Monday, September 19, 2005
Automotive News has some good articles this week concerning the state of the industry. Remember, these articles require subscription. I will highlight quotes from them though:
American market turning into European market--
GM Vice Chairman Robert Lutz says higher fuel prices, if sustained, inevitably would push Americans toward smaller cars.
"If U.S. fuel prices start equaling fuel prices in Europe, we will have the same vehicle type over time that Europe does - a very large B-class at the bottom with the vast majority of people driving Cobalt-sized cars," Lutz said in an interview at the Frankfurt auto show.
"Fuel prices would have to go to European levels for that to happen. If it stays (in the $3 to $4 per gallon range) it will result in some market shift. It has to."
Ford realizes that design is more important than subtle improvements--
Despite improvements in noise, ride and handling, a new interior and a fold-flat third-row seat, Freestar sales have been dismal. One reason: The exterior is virtually undistinguishable from the old Windstar it replaced.