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Archived Auto News and Events for March 2008

Independent Truckers Plan April 1 Stoppage
On Tuesday, April 1, a group of independent truckers spurred on by online comments made by owner-operator Dan Little, say they will not accept freight in protest of the rising cost of diesel fuel.
Calfornia Board Lowers Emission Free Goal
On Thursday, March 27, the California Air Resources Board voted to lower the required quantity of emission-free vehicles, in particular all-electric and fuel-cell cars, to be sold in the state over a three-year period beginning in 2012 by 70 percent.
Tata and Ford Close Deal on Jaguar and Land Rover
After months of negotiation, the Ford Motor Company and the Tata Group of India confirmed Tata's purchase of Jaguar and Land Rover for $2.3 billion, approximately 50 percent of the price Ford originally paid for the prestige brands.
Hyundai, Pontiac, Mercedes, and Saab Display Wares at New York Auto Show
The New York Auto Show, which runs through March 30, has provided a platform for a variety of car makers to introduce new models and to demonstrate improvements on existing vehicles including offerings by Hyundai, Pontiac, Mercedes, and Saab.
Small Town Americans Suffering from High Gas Prices
In a story for CNN Money on March 24, reporter Steve Hargreaves described the plight of residents in Camden, Alabama, the small American town where consumers spend more of their income for gasoline than in any other community in the United States.
Automotive Industry Braces for Rough Ride
According to an article by Leslie J. Allen for Automotive News , all signs indicate that whether or not pundits are ready to declare a recession officially underway, the auto industry is preparing for rough days ahead.
Trio from Asian Automakers at New York Show
At the 2008 New York motor show three Asian automakers introduced a trio of vehicles upping the performance bar in the sedan/coupe class, including concepts from Suzuki and Kia and a production-ready model from Hyundai.
Pundits Lower Predictions for 2008 Auto Sales
Industry watchers predict that the automotive industry in the United States will have one of its worst sales years in a decade in 2008, with expected units moved at under 15.5 million.
Ford to Intro New Technology Packed Taxi
At the New York auto show the Ford Motor Company will debut a concept for a new taxi cab based on its Transit Connect van. The concept taxi illustrates the extent to which automakers are "thinking outside the box" in their designs for both consumer and commercial vehicles.
Ford and GM Stocks Hit Hard by Market Uncertainty
On Monday, March 17, in response to the volatile state of the Wall Street financial markets, both General Motors and the Ford Motor Co. saw their stock close at new 52-week lows.
Leasing Pushed Over Long-Term Car Loans
Although automotive leases accounted for only 19.3 percent of sales contracts on new vehicles in 2007, J.D. Power and Associates report that for the first two months of 2008, the number of cars being leased climbed 21.7 percent.
Chrysler Closing Company Wide for Two Weeks in July
Chrysler CEO Bob Nardelli sent a memorandum to employees Thursday, March 13 indicating the company would shut down corporate-wide for the weeks of July 7 and 14.
Nissan Sales, Marketing Exec Resigns
Nissan announced the resignation of its top sales and marketing executive, Mark McNabb, on Wednesday, February 12 to be effective April 1, citing "personal reasons" behind the decision.
Telematics Upgrade of Sync System To Be Offered
A planned update of the Microsoft-powered Sync system offered in Ford vehicles will provide telematics services to drivers similar to those available through the General Motors OnStar service.
Sharply Higher Diesel Costs Felt in Multiple Industries
The average national price for diesel fuel topped record highs 18 of the past 19 days with a gallon selling for $3.83 on Monday, March 10 while gasoline averaging $3.23.
VW Plans Aggressive, Competitive Push in the U.S.
Speaking with Automotive News from the Geneva auto show, VW group CEO Martin Winterkorn outlined the company's multi-point plan to boost VW and Audi sales in the United States to 1 million units by 2018.
Strike Against Parts Manufacturer Effecting 20 General Motors Plants
The nine-day old strike between the United Auto Workers union and American Axle and Manufacturing Holdings has caused General Motors to idle or slow work at 20 plants.
Nissan Introduces Technology-Packed Infiniti FX50 Aimed at Male Drivers
The Nissan Infiniti FX , completely redesigned for 2009, showcases a host of innovative technologies for customers in the U.S. including distance control assist and automatic pre-collision braking.
GM Announces Lithium Ion Battery System
At the Geneva auto show General Motors announced the planned introduction of its first hybrid to be powered by a lithium-ion battery and set for a North American launch in 2010.
GM, Ford, Chrysler, Toyota All Feeling Economic Crunch
Economic woes continue to plague the economy at large and are being felt specifically in the automotive industry with General Motors, Toyota, Ford, and Chrysler all reporting declining sales figures for the month of February.
Mexico Changes Import Laws
In a bid to protect their own market for new and used cars, Mexico has changed their import laws regarding used cars. Effective Monday, March 3rd, only cars that are exactly ten years old, no more, and no less, can be legally imported into the country.
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