• January 2008 Issue •
January 16, 2008
2009 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid at NAIAS
Photo: Cadillac Escalade Hybrid, the first large luxury SUV with fuel-saving hybrid technology.
General Motors will introduce several vehicles among its Cadillac, Saab and Saturn brands at the 2008 North American International Show. GM's NAIAS portfolio emphasizes design and technology that deliver capability and performance while reducing environmental impact. The show opens to the public on Jan. 19.
GM's auto show exhibit will feature several recently introduced models: Chevrolet's 2009 Silverado 2-Mode Hybrid, 2009 Aveo 5, Cadillac's 2009 Escalade Hybrid, 2008 Cadillac Escalade Platinum, Buick Riviera concept, Cadillac Provoq concept, Pontiac's 2009 Vibe, Saab's 2008 Turbo X, and Chevrolet's 2008 Malibu. |GlobalGiants.com|
Oprah Winfrey and Discovery Communications to Form New Joint Venture: 'OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network'
Photo: Discovery Communications President and CEO David Zaslav and Oprah Winfrey announce the launch of "OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network" today, January 15, 2008, in Chicago.
CHICAGO, Jan. 15 -- Oprah Winfrey and Discovery Communications announced plans today to create "OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network." The new multi-platform media venture will be designed to entertain, inform and inspire people to live their best lives. OWN will debut in 2009 in more than 70 million homes, on what is currently the Discovery Health Channel.
OWN's mission is to create multiple platforms for women, men and their families with a purpose and a passion: to celebrate life, to inspire and entertain, empowering viewers around the world to live their best lives, and by doing so, lift the lives of those around them in ever-widening circles.
In addition to providing her talent, and personal commitment, Winfrey will have full editorial control over the joint venture and will be responsible for OWN's programming, branding and creative vision.
Winfrey will serve as Chairman of The Oprah Winfrey Network, LLC and the venture will be 50/50 owned by Discovery and Harpo. This is a cashless transaction and The Oprah Winfrey Network, LLC will be an independent company. |GlobalGiants.com|
January 15, 2008
2008 Dodge ZEO (Zero Emissions Operation) Concept
Chrysler LLC unveiled the all-new 2008 Dodge ZEO (Zero Emissions Operation) concept vehicle at the North American International Auto Show January 14, 2008. One of three concept vehicles displayed by Chrysler LLC, Dodge ZEO is a four-passenger, all-electric, 2+2 sport wagon that embraces the bold, emotional characteristic of the Dodge brand. With its 23-inch wheels-to-the corners, heroic proportions and muscular forms, the ZEO is designed to break the paradigm of what an electric car should look like. The advanced propulsion system powering the Dodge ZEO concept is electric-only with a 64 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack capable of at least 250 miles. Resting in a rear-wheel-drive layout, Dodge ZEO's 200 kilowatt (268 horsepower) single-electric motor contributes to a 0-60 mph time in less than six seconds. (Source: Chrysler LLC) |GlobalGiants.com|
Emerson Hart's 'Flyin' to be Featured in Premiere Episode of ABC-TV's New Drama, 'Eli Stone'
NEW YORK -- "Flyin" from former Tonic frontman/singer/songwriter EMERSON HART's solo debut, Cigarettes and Gasoline, will be featured in the premiere episode of the new ABC-TV drama, "Eli Stone." The new series stars Jonny Lee Miller and debuts on Thursday, January 31.
Emerson Hart's music has become a favorite with TV shows. Last year, "When She Loves You" and "Run To" were licensed by the new hit TV show "Cane," and "Friend To A Stranger" was featured on "One Tree Hill." All three songs are on Cigarettes and Gasoline. Hart also wrote the award-winning theme song, "Generations," for the TV show "American Dreams."
Source: Manhattan Records
January 14, 2008
World Premiere of the Volkswagen CC
Four-door coupe provides sports car dynamics and sedan comfort
DETROIT -- Volkswagen of America, Inc. introduces the all-new CC, a new coupe with sedan access and functionality. The CC features a muscular shoulder line.
