V-6 in the wings for Kia Sportage
Your 'Asia Future Products' section (Aug. 9) requires a bit of clarification as to Kia's future vehicles for the U.S. market.
Contrary to your statement that the future of the Sportage is uncertain, quite the opposite is true. B.M. Ahn, president of Kia Motors America, recently returned from a trip to Korea with the news that a V-6 engine will be available in the Sportage in the 2002 model year. Instead of 'uncertain,' that sounds 'very certain' and 'very encouraging' to me.
The B-III subcompact will join the Kia lineup for the 2001 model year. It is not, however, the same vehicle U.S. dealers knew as the Ford Aspire. The B-III is a newly designed, next-generation four-door subcompact sedan.
Along with a five-door hatchback, a minivan and a redesigned Sephia, Kia is poised to become a pretty substantial element in the market because Americans recognize what Kia brings to the party: great value in high-quality vehicles.
Executive Vice President
Marketing and Sales
Kia Motors America Inc.
Speaking up for the UAW
It does not surprise me that in your opinion, 'Alabama workers already have all UAW can offer' (July 26 editorial).
Most business owners will likely tell you that the workers already have everything the owners think they need.
But it's not just about equaling the wages and benefits of UAW-represented automotive facilities. It's about a contract, not promises, but the same kind of contract that most companies make you sign when you do business with them.
How about someone - not unlike an attorney - to represent you when you are being discriminated against or to argue grievances? And don't even try to compare this to nonunion environments in which leaders of quality circles and dispute-resolving committees tend to be company cronies who side with - guess who.
I'm talking about democratically chosen representatives who take an oath to do their best for their brother and sister workers. It's called solidarity, and not everyone understands the meaning of that word until you are lied to by the boss or tossed out when they don't want you anymore.
The UAW provides security, safety and dignity in the workplace that tremendously improves workers' quality of life and provides them with a voice in their own destiny that companies cannot emulate.
The writer is a UAW worker at Delphi Energy & Engine Management Systems.
A look at history of daytime lights
Tom Norton (Letters, July 5) may not like daytime running lights, but they have been researched for years to determine the best course of action.
Sweden has required them for nearly 30 years and has found that they do reduce traffic accidents.
The SAE lighting committee has studied and evaluated size, location, light intensity and light distribution (beam pattern) for 20 years. Hundreds of observers from the car and truck industry, the automotive lighting industry, universities and government participated in the development of SAE standards for daytime running lights.
Since Dec. 12, 1989, Canada has required that all new vehicles have daytime running lights. Canada has concluded that they reduce accidents 9.8 percent.
General Motors spearheaded the development of daytime running lights, provided test vehicles, test roads and untold staff hours. GM realized that the extra cost to so equip its vehicles was justified by the greater safety.
Automatic daytime running lights assure that front lights are on at twilight and in inclement weather; far too many drivers forget to turn their lights on in those conditions. Some insurance companies offer a discount on vehicles with daytime running lights.
RALPH A. EHRHARDT
The writer is a retired auto lighting engineer for General Electric.
Gripe about golf, not running lights
In his July 5 letter, Tom Norton complained about General Motors installing daytime running lights on his 1997 Chevrolet Corvette and his 1999 Cadillac DeVille. He objected that the computer screen suggests that he turn on lights when the car is in the garage all day.
General Motors has been ridiculed a lot during the past few years, and much of the criticism is deserved. However in this case, GM should be commended for putting safety first.
If Norton wants statistics, he should talk to basketball player Bobby Hurley, who was nearly killed after a game by a car that was running without lights.
You identified Norton as a retired Ford dealer. I wonder why he has two $40,000-plus GM cars instead of luxury Ford products.
It sounds like Norton is bored with retirement and has resorted to complaining to keep busy. I recommend that he take up golf; that will give him plenty to complain about.
Bloomfield Hills, Mich.
The writer is an automotive parts supplier.