Some familiar faces at NADA
Several Chrysler Corp. alumni made the rounds last week at the NADA convention in San Francisco. Lee Iacocca pedaled around signing dealers for his EV Global electric bike; Joe Cappy, who came to Chrysler via American Motors, is developing the Thrifty Car Sales franchise for used cars. (See stories on Page 59.) And Dick Recchia, who was a Chrysler exec before heading Mitsubishi Motor Sales of America Inc., is working with Detroit-based Urban Science, a retail distribution think tank.
PASS IT ON - Maybe it was the rainy weather in San Francisco, or maybe it was all the talk about industry consolidation and other weighty issues, but humor at the NADA convention was leaner than usual. The worst joke we heard: What will be the first Ford-Volvo joint project? The Moose-stang. Such a vehicle certainly would end up in the Henry Ford Moose-eum.
SMALL TOWN, BIG PARTY - Saturn Corp. plans to have its new L-series sedan and wagon on the market before July 30, when the company is hosting its second Saturn Homecoming in Spring Hill, Tenn. The automaker will mail 2 million invitations to the two-day event later this month. It expects about 60,000 owners to come.
CAN YOU TOP THIS? - Last year, when Dave Mungenast, president of Dave Mungenast Automotive Family in St. Louis was installed as the 1998 chairman of the American International Automobile Dealers Association, he rode to the podium on a motorcycle. At this year's meeting on Monday, Feb. 8, AIADA President Walter Huizenga told his members and guests that Mungenast's motorcycle entrance was tough to top. So he told them that he and the 1999 chairman, Joseph O'Brien, president of O'Brien Automotive Team, were engaged. True, but not to each other. Huizenga and O'Brien introduced lovely ladies as their fiancees at the luncheon meeting. Huizenga takes the plunge May 1. And, if everything went as planned, O'Brien is no longer engaged - he's a husband. His wedding was scheduled for yesterday, Valentine's Day. Congratulations!