Academy Award®-Nominated Actor Terrence Howard Puts His Signature on a 2006 Jeep® Commander to Help Diversify Automotive Design

Howard collaborates with Chrysler Group designer Ralph Gilles to customize vehicle unveiled at the 37th Annual NAACP Image Awards

* 2006 Jeep Commander features Howard’s personal signature
* Auction of vehicle on eBay to fund minority automotive design scholarship in the name of the NAACP and DaimlerChrysler
* Matching contribution of Jeep sale price to also fund minority arts scholarship

Los Angeles, Feb 28, 2006 –

Two creative talents — Academy Award®-nominated actor Terrence Howard and Chrysler 300 lead designer Ralph Gilles — unveiled a customized 2006 Jeep® Commander Feb. 25, 2006, on the red carpet of the 37th NAACP Image Awards.

As title sponsor of the Image Awards, DaimlerChrysler brought the two together for the one-of-a-kind vehicle collaboration as part of “My Custom Style,” a DaimlerChrysler and NAACP initiative to increase diversity in the field of automotive design.

The Howard-designed Jeep Commander, which features his signature on the exterior door and headrest embroidery, will be donated to the College for Creative Studies (CCS) in Detroit. The personalized Jeep Commander will then be auctioned off on eBay March 3-12, 2006 (, item number 4616180090) through Giving Works, the internet auction site’s charity listings supporting non-profit organizations. The proceeds from the auction will create a minority automotive design scholarship fund at CCS in the name of the NAACP and DaimlerChrysler. Additionally, DaimlerChrysler and the NAACP will collaborate to identify a school offering the study of motion pictures arts and sciences to establish a scholarship fund with a contribution that matches the final sale price of the vehicle on eBay. Similar to the CCS scholarship, the matched contribution will go to benefit a minority student in their study of the arts.


smart on track: New models form the basis for success

Böblingen, Feb 27, 2006
smart demonstrates technological expertise at the Geneva Motor Show

smart’s key message at the International Motor Show in Geneva is “smart forward!” At today’s press conference Ulrich Walker, President of smart gmbh, presented a whole host of new products. Fascinating model variants and technical expertise in alternative drives are the highlights of smart’s presentation at the show. Within the framework of a press conference, Ulrich Walker also described the main factors that led to smart achieving its targets in 2005: The 20% increase to the number of sales outlets, the further qualification of the dealer network and the focused marketing concept which brings smart even closer to customers.

Potential for individualisation is a defining feature of all smart models. So it’s no surprise that the number of special fortwo models that have been successfully launched on the market now totals 19. The smart fortwo edition nightrun, edition red and edition grandstyle are being presented in Geneva. The latter has been sold more than 6,000 times within the space of just a few weeks! With the BRABUS and BRABUS Xclusive variants, attractive new equipment lines of the smart forfour that are precisely tailored to the target group are now also available. Also on show in Geneva is the first car of a final small limited “collector’s edition” of the smart roadster for collectors and enthusiasts.

The presentation of alternative drives is a further focus at smart’s almost 1000m2 stand. Putting these into series production would be a matter of ease – as Ulrich Walker demonstrated with the example of the smart fortwo ev, the familiar two-seater smart with electric drive. The smart crosstown show car shows the technical feasibility of a hybrid drive. According to Walker “Its hybrid drive combines the advantages of a small, economical turbocharged petrol engine with the strengths of an electric drive that produces no emissions whatsoever.” Visitors to Geneva are impressed by the attractive new interior ideas realised in the smart crosstown and by its unusual matt paintwork. As well as the smart crosstown, the smart roadster “collector’s edition” and the smart forfour BRABUS SBR, a further new model at smart’s stand in Geneva, also feature this completely new matt paintwork concept. Ulrich Walker is convinced that the combination of the new models, the qualified and extended distribution network, the focused marketing approach and the strength of the brand in its 36 markets resulted in sales growth for smart in 2005 – for the seventh year running. According to Walker, the sum of these measures also forms the basis for “smart forward!”

