New Models Debut At South Florida International Auto Show    

10 October 1999

     MIAMI BEACH, Fla. -- Auto fans who surf the Internet experienced a first 
this weekend -- live streaming video coverage of the season's first major auto 
    The South Florida International Auto Show opened its 29th annual exhibit
this weekend and, just hours before the doors opened to the public, the debuts
of several Year 2000 vehicles were shown by The Auto Channel on its
interactive web site. The Auto Channel used the occasion to announce this
year's winners of its Golden Tachometer Awards. Representatives of 12
manufacturers were on hand to accept the awards, all of which are detailed at

     Saab used the Miami Beach show for the U.S. introduction and first
display of its 9-5 Aero sports sedan. "We're using one of our hottest markets
to introduce one of our hottest new vehicles," said Dan Chasins, president and
COO of Saab Cars U.S.A.  The Swedish car maker's new 9-3 Viggen is here as
well. Chasins announced that all Saab vehicles now offer the GPS- and
cellular- phone-based OnStar telematic system.

     Toyota vice president Alan DeCarr officially launched the "made-for-
Miami-lifestyle" MR2 Spyder, a new mid-engine 2-place soft top roadster which
will hit U.S. showrooms in May of 2000. According to DeCarr, the MR2 and a new
Tacoma StepSide pickup, also unveiled here today, start the roll-out of six
new cars for the model year 2000.

     DeCarr also announced that Toyota's hybrid gas-electric Prius, first
launched in Japan, will be in American showrooms "in about eight months."

     Mitsubishi's chief operating officer for the U.S., Pierre Gagnon, was
guest speaker for journalists gathered at this annual event. He called 1999
Mitsubishi's "most profitable year ever" and cited the impact of e-commerce on
auto buying. "Nearly one-half of all buyers use the 'Net," said Gagnon. "It's
becoming fundamental to all purchasing decisions. But dealers still add a
personal touch unavailable on the 'Net."

    Other opening day press conferences highlighted the redesigned Daewoo
Nubira sedan and Hyundai Tiburon sport coupe. Ford unwrapped its new Excursion
SUV, the largest in the American market, and the Focus, a new small sedan
already proven in Europe and now marked to replace the Escort.

     The South Florida International Auto Show, which fills the Miami Beach
Convention Center, features more than 1,000 vehicles from 40 manufacturers. It
is produced each year by the South Florida Auto-Truck Dealers Association,
which comprises 220 dealers in three counties. 

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