to Reuters.
Mitsubishi\’s sales through the first 11 months of 2008 have plunged 25 percent from the previous year, dropping 36 percent in November.
Onboard Automatic Number Plate Recognition system helps the Evo-driving cops identify the bad guys. (Photo courtesy of Mitsubishi Motor Sales of America)
SOUTH YORKSHIRE, England — A brand-new Mitsubishi Evo X that\’s up to police specifications has arrived in South Yorkshire County, where it joins the ranks of an Evo VIII and an Evo IX already in the Road Crime Unit.
The vehicles are used with the hope that the person being pursued will simply give up the chase after they see an Evo in the rearview mirror. Since the police \”hunt\” in a group of three Evolutions, this is usually enough of… Read the rest of this entry
Mercedes Splitview technology will first come out on the S-Class in mid-2009. Pictured: S320 CDI. (Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz)
STUTTGART, Germany — Mercedes-Benz said Wednesday it will roll out its new Splitview technology on the S-Class in the summer of 2009. The technology allows the driver and front passenger to watch different programs, such as the navigation system and a DVD, on the same screen at the same time.
There\’s no word yet on pricing for this high-tech option.
The German automaker said it developed the technology with auto supplier Bosch.
The system uses an 8-inch monitor that shows two different images at the same time. \”A filter masking the display divides this mixed image in such a way that depending on the seating position,… Read the rest of this entry
The Nissan Frontier Crew Cab costs $1,770 less than the comparable version of the Equator. (Photo courtesy of Nissan Motors Corporation Inc.)
BREA, California — The 2009 Suzuki Equator, a rebadged version of the 2009 Nissan Frontier, is priced $1,770 higher than the comparable Frontier Crew Cab. The Equator ranges in price from $18,770 for the extended-cab model to $30,100 for the Equator RMZ-4 off-road model. Prices include $775 destination.
The 2009 Frontier is available only in crew cab configuration. Presumably, the price differential can be pegged to Suzuki\’s corporate powertrain warranty of seven years or 100,000 miles versus Nissan\’s corporate powertrain warranty of five years or 60,000 miles.
The 2009 Suzuki Equator crew-cab model with two-wheel drive starts at $24,760. The 2009… Read the rest of this entry