To cell phoners: Hang up and drive
In his March 29 column, John Teahen calls himself a 'not-with-it news guy,' but this 34-year-old professional strongly echoes his sentiments regarding cell phones and cupholders.
I don't care if a cell phone is an effective way of doing business on the road. I cringe when my peers use them, often in two-ton sport-utilities.
I rode motorcycles (safely) for 10 years. On a bike, you tend to study everything around you and what's behind you. I gave up the motorcycles a couple of years ago, but I am conditioned to knowing what's going on back there.
A truck-driving cell-phone user is a particularly unnerving sight from the driver's seat of my Spitfire. Hang up and drive, people!
They're reckless, not negligent
Great 'Comment' column (March 29) about the inconsiderate drivers who use cell phones while driving.
Those drivers do not signal; they run over the center line; they run stop signs; they run red lights.
There is a difference between negligent driving and reckless driving - those with the cell phones are reckless.
JOSEPH GOODRO, CPA
Metropolitan Community College
'Brand' debate goes back a ways
Keith Crain's column, 'They still don't get it' (April 12), brought back memories of the first Automotive News World Congress, in 1976.
In discussing marketing, a speaker said the concept of makes - the brands of the past - was disappearing. To make his point, he asked, 'What is a Chevrolet? Must be a Chevette Vega Monza Nova Camaro Chevelle Monte Carlo Corvette Chevrolet.'
He implied that Chevrolet had lost its image, but that wasn't too bad, because what is a Ford? A Pinto Mustang Maverick Granada Torino LTD T-bird?
In his column, Crain made the very good point that industry knowledge is not average-customer knowledge. However, even among generally accepted brands, the nature of the beast could be labeled metamorphism.
The Thunderbird, for example, has had many different forms - four-doors, fox frames, etc. - and in its next metamorphosis, it will go back to Square One. What's looming on the horizon? A Thunderbird sport-utility?
The real dilemma centers around some brand names that seem valuable enough to survive product changes when the original begins to lose steam. Sometimes that works (T-bird); sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes it takes weird tangents. The earliest Ford Explorer, I remember, was an end-of-model-year dress-up kit for Ford F-100 pickups.
Whatever results, I believe that even with brand names, the preacher has the seminal answer: '... and there is no new thing under the sun.' (Ecclesiastes 1: 9)
The writer is a retired auto dealer.
Chevy heritage is U.S. heritage
In response to Charles Child's March 15 column, 'Heritage ads can be risky for Chevy,' I ask what is wrong with a car company that has such an American identity that it helps us remember what we stand for and where we came from.
There is also reason to believe that nostalgia is totally 'in.' Oldies radio stations and more and more movies with themes of the past are examples.
I take exception to Child's comment that 'Chevrolet buyers are not expressive people.' I find quite the opposite. Chevy may be lost in the sea of transplants and world market competition, but getting back to the roots does not suggest that Chevy is looking backward.
Growing up with Chevy gave me a piece of America as no other company could - like 'Bonanza,' Lawrence Welk and Andy Williams.
If the truck campaign 'Like a Rock' is so successful, it's because people are buying more trucks, and maybe it's about time that Chevrolet gently suggests -as Forrest Gump did - that we all share a big piece of our American pie. It's right on time.
The writer is a process monitor for General Motors.
Hey, GMAC: Get back to your job
General Motors Acceptance Corp. was created to help General Motors dealers sell GM products. In your Feb. 1 issue, you reported that GMAC has budgeted $1 billion in hopes of picking up a few real estate bargains in Japan.
At the same time, Ford was advertising 0.9 percent financing and a $750 rebate on some models.
When our might-have-been customers drive their new Fords into our dealerships and tell us how much they saved, we GM dealers will be able to take great solace in announcing how nicely GMAC is getting along in Tokyo.
DOUGLAS H. BOOK
Doug Book ChevroletOlds-Buick-Pontiac