Eclipse ragtop is 100% ragtop
In your March 13 story about the 2001 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder and Montero sport-utility, the reporter's reference to 'chop-top work' and an ASC 'assembly line' near our manufacturing facility in Illinois may have left your readers with the wrong impression about the new Spyder.
Like the previous-generation Spyder, the new one was designed from the ground up to be a convertible, and it is built alongside the coupe at the Mitsubishi Motor Manufacturing of America plant in Normal, Ill.
This is no 'chop-top' operation.
ASC is a supplier to Mitsubishi Motor Manufacturing by building the Spyder's top in a new facility near our plant and shipping to our assembly line, where the tops are installed in the convertibles.
Director of Communications
Mitsubishi Motor Sales of America
Let GM stylists do their job
I am writing in response to your Feb. 21 article, 'New Calif. studio is in GM's mainstream.'
Another new design studio is all GM needs.
With 12 of them around the world and closure of the one in Thousand Oaks, Calif., why another?
The 2000 Chevrolet Impala and Cadillac DeVille, which cost millions in design and tooling, appear to be but college designs.
Again, millions were spent retooling the slightly new Seville, and there is virtually no visible difference. (Who invented design conservatism anyway?)
And the ho-hum Saturn L series is a new model with a warmed-over Camry appearance.
The Saturn S series is ho-hum, OK. GM is running body styles much too long.
Remember, design sells.
The original Saturn was inspired by a commission given in the early 1980s to Advance Design Studio I at the GM Technical Center in Warren, Mich.
The goal was to design a 100-mpg vehicle in a team effort with the engineering staff.
The 100-mpg car with a five-speed transmission was a huge success. It was driven from Warren, Mich., to New York and achieved an astounding 105 mpg. It later became the Saturn, without the good mpg.
GM has gifted designers; just let them design and make decisions.
Daytona Beach, Fla.
The writer is a GM design staff retiree. He was director of studio engineering activities in Advance Design Studio I.
Makers unwise to cut tech pay
I can only hope that the manufacturers read Donald Hall's Feb. 28 Comment column on cutting technicians' pay on warranty work.
His observations are right on the money.
The increased technology in new vehicles is making it more difficult to find qualified service technicians.
Current qualified service technicians are truly professionals. Many are the products of programs that Hall mentioned, such as Ford's Automotive Service Student Education Training program.
They deserve to be compensated fairly by their dealerships.
The only way that can continue to happen is for their dealerships to be compensated fairly by the manufacturers.