Wolfgang Bernhard may or may not be in the running for a new job since being denied the leadership of Mercedes-Benz by DaimlerChrysler AG. But he's definitely running. An industry source recently spotted Bernhard in a pack of runners at a half-marathon in Ann Arbor, Mich. He "looked very relaxed" and was accompanied by two companions who called him by his first name, the source said. Official race results list Wolfgang Bernhard, 43, of Auburn Hills, Mich., as finishing the 13.1-mile course in 1:46:04 - averaging just over eight-minute miles. That's not as fast as he might have covered it in an 850-hp Chrysler ME Four-Twelve, but it's respectable.
TALK ABOUT HORSEPOWER - Seabiscuit, legendary racehorse of the Great Depression, and Smarty Jones, the horse that came close to winning the Triple Crown June 5, had a lot in common, commentators note. The two reddish colts were unlikely champions that overcame humble backgrounds and serious injuries to captivate the masses. Often overlooked is this tie: Both belonged to car dealers. Seabiscuit's owner was Charles Howard, who started out selling Buicks in California. Smarty is owned by Philadelphia-area multifranchise dealer Roy Chapman and his wife, Pat. Despite all the free publicity Smarty spurred, one Chapman Auto Group employee confided last week that sales haven't risen: "People were more interested in the horse than in horsepower."
SACRE BLEU! SUVs could be banned from the streets of Paris after a top government official described them as a polluting "caricature of a car" unsuited to city life. The city council last week passed an anti-SUV resolution that could lead to a ban in about 18 months if it is included in a project to improve the city's traffic flow, Deputy Mayor Denis Baupin said. Baupin explained to a European radio station why SUVs should not be allowed on the streets. "We have no interest in having SUVs in the city," he said. "They're dangerous to others and take up too much space."
HYBRID BID - The Internet offers further proof of the popularity of the Toyota Prius. A search last week of online auction site eBay showed one consumer, identified as george2401, was willing to sell his or her place on a dealership's waiting list. Bidding was to start at $500. The seller is locked in to buy the gasoline-electric hybrid for $21,000 but no longer wants it. "You can literally sell this car for thousands more than you pay for it," the ad says. Toyota has a list of 20,000 customers waiting to buy a Prius.