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Showing posts from December, 2006

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With 10 Days to Go, Embargoes Up In Smoke

You've got to love the blogs. Over the past two weeks, the precious embargoes extended to journalists by auto manufacturers to keep quiet upcoming introductions have been violated left and right. That's right, on the eve of the Detroit Auto Show -- which opens to the press on January 7 -- we know a lot about what's on deck for the opening act of the year.So far, ahead of schedule, we've seen:--Chevrolet Malibu, a dressed up answer to the Camry.
--Chrysler Nassau, a luxury coupe based on the 300.
--Jeep Trailhawk, an edgy concept powered by BLUETEC diesel.
--Dodge Viper, a whopping 8.3 liter V10 -- enough said.

A Greener BMW?

Alt fuels -- everybody's doing 'em! BMW made headlines (in the auto press at least) by showing its Hydrogen 7 version of the 7 Series which runs, you guessed it, on hydrogen. Some environmentalists weren't that impressed, but it is -- at the very least -- an interesting technology demonstration.In any case, the company is certainly exploring its green side. As part of that development, the company's setup an intriguing environmentally themed website, ClubOfPioneers.com. The site is social networking meets blogging and green advocacy. But, it features typically BMW slick production.According to the site, the Club of Pioneers is "about a sustainable lifestyle. We rely on a kind of living that is responsible and aesthetic at the same time. In the fields of vehicles as much as energy technologies, design, architecture, food etc. you find new approaches to sustainability. We unite these voices on this platform and create a model for a new kind of living."A little …

White Knight Syndrome

Looks like the gabbing over last week's high-intrigue meeting between top Ford and Toyota executives has subsided going into New Year's. Of course, the splash was big enough to register on Wall Street. The day the news broke wide States-side, Ford's stock jumped 10 cents, or 1.4%, to $7.52 and it traded as high as $7.53 all well below the stock's 52-week high of $9.48.If the first day story was an excited "What if?," the second day story was definitely a skeptical "Why ever would they?" as analysts dumped cold water on any possibility of a GM-Renault-Nissan style tie-up. The talks were most likely a play on Ford's part to ensure its supply of hybrid power-trains in the near term.In any case, if there was one easily diagnosed pathology in the auto industry this year, it was undoubtedly a serious case of white knight syndrome -- the unrealistic desire for quick-fix solutions to complex, systemic problems.Much of the hype around this summer's G…