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Update: NAIAS Attendees Vote Show Favorites

13 January 2000

Update: NAIAS Attendees Vote Show Favorites; Top Auto Industry Trends And Challenges Revealed
    DETROIT, Jan. 12 -- The Polk Company and the North American
International Auto Show (NAIAS) today released the third in a series of daily
trend reports direct from the NAIAS floor at Cobo Hall.
    The reports this week detail percentages reflecting the favorites of
media, manufacturers and suppliers via the Polk Auto Trend Centers.  Favorites
were named in 11 categories.
    The Polk Auto Trend Centers will collect NAIAS attendee opinions
throughout the 2000 show.  Reports will be issued twice daily.
    Polk is a global company delivering multi-dimensional intelligence to the
auto industry to enhance the relationships consumers have with brands.
Through lifetime understanding of individuals, Polk helps clients maintain
current customers, win new ones and build their brand loyalty.  Based in
Southfield, Mich., Polk is a privately held firm, currently operating in
Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Holland, Spain, the United Kingdom,
and the United States.

    As of 9:36 a.m. Jan. 12, 2000  *Top 5 leaders based on Total responses
from the Polk Auto Trend Centers

    Concept Vehicle:                          Minivan/Full-size Van:
    Chrysler 300 Hemi             13%         Chrysler PT Cruiser       23%
    Chevrolet SSR                  8%         Dodge Caravan             14%
    Dodge Viper Concept            8%         Honda Odyssey             12%
    Mercedes-Benz SLR Roadster     8%         Chrysler Town & Country    9%
    GMC Terradyne                  6%         Pontiac Montana            6%

    Exhibit:                                  Pickup Truck:
    Chrysler-Plymouth-Dodge-Jeep  16%         Dodge Ram Pickup Truck    29%
    Audi                           9%         Chevrolet Silverado       18%
    BMW                            8%         Ford F-Series             16%
    Mercedes-Benz                  8%         Toyota Tundra             12%
    Chevrolet                      7%         Dodge Dakota               7%

    Large Car:                                Prestige Luxury Car:
    Pontiac Bonneville            48%         Jaguar XJR                14%
    Buick Lesabre                 22%         Mercedes-Benz S-Class     14%
    Ford Crown Victoria           16%         Rolls Royce Silver Seraph 14%
    Mercury Grand Marquis         14%         Audi A8                   10%
                                              BMW 540                    6%

    Luxury Car:                               SUV:
    Mercedes-Benz CLK             11%         BMW X5                    12%
    Lincoln LS                     9%         Jeep Grand Cherokee       11%
    Audi A6                        8%         Chevrolet Tahoe            5%
    Jaguar S-TYPE                  8%         Dodge Durango              5%
    Volvo V70                      8%         Hummer 4 Door              4%

    Midsize Car:                              Small Car:
    Volvo S40                     16%         Volkswagen New Beetle     20%
    Dodge Intrepid                 9%         Ford Focus                19%
    Volkswagen Jetta               9%         Volkswagen Golf           18%
    Volkswagen Passat              8%         Dodge Neon                 8%
    Chrysler Concorde              6%         Mitsubishi Mirage          4%

                                              Sports Car:
                                              Dodge Viper               17%
                                              Audi TT                    7%
                                              Chevrolet Corvette         6%
                                              Lamborghini Diablo         6%
                                              BMW M3                     5%

    Within the last six months, how often have you done the following
activities inside your car/truck?

                          Media      Automotive Industry       Total
                        Respondents      Respondents*       Respondents
    Talk on Phone           81%               91%               85%
    Read While Driving      35%               43%               38%
    Be Romantic             58%               57%               58%
    Shave/Apply Make-up     24%               41%               31%
    Sing Out Loud           72%               96%               82%
    *Manufacturers, Supplies and Dealers

    *  Out of all the activities considered, media respondents are most likely
to talk on the phone, while automotive industry respondents are most likely to
sing out loud.
    *  Media and automotive industry responders are "neck and neck" on being
romantic in their vehicles -- more than half report this activity.

    Top Industry Challenges From the Media
    Based on Media responses from the Polk Auto Trend Centers

    Three major trends have been highlighted as significant challenges for the
future of the automotive industry.  According to responses from the media, the
following three categories will present the biggest challenges to the industry
in the short-term future:

    Trends such as just in time (JIT) delivery, faster delivery to consumers,
more rapid response to changing consumer tastes, and shorter production cycles
will quicken the pace of the industry in the new millennium.

    Channel Relationships:
    Relationships between OEM's and suppliers are expected to become even more
critical in the years to come.  Key areas will include modularization of
vehicles, sharing of information, and general trust.

    Competition & Consolidation:
    A third trend of major importance will be the continued globalization of
the industry, leading to more mergers and a heightened level of competition,
particularly as large OEMs and suppliers absorb smaller industry players.

    Top Trends From the Media
    Based on Media responses from the Polk Auto Trend Centers

    The Internet and e-commerce is rated as the trend that will have the most
impact on the auto industry, according to media members at NAIAS 2000.  Polk
research highlights the following trends:
    *  Internet shoppers place more importance on the test drive than
traditional shoppers;
    *  Internet usage has a significant impact on price competition, which
could translate into less loyal consumers;
    *  Building consumer loyalty is now a critical focus area for

    In-Vehicle Computers & Automated Systems
    Another prominent trend forecasted by the media is the increasing use of
computers in new vehicles.  These computers will be used for everything from
on-board navigation systems to electronic safety features, with the ultimate
goal of enhancing the driving experience.  Two prominent examples of this
technology are:
    *  Voice activation systems to control radio volume, seating positions,
and other internal functions;
    *  Results from the Polk Auto Trend Center -- Product Most Desired in Next
New Vehicle:
        -  On-line Mapping/Navigation System (chosen by 36% of the media);
        -  Voice Activated Controls (chosen by 23% of the media).

    Alternative Fuel Vehicles
    The continued emergence of alternative fuel vehicles is regarded as
another significant trend at NAIAS 2000.  While no specific technology has yet
to establish itself as the industry standard, alternative fuels are expected
to gain increased attention from automakers.
    *  Several automakers at NAIAS 2000 are showing hybrid vehicles that
combine traditional fuel systems with new battery technology.

    Globalization & Mergers
    Increased globalization of the automotive business, including
consolidation and mergers, is another significant trend that will make its
mark over the next several years, according to media at NAIAS 2000.  A number
of recent examples illustrate this phenomenon:
    *  Ford's merger with Volvo;
    *  General Motors' purchase of Hummer;
    *  General Motors' alliance with Subaru, allowing GM to use Subaru's
advanced transmission and four-wheel drive technology.