Toyota: No sales to the TalibanTalk about bad product placement. Images in the news media of Taliban troops cruising around in Toyota pickups and Land Cruisers have prompted Toyota Motor Corp. to point out that Toyota does not have a sales or distribution channel in Afghanistan and that the company does not export vehicles to that country. The last sale of a Toyota vehicle there through official channels was in 1997, the company said. The rest probably were smuggled in from neighboring countries, Toyota said.
SHAKE IT UP, BABY - Ford Motor Co. wanted the audio system in the Mustang to shake things up. The automaker told Visteon Corp., which designed the Mach 1000 system for the 2002 Mustang, that when the volume was turned all the way up the sound should be powerful enough to shake an empty soda pop can on the trunk lid - and it does, said Visteon engineer Patrick Dennis.
CHEVY HONORS EARNHARDT - Chevrolet has unveiled the 2002 Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS Dale Earnhardt Signature Edition. The project, which was in the works before Earnhardt's fatal crash this year, salutes Earnhardt's monumental NASCAR career. "When we started discussing this project with him, he took it as an honor to have his legendary status commemorated with such a special vehicle," said Kurt Ritter, Chevrolet general manager. The car will be sold by select high-volume Chevrolet dealers, and only 3,333 - to honor the No. 3 that was emblazoned on Earnhardt's car -will be produced. The model has special ground effects, graphics and other trim. Chevrolet will make a donation from each sale to the Foundation for the Carolinas, a charity selected by the Earnhardt family.
EBAY GOES OFFLINE - The online auction company eBay Motors will shift gears this month by offering its first live collector car event Oct. 27-28 at the Santa Clara (Calif.) Convention Center. The auction, produced by eBay subsidiary Kruse International, will feature more than 300 vehicles, most of them expected to sell for $25,000 to $65,000. A spokeswoman for eBay said the offline venture is part of an effort to build the eBay Motors brand, and more such events in other parts of the country are likely next year.