Ike, not Clinton, was Detroit's first
On Page 1 of your Jan. 11 issue, you said President Clinton was the first U.S. president to visit the Detroit auto show.
That is not correct. President Eisenhower visited the National Auto Show, which was held in Detroit in October 1960. He addressed industry executives at the auto show dinner on Oct. 17, 1960.
Vince Whibbs Pontiac-GMC
Reader Patterson was with the Chevrolet show and display department at that time. He helped prepare a gift of 12 fishing flies, which was presented to President Eisenhower when he visited the Chevrolet exhibit.
Forum suggested on title bills
Regarding the article on Page 6 of your Jan. 25, issue, 'NADA packs new ammo to stop title washing':
I am very familiar with the salvage bill that is being supported by insurance companies and the National Automobile Dealers Association. Who supplied the information for your article?
It says that the bill:
Requires rebuilt salvage vehicles to be safety inspected. The bill has no such requirement.
Covers vehicles '7 years old or newer.' The bill refers to vehicles that are 6 model years old or less (the average vehicle on the road is approximately 8.5 years old).
Permits complying states to 'exceed federal rules.' That is incorrect. For example, a state would be denied the federal funds if it called 7-model-year-old vehicles 'salvage' or 90 percent damage vehicles 'nonrebuildable' or all vehicles with water over the door sill 'flood' vehicles.
Dealers would be surprised and appalled at the defects in the bill.
For one example, dealers surely desire a uniform federal bill, requiring brands to be preserved in all states on all titles; the consumer groups' bill would do that, but the NADA-supported bill would apply only in those states that 'opt in.' That would obviously not stop title washing or VIN switching.
I suggest that you sponsor a discussion on this issue that would include car dealers, insurance companies, and consumer groups. (Perhaps these parties could even show Congress how to hold a civil and constructive discussion.)
You could then report firsthand what the advocates explain about the legislative proposals, helping your readers to make their own informed judgments.
BERNARD E. BROWN
Kansas City, Mo.
The writer is an attorney who has worked with consumer groups that are proposing title-branding legislation.
Caddy? Lincoln? Trucks don't fit
So Caddy leapfrogs Lincoln by 222 cars to be the sales winner in the luxury class. And Cadillac did it by very astute advertising and, of course, the new Escalade.
But still, don't you have a problem getting out the words 'Cadillac truck' or 'Lincoln truck'? Do those words roll off your tongue in the normal way? I still have a problem with 'Hudson truck,' although it was a factory-produced model from 1935 to 1948.
But what else will be coming in the next millennium? An Impala limousine? A Focus minivan? A Honda roadster?
RODNEY J. HOBBS
Owings Mills, Md.
Lincoln scores with Blackwood
I enjoyed your Jan. 11 article on the Lincoln Blackwood. Charles Child's comment that Lincoln is making up its own rules rather than trying to match its competitors solidifies the need for more skillful marketing strategies.
In such a highly competitive environment, each automaker must make its own rules and set its own standards to generate customer enthusiasm and separate itself from the pack.
I hope to see more uniqueness in vehicle design, brand management strategy and automobile advertising in the next millennium.
ETHEL T. OLCSVAY
East Brunswick, N.J.
The writer is a research scientist with Bristol-Myers Squibb.
World Congress: An Ol' Boys Club?
Regarding your 'who's who' photo spread on Page 48 of the Jan. 18 issue: Is that really the Automotive News World Congress or a gathering of the Ol' Boys network?
I find it highly discouraging that you weren't able to find one single female industry leader in the entire WORLD present to feature in the spread. I just haven't decided yet which is more archaic - Crain Communications or the auto industry itself.
The writer works in the brand strategy and communications department of an import-car company.
Hooray for Mays and new T-bird
A word of thanks to J Mays. He is the best thing to happen to Ford Motor Co. since Red Poling.
Mays knows you do not need costly rebates and incentives when you design and build desirable products.
I already have 17 advance retail orders for the new Thunderbird.