Subaru Raises Prices
In a terse press release, Subaru announced a mid-year price increase on all 2004 model year Legacy, Outback, Impreza, and Forester models, effective this month. The MSRP for these vehicles will increase by $125.
Prices on 2004 model year Baja models will remain unchanged.
Diesel Growth in U.S. Seen Slow, Study Says
The market penetration of diesel-powered light vehicles will remain extremely small in North America into the next decade, according to a study by Allied Business Intelligence (ABI), a New York-based technology market research firm.
"American buyers won't be able to utilize most breakthrough diesel engine technologies developed by automakers in Europe," ABI analyst Dan Benjamin said in a statement. "Upcoming US Tier 2 emissions standards are much stricter on diesels than Europe's EURO 4 standard. They will require US-targeted diesel vehicles to use diesel particulate filter (DPF) technology. Most DPFs don't function properly in the presence of sulfur, and U.S. fuel won't be sulfur-free until 2006."
The cost of the DPF the diesel engine will be upwards of a thousand dollars over a comparable gasoline vehicle, the study said.
Aside from sulfur content, American diesel fuel has a much lower cetane (a measure of the fuel's resistance to predetonation) count than European diesel fuel. This means American consumers will receive diesel engines that are detuned to account for low-quality fuel. These engines will deliver poor power and less fuel efficiency than European counterparts, ABI said.
Although regulations are in place to reduce sulfur levels, no regulations exist to increase cetane in the US.
The above findings are included in ABI's new study, "Engine Management Systems: Emerging Markets for Advanced Exhaust, Fuel, and Intake Technologies," which concluded that "while Western European diesel sales will continue to grow, North American sales of diesel-powered light vehicles will be limited until the end of the decade, as automakers wait for cleaner fuel and gauge consumer perceptions of diesels."
Collector Car Auction Sets Records
Record-breaking sales were reported in numerous categories of collector cars, including street rods, muscle, sports and classic cars during the recent Barrett-Jackson Classic Car Auction, in Scottsdale, Arizona.
The Barrett-Jackson Auction Company said in a news release that the event grossed an estimated $38.5 million in sales compared to the $28.5 million record set at the 2003 auction. Of the 762 cars auctioned during the four-day event, 744 cars were purchased.
The top auction price was for a "world-class, award-winning" 1938 Lincoln Zephyr V-12 Coupe Street Rod, which sold for $432,000 dollars.
Below are the top 75 sales as reported by Barrett-Jackson:
1938 Lincoln Zephyr V-12 Coupe Street Rod - $432,000+
1932 Ford Model B Roadster Hot Rod - $131,760
+indicates World Records
SOURCE Barrett-Jackson Auction Company