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DR. LUTZ WILL SEE YOU NOW -- Now that all those engineers and vehicle line executives at General Motors report to new Vice Chairman Robert Lutz, he finds himself asked to give opinions on subjects that are far afield from his specialty, sales. GM CEO Rick Wagoner says that when Lutz talks about subjects such as CAD-CAM, Lutz himself refers to it as "practicing without a license."

NEW MODEL ISN'T A CAR - One of BMW's biggest unveilings at the Frankfurt auto show was a daring display building. The colossal freestanding structure, with plastic translucent walls, glowed at night like an oblong white balloon containing a light bulb. BMW design chief Chris Bangle said the automaker intends to use the structure three more times, disassembling it and reconstructing it at other auto shows. "Talk about great design," Bangle marveled. "We'll be giving architectural tours of this thing."

FIRST CLASS? OF COURSE! Mid America Designs, a producer of aftermarket Corvette parts in Effingham, Ill., kicked off a campaign last week for a U.S. postage stamp to mark the 50th anniversary of the Chevrolet sports car. The Corvette turns 50 in June 2003. Illinois Lt. Gov. Corrine Wood was the first signer of the campaign's petition. Although it's a bit younger, a Corvette rival - the Ford Mustang - proved to have more horsepower in the stamp race; a Mustang stamp was issued in 1999.

A MONUMENT TO McCARTHY - The National Automobile Dealers Association has renamed its McLean, Va., headquarters the Frank E. McCarthy Building to honor its former chief executive. McCarthy, who ran NADA for 33 years, died of cancer in February. "The McCarthy Building will serve as a lasting tribute to one of the automobile industry's true leaders," said NADA Chairman Robert Maguire. "Frank accomplished more for the franchised automobile dealer than anyone in history."


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