Chevrolet is upping the ante in the tug-of-war with Ford over America's favorite vehicles: pickup trucks.General Motors said Monday that its new Chevy Silverado will get 23 miles per gallon on the highway with a 5.3-liter V-8 engine. That's a little better than similarly-equipped competitors from Ford, Chrysler and Toyota. The new trucks also promise more towing power.
That could help the Silverado get closer to unseating Ford's F-Series trucks, which have been the top-selling vehicles in the U.S. for 30 years. GM sold 575,497 Silverados and GMC Sierras – the Silverado's upscale twin – last year. Ford beat that by nearly 70,000 trucks. The Silverado will have a starting price of $23,590 excluding shipping. That's $80 less than Ford's F-150 but $950 more than Chrysler's Ram. The Sierra will start at $24,090.
Feds reviewing Hyundai Sonata
U.S. safety regulators are investigating complaints that the rear suspension frames can rust and fail on Hyundai Sonata midsize cars.The probe affects about 393,000 cars from the 2006 through 2008 model years. The agency says rust in the frame can cause control arm failures. A car's wheel hubs are attached to the control arms. Hyundai said in a statement Monday that it's too early to draw conclusions about the complaints and that no safety defect has been found.
Help for smokers
The Food and Drug Administration says smokers who are trying to quit can safely use over-the counter nicotine gum, patches and lozenges for longer than previously recommended in a move to help millions of Americans kick the habit. Current labels suggest consumers stop smoking or using other products containing nicotine when they begin using the products to help them quit and that they should stop using nicotine replacement products after 12 weeks at most.The federal agency said Monday that the makers of gum and other nicotine replacement products can change the labels that say not to smoke when using the products.
Boston Market is expanding beyond its well-known rotisserie chicken offering for a new meat: ribs.The Golden, Colo.-based chain hopes the ribs, its biggest new food launch in six years, will help bring new customers into its restaurants. It kicked off the launch with a tax-themed ad campaign on Monday with the slogan, “The Big Rib-ate.”
J.C. Penney revamps home departments
J.C. Penney is honing in on its home department as part of a bigger plan to turn its stores into mini-malls of sorts. The struggling department-store chain is unveiling revamped home areas within its stores that feature 20 boutiques that highlight 50 new brands. The areas will include an eclectic mix of items, from $60 Michael Graves' stainless steel teakettles to $1,850 Jonathan Adler “Happy Chic” sofas.
The home areas, which Penney will begin to roll out Friday at 500 of its 1,100 stores, will test CEO Ron Johnson's plan to open separate shops-within-stores for popular designers. The format, which gives department stores more of a mini-mall feel, have been popular at higher-end rivals such as Macy's and Bloomingdale's for years.
College debt worries
High school seniors are more worried about burdensome student-loan debt than about getting into the college of their dreams. That's the upshot of the annual College Hopes and Worries survey from the Princeton Review, a test-preparation and educational services company.Thirty-eight percent of students surveyed listed “level of debt incurred to pay for the degree” as their primary concern.That edged out the top answer the previous three years, which was getting into their preferred school but not being able to afford it or getting enough financial aid. This year, 33 percent listed that as their biggest worry.
The Star’s news services