For Nissan execs, it's payback time
Nissan Motor Co.'s revival is paying dividends for the carmaker's employees - literally. More than 500 senior
employees received stock options, generally in the form of warrant bonds, when Carlos Ghosn's Nissan Revival Plan was put in place. The idea was to give executives a personal incentive to implement the restructuring. Nissan just unveiled its best first-half earnings in a decade, and those executives are cashing in. So far, those stock options represent a paper profit of about $140 million at current exchange rates. Even spread among 500 managers, that averages out to almost $280,000 each.
DOES IT DO DISHES? A company known for engineering reliable cars last week unveiled an experimental humanlike robot, dubbed Asimo, which dances, waves and is programmed from a hand-held remote control. Actually, the Honda Motor Co. robot's first job will be greeting corporate clients or customers at Honda showrooms. Eventually, researchers hope, Asimo will become a companion and helpmate.
NONELECTION SPECIAL - As the nation waited to hear the official results of the Nov. 7 presidential election, a Morrison, Colo., advertising agency began pitching a 'No Presidents Day Sale' campaign to dealer clients. Interested dealers could advertise that 'cheapskate Democrats can get `0' down' while 'tightwad Republicans can have fiscally conservative 2.9 percent financing' as long as the election hung in the balance. Mark DeBauge of Mark Time Advertising Inc.'s production company, So Cool, said he dreamed up the print campaign 'probably 36 hours after the election.' Visuals included a scene of Mount Rushmore ... with the faces of the presidents whited out.
WE'RE NO. 2 - Car dealers are no longer at the top of the annual complaints' survey conducted by the National Association of Consumer Agency Administrators and the Consumer Federation of America. They're No. 2, right behind home improvement services. Not bad, considering dealers topped the list for eight years in a row.
CIVIC PRIDE - Honda Motor Co.'s new Civic has captured both of Japan's competing car of the year awards. The Civic and two derivative models, the Ferio sedan and Stream compact minivan, won the 2000-2001 Car of the Year Japan award in competition with 20 other vehicles launched since Nov. 1, 1999. The award is based on voting by more than 50 automobile critics, journalists and opinion leaders. The Toyota Celsior, known as the Lexus LS430 in the United States, came in second and the Subaru Impreza third. The Mercedes C class was selected as the Import Car of the Year, with the Ford Focus second. Separately, the Automotive Researchers & Journalists Conference of Japan gave the Civic and Ferio its 2001 Car of the Year award. The Volkswagen Polo was named Import Car of the Year.