When the Ford StreetKa roadster reaches Europe's showrooms in the spring, it will be available in two versions: plain Streetka and Streetka Luxury. But there will be no Streetka named Desire. A Ford insider told Automotive News Europe that "the potential for headlines" in quoting the 1947 Pulitzer Prize-winning Tennessee Williams play A Streetcar Named Desire had been recognized. "But really," added the insider, "that's about as far as it went."
BUT NOT TOO SCARCE — Ever mindful of the value of scarcity, General Motors will build a limited number of Chevrolet SSR roadster pickups this summer, before switching to 2004 models this fall. Vehicle line executive Tom Wallace says GM has increased its annual volume target for SSR from about 10,000 to 15,000. Setting volume is tricky, he says: "The balance here is we do not want to ruin the halo image. We want there to be more demand than supply."
GOOD FOR THE MIND — Here's something you don't see every day: News that a car dealership is a psychologically healthy place to work. But Dishman Dodge of Spokane, Wash., can claim that honor now that the Washington State Psychological Association has given the dealership its Psychologically Healthy Workplace Award. The association said Dishman Dodge has a number of policies that show it is sensitive to the psychological well-being of employees. Among them: Dishman Dodge pays for employees' children to attend day care at a local hospital if they are ill.
MISTAKEN IDENTITY — Like other designers, Peter Horbury, design director at Ford Motor Co.’s Premier Automotive Group, likes to sketch. So don't be surprised if you see him carrying a book with blank pages. We tell you this so you won't mistake him for someone in another profession - say a man of the cloth - which is what happened during a design forum two weeks ago in Toronto. Horbury told those at the forum he wondered why the people he had passed in a hotel lobby bowed as he walked by. Holding up a black book he had just purchased, he began to understand. "I just bought this," he said, adding that he he was wearing a black suit with a black turtleneck at the time. "I thought, "What on earth is up?' "
SOUTHERN HOSPITALITY – Hyundai Motor Co.'s assault on the North American market may be causing jitters in Detroit, but some Congress members want to welcome the Korean automaker's first U.S. plant to Alabama. A resolution has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives to commend Hyundai for its $1 billion investment and the expected creation of 6,000 jobs.