Names & faces
Here's a look at some of the people who made news this year.
Octogenarian Lutz thumps Colbert
Bob Lutz was hawking his book, Car Guys vs. Bean Counters, in April on "The Colbert Report" when the talk turned to fitness. The push-up contest that followed ended with the red-faced, exhausted Stephen Colbert catching his breath and watching his 80-year-old guest keep pumping them out, barely breaking a sweat at the 40-plus mark.
Photo credit: MELISSA MAJCHRZAK
Former NBA superstar Karl Malone's Toyota store near Salt Lake City features a sports and entertainment museum, an arcade and a game room for kids. Looking for The Mailman at the dealership? Don't try the office. He's usually out signing autographs or maybe playing video games with a service customer.
'W' at NADA convention
As the closing speaker at the National Automobile Dealers Association convention, former President George W. Bush defended approving the bridge loans that kept General Motors and Chrysler Group alive during the 2008 U.S. financial crisis. At left is Stephen Wade, NADA's 2011 chairman.
In Munich last summer Toyota President Akio Toyoda, left, and BMW CEO Norbert Reithofer agreed that their companies will work together on an "environmentally friendly" sports car, as well as on fuel cells, electric vehicle components and lightweight materials.
Immigrant success story
The last time Gus Machado set foot in his native Cuba, in January 1960, he sold two used Chevrolets he had ferried across from Florida: a 1950 and a 1951. Machado got his money, then took the ferry to Key West. These days, Machado still puts in 12- to 15-hour days at his two Miami-area Ford dealerships.
Photo credit: ROGER HART
Crash and learn
Hard-charging Scott Painter, the founder of TrueCar Inc., persevered in a tough year. Regulators in several states questioned whether the methods used by TrueCar.com, a Web site that channels shoppers to auto dealers, violated consumer protection laws. Dealers complained that it depressed transaction prices. Painter says TrueCar has been rebuilt as a dealer-friendly operation.