Briefs: Automotive Updates(2)

Consumers Plan Future Truck Purchases

More consumers are planning to buy a diesel as their next truck.
According to AutoPacific, about 5 percent of new-vehicle shoppers intend
to buy a diesel-powered vehicle at their next purchase. The diesel
trucks being considered are Ford, 54 percent; Chevrolet, 49 percent;
Dodge, 38 percent; GMC, 30 percent; Hummer, 14 percent; and Jeep, 13
percent.

J.D. Power Releases Customer Satisfaction Results

Lincoln, Cadillac and Saturn all passed Lexus in the new J.D.
Power Customer Satisfaction Index. In past years, Lexus has led the
survey consistently. For more information, visit www.jdpower.com.

Ford Plans to Drop Excursion

Ford is planning to end production of the Excursion SUV by the end
of September. The shutdown had been rumored earlier. Excursion sales
peaked in 2000 but have steadily declined since then. The Detroit News
said Ford may replace Excursions with a stretch version of the
Expedition that would be about 16 inches longer. It may be introduced as
a 2007 model.

NHTSA Releases Crash Data

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has
released its 2004 data safety statistics. The overall fatality rate was
the lowest since record-keeping began 30 years ago. In 2004, 42,636
people died on the nation’s roads, down 0.6 percent from 2003.
Fifty-five percent of those killed in passenger vehicles were not
wearing safety belts and 17,105 were alcohol-related deaths. Fatalities
in SUVs were up by 5.6 percent.

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