Insight gets $18,880 tag
LOS ANGELES - Honda's gasoline-electric hybrid car, the Insight, will have a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $18,880 when it goes on sale in the United States on Wednesday, Dec. 15, American Honda Motor Co. Inc. announced Friday, Dec. 10.
With air conditioning, the price rises to $20,080.
The Insight combines a 1.0-liter, three-cylinder gasoline engine and an electric motor for improved efficiency. Honda says the car gets 61 mpg in the city and 70 mpg on the highway. It also meets California's Ultra Low Emission Vehicle standards.
California bans gas additive
LOS ANGELES - The California Air Resources Board last week reversed a requirement that gasoline in the state must be sold with the additive MTBE. By Dec. 31, 2002, all gasoline must be free of the additive.
MTBE, an oxygenate, helps air quality by reducing carbon monoxide in car exhaust. However, MTBE has been found to leach quickly from gasoline storage tanks and contaminate groundwater.
The cost to replace MTBE - most likely with more expensive ethanol - will be about $1 billion. Refiners probably will pass on the cost to consumers. Californians already were paying more for gasoline with MTBE, which had been required since 1996.
GM cutting 2000 output
DETROIT - In the first quarter of 2000, GM will cut car production 4.9 percent from first-quarter 1999 levels, to 742,000 units. Truck and sport-utility production will be bumped up 4.7 percent, to 759,000 units. The new targets result in total production for the first quarter of 2000 of 1,501,000 units, down 0.3 percent from the same period a year ago. A Wall Street analyst questioned whether the cuts were deep enough. 'Production levels appear high, considering the company's excessive inventory levels and disappointing market share trends,' said Nicholas Lobaccaro, an analyst with Lehman Brothers.
Sheehy leaves Nissan post
LOS ANGELES - Nissan Division marketing director Ed Sheehy has left the company to join independent distributor Southeast Toyota as vice president of marketing. Taking Sheehy's place is Scott Fessenden, who previously was Nissan director of operations. Fessenden has been with Nissan since 1982, holding various regional and national posts. Promoted to Fessenden's position is Mark McNabb, who last had been the Northeast region assistant manager.
Nissan also named Mark Christovale its director of public companies, a new position. Christovale had been corporate manager of national market representation, and will coordinate all activities associated with publicly owned Nissan and Infiniti dealerships. Christovale has been with Nissan since 1983.
Ford honored for recycling
WASHINGTON - Ford Motor Co. will receive a recycling leadership award today, Dec. 13, from the National Recycling Coalition. It will be the first time the coalition has recognized a corporation for recycling efforts. The coalition, a 5,000-member nonprofit organization, credits Ford with 'completing the recycling loop' - that is, buying recycled material itself. Others being honored are the U.S. Postal Service and the Steel Recycling Institute.
Andy Acho, Ford's director of environmental outreach and strategy, said 4 billion pounds of recycled metals go into company cars and trucks each year.