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Silverado gets Motor Trend's top-truck kudos

By TIMES WIRES
Published December 20, 2006


The redesigned Chevrolet Silverado was named 2007 truck of the year by Motor Trend magazine, an award that could increase already strong sales of the popular vehicle. The truck beat out three other General Motors Corp. contenders: the Chevrolet Avalanche, Cadillac Escalade EXT and GMC Sierra. The Ford Explorer Sport Trac was also eligible for the title. The vehicle of the year designation is important to automakers, who often use Motor Trend's endorsement in their advertising. The redesigned Toyota Camry, the hottest-selling car in America, won Motor Trend's 2007 Car of the Year award earlier. Motor Trend said the Silverado's reliability and fuel efficiency were also factors in the win.

Maytag Repairman not washed up yet

The Maytag Repairman is keeping his job, such as it is. Whirlpool Corp. said Monday that the iconic, long-running advertising character who's always lonely, ostensibly because of the reliability of Maytag's appliances, will remain "in the marketing mix." The character's fate came into question after Whirlpool acquired rival Maytag Corp. in March. Created in 1967, the Maytag Repairman is the longest-running real-life advertising character on U.S. television, Whirlpool said. Next year will mark the character's 40th anniversary as well as the 100th anniversary of the first Maytag washing machine.

Not only reindeer fly for holiday gifts

While you'll be duking it out for a parking spot at a mall near you, the silver spoon and platinum plate set will be collecting their trinkets by jet, says Elite Traveler, a private-jet magazine, in its annual holiday spending survey of the super-rich. Twenty-five percent of the 1,000 super-rich folks surveyed (a household with $10-million or more in net worth) said they'll use their jets to shop. Their overall spending is projected to increase 25 percent this year vs. last year. Here's what they plan to splurge on:

- A per-household average of $410,600 to charter yachts, up 12 percent;

- $34,600 on holiday entertaining, up 16 percent; and

- $91,100 on fine jewels, up 22 percent.

But the super-rich also know sacrifice. According to the magazine, they will be giving an average of $94,200 to charity this year, up 51 percent from 2005.

Sony settles case of antipiracy CDs

Sony BMG Music Entertainment will pay $1.5-million and kick in thousands more in customer refunds to settle lawsuits brought by California and Texas over music CDs that installed a hidden antipiracy program on consumers' computers. Not only did the program itself open up a security hole on computers, but the method Sony BMG originally recommended for removing the software also damaged computers. The settlements, announced Tuesday, cover lawsuits over CDs loaded with one of two types of copy-protection software: MediaMax or XCP.