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  • MT News - December 2003 - Toyota Scion xB Dilemma

MT News - December 2003 - Toyota Scion xB Dilemma

From The Inside Out

Lance Martz
Dec 1, 2003
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Recently, Totally Polished came out with a second DVD. Called Mayhem and Dragging, the DVD features plenty of dragging, cruising, and mini-trucker-type fun that TP caught and turned into prime entertainment for the rest of us. For more information, contact: Totally Polished, Dept. MT, 1133 Commercial Ave., Oxnard, CA 93031, (805) 385-3444, www.totallypolished.com.
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What to Do?
When Chrysler came out with the PT Cruiser, many magazines labeled it a "mini SUV" and profiled it like mad. We here at Mini Truckin' looked deeper into the fad car and realized that it was merely a breadbox shell strapped to a car platform - the Dodge Neon. Now we're faced with yet another dilemma in the form of the newly released Toyota Scion xB and the Honda Element. They're more minivan than anything we've ever seen. But should these new vehicles be considered for use as fodder in Mini Truckin'? They're definitely marketed to younger buyers who want the room of an SUV without the $30,000-and-up price tag. We'd like to hear from you and find out what you think. E-mail us at mini.truckin@primedia.com with your views on the subject.
Tacoma Left Out?
The Toyota National Dealer Council met in September, and one of the items on its agenda was truck marketing. Working with the council is Kurt Ritter, a 32-year GM veteran who left Buick and Pontiac this year. He has since formed a consulting firm, and Toyota is his only client. Ritter says part of his job will be to provide strategic perspectives on where Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc. is headed with trucks. Toyota tallied 47,261 Tundra sales in the first six months of 2003, which is down 5.6 percent from a year ago. However, there was no mention made of any push to give Tacoma a boost. We wonder if Tacoma is of any real interest to Toyota anymore.
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More Breadboxes!
Chevrolet will go up against Chrysler in the '06 model year with a wagon called the HHR (high heritage roof) that will resemble Chrysler's PT Cruiser. GMC will not produce a version of the vehicle, however. The HHR is based on a rendering that includes a high hood, low headlights in the fenders, and a 1940's-style grille. The vehicle will seat five, and it's expected to be produced with a dual-overhead cam and a four-cylinder engine with an output that will range from 140 hp to 220 hp. GM will offer a supercharged four-cylinder 220hp engine in the Saturn ION Redline. The HHR concept is said to have been inspired by the '49 Chevy Suburban and the '04 Chevy SSR convertible pickup. Unlike the limited-production SSR, the HHR will be a much higher-volume vehicle.
More V-6s for Toyota
Toyota will more than double production at its Alabama engine plant to 250,000 units a year in 2005. After a $20 million investment in the Alabama facility, the plant will start building V-6 engines in mid-2005 for use in Tundra and Tacoma pickups. The plant began producing 4.7L V-8s for the Tundra in April, with an annual capacity of 120,000 at that time.
Fast 4-1-1
* Ford will recall more than 1 million Explorer and Mercury Mountaineer SUVs to fix problems with the vehicles' speed control and seat recliners.
* General Motors will recall 95,000 Buick Rendezvous SUVs that need reinforcement around the rear liftgate latch.
Photo 5/8   |   toyota Scion Xb Dilemma totally Polished Website
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