Ford keeps its eye on the prize
Ford Motor Co., celebrating 100 years of auto racing, is looking for its first trophy. It's a cut-glass punch bowl won by Henry Ford in a race against Alexander Winton. Ford beat Winton on Oct. 10, 1901, in a 25-mile run at a Detroit horse racing track. Ford took home the trophy and kept it until he died in 1947. The punch bowl found its way to a New York art gallery and was eventually sold. 'It's probably being used in someone's kitchen, and we want it back,' Edsel Ford II said in a taped address. No word on how much Ford is willing to pay for the bowl.
SNAP, CRACKLE, POP.COM - Joel Manby is taking the acquisition of his Internet car-buying service, Greenlight.com, by CarsDirect.com in stride, comparing the consolidation among Internet services to the one the cereal industry experienced during the early 20th century. Wait a minute, cereal? Yup. According to Manby, there were more than 300 cereal companies in his hometown of Battle Creek, Mich., around the turn of the last century (the city says that from 1900 to 1910 there were about 80 cereal companies in some stage of development). So, no use crying over spilled milk.
THE TRUTH ABOUT WOMEN - Catch Marion Luna Brem, CEO of Love Chrysler Inc. in Corpus Christi, Texas, on 'Oprah' and 'Larry King Live' when her book hits the market in August. The book, published by Penguin Putnam Publishers Inc., is titled The Seven Truths About Highly Successful Women. Brem qualifies. In 1984, newly divorced with two young sons and fighting breast cancer, Brem landed a sales position at a dealership. Within five years, she bought her first dealership with the help of a partner, whom she quickly paid off. Since then, she has added another dealership, an ad agency and a real estate holding company. Brem, who has won many awards for her achievements, kicks off her 10-city book tour as the keynote speaker at Avon's annual convention in August.
PLEASE PASS THE PICKUP - A grand entrance was staged for DaimlerChrysler execs Dieter Zetsche and Wolfgang Bernhard at the automaker's press dinner Tuesday, Feb. 6, held prior to the opening of the Chicago Auto Show. While journalists were eating an appetizer and listening to Richard Schaum, executive vice president of product development and quality, apologize for Zetsche being late, a redesigned 2002 Dodge Ram pickup came crashing through a wall. The truck sent diners (who turned out to be actors) at one table running for their lives just before it crushed their table and chairs. When the truck came to a stop, out popped Zetsche and Bernhard.
NOT THE END OR THE END-ALL - Yes, there was a dot-com meltdown, but dealers should not interpret that as the end of the technology revolution, futurist and author Daniel Burrus told dealers at the National Automobile Dealers Association convention Tuesday, Feb. 6. Rather, the revolution has just begun. Burrus told dealers that they need not keep up with all the change but learn to take advantage of it. He warned dealers that as they adopt new technologies, they may be getting ahead of some of their customers. Burrus said they should conduct a 'time-travel audit' of customers to determine where they are with technology and how they want to be contacted - e-mail, cell phone, fax or phone. This will continue to be a 'both/and' world, where both old and new technologies are required, he said.