Impala SS sells out before delivery (Atlanta Journal and Constitution 1/21/94)




   Chevrolet says the Impala SS due out this spring, the high-

performance sedan companion to the staid Caprice, is a sellout

before the first one arrives at a dealership.



   The car, which has the Corvette's V-8 engine combined with a

police package suspension system, has attracted considerable

attention since word got out a year ago that such a car was

coming.



   "We planned to build 5,000 Impala SSs and they are already

sold," Chevrolet General Manager Jim Perkins said, meaning

dealers have bought the total production build to have in their

showrooms. 



   Chevrolet plans to build more, though just how many hasn't

been decided.



   Kia compact sedans to start at $ 8,495



   Kia Motors America has announced the prices of its new compact

sedans. The base model Kia Sephia RS will be priced at $ 8,495.



   The midline Sephia LS will retail for $ 9,295 and the

top-of-the-line GS starts at $ 10,195.



   The Korean auto maker will begin selling its cars in the

United States next month, starting in the Portland, Ore., area

and in Las Vegas. It will concentrate on sales in the West at

first, and expects to have a coast-to-coast dealer network in

place by the end of 1995.



   The company plans to introduce a sport-utility vehicle later

this year.



   Ford likely to reopen talks with Mazda



   A top Ford Motor Co. official confirmed the auto maker likely

will reopen the question of jointly producing cars in Europe with

Mazda Motor Corp.



   Talks broke off between Ford and Mazda on joint production in

Europe last year.



   Wayne Booker, executive vice president for international

operations, would not say which products or plants may be

involved in the joint project.



   The likely products are the next-generation Ford Escort, Ford

Probe, and the Probe's sibling, the Mazda MX-6, which are due for

the 1997 model year, according to people in the industry.



   Ford owns 25 percent of Mazda.



   Discovery scheduled for April delivery



   Discovery, the compact sport-utility from Land Rover North

America Inc., will be available in showrooms beginning in April,

Rover President Charlie Hughes said.



   The vehicle, with standard dual air bags and anti-lock brakes,

will start at "well under $ 30,000," Hughes said, adding that, in

other markets, Discovery sales have been two to three times the

sales of Range Rover.



   Land Rover sold about 4,300 Range Rovers in 1993 out of total

U.S. sales of 4,907.



   Toyota may produce Mega Cruiser vehicle



   Toyota Motor Corp. is considering putting the oversized Mega

Cruiser off-road concept vehicle into production for possible

export.



   The Hummer-like Mega Cruiser, with its 70-inch front track and

17- inch ground clearance, was a hit at last October's Tokyo

Motor Show.



   Yoshiro Kimbara, Toyota's top-ranking product development

executive, said the company is studying the possibility of

producing the vehicle.



   The 197-inch long, all-wheel-drive Mega Cruiser is powered by

a 4.1- liter, four-cylinder direct injection turbo-diesel.

Although tailored for rescue and ambulance duty, it is adaptable

for personal all-terrain use.



   Kimbara noted the vehicle was probably too big to sell well in

Japan but that the company sees some potential buyers for the big

off-road vehicle in countries such as Australia and, perhaps, the

United States.



   More car owners ignore maintenance



   The value of recommended vehicle maintenance that owners

ignored jumped 13 percent to $ 59.4 billion in 1992, according to

the Motor and Equipment Manufacturers Association.



   In the 14 years the association has been conducting the

survey, the amount of vehicle maintenance that should have been

performed but wasn't has more than tripled from the $ 15.7

billion estimated in 1978.



   Compiled from staff, news service and published reports.