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CONSUMERS MAY GIVE UP PERFORMANCE FOR FUEL ECONOMY, SAYS CONSUMER REPORTS

According to a recent Consumer Reports poll, facing soaring gasoline prices, American car buyers definitely want more fuel-efficient vehicles but may not be ready to give up size, range, performance or other amenities to achieve that goal.

WHAT SEMA MEMBERS SAY ARE TOP SELLERS

The following is a short excerpt from the "2007 Trends and Forecasts Quarterly Update-Q1."

THE BEGINNING OF THE END FOR CDS?

Frank Homann, Siemens VDO vice president of cockpit modules, "declared the in-vehicle CD player a dead man walking, doomed by a rising tide of portable digital music players, high-tech cell phones and packaging issues" during the SAE International World Congress. According to Ward's Auto, Homann stated that Siemens is working on systems for 2012, which include CD players, but that by 2015 they won't be around.
   

SEMA SCC FOCUS PANEL: ENGLISHTOWN, NEW JERSEY

SEMA staff hosted a Focus Panel at the Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown, New Jersey, in May to learn about consumer behavior. With the NHRA Springnationals and the D1GP both holding events during the same weekend, the venue attracted enthusiasts from the drag racing and drifting crowds and provided an opportunity for consumers and industry professionals to discuss important topics circulating through our industry. From opinions on product development to consumer-manufacturer communication, the event was a valuable learning tool for people on both sides of the isle.

BMW CONFIRMS PRODUCTION OF 3-SERIES-BASED CUV

BMW has recently announced that it will begin production of the long-awaited 3-Series CUV, according to a recent AutoWeek.com article.  It is expected to be labeled as the F3 when it hits dealerships sometime in 2010, BMW says, and will likely target Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4 buyers. 


NISSAN CUBE TO OUT-BOX SCION XB?

In the wake of other successful B-segment icons, such as the Scion xB, Honda Fit and Toyota Yaris, Nissan has signaled its plans of transplanting another diminutive Japanese vehicle to the U.S. market—the Cube.
   

FUTURE NEW-VEHICLE SALES FORECASTED

U.S. consumers still love big vehicles, and even though gasoline prices are averaging $3.20 a gallon across the nation, they will probably continue to buy big vehicles, according to a recent article in The Detroit News. However, the article states that the overall U.S. market could drop slightly as some consumers wait until gas prices drop before making a new-vehicle purchase.

WHAT TO CONSIDER WHEN OPTING FOR OUTSOURCING

Outsourcing is the process of having certain services that could be, or have been, provided internally performed on a continuing basis by companies or individuals outside your organization. It's long been common in manufacturing for companies to depend on external suppliers to provide them with components made to their specifications. Most business decisions favoring outsourcing are made for economic reasons, according to a recent article from the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB).

SALES OF PORTABLE NAV DEVICES EXPECTED TO GROW


The market for in-vehicle global positioning systems (GPS) is growing, with sales forecasted to exceed 3.3 million units this year, according to a recent Wall Street Journal report. The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), meanwhile, says that sales of aftermarket personal navigation devices experienced triple-digit growth in 2006, with over 2.2 million new units sold.

UPDATE: GLAZED WINDSHIELD KEEPS DRIVERS COOL AND IMPROVES FUEL ECONOMY

Earlier this month it was reported in eNews that PPG had just released its Sungate EP automotive glass windshield, which they said significantly reduces the transmission of solar energy into a vehicle, keeping the interior cooler and improving fuel economy. The new technology employs a glazing process built into Sungate windshields, which reduces front seat temperatures 27 degrees F (15 degrees C) and air-breath temperatures 16 degrees F (9 degrees C).

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