Notable

Ford Making Tracs for Thailand

The redesign of the Ford Ranger has stopped and started more times than rush-hour traffic as it moved from an entry-level small pickup to a mid-size entry and back again in the concept phase.

Hail Cesar!

You have to admire the optimistic attitude of the folks at Siemens VDO Automotive (Auburn Hills, MI; www.siemensvdo.com). Their CESAR (Cockpit Electro-mechanical System Architecture) modular cockpit design treats the instrument panel as a system, not a conglomeration of parts.

New Tech for Better Backups

According to the organization Kids and Cars, nearly 100 children were killed in 2005 as a result of vehicles backing over them.

System Is Built Ford Tough

Although pickup trucks have become standard personal transportation, for many people, a pickup truck still means what it did from the very start: A work truck.

The Sage of Dearborn

Without doubt, Henry Ford has had more books written about him than any other member of the automotive fraternity.

Back to the Future

Once again reaching into its past for the name of a car in its future, Lotus will call its latest vehicle “Europa.” Only this time it adds the suffix “S” to a car that, unlike the previous model, won’t be coming to North America.

Capabilities Up, Prices Down

As the bus systems in vehicles become more sophisticated during the next five to 10 years, look for the distribution of video across them.

Integrating Electronics - Now and In the Future

Although there is talk of CD and DVD players being replaced in vehicles by hard drives of one type or another, according to Joep Thomassen, director of Marketing Strategy, Car Entertainment Systems, Philips Semiconductors (Eindhoven, The Netherlands; http://www.semiconductors.philips.com/markets/communications/nexperia), “We believe optical storage will still be in the car for a very long time.

Columns

EuroAuto: GM’s Global Approach Leverages Daewoo

As far as the majority of European drivers are concerned, the only transmission worth considering is the manual, which accounts for four out of every five gearboxes found in new cars sold in the region.

Profiles: GM’s Future in His Hands?

Rarely does the future of an industrial giant ride on the success of a single product line, but that just might be the case at General Motors, as the struggling auto maker waits with baited breath to see if customers will reward it for its newest line of full-size SUVs and pickups.

Insider: Where’s Washington?

Does anyone in Washington care what’s happening to the Big Two these days?

Insight: Toyota’s Other System—This One for Product Develpoment

It would be hard to find someone in the manufacturing world who doesn’t know what the initials “TPS” stands for.

Dudder: When...?

More often than not, this is a question parents hear from their children, or a statement of the questioner’s dissatisfaction with the questioned.

Marginal: “Purpose Beyond Reason”

One of the things that’s often said by observers of the auto industry is that there is an insufficient number of “car guys” running the organizations.

Feature

An Imperial Process

The process – not the vehicle – may be the most important thing to come from Chrysler’s annual concept car design competition.

Overcoming Negative Quality Stereotypes at Chrysler

Having been the butt of many jokes when it comes to product quality, Chrysler is on a mission to prove to the world that it can build reliable cars and trucks.

Theodore on Flex, Fun and Focus

It is going to be standard on all GM vehicles in the U.S. and Canada by the end of ’07. Its technology and service are also offered by non-GM companies, including Lexus. And while there have been and are some competitors (the business of a cross-town rival closed down before it was up and running), OnStar is one of the brightest things GM has going.

Looking At the FJ Cruiser

With its round headlights and white top (regardless of the body color, the top is white), some people may find the 2007 FJ Cruiser to be, well, cute. That it may be. But it is also said to be the most capable 4x4 that Toyota is building, so it has trail cred in spades.

A Different View

Accepted vision sensors have a new competitor: an inexpensive silicon-based 3D vision chip.

GMT-900 Hits The Road

“Gas is so expensive SUV now stands for Sport Utility Victim.”—JAY LENO.

OnStar: 10 Years After

It is going to be standard on all GM vehicles in the U.S. and Canada by the end of ’07. Its technology and service are also offered by non-GM companies, including Lexus. And while there have been and are some competitors (the business of a cross-town rival closed down before it was up and running), OnStar is one of the brightest things GM has going.

From Kano Models to Bulls-Eyes: Hau Thai-Tang on Product Development

Ford’s director of advance product creation talks about how they’re developing products with a distinct focus on surprising and delighting customers.

Solving Problem Solving

This problem-solving tool scans the world (ok, the world wide web) for possible solutions to not only bring new ideas to the table, but to help solve problems faster.