Land Rover is moving over
By the end of this year, Land Rover North America Inc. will move from a nearly new headquarters in Lanham, Md., to BMW of North America Inc.'s headquarters in Woodcliff Lake, N.J. Land Rover said it will offer to take along all of its 59 headquarters employees. Land Rover's finance, legal and human resources departments moved to New Jersey earlier. BMW spokesman Jack Pitney said the BMW building can accommodate Land Rover, as-is. Parent BMW Group also is saving room for a small team to market the new Rover Mini, which goes on sale in the United States in the fall of 2001.
O'MALLEY TO CADDY? The rumor mill was reporting last week that Mike O'Malley, 48, will succeed John Smith as general manager of Cadillac by the end of this month. Whoever gets the job will not become a corporate vice president, an insider said. Smith is a vice president. O'Malley declined to comment. Asked whether O'Malley would get the job, GM President Rick Wagoner said, 'I can't confirm that.' But, after pausing, he added, 'I can't deny it either.' O'Malley has headed GM's North Central region, which covers nine Midwest states, since GM reorganized its field staff into five regions on Jan. 1, 1999. Before that, he was Pontiac-GMC marketing services manager. O'Malley also has held positions at Cadillac and Buick. (See story, Page 6.)
AVANTI LIVES AGAIN - Avanti Motor Corp. is resuscitating the car that will not die. The fledgling Georgia automaker hopes eventually to re-body up to 300 Chevrolet Camaros a year with fiberglass bodywork designed by Tom Kellogg, a member of Raymond Loewy's original 1963 Studebaker Avanti design team. Coupes will be priced at $69,000, convertibles at $83,000. Company President John Seaton claims to have 12 orders, though the firm has built only two so far. What will happen when GM stops producing the Camaro in 2002? Said Seaton: 'We're dealing with that now.'
FAITH AND FUEL - We've known for a long time that federal fuel economy rules divide people politically. Now, we find, they split people along religious lines as well. A congressional subcommittee opened hearings last week on whether to keep a freeze on the standards, known as CAFE, in effect for a sixth straight year. David Rothbard of the Action Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty testified, saying higher fuel economy rules make vehicles less safe and consequently conflict with the imperative to choose life. However, the Rev. Jim Ball, executive director of the Evangelical Environmental Network, said excessive fuel consumption wastes a God-given resource, creates instability in the Middle East and threatens the planet with global warming. 'We are called to be good stewards,' he said. So, maybe lawmakers do need the wisdom of Solomon.