Olds' demise has Buick ScramblingOn Jan. 1 Buick and Cadillac will take over the prestigious golf events sponsored by their lame-duck sister division, Oldsmobile. Buick inherits the Oldsmobile Scramble, which attracts some 100,000 amateur golfers annually. Buick, which sponsors the PGA Tour and is the tour's official car, also will take over the PGA of America Club Professional Championship and will become the official car for PGA of America. Cadillac assumes sponsorship of the biennial Ryder Cup Matches, the PGA Championship and the Senior PGA Championship. "The Oldsmobile Scramble, the PGA Championship and the Ryder Cup Matches are great events, but given our current situation, we can't continue our sponsorships beyond this year," said Debra Kelly-Ennis, Oldsmobile general manager.
THE LONG AND SHORT OF IT - George Pipas, sales analysis and reporting manager for Ford Motor Co., said he has never seen such uncertainty about the short-term sales forecast in his 25-year career - nor has he seen such generous incentives. "Usually, we're pretty confident about the short-term forecast; it's the long term that's uncertain," he said. "This time, it's just the opposite."
POWERING UP - Cadillac's all-wheel-drive Escalade offers a 345-hp V-8, one of the most powerful sport-utility engines on the market. But if that's not enough power, you can buy an Escalade with a supercharged 6.0-liter V-8 that cranks out at least 500 hp. The conversion is being offered by Lund Cadillac in Phoenix. Sticker price: $75,000. Lund's Cadillac Escalade XS-500 comes with a non-GM, four-year, 50,000-mile powertrain warranty that the dealership claims is good at any Cadillac dealer, said Martyn Schorr, spokesman for Dyno-Proven Products Inc., which manufactures the supercharger. The XS 500 also sports upgraded brakes, suspension and exhaust as well as special badges and trim. So far, nine have been sold, said Larry Appleby, a Lund salesman. The company will sell just the supercharger and the warranty through Cadillac dealers for $4,299.
TIME WAITS FOR NO ONE - If you think General Motors has been acting more swiftly since hiring John Devine as CFO and Bob Lutz as product guru, you're not alone. Speaking at a dinner meeting in Detroi, GM purchasing chief Bo Andersson had these tongue-in-cheek observations about his new colleagues: "The good thing about them is they are rather old. They don't have a lot of time. They are moving rather fast because they only have a couple of years." Lutz is 69. Devine is 57.