Briefs: Automotive News & More(2)

Dual-Mode Hybrid Powertrain Planned for Durango

According to a Chrysler spokesperson, a new Dodge Durango pickup
with a dual-mode hybrid powertrain is planned for introduction next
year. There is also a mild hybrid application undergoing testing and
development. Both should offer higher fuel economy than current models.

New Web Site Highlights Diesel Progress

A new Web site on diesel emission-control technology, www.dieselretrofitdaily.com
has launched. It’s designed to showcase new technology, programs,
regulations and funding, as well as online discussions about reducing
diesel emissions. The Web site provides information on many diesel
retrofit programs, technologies being used, and results.

Sirius and XM to Merge

Sirius and XM satellite radio providers recently announced plans
to merge, pending government approval. A merger would combine Sirius’ 6
million and XM’s 7.5 million subscribers, and may result in a
combination of some programs. Current radios can only play programs from
one or the other, but not both.

Towable Market Still Strong

RV deliveries to retail dealers for all of 2006 totaled 390,500
units, up 1.6 percent from 2005 and the best yearly total in three
decades. Thanks to increased sales of fifth-wheel and conventional
travel trailers, deliveries for all towable RVs surpassed 2005 by 3.6
percent at 334,600 units. Additionally, 2006 was the best year for
conventional travel trailers since 1972. It was also the second
strongest year for fifth-wheel trailers ever. While December had the
lowest total in the last two years, it was still the third-best December
since 1976.

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