Card finds it easier to pull his weight
General Motors is serious about getting lean - in more 'weighs' than one. Andrew Card, GM's new chief of its Washington office, is about 30 pounds lighter than he was as president of the former American Automobile Manufacturers Association. After quipping that the stress of shutting down the trade association caused the weight loss, Card 'fessed up: Encouragement from his wife and relentless harassment from an old high school chum, who is now a medical doctor, forced him to admit that 215 pounds was just too much. His method: Give up starches, including bread, potatoes, rice and pasta, and eat more fruits and vegetables. Now if only it were so simple for the company.
A MATTER OF STYLE -Nissan Motor Co. COO Carlos Ghosn is less than happy with Nissan's vehicle designs. All too often, he told a group of foreign reporters in Tokyo, Nissan's styling doesn't live up to the level of performance under the hood. Of Nissan's current lineup, he said, 20 percent were very good designs, 20 percent duds and the remaining 60 percent 'in between.'
Y'ALL COME BACK - Corvette does it. Saturn does it. Now BMW has joined the brands that invite car owners back to the factory for a homecoming. BMW was expecting about 1,000 Z3 owners to show up for last weekend's event at the Spar-tanburg County, S.C., plant. One attraction to driving the Z to South Carolina: BMW promised owners they could spend the weekend zipping around the factory's Performance Center.
SEASONED SUBURBAN - Baltimore Orioles baseball star Cal Ripken Jr. says he's 'very particular' about the products he endorses. A key reason he teamed with Chevrolet in 1995 was that he and the brand have 'similar philosophies,' he explains. Ripken appeared in a Chevy Silverado infomercial last year on cable TV and was in Detroit recently for one of his and Chevy's youth baseball clinics, now in their fourth year. Ripken says his favorite vehicle is his 1995 Chevy Suburban. 'I don't turn my vehicle in every year,' he says. 'It's like your locker room at the ballpark; you keep it a certain way.'