The Passat CC will come standard in the U.S. with the 2.0 TSI engine with 200 horsepower and 207 lbs.-ft of torque, available with either a six-speed manual or six-speed Tiptronic transmission.
Newly developed for the CC is an electrically actuated Panorama power vent sunroof. Volkswagen's attention to detail is shown off in the interior of the Passat CC with four ergonomically formed sport seats with available climate control, new instruments, new door trim, new radio and navigation systems spokes on the steering wheel. The rear sport seats offer ergonomically optimized lateral support on the sides of the seatbacks and seat surfaces and optional heated seats. |GlobalGiants.com|
Launch of the smart fortwo in the USA
Photo: Dr. Dieter Zetsche,Chairman of the Board Daimler AG and Dave Schembri, President smart USA Penske Automotive Group with the smart fortwo mhd at NAIAS January 13, 2008.
The smart fortwo is celebrating its launch to the world's largest automobile market in Detroit. The shortest and most compact automobile currently in production is scheduled to roll on the streets of America this month.
The smart fortwo is the right car, at the right time for U.S. Drivers. Americans are faced with volatile fuel prices, increased urban congestion and a mindset of environmental responsibility. The smart fortwo offers a high level of comfort, agility, safety and ecology. |GlobalGiants.com|
January 13, 2008
Ford Reveals Small-Car Vision for North America
In the U.S., small-car sales are predicted to increase by more than 25 percent through 2012.
Small cars and crossovers are the only vehicles with projected near-term growth in the U.S.
Photo: North American Verve Concept Sedan.
DETROIT, Jan. 13 -- Ford Motor Company is revealing the Verve, a concept vehicle that makes clear the vision for the new small cars Ford soon will introduce in North America.
New Ford Verve small car concept showcases the style, technology, premium materials and more substantial content that will set it apart from other offerings when Ford's new small cars go on sale in North America in 2010.
Photo: Ford Verve Concept (European) Sketch
According to Ford, the Verve is bold and sophisticated -- to help it clearly stand out from other small cars on the road. Ford is building on decades of small car leadership in Europe as it develops new small cars for North America to appeal to increasingly savvy customers who value technology, design and fuel efficiency.
Both four- and three-door Verve body styles are being unveiled at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, as curtain-raisers to a new global family of small cars set to debut in Europe and Asia beginning later this year and in North America in 2010. The four-door is the basis for the production vehicle that will be sold in North America. The European three- door is being shown to test market reaction to the bodystyle -- as a possible additional small car for the North American market.
Photo: The Ford Verve Concept (European 3-Door) Design Team
The Verve concept has been developed with Ford's new global product development strategy that better leverages the company's global strengths. Globally, Ford is building on its European small-car expertise to stake a bigger claim in this critically important segment.
• Small Car Popularity Skyrockets in North America
Momentum in small-car sales is outpacing overall industry growth worldwide. Globally, small car sales would grow from 23 million units in 2002 to an estimated 38 million in 2012. That's nearly 45 percent of the total expected 85-million unit industry, a level never before achieved. In the U.S., sales of small cars likely will grow by 800,000, or 25 percent -- to a record 3.4 million units by 2012.
In fact, small cars and crossovers are the only vehicles with projected near-term growth in the U.S.
Driving the growth in the U.S. market is a group of young people aged 13 to 28 years -- dubbed "Millennials." Today, this group stands 1.7 billion strong worldwide and will represent 28 percent of the total U.S. population by 2010.
As a group, Millennials embrace eco-friendliness, stay in constant touch using modern technology and demand best-in-class products from around the world. This group will grow from representing 19 percent of the driving public in 2004 to amassing 28 percent in 2010.
Every day, 11,000 Millennials in the U.S. come of driving age. When it's time to buy their first car, nearly half of this group shops the small-car segment.
Ford Verve concept demonstrates that largesse is no longer the price of admission for a delivering a premium driving experience.
