Ghosn clears language hurdle
Two days after announcing a drastic restructuring plan for Nissan Motor Co., Carlos Ghosn offered yet another reminder that he doesn't let obstacles stand in his way. An accomplished linguist, Ghosn read a lengthy opening speech at Nissan's Tokyo Motor Show press conference entirely in Japanese.
LS EXCLUSIVE - NBC's 'Dateline' has been known to give carmakers fits with some of its past industry reports. But lucky Lincoln! The program is readying a segment on the making of Lincoln's LS commercials. Mike Belitsos, executive vice president and executive creative director at Lincoln's ad agency, Y&R in San Francisco, went to London Oct. 15. He was interviewed at the Mill, the production house that handled the special effects and animation. A Lincoln spokesman says a senior producer of the show decided to do the segment after seeing the commercials. The segment is expected to run in a month to six weeks.
SHOOT FROM THE LIP - DaimlerChrysler dealers 'love the Ford Retail Network.' Well, at least some do, says John MacDonald, DaimlerChrysler's senior vice president for sales and service. The reason: DaimlerChrysler dealers have picked up about 3.5 points of market share in the Tulsa, Okla., area since Ford Motor Co. began experimenting there with a Ford Auto Collection consolidation effort. The shoot-from-the-lip executive, in Washington Oct. 14 to talk about his company's Five Star dealer improvement and promotion program, had some other fun things to say. On General Motors' decision to try its hand at factory ownership of stores, MacDonald said, 'You talk about dumb and dumber!' And about the estimated 8 to 10 percent of DaimlerChrysler's own dealers who won't ever qualify for Five Star status, he said, they 'should probably go sell furniture.'
SPEAK OUT ON SULFUR - They're selling everything else on the Internet. Why not the idea of low-sulfur gasoline? The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers this week will launch a Web site, www.lowsulfurfuel.com. Scheduled to be up and running Tuesday, Oct. 26, the site will enable people who care about sulfur in fuel to track the latest developments. And for those who want to do some personal lobbying, there's a plan to let them click to the EPA and register opinions. The site, brainchild of alliance Vice President Gloria Bergquist, is the latest, high-tech move in a high-stakes chess match between the auto industry and some elements of Big Oil. While carmakers promise they'll try to make vehicles run as clean as regulators want, they say they need clean fuel nationwide to do it. Some oil companies agree, but industry leaders favor a go-slow, regional approach.