The TACH Report: Highway That Thinks is Here; Rick Hendricks Bribery Trial Moved; Toyota Camry Taking Over Ford Taurus Top Spot

7 August 1997

It finally became a reality: the Intelligent Highway. After many years of work--seven to be exact--and $200 million, The Automated Highway System Consortium has revealed a protoype eighteen-mile stretch of highway in Mira Mesa, CA, near San Diego, that is wired to actually take over the driving chores for YOUR car. The car has a special computer, and the road has a series of magnets and wires. The car drives itself, swerves to avoid obstacles, keeps its distance behind other cars, stops, goes and keeps you cruising at 65 mph. There will be a formal demonstration this coming Sunday, and TACH will be there. For more info try It's said there will be more of these highways in the year 2002.

Mega car dealer and NASCAR race team owner Rick Hendricks--who is facing bribery and racketeering charges over some Honda car distribution business--was to stand trial Aug 11, but the Judge on the advice of Hendricks Doctors--he has leukemia--moved the trial to Sept 22. The court appointed Doctors however disagreed and said he was strong enough to go to court.

It appears that the Toyota Camry is going ahead of the Ford Taurus in the national car sales race for the first time since 1992. Camry put 239,041 units over the curb so far in 1997 and Taurus has retailed 207,426 four doors and wagons. Now watch Ford stage a massive rebate program for both dealers and consumers in an attempt to recapture the sales lead. It's worked before, and the TACH audience is the winner.

Suzuki has been fighting the roll over war for its LT500R ATV for quite some time, and now the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals says Suzuki is safe. End of case.

Goodyear is about to launch a big ad campaign for its run-flat tires, which will have seven sizes.

Ford has opened an assembly plant in the Soviet Union to make 6000 Escorts and Ford Transits per year.

GM will be the official car/truck of the year 2000 Olympic games on NBC. It's a $100 million deal.

The new 1998 Corvette convertible has a starting sticker of $44,990 and, are you ready for this first? A trunk. A real live trunk.

A prototype 1998 Cougar is making the car show circuit and if Lincoln-Mercury builds anything that looks like this dream car it will sell like the Navigator. It's hot!

Speaking of the Navigator, it is the most crowd-friendly vehicle we have tested in a long while. There are no demographics. Sub teens rush up and say "COOL" Teens in groups lust after it. Families cross the street to have a better look. Wherever it is parked it evokes complimentary comments, and questions from everyone. People KNOW what it is and what it costs. Home run

BMW has a new 5 series based M5 with a 400hp V8 as its power.

Toyota is coming out with a new sedan called the Celsior. In the luxury segment, prices start at $45,000.

Keep the TACH in the red...and stay ahead !

Bill Maloney -- The Auto Channel

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