The North American Verve sedan, painted in Rouge Red, has been modified slightly from its European and Asian counterparts -- most notably in its front fascia. |GlobalGiants.com|
Source: Ford Motor Company
ROAD & TRAVEL Magazine Announces 2008 International Car of the Year Awards Winners
Photo: Honda Accord Sedan
DETROIT -- ROAD & TRAVEL Magazine (RTM) announced its 12th Annual International Car of the Year Awards (ICOTY) winners at a black tie ceremony January 12. Held at the MGM Grand Detroit, RTM hosted more than 600 industry leaders and media on the eve of press week of the North American International Auto Show.
Photo: 2008 Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid
A jury of nationally-renowned automotive journalists selected the award- winning vehicles with ballots tabulated by J.D. Power and Associates. And the winners are:
• International Car of the Year: Honda Accord Sedan
• International Truck of the Year: Chrysler Town & Country
• Pick Up Truck of the Year: "Most Athletic" GMC Sierra Denali
• Sports Car of the Year: "Most Sex Appeal" Audi R8
• Sedan of the Year: "Most Dependable" Honda Accord Sedan
• Luxury Car of the Year: "Most Respected" Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG
• Minivan of the Year: "Most Compatible" Chrysler Town & Country
• Entry Level Car of the Year: "Most Spirited" Volvo C30
• Crossover of the Year: "Most Versatile" Buick Enclave
• SUV of the Year: "Most Resourceful" Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid
Photo: VOLVO C30
Photo: Mercedes-Benz S 63 AMG
Opening remarks at the ICOTY event were made by Congressman John D. Dingell, the "Dean of the House of Representatives," and Chairman of the Committee on Energy and Commerce. In addition, U.S. Senator Carl Levin, RTM Editor-in-Chief Courtney Caldwell and Edmunds.com Editorial Director Kevin Smith co-presented the inaugural EARTH ANGEL Award, to General Motors Corporation as the most environmentally-friendly automaker. The award, sponsored by Bridgestone, was created to shine a spotlight on the positive strides automakers are making with global warming issues on a worldwide level.
RTM recognized veteran automotive journalist Thos L. Bryant, editor-in- chief of Road & Track, with its 5th annual Lifetime Achievement Award. RTM also presented its annual HEART STRING Award for best car commercial in 2007 for Dodge Caravan's "Rooms." |GlobalGiants.com|
Source: ROAD & TRAVEL Magazine
January 12, 2008
Apple Introduces New Mac Pro
Apple has introduced the new Mac Pro with eight processor cores and a new system architecture that delivers up to twice the performance of its predecessor. The new Mac Pro combines two of Intel's new 45 nanometer Quad-Core Xeon processors running up to 3.2 GHz, powerful new graphics and up to 4TB of internal storage to offer the ideal system for creative professionals, 3D digital content creators and scientists.
Every Mac Pro includes Leopard™, the sixth major release of the world's most advanced operating system. Leopard is packed with more than 300 new features and introduces a brand new desktop. |GlobalGiants.com|
Consumer Reports' 2008 Car Brand Perception Survey: Drivers See Toyota, Honda as Best Overall
But Perception is Not Always Reality
Photo: LEXUS 2008 IS F High-Performance Sport Sedan
Photo: Buick Riviera Concept
NEW YORK -- Consumers perceived Toyota and Honda brands to be best by a wide margin, followed by Ford, Chevrolet, and GMC, according to Consumer Reports' 2008 Car Brand Perception Survey. The survey also revealed that car buyers consider safety and quality as the most important considerations, followed by value, performance, environmental friendliness, design, and technical innovation.
The latest Auto Pulse survey conducted by Consumer Reports' National Research Center, the Car Brand Perception Survey, focused on how consumers perceive and rank car brands in the seven key areas mentioned above.
Photo: VOLVO XC90 R-DESIGN
Photo: Mercedes-Benz Vision GLK FREESIDE
Toyota and Honda topped overall rankings with scores of 189 and 146 points, respectively, and took a place in the top five in six of the seven categories. Ford finished third with 112 points, followed by Chevrolet with 110, and GMC with 102. Chevrolet and Ford are the only U.S. brands that rank in the top five in more than one category; each makes the cut in three areas. Among brands that fared worst, Acura finished with eight points, followed by Audi (14 pts.). Mitsubishi (21 pts.), Mercury (22 pts.), and Buick (25 pts.).
