Nissan guy flips for the new Z
The reincarnated Z car is set to be one of the highlights on Nissan's stand at the Detroit auto show in January. Bill Kirrane, Nissan Division general manager, dining with a group of journalists last week during the aftermarket show in Las Vegas, said he had just seen the car in Tokyo and had fallen in love with it. Best of all, he said, was news that the convertible version of the Z will be ready the same time as the coupe, rather than trailing behind by nine months or so. The cars are expected to go on sale in mid-2002.
CASE OF THE BLUES - During last week's aftermarket show in Las Vegas, Ford Motor Co. used the House of Blues as the setting to give journalists a sneak peek at a future auto show vehicle. Design chief J Mays, decked out in Ray-Bans and a hat, wanted to play a little engine music for the crowd. But the turn of the key was met with silence. The problem was fixed and the engine roared to life later that evening.
$160-`G' WAGEN - A special-edition Mercedes-Benz Gelaendewagen is on the cover of the over-the-top Neiman Marcus holiday gift catalog. The Dallas-based department store chain offers only 15 units, with a suggested retail price of $160,000 (vs. $135,000 for a 'normal' G-Wagen). The importer is G-Wagen U.S.A. in Santa Fe, N.M. The mail-order catalog started reaching customers last week. Shoppers had better hurry: In September, Neiman Marcus sold 200 special-edition 2002 Ford Thunderbirds in just over two hours.
KELLEY'S CALL - So, who's going to be our next president? Easy, George W. Bush. At least in the eyes of those who drive Audis and BMWs. And Cadillacs, Fords, Toyotas - and just about every other brand out there. Kelley Blue Book last week asked visitors to kbb.com to predict the outcome of the presidential election and share what kind of vehicle they drive. Kelley then sorted the results by vehicle type. So who likes Al Gore? Those who drive Kia, Daewoo and Peugeot vehicles. The survey results are available today, Nov. 6, at kbb.com. But remember, it's totally unscientific.
NURTURING NATURE - The Nature Conservancy has picked General Motors Chairman Jack Smith to help lead its five-year campaign to raise $1 billion to preserve natural habitats worldwide. Smith will serve as co-chairman of the international conservation group's 'Campaign for Conservation' with Philip James, executive vice president of ConAgra Inc., an international food company. Smith has been on the Nature Conservancy's board of governors since 1997. GM will donate $5 million to the current campaign. Since 1994, the automaker has donated $5 million to the group along with 100 trucks for use on Nature Conservancy project sites.