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Briefs: GM, Ford, CVTs, RVIA

Originally Published in Trailer Life Magazine

GM, Ford Dropping Some SUVs, Vans

Both General Motors and Ford will cut some light trucks from their
product lineups as sales shift to car-based SUVs. GM’s plans include
canceling the Chevy TrailBlazer and GMC Envoy before 2010. Ford will
eliminate the Monterey minivan, perhaps by the end of this model year.
The Ford Freestar minivan also will be dropped at an unspecified date.

Spy Photos Trigger Speculation

Automotive spy photographers have snapped the new Ford Super Duty
trucks undergoing testing. According to strong industry rumors, these
trucks will have a 6.4-liter Power Stroke V-8 turbodiesel option. Also,
the new Super Duty models will be slightly bigger than the current
models. Look for them to be available early in 2007 as a 2008 model.

Manufacturers Add CVTs to Vehicles

More manufacturers are adding continuously variable transmissions
(CVTs) to their vehicles to provide better gas mileage. CVTs, which use
belts and pulleys instead of gears, achieve up to 10 percent fuel
savings. However, they are not yet available in heavy vehicles with high
tow ratings.

RV Lifestyle More Popular Than Ever

According to the RV Industry Association (RVIA), RV ownership has
reached record levels with 8 million households owning an RV, equating
to 1 in every 12 homes. Additionally, the RV rental business is a $350
million industry, which grew by 36 percent in 2005.

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