Dig deeper, though, and in many cases, consumers' views do not accurately reflect the automaker's recent track record. For example, Mercedes-Benz finished in the top five for quality. But the brand placed 33rd out of 36th in Consumer Reports' latest rankings for predicted reliability, a measure of quality over time. Toyota earned a top spot in this category. And while its vehicles have typically rated well in areas associated with quality, the brand slipped from first place to fifth in the same predicted reliability ratings.
"It is well worth doing your research before making a purchase," said Jeff Bartlett, deputy autos editor, ConsumerReports.org. "Depreciation, reliability, safety and other factors may be different from what you associate with a particular brand." ...
With a score of 77 percent in the Safety category, Volvo is clearly first in consumers' minds. No other category is so unilaterally dominated by one brand. But in another example of perception over reality, Subaru scored well in the Safety category, yet many lower-trim models don't include electronic stability control, a highly recommended safety feature. Other automakers consistently on the cutting edge of safety technology -- such as BMW, Lexus, and Mercedes-Benz --- don't make it into the top five. Among new-car shoppers, 63 percent felt safety is the most important consideration.
When it comes to Value, Korean brand Kia finished well with 23 percent of consumers saying they think the brand is a good buy. While this could be a reflection of the make's low-cost models and long warranty, the predicted depreciation for some Kia models is poor -- not a good-value characteristic.
While some perceptions don't match reality, others do. BMW and Porsche led the Performance category with 28 and 25 percentage points, respectively. The vehicles from both brands have consistently earned high ratings in performance in testing at Consumer Reports' 327-acre Auto Test Center.
Coming in at 49 percent, Toyota dominated the Environmentally Friendly/Green category, likely due to the company's role as a pioneer in hybrid technology and its strong-selling Prius hybrid. The Prius is also one of the most fuel-efficient vehicles Consumer Reports has tested. Consumers consider environmental friendliness substantially more significant (35%) than styling (23%), and more than twice as significant as technology and innovation (15%).
In the Design/Style category, Mercedes-Benz and Lexus virtually tied (24%), with both holding a slim margin over Cadillac (23%). In general, car buyers in this survey rated styling low among purchase considerations, but it's easy to underestimate the sales potential of head-turning styling. This is the only category in which Toyota and Honda did not rank in the top five.
As for Technology/Innovation, Toyota (30%), Lexus (29%), Honda (20%), Cadillac (18%), and BMW (17%) rounded out the top five brands.
[Source: Consumer Reports] |GlobalGiants.com|
GM Style Event: Fashion Models Compare Outfits During A Fitting Session
Photo: Fashion models compare outfits during a fitting session at the General Motors Design Center Friday, January 11, 2008 in Warren, Michigan. The models are preparing for the GM Style event that will kick-off the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. (Photo by Tom Pidgeon for General Motors)
PANASONIC LARGEST PLASMA
Photo: Panasonic unveiled the world's largest Plasma HDTV and the world's smallest and lightest HD Camcorder at the 2008 International Consumer Electronics Show this week. The 150-inch Plasma, which offers a resolution 4 times greater than 1080p and measures 11 feet wide and 6-1/4 feet high, was a must-see attraction at the show as was the Panasonic Full HD Camcorder (HD-SD9) which weighs a mere 6 ounces. |GlobalGiants.com|
January 11, 2008
Actress and New Mother Hayek Named Ambassador of Pampers' 'One Pack = One Vaccine' Program Providing Life-Saving Tetanus Vaccines in Developing Countries
CINCINNATI, Jan. 10 -- After the birth of her daughter last year, award-winning actress and "Ugly Betty" producer Salma Hayek is grateful for her daughter's health and, like most mothers, wants other moms around the world to be able to share in the basic medical advances.
To help mothers across the globe, she is teaming up with Pampers and UNICEF to help stop the spread of life-threatening maternal and neonatal tetanus in developing nations worldwide. Pampers, a leader in baby care, has announced that Hayek will serve as the North American ambassador for its "One Pack = One Vaccine" global initiative with UNICEF. The immensely successful program, which launched in 2006 in the UK and expanded in 2007 to other countries in Western Europe, and debuts in the U.S. and Canada in spring 2008, has already helped provide UNICEF with funding for more than 25 million life-saving tetanus vaccines distributed throughout Africa and Asia. The goal for the North American campaign is to provide at least 27 million more vaccines, which would bring the total global donations to more than 50 million vaccines.
