The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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Chrysler, Ford, GM bring retro style to car show

One thing is evident about the automotive industry:Detroit’s three big automakers have taken off the gloves andare launching an assault on the mid-size sedan segment.

Daimler/Chrysler, Ford and General Motors are showing off theircontenders to the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry this week at the2004 Dallas Auto Show.

“We are trying to get back into the [sedan] market,”one Ford official said.

The Ford Five Hundred is a four-door sedan that will replace thecurrent flagship, the Taurus, when it is launches this fall.

“The Taurus has been a great seller for a long time, butwe are hoping that the Five Hundred gets us back in there. I thinkit will be the answer for a lot of the Japanese cars.”

Not to be left behind, Chrysler is displaying its new sedan, the300, as well as its wagon-ish cousin, the Dodge Magnum. Bothfeature unique styling, improved interiors, and the famous 5.7liter “Hemi” engine which boasts 340 horsepower. The300 will be in showrooms around the end of March with the Magnumdropping later this spring.

GM has a host of production cars at the auto show that promiseto be a step up from their predecessors. Pontiac’s G6 is thesuccessor to the Grand Am. The G6 shares components with the newChevy Malibu, which is currently on sale. The Buick Lacrosse sedanis replacing both the Regal and the Century. All of these vehiclesare hoping to take a piece of the pie away from the Japaneseautomakers.

“Certainly they are trying to garner a decent marketshare,” said a Buick representative at the auto show.”It’s got to compete with the Toyota Camry and theHonda Accord.”

In the next year we will be able to see if domesticmanufacturers can steal a sizable chunk of the 400,000 sales Toyotaand Honda each rake in every year.

“Retro-futurism” is another pervading trendnoticeable from the big-three at the auto show.

With the initial success of cars like the Chrysler PT-Cruiser,the Ford Thunderbird, and the Mini Cooper, car manufacturers aretrying to cash in on throwback design themes.

Pontiac has resurrected the GTO nameplate, and Chevy has theSSR, which hints at Chevrolet designs from years past.

Chrysler is still riding the PT-Cruiser, but sales have slowed.They are hoping to stimulate sales by releasing a drop-top versionof the car for the 2005 model year.

Ford is the most dedicated of the big-three to thisretro-futuristic theme. On display in the Ford section are the 2005Ford GT and the 2005 Ford Mustang.

The GT is a 500 horsepower super car that looks almost exactlylike the GT40’s of the late 1960s. Expect to spend at least$150,000 to park it in your garage.

The ‘05 Mustang has design features from Mustangs of the1960s but also has a very modern look.

“It’s so retro,” said one observer at theshow.

The consensus of most people at the show is that the new GT andMustang are seriously cool.

The Dallas Auto Show will be at the Convention Center throughSunday. Over 650,000 square feet of more than 700 production andconcept cars will be on display. Tickets are $10 for adults. Visitwww.dallasautoshow.org for more information.

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