Ford Motor Co. CEO Bill Ford says his team's value management initiative - that's TVM in Fordspeak - is well on its way to helping the automaker and its suppliers trim costs from Ford vehicles. "And contrary to what Pete Pestillo (CEO of Visteon Corp.) says, TVM does not stand for 'Take Visteon's Money.' "
OH, THERE’S JUST ONE MORE THING — John Bergstrom, CEO of Bergstrom Motors in Neenah, Wis., says he always is interested in hearing about stores for sale. But he says closing a deal with a veteran dealer can be unpredictable. Some last-minute demands Bergstrom has encountered: Taking a favorite desk home, throwing a distant parcel of land into the deal and use of a demo vehicle for the next five years.
STILL LAPPING IT UP — Jim Press, COO of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., was a swimmer in college and continues to compete in senior events. That means that when he's on the road, as he was last week for the National Automobile Dealers Association convention in San Francisco, he finds a pool to get in his 4 kilometers a day. Last week, Press, who is in his mid-50s, got his laps in at the University of San Francisco. Press says he used to race in several events. "But now that I'm older, I'm down to the freestyle."
NOT SO SPECIAL AFTER ALL — Christian Peugeot, head of marketing for the Peugeot brand, has been found guilty of misleading advertising, according to sister publication Automotive News Europe. According to the report, a buyer took Peugeot to court, disputing a claim that the 406 Coupe has the best soundproofing in its class. A Paris court ruled that the car's insulation from wind and road noise was nothing special. Peugeot was fined $3,200, but the payment was waived.
GONE TO THE DOGS — Tommy Blair used to sell cars in Paducah, Ky., but today he calls himself semi-retired. According to a story in his local paper, The Paducah Sun, Blair sold his Pontiac-GMC and Lincoln-Mercury dealerships to Paducah Ford owner Larry Stovesand soon after Sept. 11, 2001, and ran a Mazda dealership until Stovesand bought it last month. Blair used to do a lot of TV advertising, letting his dog, Spencer, star in commercials. But Spencer died in 1997 at age 18 and was buried in front of the Pontiac dealership Blair had sold to Stovesand. It seems Spencer was quite the star. Blair told the paper: "Almost every day, somebody asks about him, which is amazing. It's been almost six years, and they remember him better than they do me."
FREE ADVICE — Competition in the industry is tough but fair. That's the assessment from Ford Motor Co. Vice Chairman Allan Gilmour. Speaking at the Automotive Hall of Fame luncheon in San Francisco this month, Gilmour said: "Yes, they do play tough. I've urged a number of them to slow down, but with a notable lack of success."