Pampers is a trademark of Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG) and the company's largest global brand and is also the world's top-selling diaper brand. |GlobalGiants.com|
January 10, 2008
India's Tata Motors Unveils $2,500 Car
New Delhi, January 10, 2008 -- Mr. Ratan N. Tata, Chairman of the Tata Group and Tata Motors, today unveiled the Tata 'NANO', the People's Car from Tata Motors that India and the world have been looking forward to. A development, which signifies a first for the global automobile industry, the People's Car brings the comfort and safety of a car within the reach of thousands of families. The People's Car will be launched in India later in 2008.
Speaking at the unveiling ceremony at the 9th Auto Expo in New Delhi, Mr. Ratan N. Tata said, "I observed families riding on two-wheelers - the father driving the scooter, his young kid standing in front of him, his wife seated behind him holding a little baby. It led me to wonder whether one could conceive of a safe, affordable, all-weather form of transport for such a family. Tata Motors' engineers and designers gave their all for about four years to realize this goal. Today, we indeed have a People's Car, which is affordable and yet built to meet safety requirements and emission norms, to be fuel efficient and low on emissions. We are happy to present the People's Car to India and we hope it brings the joy, pride and utility of owning a car to many families who need personal mobility."
The People's Car, designed with a family in mind, has a roomy passenger compartment with generous leg space and head room. It can comfortably seat four persons. Four doors with high seating position make ingress and egress easy.
Yet with a length of 3.1 meters, width of 1.5 meters and height of 1.6 meters, with adequate ground clearance, it can effortlessly maneuver on busy roads in cities as well as in rural areas. Its mono-volume design, with wheels at the corners and the powertrain at the rear, enables it to uniquely combine both space and maneuverability, which will set a new benchmark among small cars.
When launched, the car will be available in both standard and deluxe versions. Both versions will offer a wide range of body colors, and other accessories so that the car can be customized to an individual's preferences.
Tata Motors is India's largest automobile company, with revenues of US $ 7.2 billion in 2006-2007. With over 4 million Tata vehicles plying in India, it is the leader in commercial vehicles and the second largest in passenger vehicles. It is also the world's fifth largest medium and heavy truck manufacturer and the second largest heavy bus manufacturer. Tata cars, buses and trucks are being marketed in several countries in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, South East Asia and South America. |GlobalGiants.com|
January 9, 2008
Reader's Digest Association and The Shanghai Press and Publishing Development Company Announce the Launch of 'Puzhi' Magazine in China
SHANGHAI, China, Jan. 8 -- The Reader's Digest Association, Inc. (RDA), global publisher and marketer of books, magazines, music and video, and The Shanghai Press and Publishing Development Company (SPPD), today announced the launch of a new publication -- Puzhi magazine in China. Puzhi will be published by Puzhi Magazine Incorporated, a wholly owned enterprise of SPPD under a Trademark and Copyright License Agreement with RDA.
Puzhi, which means "universal knowledge" in Mandarin, debuted today in The People's Republic of China. It will be available at about 43,000 retail outlets (including convenience stores, book stores and subways), newsstands and kiosks across 43 cities and 25 provinces with a target circulation of 420,000 copies.
As a window on the world, Puzhi will feature a rich and stimulating variety of compelling, insightful, relevant articles on everything from everything from science, health and medicine to arts, money management and more. It will have the high editorial standards of international publications in terms of credible, trusted and easy-to-read information that will appeal to urbanites and families in China. |GlobalGiants.com|
Subaru Debuts 2009 Forester in Detroit and Reveals New Brand Exhibit for the 2008 Auto Show Season
When the silk sheet is pulled off the all-new 2009 Subaru Forester at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, on January 13, it will be center stage in a new state-of-the-art Subaru exhibit.
Consumers will be welcomed by a new white sweeping archway that flows throughout the exhibit. A blue metal mesh backwall lines the display incorporating a turntable, technology area and a large video wall.
