Nissan to decide on pickups
Nissan will decide within six months whether it will produce a large pickup, said Jed Connelly, general manager of Nissan Division.
'A bigger truck is one of the highest priorities for our dealers and us, and nobody has said no to us yet,' Connelly said.
'Nobody' refers to the chiefs at Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. If they approve the program, the pickup and a companion sport-utility could be in production in about three years.
New Toyota SUVs
Don Esmond, Toyota Division general manager, said the company will unveil two new sport-utilities at the New York auto show in April as part of a plan to be a leader in sport-utilities.
Separately, a spokesman said Toyota will introduce the redesigned 2001 RAV4 sport-utility at the Geneva auto show this month.
Esmond said that with new truck products and increased sales, he expects Toyota's car and light-truck sales will be split evenly by 2005. For the current calendar year, Esmond expects trucks to account for approximately 40 percent of Toyota's vehicle sales here.
M-B returns to diesel
Diesel power will return to the Mercedes-Benz line this year. Kenneth Enders, vice president of marketing of Mercedes-Benz USA Inc., said that a common rail, direct-injection diesel engine will power a 2001 E-class model that will be introduced in August or September and an S-class model that will bow next year. The company has not marketed a diesel-powered vehicle in the United States in 18 months. Emissions laws could prevent the new diesel from being sold in every state.
Daewoo boosts ads
William Tucker, Daewoo Motor America vice president, believes his company will sell 100,000 vehicles in 2000 through its 48 corporate stores and 215 franchised dealers in the United States.
That would be a huge leap over the 30,000 vehicles Daewoo sold in the United States last year. How will it come about? Daewoo is spending $30 million on a national television advertising campaign and expects the increased volume to come mainly from the Leganza sedan and the redesigned Nubira. The new four-wheel-drive Korando sport-utility will contribute 15,000 sales this year, he said.