Bulls, bears and Jaguars
A British pop music group named bond drove a Jaguar XKR convertible up the steps of the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday, March 21. (OK, they drove it up a ramp.) The photo-op kicked off the U.S. release of their album, Born, already a hit in Europe. Think Spice Girls set to quasi-classical music. Don't take the classical music angle too seriously, though; their stage names are Haylie, Eos, Tania and Gay-Yee. Despite a driving rain, Simon Sproule, spokesman for Jaguar Cars North America, summed up the experience with dry humor: 'Unfortunately, it was the only market rally all day.'
REPORT CARD - At the Friday, March 23, taping of a Detroit-area TV show, Neil De Koker, managing director of the Original Equipment Suppliers Association, was asked to give a letter grade to supplier relations with each of the automakers. De Koker's report card: Honda and Toyota each get an A; General Motors gets a B; Ford gets a C; and the Chrysler group gets a D. At least nobody failed.
ELDORADO ENDGAME? Many believe Cadillac will kill the venerable Eldorado name when production of the current version ends in summer 2002. What does Cadillac say? 'It remains to be seen if the Eldorado will be continued,' spokesman Kevin Smith said Thursday, March 22. And if the luxury coupe survives, he said, it may not be called Eldorado: 'The nomenclature for the entire future lineup has not yet been defined.' Cadillac has been moving to initials rather than names - DTS for DeVille Touring Sedan, for instance - as it revamps its line. One possibility: Smith said the Cadillac roadster planned for the 2003 model year 'could fit in the niche' occupied by Eldorado.
MODEL EMPLOYEE RETIRES - The star of Volvo's Cross Country TV commercials has given up an acting career to devote time to a conservation issue. TIA, a model sea turtle made of latex and fiberglass, is retiring from Volvo Cars of North America Inc. and will help the Caribbean Conservation Corp. promote the protection of endangered sea turtles. 'We have all enjoyed the job TIA did for Volvo,' said Bob Austin, Volvo's director of marketing communications. 'The CCC is a leader in the area of sea turtle conservation, and we know they will give her a good home.'