January 9th, 2009 at 12:02pm
Exxon’s CEO calls for a carbon tax instead of a cap and trade system. Chrysler is considering building a car-based truck to replace its Dakota pickup. ArvinMeritor is not selling off all its car business due to the industry downturn. All that and more, plus a preview of this week’s Autoline about blogging and how it’s changing the automotive media business.
Transcript and Story Links after the jump . . .
Here are today’s top headlines. Exxon calls for a carbon tax. Chrysler considers a car-based truck. And ArvinMeritor is not selling off all its car business.
Up next, we’ll be back with the news behind the headlines.
This is Autoline Daily for Friday, January 9, 2009. And now, the news.
My how the world has changed. The CEO of Exxon is calling for a carbon tax, the Wall Street Journal reports. Rex Tillerson, who has been CEO only since 2006, wants a carbon tax instead of a cap and trade system, which he calls complex and costly. Still, supporting a carbon tax puts the CEO of Exxon in the same camp as Al Gore and Ralph Nader, and that sure shows just how much this world done gone crazy.
The Detroit News says Chrysler is considering building a car-based truck to replace its mid-size Dakota pickup. This could offer better fuel economy and still meet the needs of many truck buyers. This news comes on the heels of GM canceling the Pontiac G8 Sport Truck, and Mitsubishi is pulling the plug on its slow-selling pick-up (subscription required), called the Raider, which is made by Chrysler.
Our media partner Autoblog reports that Mitsubishi will share its MiEV plug-in electric vehicle with Peugeot, which will be available in Europe sometime in 2011. The MiEV goes on sale in Japan later this year with an expected production run of just 2,000 units.
The all-new Mazda3 that goes on sales globally this year will be the world’s first application of single-nanocatalyst technology in catalytic converters. The new catalyst reduces the amount of costly precious metals used in the converter by 70 percent.
ArvinMeritor is not going to spin off all of its passenger car business, due to the industry slump. According to the Detroit Free Press ArvinMeritor plans to keep its wheels business. But it is preparing to sell its body and chassis business.
Here’s one I just couldn’t resist. Autoblog is carrying a story on this product from the Consumer Electronics show. It’s called Sound Racer. You plug it into the cigarette lighter and it pumps the sound of a powerful V-8 through the cars speakers. Hit the gas pedal and it sounds like the engine is revving. Autoblog suggests it’s the perfect accessory for people who own hybrid cars.
Coming up next, a preview of this week’s episode of Autoline Detroit. We’ll be back, right after this.
On this week’s Autoline I sit down with three journalist colleagues to talk all about blogging and how that’s changing the automotive media business. Joining me for this is John Neff from Autoblog, Chris Paukert formerly from Winding Road but now with Autoblog, and Mike Dushane from CarandDriver.com. Here’s a short preview in which we talk about the embargos automakers put on information and how it gets leaked out anyway.
And remember, if you want to hear the rest of my interview with these mavens of new media, you can watch the entire episode of Autoline Detroit on our website right now.
Also, this week’s trivia question asked, what is the automotive definition of “tumblehome”? Is it the vortex created by a swirling air/fuel mixture — is it something that happens when you’ve had a few too many at the bar — is it the inward slope of a vehicle’s greenhouse — or is it an engineering term for how a seat folds? And the correct answer is, it’s the slope of a vehicle’s greenhouse. The winner of this week’s prize, which is a cool Saturn Astra messenger bag and an Autoline t-shirt, is J. Mackowicz of Los Angeles, CA. Congratulations J. Mackowicz.
Anyway, that’s it for today’s top news in the global automotive industry, but don’t forget, we’ll be broadcasting live from the Detroit Auto Show this weekend. You’ll be able to watch at our website, AutolineDaily.com. That’s Sunday, January 11 and Monday, January 12 at noon and at 4:00 p.m. eastern time. Anyway, that’s it for today’s show. Thanks for watching, we’ll see you on Sunday.