Penske - then, now - class
Thank you for the outstanding profile on Roger Penske in your Jan. 17 issue.
I find it quite interesting that Penske's 'toughest day in business' was related to managing auto service and the Kmart service centers. I believe service managers throughout the country would certainly agree with his assessment that considerable retail experience is necessary to manage successfully 'places where you have $6.50-an-hour labor.'
The management challenges relating to entry-level labor often are the most difficult aspects of the service business. Penske is in good company. When he figures it out, I hope he'll let us know.
Ironically, I met Penske many years ago when I was a near-minimum-wage employee assigned to the paddock security gate at Laguna Seca Raceway near Monterey, Calif., during a Ford Motor Co. test session in the original Trans Am racing days.
My instructions were simple: 'A guy named Roger Penske will try to get in. Don't let him in.'
Penske and another man arrived and proceeded to bluff their way past me. Penske is a very persuasive man.
He apologized to me later in the day. Penske was then and is now an absolute class act.
American Honda Motor Co.
The Penske profile did not appear in all editions of the Jan. 17 issue.
Audio gear: An opportunity
Over the decades, auto manufacturers have lagged behind aftermarket suppliers in audio systems, often by many years. With Detroit's resources and its ability to incorporate technology into design, I would think the automakers would be the forerunners.
In 1967, when I purchased my first cassette player for my car, Detroit was still promoting eight-track units produced by Lear. An in-dash cassette wasn't available from a major automaker until years later. That lack of foresight created a vast aftermarket industry to provide the equipment customers wanted.
Now, Detroit and even aftermarket suppliers are promoting VHS players for minivans and sport-utilities as the latest technology. Actually, an in-dash DVD player could easily be incorporated into an in-dash DVD-CD in place of the current CD. It would save space.
I know that the automakers face greater challenges than the audio equipment they provide. But this is an area in which consumers can see advanced technology, which reflects on their overall impressions of the manufacturers and their products.
The writer is a consumer consultant.
Look again; it isn't Marilyn
The 'Marilyn Monroe' impersonator photo on Page 52 of your Jan. 31 issue must have the real Marilyn spinning in her grave. My cat looks more like Norma Jean than the person in the photo.
Worse, though, is my suspicion that long-dead editors are likewise spinning in their graves over the sentence construction in the cutlines. Just what does 'compared diamonds and lost with the wife ...' mean?
Edison Electric Institute