- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 25, 2007

Auto show here through Sunday

The 65th annual Washington Auto Show is featuring the vehicles of at least 42 domestic and foreign automakers. They are displaying 700 new cars, trucks, minivans and sport utility vehicles at the Washington Convention Center for three more days.

This year’s show, sponsored by the Washington Area New Automobile Dealers Association (WANADA), is focused on “Presenting Advanced Technologies.” Exhibits include “Technology Highway” and “Alternative Fuel Alley.”

The show and the D.C. Lottery and Charitable Games Control Board are giving prizes to 27 Powerball players in its “Second Chance Drawing.” The first-prize winner gets a Chevrolet Impala, courtesy of the Washington Area Chevrolet Dealers. The second-place winner gets the Chevrolet HHR, and the rest of the winners each get a gasoline card worth $200 at local gas stations.

The drawing will be held Sunday. To enter, deposit entry vouchers at the specially marked places at the D.C. Lottery show booth or mail them to: D.C. Lottery Auto Show Drawing, P.O. Box 71540, Washington, D.C. 20024.

For more information, call 202/249-3000 or visit www.washingtonautoshow.com.

Nissan returning to city of its birth

Seven decades after its start in the port city of Yokohama, Japan, Nissan Motor Co. has begun work on a new global headquarters there. The company will move out of the nation’s capital, according to Agence France-Presse.

The building, designed by Japanese architect Yoshio Taniguchi, will have 22 office floors overlooking the western coast of Tokyo Bay and is expected to be completed in late 2009 at a cost of $349 million.

Nissan held a groundbreaking ceremony Jan. 13 for the new building, which is designed to resemble a sailing ship and underscores the automaker’s recovery from the brink of bankruptcy.

“More than 70 years ago Nissan was established here in Yokohama. From here we grew to become a global enterprise,” said Nissan Chief Executive Officer Carlos Ghosn, who also heads the company’s French partner, Renault. “We recognize that returning back to our birthplace is important for our employees but also for the community.”

Nissan was founded in Yokohama as Jidosha-Seizo Co. in 1933 and adopted its current name the following year.

Rolls-Royce to roll out convertible this year

The Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe, expected to start production this summer, is the first Rolls convertible since the carmaker stopped production of the Corniche in 2002.

Demand in the U.S. for Rolls-Royces has been relatively strong.

Auto sales tracker Autodata estimates that the brand sold 330 cars through the first 11 months of 2006, up 50 percent from the same period of 2005, although still off from the 420 sold in 2004, BMW’s first year with the brand.

The new convertible will retail for $407,000.

Ford to upgrade six Michigan plants

Ford Motor Co. will invest $866 million to upgrade six plants in Michigan to help build its small-car lineup and produce fuel-efficient powertrains, according to Reuters news agency.

Mark Fields, president of Ford’s Americas operations, said that investment in new products and infrastructures will help Ford return to making profits.

The investments include a stamping and assembly plant, two transmission plants, and a plant that produces the F-150 pickup truck.

Find out about giving a vehicle to charity

People wishing to donate a vehicle to charity for tax purposes should expect a lower limit on the value that can be claimed. Until June 2005, donors could cite the industry Blue Book value when giving a vehicle to charity. But the government tightened its rules.

Now $500 is the most a donor can claim initially. If the charity sells the vehicle at auction for more money, it notifies the donor for tax purposes.

Donated vehicles with a value of more than $5,000 require an independent appraisal.

Most important: Donors who want a deduction for a vehicle must get a validating receipt from the charity of their choice.

For more information, call the IRS at 800/829-3676 between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. weekdays or go online at www.irs.ustreas.gov.

NADA operates donation site

The National Automobile Dealers Association offers an online vehicle donation site as a resource. Internet visitors to www.nadaguides.com can click on the “Donate Your Car” link in the Selected Resources box and fill out basic information and details about the vehicle.

Mail items of interest to Auto Notes, care of Bill O’Brien, The Washington Times Copy Desk, 3600 New York Ave. NE, Washington, D.C. 20002. Or send items of interest via e-mail to bobrien@washingtontimes.com. The deadline is 5 p.m. on the Monday before the date of publication.

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