Glorious news for the Gloria
The Nissan Cedric/Gloria twin sedans have won one of Japan's two 'car of the year' awards for 1998-99. The Japan Automotive Researchers and Journalists Council also chose Nissan's Extroid continuously variable transmission as the top technology and the Peugeot 206 as top import. A rival group, the Japanese Car of the Year Committee, will release its awards later this month.
HUMVEES FOR SALE? HUMPH! Usually the military scraps its Humvees when they get too old. But last week, hundreds of the used military sport-utilities, originally from the U.S. Marines, came on the civilian market at Manheim Auctions in Atlanta and Riverside, Calif. Humvee manufacturer AM General Corp. objects to the resale of Humvees to civilians, but the Marines are permitted to resell the vehicles, said AM General spokesman Craig MacNab. AM General, however, will not supply parts for the vehicles. 'We don't feel the general public should be using those vehicles in a highway context,' MacNab said. The South Bend, Ind., company is not worried about the older, no-frills Humvees stealing business from AM General's civilian version, the Hummer. 'It's going to be very noisy and very drafty and not what consumer Hummer owners are used to at all,' MacNab said.
SWAN SONG? The Automotive Hall of Fame has named General Motors Chairman Jack Smith as its 1999 Automotive Industry Leader of the Year. Smith, rumored to be retiring next year, will be honored during a ceremony at the Swan Hotel in Orlando, Fla., on Jan. 23, during the National Automobile Dealers Association's convention. Oddly, the Hall of Fame's past two honorees announced their retirements just months after receiving the award: Dana Corp.'s Woody Morcott (1998) and Ford Motor Co.'s Alex Trotman (1997).
GOING THE COURSE - BMW enthusiasts Bruce and Susan Baicar of Crofton, Md., were the first customers to take delivery of a vehicle at the automaker's Performance Center in Spartanburg County, S.C. The Baicars have owned four BMW motorcycles and recently bought their eighth BMW car, a yellow 2000 M coupe. They took part in a new delivery program that includes a briefing on their car's features, a factory tour, customized instruction on the center's driving school course and a trip to the BMW Zentrum museum.