Industry Leader of the Year for third straight year, Eaton continues to guide Chrysler to heights in dollars, profits and sales. He has put the Big 3's perennial sick man on a solid financial footing.
ROBERT EATON/Top CEO, Big 3
Chairman, Chrysler Corp.
Boss on a roll;
A strong leader, he stood up to UAW in engine strike. Product barrage in gear with Durango, LH cars on tap as 1998 models.
WENDELIN WEIDEKING/Top CEO, Europe
Chairman, Porsche AG
Porsche makes legendary sports cars. Under Weideking, it also makes a profit. Boxster is a smash hit. New 911 on the way.
NOBUHIKO KAWAMOTO/Top CEO, Asia
President, Honda Motor Co. Ltd.
Time to salute
a job well done
Honda in 1996: records for worldwide sales and for sales in Japan. Plus a string of winners like the new CR-V and SM-X.
ROY ROBERTS/North American Division Executive
General manager, Pontiac-GMC
Started with 2, made them 1
He has welded two independent divisions into a strong single entity. His cars are hot, and he's taking GMC upscale.
MICHAEL BASSERMANN/European Import Executive
President, Mercedes-Benz of North America Inc.
is a 'hip' shop
Alabama; M class. Whatever happened to stodgy old Mercedes-Benz? Bassermann has helped Americanize the U.S. firm.
YALE GEISZL/Asian Import Executive
Executive vice president, Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.
He stands up
Low-key but forceful, he expands Toyota's U.S. position, and he's fighting Wayne Huizenga's Toyota franchise acquisitions.
General manager, Toyota Division
Camry's on top
in car sales
Won a price cut for the Camry, and now it is the car sales leader. Pushes CSI program to eliminate arrogance of dealers.
Executive vice president, Mercedes-Benz of North America Inc.
Image is new;
A 'fun' Mercedes? You bet. The ads are grabbers. He's shown that you can re-invent the image without scratching the marque.
President, Nissan Motor Corp. U.S.A.
He's a friend
of Mr. K
Ads are solid, brought Nissan a new image. The 'Mr. K' spots acclaimed. Nissan sales edge upward, and that's the real test.
EDSEL FORD II/Finance
President, Ford Motor Credit Co.
vehicles in '96
Heads biggest captive finance company. Got dealers involved and achieved quantity and quality results.
Chief engineer, Vehicle Development Center II, Toyota Motor Corp.
Profits roll in
for new Camry
He made Camry bigger and better for less money. Estimated saving is $3,000 per car. Profits roll in, and quality remains high.
Head of design department; Mercedes-Benz AG
the new era
Sacco and his young designers have redefined the look and feel of Mercedes with their SLK, their M class and their A class.
DENNIS PAWLEY, Manufacturing
Executive vice president, manufacturing, Chrysler Corp.
He's the manufacturing All-Star for the third year in a row. Chrysler's comeback in quality is a major story of 1997.
Executive vice president, procurement and supply, Chrysler Corp.
an All Star
An All Star six straight times in the purchasing category. New program has 14 suppliers analyzing Chrysler's warranty costs.
RON GOLDSBERRY/Parts and Service
Vice president, parts and service, Ford Motor Co.
Doing it better
for 70 million
His job is to make service repairs better, cheaper and more convenient for Ford's 70 million customers worldwide.
JAMES HEBE/Truck Operations
Chairman, Freightliner Corp.
He will build
Set up the deal to purchase Ford's heavy-truck business. Freightliner has much to gain and almost nothing to lose.
STEVE YOKICH/Labor Relations
for union jobs
Tough battler to save jobs in era of Big 3 cost-cutting. Chrysler and General Motors have felt the sting of his walkout lash.
STEVE HARRIS/Public Relations
Director of public relations, Chrysler Corp.
He heads a responsive, accessible operation. Harris is a professional - and he gets a ton of good press for his company.
LOU HUGHES/International Operations
President, International Operations, General Motors
The world is
Sets example for rest of GM. Invading China at an incredible pace. Has world-car plan with one-stop worldwide purchasing.
H. WAYNE HUIZENGA/Dealer of the Year
Chairman, Republic Industries Inc.
to the biggest
A year ago, he owned no dealerships. Today, he heads the biggest dealer group with annual sales of more than $5 billion.
KENNETH WAY/Tier 1 Supplier
Chairman, Lear Corp.
Lear is biggest independent original-equipment supplier in North America ($4.4 billion in 1996), and company keeps growing.
H. WAYNE HUIZENGA/Retail Revolutionary
Chairman, Republic Industries Inc.
His year-old colossus preaches a whole new way of retailing cars as the industry watches, waits and bites its nails.