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Kelley Blue Book Reports Rise in New-Car Traffic, Leads

IRVINE, Calif., Jan. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Kelley Blue Book, www.kbb.com, the leading provider of new- and used-vehicle information, today reports an increase in new-car shopper activity on its top-rated Web site. After a period of consumer cautiousness, which led to lower shopping activity and lower sales in recent months, the average daily new-car traffic on www.kbb.com has increased 20 percent in January 2009 compared to the previous month. This reveals higher traffic levels than any time during the fourth quarter of 2008.

Support for the domestic manufacturers is up during this time as well, with traffic to General Motors reports up 19 percent from December 2008. Ford has 9 percent, and Chrysler has 20 percent more activity on kbb.com compared to the previous month.

"Based on the climb in new-car traffic and dealer leads generated on kbb.com in December and early January, we expect to see a lift in auto sales versus the last quarter of 2008," said Jack R. Nerad, executive editorial director and executive market analyst for Kelley Blue Book and kbb.com. "Consumers are recognizing great deals are available now, many based on generous manufacturer incentives, making this a great time to buy or lease a new vehicle."

As a further indication that the recent sales freeze may be thawing, dealer leads generated on kbb.com were up 19 percent in the week ending December 28, 2008, compared to the previous week. In the following week ending January 4, 2009, the number of leads jumped an additional 18 percent, creating an overall leads increase of 40 percent compared to two weeks prior.

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Chrysler adjusts production

Chrysler Adjusts Production as a Result of the Deteriorating U.S. Credit Crunch

Auburn Hills, Mich., (Dec 17, 2008)  - Due to the continued lack of consumer credit for the American car buyer and the resulting dramatic impact it has had on overall industry sales in the United States, Chrysler LLC announced that it will make significant adjustments to the production schedules of its manufacturing operations. In doing so, the Company will keep production and dealer inventory aligned with U.S. market demand. In response, the Company confirmed that all Chrysler manufacturing operations will be idled at the end of the shift Friday, Dec. 19, and impacted employees will not return to work any sooner than Monday, Jan. 19, 2009.

Chrysler dealers confirmed to the Company at a recent meeting at its headquarters, that they have many willing buyers for Chrysler, Jeep® and Dodge vehicles but are unable to close the deals, due to lack of financing. The dealers have stated that they have lost an estimated 20 to 25 percent of their volume because of this credit situation.

The Company will continue to monitor the production schedules of its manufacturing operations moving forward.

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Kelley Blue Book Now Releasing Values Weekly

Wholesale Value Renamed Wholesale Lending Value, Auction Value Introduced, Books Move to Monthly

IRVINE, Calif., Dec. 8 -- Kelley Blue Book, www.kbb.com, the leading provider of new- and used-vehicle information, is now publishing its used-vehicle values weekly via its Web-based product KarPower Online®. Prior to this week, only the Kelley Blue Book® Trade-In Values were updated weekly, while other values were published in the Kelley Blue Book Official Guide every other month. The Blue Book Official Guide also has an updated publishing schedule with its frequency moving from every other month to monthly. Blue Book Official Guide customers received their first monthly edition in November of 2008.

In addition to striving for greater accuracy through more frequent updates, Kelley Blue Book has added an 'Auction Value,' which is what a used vehicle is expected to sell for at a wholesale auction. An additional change includes a name change for the company's Wholesale Value, a long-standing benchmark for automotive lending, which is now the 'Wholesale Lending Value.' The Wholesale Lending Value will be updated weekly reflecting the value of a vehicle that has been fully reconditioned, inspected and is frontline ready. Finance companies can now use Kelley Blue Book's Wholesale Lending Value without any additional calculation to mitigate risk and better manage lending portfolios.

"Kelley Blue Book had been planning to move to weekly values for some time, but with the changing economy and the volatility in the automotive marketplace, we sped up the process to offer greater accuracy now," said Paul Johnson, president and CEO of Kelley Blue Book. "Having access to the most timely and relevant values in the industry will allow automotive businesses to have insight into the market each week to make the most informed buying, selling and finance decisions."

Dealers, manufacturers, finance companies and others in the automotive industry can access all of Kelley Blue Book's weekly values through a paid subscription to the company's Internet-based valuation system, KARPOWER Online (www.karpower.com), through syndication or via our service provider RouteOne® and others.

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Live tracking of Baja 1000 available

SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger to Provide Live Tracking for SCORE Baja 1000 Off-Road Endurance Race - Fans Can Track Racers Online Using SPOT's GPS Web-Tracking Capability

MILPITAS, Calif., Nov. 17, 2008 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- SPOT LLC (www.findmespot.com), the pioneer behind the award-winning SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger(tm), today announced that they have partnered with off-road racing sanctioning body SCORE International, to provide live web GPS tracking powered by SPOT, to SCORE Baja racers competing at the 41st Tecate SCORE Baja 1000. The Baja race, considered by many to be the world's most challenging off-road endurance test, is to be held in the Baja Peninsula in Mexico beginning November 21st. With GPS tracking powered by SPOT, fans and sponsors can track the progress of drivers competing in five classes (SCORE Trophy Trucks, Class 1, Class 5-1600, Stock Mini and Class 8) live at www.2008SCOREbaja1000.com.

The SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger is the first device that can send a message to a cell phone or email address with your GPS coordinates to friends or family or alert an emergency rescue coordination center from virtually anywhere around the world, regardless of cellular coverage. With SPOT, you can stay connected no matter what your outdoor activity may be or where your adventures take you. Whether you're just checking in, allowing others to track your progress or calling for help -- SPOT can give you and your loved ones assurance that your adventure will be a safe one.

"We are pleased that SCORE has chosen SPOT's tracking function as a key ingredient for bringing a new experience to the fans of the Baja 1000," said Darren Bassel, Director of Marketing for SPOT LLC. "As some of the world's finest drivers battle the harsh and remote desert environment of the Baja Peninsula, our partnership with SCORE, Aura360, BFGoodrich, and Volkswagen, will allow us to showcase the durability of the SPOT, while bringing the Baja 1000 event to life for those who want to follow the race live online."

Adventurers and explorers from around the world, including world-class athletes like those competing in the Baja 1000, have come to depend upon SPOT GPS messaging. SCORE Trophy Truck driver Cameron Steele has partnered with SPOT and has been using a SPOT Messenger during his preparation for the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000.

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2009 Ram Named “Full-Size Pickup Truck of Texas” by TAWA

Oct 20, 2008

All-new 2009 Dodge Ram Named “Full-Size Pickup Truck of Texas”

• Beats New Ford F-150, Chevrolet Silverado, GMC Sierra, Toyota Tundra, Nissan Titan in the Full-Size Pickup Category
• All-new 2009 Dodge Ram recognized by Texas journalists for utility, value and efficiency

Voting after their annual Truck Rodeo, members of the Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) named the all-new 2009 Dodge Ram 1500 “Full-Size Pickup Truck of Texas,” giving Dodge honors over competitors from Ford, Chevrolet, GMC, Nissan, Honda and Toyota.

TAWA’s competition names three overall winners, including Truck of Texas, SUV of Texas and Crossover of Texas (a new category this year), along with 12 additional categories. Judging by the 40-plus TAWA members occurs over two full days of on- and off-road evaluation. Consideration is given to everything from exterior styling and off-road capability to the entrant’s overall utility, value and fuel efficiency.

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