The featured vehicle on display will be the all-new, third-generation 2009 Forester. The new exhibit will also feature a three-piece cutaway of the 2009 Forester that allows customers to get up close and view inside the new vehicle's entire drivetrain. |GlobalGiants.com|
Whirlpool Brand Refrigerator Integrates Latest Gadgets - iPod Speaker System, Web Tablet with Organizational Software and Message Center
LAS VEGAS -- The kitchen is increasingly known as the "family nerve center," where dinner is cooked, friends and family gather, kids do homework and parents pay bills. Whirlpool brand has incorporated these kitchen consumer insights into the development of the centralpark(TM) connection, a refrigerator (Model # GD5VVAXT) with a plug-and- play platform, adding functionality for today's digital consumer. More than 30 percent* of laptop computer, digital photo frame and digital music player owners currently use their devices in the kitchen -- making the centralpark(TM) connection a natural step in appliance evolution. The product also helps today's digital consumer clear their countertops while powering their devices in one centralized location: the refrigerator.
With the life cycle of appliances being significantly longer than that of consumer electronics, Whirlpool brand's platform offers industry-first flexibility. The centralpark(TM) connection allows consumers to update their electronics at anytime so multiple devices can be used interchangeably right on the refrigerator door. Consumers also may remove the devices for a more standard refrigerator facade.
Whirlpool Corporation is the world's leading manufacturer and marketer of major home appliances. |GlobalGiants.com|
Hyundai Unveils Genesis Premium Sports Sedan
Hyundai aims to shatter premium automobile paradigms with the North American International Auto Show introduction of its new flagship, the all-new Genesis rear-wheel-drive sports sedan on January 13. With capabilities and features comparable to $60,000 luxury sedans, Genesis will be offered at a starting price under $30,000 when it goes on sale this summer.
The 2009 Genesis is the most advanced Hyundai ever, featuring a Lexicon state-of-the-art audio system featuring LOGIC 7(R) technology, offered exclusively by Rolls Royce Phantom and now Hyundai Genesis. Standard is a soft-touch instrument panel with woodgrain accents, Bluetooth(R) hands-free mobile phone interface, and USB/iPod auxiliary inputs. A state-of-the-art navigation system with an eight-inch display and backup camera are available options as well. |GlobalGiants.com|
January 7, 2008
Kodak Wins Three Prestigious 2008 CES Innovations Awards
Honors Awarded to KODAK All-in-One Inkjet Printer and Two Digital Cameras
Photo: KODAK EASYSHARE V705 Dual Lens Digital Camera.
Eastman Kodak Company's (NYSE:EK) innovation was highlighted at the recent International Consumer Electronics Show Press Preview, where the company's products and services won three prestigious Innovations 2008 Design and Engineering Awards. The KODAK EASYSHARE 5300 All-in-One Printer was awarded an Innovation honor in the Computer Peripherals category, while the KODAK EASYSHARE V1253 garnered Innovations honors in the Digital Imaging category and the KODAK EASYSHARE ZD710 received accolades for its energy efficient design in the Eco-Design and Sustainable Technology category.
Photo: KODAK EASYSHARE C875 Zoom Digital Camera
The Innovations 2008 Design and Engineering Awards, sponsored by the Consumer Electronics Association and endorsed by the Industrial Designers Society of America, honors superior design and engineering among the year's most technologically advanced products. Chosen for the honor by a panel of independent industry designers, engineers and journalists, the KODAK Products will be on display at the 2008 International CES in Las Vegas from January 7-10, 2008. |GlobalGiants.com|
Ford Explorer America Concept
Explorer America concept is a mid-size utility that embodies what customers love about the current Ford Explorer in a more modern execution. Explorer America delivers an approximate 20 percent fuel economy improvement while it provides room for six and their gear, along with moderate towing and off-road capabilities. The integrated three-bar grill, defined power dome hood and wrap-around rear glass panel window give Explorer America a unique appearance. According to Ford, its this smarter utility combines the best of Ford's safety, style and sustainable technologies. |GlobalGiants.com|