Lutz has his wings clipped, eyes options
Chrysler Corp. Vice Chairman Bob Lutz, who will retire July 1, said his flying days are over, at least on Chrysler's jet. Lutz said he has been preparing himself for this day by not using the company jet on business trips as much as he could have. Plus, he always reminded himself that the jet was only a temporary privilege, not a right. 'If you keep telling yourself that, you can find the transition (to commercial airlines) easier,' he said. But unsatisfactory service out of Detroit has Lutz considering another air travel option. He is investigating Net Jets, an organization that offers the chance to buy a one-sixteenth or one-eighth slice of several types of aircraft. 'I'm in the process of working out my monthly after-tax cash flow, and will decide whether we can afford a Net Jet solution or not,' Lutz said.
JAG JUNKET - Buy a Jaguar XK8 and get a gift. The direct-mail promotion celebrates the 50th anniversary of the XK nameplate. Buy the $65,480 coupe by Oct. 2 and Jaguar springs for a four-night stay anywhere in the world at a participating hotel. Or consumers can choose a $1,000 shopping spree at Neiman Marcus. The promotional letter gives the name, address and phone number of the nearest participating Jaguar dealer. There is no mention of anything extra for buyers of the $70,480 XK8 convertible.
MOVE OVER, ROVER - The Robb Report's 1998 Best of Best list in the automotive category held one surprise. The Mercedes-Benz ML320 ousted the Range Rover as best luxury sport-utility, even though the M class costs about half as much as the Range Rover. The Mercedes-Benz S600 was named best luxury car. Ferrari also captured two spots. The 550 Maranello was named best exotic car, and the 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO was named the best investor-collector car. Porsche's 911 Carrera completed the auto list as best sports car.
JEEP GETS A JUMP - Chrysler Corp. is getting a six-month jump on its competitors by unveiling its redesigned 1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee on June 16 in Detroit's Cobo Center. It is billed as the first press conference of the 1999 North American International Auto Show. 'We just couldn't wait until next January,'said Chairman Bob Eaton. 'So we simply asked that the auto show calendar be moved ahead by six months to accommodate this special announcement.'