GM recalls 20,000 vehicles
General Motors is recalling about 20,000 sport-utilities, pickups and vans equipped with 4.3-liter V-6 engines to inspect for lubrication problems with the engine's crankshaft.
The recall affects some 2000 model-year versions of the Chevrolet Blazer, S10, Astro and Silverado; the GMC Jimmy, Envoy and Sonoma; and the Oldsmobile Bravada.
On affected vehicles, a cavity machined into the crankshaft's counterweight may have pierced an oil gallery in the crankshaft. That would allow oil to run out of the shaft rather than lubricate the crankshaft bearings, according to recall information sent to dealers.
Some owners have reported low oil pressure.
About 1,500 of the vehicles have reached customers, while 15,000 are on dealer lots. The rest are in the pipeline, a GM Truck spokesman said.
GM has told dealers to inspect the crankshafts of vehicles on their lots and hold from sale those with problems. The rest will be diverted to a plant in Flint, Mich., where UAW workers will inspect and fix the vehicles.
Kendrick named CEO of Asbury
Asbury Automotive Group of Conshohocken, Pa., has named Brian Kendrick president and CEO, a sign that the privately held dealership chain could be closer to an initial public offering.
Kendrick, 46, has been president of DFS Group Ltd. of San Francisco, a luxury-goods retailer, for the past year.
Before that, he was vice chairman and COO of Saks Inc., the department store chain. Kendrick led the Saks IPO in 1996. Asbury is his first auto-related job.
Tom Gibson, who co-founded Asbury in 1995, stays on as chairman. He had been chairman and CEO. Asbury, the third-largest U.S. dealer group, has about 100 dealerships.
Gibson, a former president of Subaru of America Inc., has said all along that the group's ambition is to go public.
DFS has more than 150 stores in 16 countries, including duty-free airport shops, and stores in hotels and resorts, mostly on the Pacific Rim.
AutoWeb.com debuts 3 spots
AutoWeb.com in Santa Clara, Calif., debuts its first national TV advertising campaign tonight, Nov. 8, on broadcast and cable networks.
Three new commercials from Lowe Lintas & Partners in New York introduce the tag 'Take the Wheel.'
The 4-year-old online auto services company plans to spend $2.5 million on its TV campaign through the end of the year, a spokeswoman said.
Spending is expected rise to $25 million next year.