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Briefs: Automotive Updates(3)

Originally Published in Trailer Life Magazine

Japanese Heavy-Duty Pickups Axed?

According to Automotive News, Nissan and Toyota have
dropped plans to build heavy-duty 3/4- and one-ton pickup trucks. Both
companies plan to postpone, or halt all together, the development of
heavy-duty pickups. The article also said Nissan will end production on
some of its large SUVs, including Pathfinder and Armada, in favor of
smaller and more fuel-efficient crossovers.

Ford Extends Time Between Oil Changes

Ford has extended its oil-change guidelines, boosting recommended
oil-change intervals from 5,000 miles to 7,500 on redesigned 2007 models
and all subsequent models. Ford said that higher oil quality standards
and new engine designs allowed the change, which only applies to
vehicles driven under normal conditions.

2008 Hummer H2 Gains Fuel Economy

GM’s Hummer H2 SUV is getting the 6.2-liter V-8 and six-speed
automatic transmission from the Cadillac Escalade for the 2008 model
year. The H2 will have 393 hp, while actually gaining some fuel economy.
Towing capacity also rises from 6,500 to 8,000 pounds. The engine is in
both the H2 and the H2 SUT.

2008 Hummer H3 Gets V-8

Hummer will add a 5.3-liter V-8 to its H3 SUV for 2008. The engine
will be rated 295 hp and 317 lb-ft of torque, with a four-speed
automatic transmission and four-wheel drive. The drivetrain will boost
the H3’s towing capacity to 6,000 pounds. Safety equipment includes side
airbags, stability control and tire-pressure monitors. A rearview
camera and nav system are optional.

California May Tax Gas Guzzlers

The California Assembly is considering legislation to establish a
surcharge for some new vehicles based on “greenhouse” gas emissions. The
tax could cost buyers up to $2,500 for a vehicle. Funds collected would
be used in part to subsidize hybrids and electric cars.

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