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  • MT News - April 2005 - Toyota to Unite Operations

MT News - April 2005 - Toyota to Unite Operations

From The Inside Out

Apr 1, 2005
Photo 1/4   |   MT News havoc 2005
During the weekend of June 17-18, we'll be holding the most highly anticipated show of the 2005 season at the Louisville Convention Center, in Louisville, Kentucky. There will be more than $5,000 in cash and awards up for grabs, as well as plenty of draggin' action (at the show itself), the most incredible rides you've ever seen, and a special area set aside for the owners of previous Mini Truckin' cover trucks called the Mini Truckin' Cover Corral. These best-of-the-best show trucks will be showing against one another exclusively for bragging rights as to who is top dog. Havoc will have so much going on that if you miss this event, you'll have missed a show that will go down in the record books as the fiercest mini-truck competition ever. For more information on the show, contact Event Coordinator Amber Pierce at (714) 939-2580, For information on the Mini Truckin' cover-truck competition, contact Lance Martz at
New Ford Sport Trac?
Ford has offered a preview of the Explorer Sport Trac, which uses the current Explorer SUV platform, contributing to it being 2 inches wider and 5 inches longer than the current Sport Trac. That vehicle uses the previous-generation Explorer platform, which was replaced on the SUV in mid 2001. Ford says the concept's truck bed is 30 percent larger. The interior will have four bucket seats, with a center console that stretches to the back of the cabin. The platform switch brings a better-handling independent rear suspension and the automaker's 4.6L V-8 engine to the concept. It's also equipped with Ford's antirollover technology, which combines a sensor to detect vehicle tilt with the stability control system. Ford says the concept signals its plans for the next-generation vehicle, without confirming that the program is approved. Two touches on the concept - 21-inch wheels and power-opening doors (without exterior door handles), would not likely be included on the production version. The Explorer and Mercury Mountaineer are scheduled for re-engineering for the '06 or '07 model year.
Toyota to Unite Operations
Toyota will unite its North American manufacturing, vehicle development, and planning offices into one business unit to streamline vehicle development and parts procurement. The new company, Toyota Motor Engineering and Manufacturing North America Inc., will appear in 2006. It will create a single management for Toyota's Ann Arbor, Michigan, research and development subsidiary and the manufacturing headquarters in Erlanger, Kentucky. Toyota has not revealed who will manage the company. Atsushi Niimi, CEO of Toyota Motor Manufacturing North America Inc. in Erlanger, will lead the transition team.
Photo 4/4   |   MT News blazer
Bye-Bye Blazer
It seems that the end is at hand for the two-door Chevy Blazer and GMC Jimmy. At the beginning of December, General Motors told workers at its Linden, New Jersey, assembly plant that production of the two like-bodied SUVs will stop for good early in 2005. Approximately 1,000 workers will be sitting with nothing to do, or looking for another job.
Truck Production Cut
First-quarter production cuts planned by General Motors and Ford Motor Co. will hit where it hurts the most - high-profit trucks. Ford will trim production to 78,000 vehicles. General Motors will slash production by 95,000 units.
Weak U.S. Dollar May Help Domestic Production
The U.S. auto industry is still importing vehicle parts at record volumes, but there's hope on the horizon for U.S. plants. Parts industry officials believe the decline in the U.S. dollar may swing some demand away from offshore production.
Fast 411
* The average price of a new vehicle rose to $27,642 in the third quarter of 2004, according to Comerica Bank.
* Automakers say SUVs are showing signs of sluggishness in overall sales
* Chevrolet won't catch up with Ford in U.S. sales for 2004. This will mark Ford's 18th straight year as the best-selling brand in the United States.
* New York-based Sirius Satellite Radio purchased the rights to broadcast all 66 games of the 2005 NCAA men's basketball season.
* The Lincoln Aviator, which uses the Explorer platform, is expected to shift to a unibody platform for the '07 model year. A rising star on the truck show scene, Gatordrag has all the fixins of a smokin' Southern show. Check out what the maniacs have been up to lately in the shop. The Freaks put on one hell of a shindig. Find out the specifics on 2004's event. This shop is still around and still making some of the best lowering parts you can buy! Since these guys keep using trucks we've featured on their show, we'll give 'em a little bit of love.


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