Mercedes-Benz Accessories GmbH presents the Automatic Bike 2006

: Safety and comfort – the Automatic Bike

Stuttgart/Geneva , Feb 28, 2006
The new Automatic Bike (model year 2006) features a wealth of technical modifications and a much-enhanced sporty design. With a choice of two equipment lines, it brings a whole new dimension to muscle-powered movement. Most importantly of all, the Automatic Bike is a full four kilograms lighter than last year’s model, thus making the ride even more enjoyable – fully in keeping with the Mercedes-Benz tradition.

Equipped with a Shimano “Cyber-Nexus” eight-speed gear shift system and sensor-controlled lights, the bike adapts itself to the current cycling conditions. The central on-board computer mounted on the handlebar stem provides the rider with important information such as the current bike speed and the engaged gear. Furthermore, the computer collates riding parameters such as cadence (pedalling frequency) and bike speed and then selects the optimal gear ratio automatically. As an alternative to automatic mode, the rider can change gear manually using the handlebar-mounted rocker switches.

Another safety and comfort-enhancing feature is the intelligent lighting system consisting of a front and rear light, which are activated and deactivated automatically by means of a sensory system, and also incorporate a parking-light function. Plus the rear light flashes when the bike is being ridden slowly. The Mercedes-Benz Automatic Bike comes with a choice of frame heights – 46 cm or 54 cm – and is available in two equipment lines: the basic version, which does not include the lighting system or luggage rack system, retails at € 1690 whilst the fully-equipped version costs € 1890.

The Mercedes-Benz Automatic Bike is available from authorised Mercedes-Benz dealerships. Sales in Germany start in April. The prices quoted are recommended prices for the German market only and include VAT.

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DaimlerChrysler Offers Global Business Opportunities to World-Class Suppliers

DaimlerChrysler Offers Global Business Opportunities to World-Class Suppliers

Peter Rosenfeld, Executive Vice President — Procurement & Supply, Chrysler Group, emphasizes the contribution of the supply base to the company’s success

* DaimlerChrysler’s model of supplier relationships is based on objective performance measurements
* Best performing suppliers in quality, technology, systems cost and supply win new contracts
* DENSO, Johnson Controls and Visteon named suppliers for a 2009 light truck program

Auburn Hills, Mich., Feb 24, 2006 –

In a speech addressing automotive suppliers from Canada and the U.S., Peter Rosenfeld, Executive Vice President — Procurement & Supply, Chrysler Group, explained that DaimlerChrysler has created a model to manage its relations with suppliers, which helps both sides to better withstand global economic challenges in the automotive industry.

“DaimlerChrysler places a high strategic importance on a healthy supply base and understands that no automaker can win in today’s global marketplace without the help of its suppliers,” Rosenfeld said. The unique model of DaimlerChrysler is based on performance measurements which are objective and transparent and award new business to the best performing suppliers in quality, technology, systems cost and supply.

1:18 scale Die Cast Dodge Challenger concept car

Alot of you Mopar fans collect 1:18 scale die-cast cars. So heres the dope on the Dodge Challenger concept.

1:18 NEW Dodge Challenger Concept Car!
Item Number: 50502
Price: $64.95
Description: YES, the New Dodge Challenger Concept Car! We may all want a real one, but here is a less expensive one we all really CAN have. Made by Die Cast Promotions, so you know it will be nice. The real car has been measured, and the project is underway. WE SUGGEST YOU RESERVE YOUR CAR NOW, so we can order one in for you from the 1st batch. Pre-orders are being taken right now, with delivery expected in November.

Thanks to Ric for the heads up on this one 🙂

smart signs MoU on smart roadster licence

Böblingen, Feb 20, 2006
Contract about the licence to redesign, produce and sell the former smart model to be drawn up within the next months.

British consortium to continue roadster model under different brand

smart and the British consortium ‘Project Kimber’ signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Friday, 17 February 2006. The intention of the MoU is to draw up a contract within the next few months which would give Project Kimber the licence to redesign, produce and sell the former smart models roadster and roadster-coupé under a different brand. Additionally, the MoU includes the intention to purchase production equipment for both models that is not needed by smart anymore.
In the frame of the restructuring and strategic realignment of smart, the discontinuation of production of the two models smart roadster and smart roadster-coupé was decided last year. During the Geneva Motorshow, starting next week, smart gmbh will present a final, limited special edition of the smart roadster and smart roadster-coupé, named ‘collectors edition’.