Chrysler group executives are emphasizing the bicultural aspects of the Chrysler Crossfire, which they say combines American design with German engineering. It is scheduled to go on sale in 2003 with about 40 percent Mercedes-Benz components. At the Geneva motor show, Chrysler group CEO Dieter Zetsche said the Crossfire is what happens when Route 66 meets the autobahn. Chrysler even had a sign that looks as if it were made for an ad.
LAYING RUBBER - Despite the dispute between Ford Motor Co. and Bridgestone/Firestone over Ford Explorer tires, the tires are being used in Ford Field, the new stadium for the Detroit Lions. The gridiron will have a playing surface made partly of rubber from the recalled tires. Hey, maybe the turf will bounce the Lions into a winning season - after all, it was used in the practice field of Super Bowl champs New England Patriots.
SUV LUV - They met on the set and fell in love. But it's not your typical Hollywood romance. This is the story about two GMC engineers who starred in TV commercials. John Dagg, engi-neer for the Yukon, and Laura Rossman, engineer for the Envoy, met last summer while on a GMC commercial shoot in Cal-gary, Alberta. The two hit it off, began dating and were engaged in January. They plan to marry July 19. No word yet which vehicle the couple will take to drive into the sunset.
SMALL IS UNAMERICAN - It's a good thing for smart, the small European car from DaimlerChrysler, that more people don't watch live congressional debates on cable TV. On Wednesday, March 13, Senate Minority Leader Trent Lott criticized the smart as the kind of unsafe, econobox that Americans would drive if lawmakers passed sharply higher fuel-economy standards. "I don't want every American to have to drive this car," he said on camera. DaimlerChrysler spokesman Stuart Schorr said: "It was one of the more comical moments" of the fuel-economy debate.
UP AGAINST THE WALL - Last week the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety said the 2002 Kia Sedona performed worse than any other minivan ever put through its bumper crash tests. According to the institute, the worst damage - $4,305 - occurred when the minivan was driven into a flat barrier. Kia spokesman Geno Effler's response? "They are running these cars into a 325,000-pound concrete barrier with about 3 inches of steel on the front of it. It's not reflective of the real world at all."