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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Downtown Spokane dealership down to its last new Saturn

The last new Saturn for sale in Spokane is black, turbo-charged and marked down $7,000. The odometer reads 38 miles. John Agost, general manager of what is now Barton Automotive Downtown, steps into the Sky roadster, turns the key, and a throaty murmur sounds.

Tango remains in high-stakes dance

It was not a great year to be selling an electric car that costs $121,000. Ask Rick Woodbury, the founder of Commuter Cars, the Spokane company that makes and sells the Tango, which costs that much – or more if you want longer-lasting electric batteries. Even so, 2009 was the year Woodbury, 60, opened the doors to possibly winning a $2.5 million prize in a prestigious competition.

Crews finish demolition of Freeman High School

Work crews have finished tearing down the walls of Freeman High School and expect to have a new, improved version ready for the start of school in fall 2010. All that’s left of the old school, near Highway 27 and Jackson Road in south Spokane County, are the main gym and a practice gym.

What might help automakers: Junk the gibberish car names

WASHINGTON — What exactly is a Cadillac DTS or a CTS and how is a Mercedes CLK different from an SLK? More to the point, why do today's carmakers name so many of their products with gibberish seemingly plucked from secure passwords? The sowers of today's confusion, it turns out, were luxury imports such as Audi, Mercedes and BMW. Beginning in the 1970s, their alphanumeric names persuaded American consumers that inscrutable designations like 300 SEL and A8L added prestige worth paying for.

Still in the game

Tuesday was a good day for Ryan Gee. The chief executive officer of Gee Automotive Companies received definitive notice from General Motors that Gee would remain one of the reorganized corporation’s Buick, GMC and Cadillac dealers. GM filed bankruptcy Monday.

Auto dealer sued over B&O tax

A second Spokane County lawsuit against a statewide auto dealer will try to gain class-action status, now that a judge has ruled that passing along the business and occupation tax to customers is illegal. That suit, filed by Spokane residents Theron and Marcia Johnson against Camp Automotive, says the company and its parent, Lithia Motors Inc., of Medford, Ore., illegally added a B&O surcharge to the purchase price of vehicles between 2001 and 2005.

Volkswagen brings show to CdA

Volkswagen representatives say they've long recognized the affluent resort feel of Coeur d'Alene and the surrounding mountain terrain to be a nice fit for their targeted customers, which is why they chose North Idaho for the release of the company's new luxury sport utility vehicle, the Touareg 2. "There's great driving and there's great off-roading, and it's a part of the country that not a lot of people have discovered," said Steve Keyes, public relations general manager for Volkswagen.