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Recent entries across all Reuters newsblogs

Dodge Caliber unveiled

Posted to Detroit Auto Show 2006 blog
January 10th, 2006, filed by Fred Katayama

Chrysler caliber.jpgunveiled its new compact car that improves fuel efficiency by using new transmission technology, Fred Katayama reports. 

Separately, GM said its new value pricing strategy will lower prices on 80 percent of the vehicles it sells by up to $2,500.

GM: Listen to York–Analyst

Posted to Detroit Auto Show 2006 blog
January 10th, 2006, filed by Ruben Ramirez

Fred Katayama spoke with BNP Paribas Analyst Brad Rubin following comments from Jerome York, a former Chrysler Corp. chief financial officer, who demanded that GM conserve cash by cutting compensation for executives and salaried workers and slashing its $2 annual dividend.  Rubin says if GM follows York’s advice the “UAW would feel the pain today but be better off in the future.”

Time for ‘crisis mode’ at GM

Posted to Detroit Auto Show 2006 blog
January 10th, 2006, filed by Reuters Staff

gm.jpgYork.jpgJerome York (left), an adviser to Kirk Kerkorian and former Chrysler Corp. chief financial officer called on General Motors to step up efforts to stanch its mounting financial losses, Reuters Tom Brown reported.He urged the ailing automaker to sell off or close noncore businesses and assets and halve its $2 annual dividend, which costs the company about $1.1 billion per year. “When a company is in deep trouble — and make no mistake, GM is at the present time — there are only so many hours in the day for management to effectively focus on and fix things,” York said.

Earlier, GM Chief Executive Rick Wagoner (pictured right, with Vice Chairman Bob Lutz on the right) told reporters the struggling automaker will be more “judicious” in 2006 in offering dealers generous sales incentives that boosted 2005 car sales.

“I have had regular conversations with Kirk, not this year, and with Jerry,” Wagoner also said. “I think they’re very well informed on what our strategies are, as other key investors are.

“And it’s my sense that there’s a lot of agreement on strategies. If anyone says can we go faster to get this business turned around, I say ‘Amen.’. That’s what we’re working on every day,” Wagoner said.

Meanwhile, chief economists for GM, Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler Group projected between 16.7 million and 16.8 million light vehicles will be sold this year. About 16.9 million vehicles were sold in 2005, making it one of the strongest sales volume years on record. (Photos: REUTERS)

BMW not too worried about competition

Posted to Detroit Auto Show 2006 blog
January 10th, 2006, filed by Reuters Staff

BMW North America’s CEO Tom Purves tells Fred Katayama the automaker expects “sustained success” and s not too worried about competition from rival Mercedes-Benz. Unlike Mercedes which sells cars at mid and high-end price points, Purves says BMW’s focus on making only premium cars gives it an edge.

Remodeled Camry has ‘natural healing properties’

Posted to Detroit Auto Show 2006 blog
January 10th, 2006, filed by Reuters Staff

camry.jpgReuters Fred Katayama got a chance to take a look at Toyota’s 2006 Camry and spoke to some industry watchers about what they thought of the new car’s design and features, like 43 miles/gallon in city driving and upholstery coated with a substance extracted from silkworm cocoons that Toyota says has “natural healing properties.”

Toyota is counting on sales of the sixth-generation Camry to drive around 10 percent growth next year in the United States, Chang-Ran Kim, Asia auto correspondent, reports.

With 431,703 sold last year, the model accounted for one in every five cars the automaker sold in the United States.

Cult of the Camaro

Posted to Detroit Auto Show 2006 blog
January 9th, 2006, filed by Reuters Staff

General Motors Corp. showed off a Chevrolet Camaro prototype inspired bycamaro.jpg the 1969 version of the legendary muscle car to try to rev up demand for its return.

Executives at GM cited fans’ intense interest surrounding the seven-month development effort behind the 400-horsepower concept car as an indication of potential demand from buyers. GM estimated 100,000 fans watched the Detroit unveiling via Webcast. It invited another 250 enthusiasts to watch in person. “It’s like a cult out there,” Lutz said of the Camaro fan base.

Many expect Chrysler and Chevrolet to put the Challenger and Camaro into production, given Ford Motor Co.’s success with its redesigned version of the original 1960s muscle car, the Mustang. (photo: REUTERS/Rebecca Cook)

Debut now expected in late 2007

Posted to Detroit Auto Show 2006 blog
January 9th, 2006, filed by Reuters Staff

chery.jpgImports into the United States of cars manufactured by China’s Chery Automobile will likely begin at the end of 2007, Malcolm Bricklin, the founder and president of importer Visionary Vehicles said.

“Now the dealers are involved, and they’re going to tell us the things they want in the cars. The time line will change only from the input of the people we say we want input from, which is the dealers,” Bricklin told Reuters on the sidelines of the North American International Auto Show here. He initially set a target of January 2007 for the first sales of the vehicles. (Photo: REUTERS/Mark Ralston)

Honda sweep

Posted to Detroit Auto Show 2006 blog
January 9th, 2006, filed by Reuters Staff

civic.jpgHonda Motor Corp. took the top honors as its all-new Civic and first-ever pickup, the Ridgeline, were voted car and truck of the year by a panel of automotive writers. (Photos: REUTERS/J.P. Moczulski)

Honda U.S.A. Vice-President Dick Colliver beside the 2006 Civic
Senior VP of Operations John Mendel and the 2006 Honda Ridgelineridgeline.jpg

What would you do if you headed GM?

Posted to Detroit Auto Show 2006 blog
January 9th, 2006, filed by Fred Katayama

Daimler.jpg

DaimlerChrysler’s CEO Dieter Zetsche spoke with Reuters Fred Katayama on the anticipated launch of the Smart minicar in the U.S., job cuts in Germany and the outlook for DCX in 2006 and new markets for the automaker

Return of the muscle cars

Posted to Detroit Auto Show 2006 blog
January 8th, 2006, filed by Reuters Staff

carone.jpg  Chrysler drove a concept of a muscle car onto the automotive stage on Sunday, looking to pump up its Dodge brand, Reuters reporter Ben Klayman files at the Detroit auto show… Not to be outdone, General Motors Corp. on Monday is expected to unveil a concept of its Chevrolet Camaro, a model discontinued in 2002 but one analysts say the world’s largest automaker may revive. (Photo: REUTERS/J.p. Moczulski)