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Inside this issue
GM Offers Maintenance Plan to Fleet Buyers
Auto Industry Underdog Mazda Hopes Alliances Will Help Boost Sales
Toyota Set to Pick Prius Developer as Next Chairman, Report Says
Automakers Put Attendees Virtually in the Driver's Seat
Batman, Your Car is For Sale
Click here for more auto industry news at NADAFrontPage.com. .
Top Stories
GM Offers Maintenance Plan to Fleet Buyers

General Motors is offering a two-year, 30,000-mile maintenance plan through its Business Choice program for business fleet buyers. The maintenance plan covers lube, oil and filter changes, tire rotations and a 27-point inspection. The Business Choice program already included a cash allowance for vehicle accessories or upfits. The Business Choice program is designed for business owners and is available to customers who buy or lease eligible, new Chevrolet or GMC vehicles, including cargo, passenger and cutaway vans, chassis cabs, 1500, 2500 and 3500 pickups and the Chevrolet Avalanche. Small-business customers purchasing more than one work-related vehicle may also be eligible for the program.
Source: Automotive News

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Auto Industry Underdog Mazda Hopes Alliances Will Help Boost Sales

Mazda Motor Corp. clinched a deal on Friday with Italian auto maker Fiat SpA to supply the Mazda Miata roadster as the foundation for a new Alfa Romeo sports car, taking a high-profile step forward in its fight to survive in a world of global giants. This is a tough time to be a small Japanese auto maker. A strong yen, political tensions in China, slumping sales in Europe and intensified competition from Korea's Hyundai Motor Group, Germany's Volkswagen AG and the Detroit Three are squeezing Japan's second-tier car companies .... Mazda Chief Executive Takashi Yamanouchi says he is determined to expand global sales and stand his ground in the U.S., using a strategy that combines a homegrown approach to building lower cost, more efficient vehicles with opportunistic alliances such as the deal with Fiat.
Source: The Wall Street Journal

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Toyota Set to Pick Prius Developer as Next Chairman, Report Says

Vice Chairman Takeshi Uchiyamada would replace Fujio Cho as chairman, Nikkei says

Toyota Motor Corp. will probably pick Takeshi Uchiyamada, who led the development of the Prius hybrid car in 1990s, to replace Fujio Cho as the company's next chairman, Nikkei reported. Cho, 75, will become a senior adviser, though a final decision will be made at a board meeting in June, Nikkei said. Uchiyamada, currently vice chairman at Toyota, may also become vice chairman of the Keidanren, Japan's largest business lobbying group, Nikkei said. While President Akio Toyoda, grandson of the founder, is in charge of day-to-day operations at Asia's largest carmaker, a change in chairmanship would be Toyota's first since Cho took on the role in 2006. A new chairman would face the challenge of helping Toyota revive the Japanese automaker's leadership in the global auto industry in the face of mounting competition from Volkswagen AG and Hyundai Motor Co.
Source: Bloomberg

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Automakers Put Attendees Virtually in the Driver's Seat

The North American International Auto Show is letting consumers get a taste of what it'll be like to be behind the wheel of many new models. The simulations are part of what drew more than 100,000 to each of the auto show's first two public days. "First day attendance was the strongest in eight years," chairman Jim Seavitt said of Saturday's 103,126 attendance total. Sunday's attendance was 105,509.
Source: The Detroit News

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Batman, Your Car is For Sale

To those of a certain age, the Batmobile is one of the most recognized and revered cars to have appeared on the small screen. The General Lee Charger, the Munster Koach and KITT from “Knight Rider” pale in comparison to the Batmobile, the prototypical TV hero car. While there have been countless replicas built (and sold in the $50,000 to $150,000 range), the original [was] still in the hands of its creator, the 88-year-old pioneering customizer George Barris. It was ... auctioned this weekend at the Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale, Ariz. and sold for $4.62 million, including buyer's reserve.
Source: The New York Times

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Quotable
"The situation in the entire European (car) market is still catastrophic. It is unrealistic and delusional to think that the European market will recover quickly." 

   
-- GM Vice Chairman, Stephen Girsky, commenting on the automaker possibly closing a German factory two years earlier than planned, Automotive News, Jan. 22

 

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