Pure Detroit, an all-things-Detroit store in the Motor City, has added some fashion to car parts. Or car parts to fashion. The store is selling belts made with old seat belt buckles. The unisex belts come in 20 colors and cost $19.99 - except for the Cadillac model, which is $22.
IS EVERYTHING OK UP THERE? -- Sure, life as a supplier is tough. But at least incoming Tower Automotive CEO Kathleen Ligocki is realistic about the challenges. When asked why she was leaving Ford Motor Co., where she was vice president of the customer service division, to run a supplier, Ligocki responded, "Are you checking my sanity?"
NOT OUTSMARTIN' THE MARTEN -- Martens - forest-dwelling weasel-like creatures - are outsmarting German car engineers, says a Reuters report. Martens like to chew through electrical wires and hoses, and the German drivers' association ADAC told Reuters that it records more than 16,000 breakdowns a year because of marten damage. Asked what could be done, a DaimlerChrysler spokesman was at a loss. "Carmakers can't do anything," he said. "There are no cables in the world that are marten-proof, no chemicals to stop them - and anyway, animal protection groups would kick up a fuss."
NEWCOMER FROM BRAZIL? Ford Motor Co. is studying whether to bring the Ford EcoSport, which is assembled and sold in Brazil, to the United States, sources say. The SUV is smaller than the Ford Escape. Importing a truck from Brazil is a touchy subject between the company and the UAW, because the company is negotiating job cuts with the union in national contract talks.
NO HOLDEN BRAND -- Holden vehicles may be sold globally, but the Holden brand won't follow them. That's the word from General Motors about its Australian subsidiary after reports in Europe that the Holden brand would debut there. GM may export Holden Monaros to the United Kingdom, says GM spokesman Tom Kowaleski, but the cars would be badged as Vauxhalls. That follows the pattern in the United States, where the Monaro will be sold as the Pontiac GTO. GM is high on Holden's vehicles and probably will use them to fill gaps in other brands' lineups.