Nissan Division is gushing over its 'Mr. K' ad campaign. Nissan was the top-rated car company, ahead of Saturn Corp., in a survey for 'top-of-mind advertising likability,' says Tom Orbe, marketing vice president. Not only that, Nissan overtook milk for the No. 3 spot for all categories nationwide, behind Budweiser and Pepsi, Orbe says.
IN THE NAME OF RESEARCH - Heinz Prechter, founder of ASC Inc. of Southgate, Mich., sure knows how to test a new car. On Aug. 9 Prechter was clocked at 110 mph while zipping through a 45 mph zone in Southgate at 10: 35 a.m., according to Southgate police. The Detroit Free Press reported that Prechter was driving a Mitsubishi sports car prototype and wanted to show a companion what the car could do. 'I've never done something so dumb and got caught. I will face my day in court,' he said. Police said Prechter was ticketed for reckless driving, which carries a mandatory court appearance.
DeLOREAN REVS UP AGAIN - You thought maybe John Z. DeLorean was past his prime? Hah! The 72-year-old headline maker says he's working on a new car venture. The vision is ... well ... breathtaking - even for him. DeLorean says he's working with aerospace and race car people to develop low-cost, high-performance cars, including a mini sport-utility, a roadster and a gull-wing sports car. Not a slow sports car either: zero to 60 mph in 3.2 seconds - much faster than a Porsche Twin Turbo. Cost? Starting under $18,000. DeLorean says he's talking with two major Japanese banks, and his factory will have a system 'three steps beyond' the one conceived by Inaki Lopez. Not only that, he says he'll be producing cars in less than five years, and he wants to build 105,000 units annually. The only thing missing is the 100 mpg carburetor.
OLDS-FASHIONED REPORTING - U.S. News & World Report in its Aug. 11 issue ripped Oldsmobile for not making a bigger splash about the automaker's 100th anniversary. The article included a picture supposedly of an old Olds, undoubtedly placed to mock the marque's aging demographics. Oops. Turns out the picture was of a 1940s-era Chrysler Town & Country.
CENTENNIAL TRAIL - Oldsmobiles of all shapes and models will be traveling this week. They're on their way to Lansing, Mich., for a four-day party to celebrate Olds' 100th anniversary. More than 2,000 Oldsmobiles are registered to be on display, representing every production year except 1907, 1914, 1918 and 1946. They are registered from every state except Alaska and Mississippi. Owners from as far away as England and Italy are shipping their vehicles. The party starts Wednesday, Aug. 20. Events range from car displays to a party on Aug. 21 to a grand finale concert featuring country singers Randy Travis and Tammy Wynette. Oldsmobile is the first American car company to celebrate 100 years in business.