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GM Vs. Ford: The Battle for Four-Wheel Steering Superiority - Off-Road Insider

Posted in Features on November 1, 2000 Comment (0)
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Last month, we told you about General Motors' bold new four-wheel steering system, which is slated for introduction on select 2002 light-duty trucks and SUVs. This month, we have a more detailed look at GM's Quadrasteer, but during our research on GM's latest technological trickery, we uncovered a four-wheel steering setup for light trucks that will compete with Quadrasteer: the as-of-yet-unnamed system from Ford Motor Company.

That both GM's Quadrasteer and the Ford four-wheel steering system would be shown to automotive industry insiders isn't all that much of a surprise, given the fact that both systems were developed by Delphi Automotive Systems, a worldwide leader in propulsion, safety, and electronics technology.

From what we know, GM has the inside track on the Delphi system, with Delphi having made a commitment to supply the General with Quadrasteer technology before any other manufacturer - namely, Ford or DaimlerChrysler - is allowed to equip its trucks with the radical setup.

For now, here's what we know about GM's Quadrasteer along with a teaser photo of Ford's version of the Delphi system.

AdvertisingVice President, Group Publisher Truck GroupS. Greg GillAdvertising Sales ManagerDavid Hamilton 805/528-5136Advertising DirectorTom CatoneAdvertising Sales RepresentativesSteve Von SeggernAdvertising Sales AssistantAnn Betancourt 714/939-2580

New York Sales OfficeNational Sales DirectorRichard Sloofman212/545-3575 phone 212/545-3568 fax

Detroit Sales OfficeMaiorana & Partners, Ltd.Colleen Maiorana/Jeff Brown248/546-2222 phone 248/546-0019 fax

Production CoordinatorRobert Torrico 714/939-2616

Direct Marketing GroupSales DirectorMichael Kirby 714/939-2469Advertising Sales RepresentativesJeff Thompson 714/939-2403Carol Halesworth 714/939-2402Advertising Sales AssistantJamie Dedic 714/939-2577

Sales Administration, MarketingDirector of Sales Administration & MarketingDavid M. CohenMarketing DirectorBrian Van MolsSales AdministrationKim Galles

Single Copy SalesDirector, Single Copy SalesRich BaronManager, Single Copy SalesNick Singh

AdministrationControllerCarolyn RayRevenue Management DirectorKimberly HowardFinance DirectorLarry Charpentier

President & Chief Operating OfficerCraig L. NickersonVice President & Chief Financial OfficerTerry J. TuttleVice President/Group PublishersS.Greg GillBob MignognaTom VogeleVice President, CirculationHenson LaconVice President & Chief Information OfficerKen CainVice President, Human ResourcesMark A. Colton

President & Chief Executive OfficerGeorge VrabeckEditorTodd Horne

Primedia Inc.Chairman and Chief Executive OfficerTom RogersPresidentCharles G. McCurdyVice Chairman & General CounselBeverly C. Chell

Mr. Gasket Up for SaleOur sources at SEMA News have told us that the venerable Mr. Gasket Company, owned by the Dana Corporation, is up for sale. Mr. Gasket is well-known for its extensive line of aftermarket performance and customizing accessories, which include ACCEL Ignition, Hurst Shifters, Hays Clutches, Lakewood Suspension Products, Mallory Ignition, Erson Cams, and performance parts marketed under the Mr. Gasket name. Dana Corporation's President, Larry McCurdy, stated "...this move is best for both parties in the long run, as it will allow these operations and their people to grow with a new parent and enable Dana to focus on growing its core business." Mr. Gasket posted sales in excess of $72 million in 1999, and our sources report that there are several potential buyers for the Gasket group of companies, which may represent an excellent investment, given that the automotive aftermarket industry experienced a 9.4-percent growth in 1999, for total sales of $23.23 billion in retail sales and $8.17 billion of sales to automotive manufacturers.

And Now, the News...Nissan has announced plans to build its first fullsize truck, and it is intended for consumers in the U.S. There's no word on what Nissan plans to name the truck, but it will be powered by a new V-8 engine.

On a recent outing to Moab, Utah, we spotted a Suburban shod with BFGoodrich tires that were obviously a prototype design. Based on technology first seen on BFG's Scorcher T/A Radial street tires, which have colored bands of rubber that run circumferentially around the tread, the BFG All-Terrain T/As use color on the tread for a unique, and truly eye-catching appearance. Two shades of yellow were on display at Moab, but BFG reps admitted that other colors were being tested. Also seen at Moab was the latest generation of BFG Mud-Terrain T/As, which feature enhanced protection for the bead area; larger, more-aggressive sidewall lugs; and a new rubber compound for the tread area that is stickier but remains long-wearing.

General Motors recently announced plans to form a partnership with iCan, an Internet site catering to people with disabilities, to create an online channel on the iCan Web site that will provide specially equipped vehicle information for consumers with disabilities. As part of the deal, GM will take a 5-percent equity stake in i can.

DynoMax Performance Exhausts has a cool Web site that provides the sounds of various engines equipped with DynoMax mufflers. The interactive site allows users to listen to both a stock exhaust and a DynoMax-equipped exhaust. Our favorite was the Dodge Durango 5.2L Magnum V-8. Go to www.dynomax.com to experience this exhaustive performance.

Answer This Question and Win!Of all the corporate advertising symbols used by motor vehicle manufacturers over the years, few are more recognizable than Michelin Tire Company's stack-of-tires-that-looks-like-a-man, commonly referred to as the Michelin Man. However, Michelin's corporate symbol isn't referred to as the Michelin Man by those in the know; he has an actual legal name, although it's little known to the general public. If you think you know the Michelin Man's true name, send us a letter or e-mail us the correct answer; the senders of the first e-mail and letter we receive with the correct answer will be the recipients of a one-year subscription to Off-Road magazine or a stylish Off-Road magazine t-shirt.

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