Saturday, July 14, 2007

GM to offer diesels in range of U.S. lineup

Friday, July 13, 2007
Auto briefs
GM to offer diesels in range of U.S. lineup

General Motors Corp ., the largest U.S. automaker, plans to introduce a range of diesel-powered vehicles in the United States, Vice Chairman Bob Lutz said. "We're doing a bunch of them," Lutz said in a video conference posted Thursday on GM's FastLane blog. He said Detroit-based GM will offer cars, sport utility vehicles and crossover SUVs with diesel engines, which are now available only on some large vans, heavy-duty pickups and medium-duty trucks. Selling more vehicles with diesel engines would help GM court buyers upset by rising gasoline prices and meet possible increases in U.S. fuel-economy rules. Engines that burn diesel generally are more fuel-efficient than gasoline models. Six-cylinder diesel engines would be offered on cars, light trucks and crossover SUVs, and eight-cylinder, 4.5-liter engines on SUVs, Lutz said. He didn't provide specifics.

Volkswagen car sales top 3 million for year

FRANKFURT, Germany -- Volkswagen sold more than 3 million cars during the first half of the year, the German automaker said Thursday, a 7.8 percent jump from last year fueled by an increased demand for VW and luxury Audi vehicles. The Wolfsburg-based company, Europe's biggest automaker by sales, said it sold 3.09 million cars from January to July, with its VW brand selling 1.8 million, up 7.4 percent from the same time last year. Growth was led by Europe, where sales rose 3.7 percent and in Asia, where sales were up 20.9 percent with 502,000 automobiles sold. Sales in North America rose 3.1 percent with 263,000 cars sold.

BMW shifts control of plant to partner DCX

Bayerische Motoren Werke AG transferred control of its half of a Brazilian joint-venture engine factory to partner DaimlerChrysler AG's Chrysler division. The transaction was effective Wednesday and the owners agreed not to provide financial details, Munich-based BMW said. Tritec Motors Ltd ., as the joint venture is called, was founded in 1997 and makes 1.4-liter and 1.6-liter motors. Chrysler is investigating long-term options for Tritec, which may include a sale to a third party, BMW said. The factory has a capacity to make 250,000 engines annually.

Actor Lowe helps pitch tax breaks for hybrids

WASHINGTON -- The chairman of the House global warming committee and actor Rob Lowe called for tax incentives for hybrid owners to convert their vehicles to plug-ins. To tout the effort, the pair tooled around Capitol Hill Thursday in a plug-in hybrid Toyota Prius surrounded by photographers and camera crews. U.S. Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass., held a hearing to tout his proposal to offer hybrid owners a 35 percent tax break to convert their hybrids to plug-ins. Lowe's appearance drew network crews from Fox News and CNN. Markey's "Plug-in Hybrid Opportunity Act of 2007" would give gasoline-electric hybrid owners a 35 percent tax credit to defray the costs of converting their vehicle to plug-ins. Not all lawmakers support the proposal.

Detroit News staff, wire and Bloomberg News reports.

© Copyright 2007 The Detroit News. All rights reserved.


Post a Comment

<< Home