Davidson Motor Co. of Gettysburg in Gettysburg, Pa., is moving off hallowed ground. The Ford and Lincoln-Mercury store, on land where first-day fighting took place in the battle of Gettysburg in 1863, will move to a site about 3 miles away after more than 35 years at its current location. This month, owner Bob Davidson broke ground for a new store that will open in September. The existing store, which will be bulldozed, has "a lot of ghosts," Davidson says. "One hundred fifty-three men were killed on the first day of battle, where we sit," he says. "They'll be very happy when we leave."
SHOW ME THE REBATE -- Missouri lawmakers are kicking around a new kind of customer rebate. House Bill 532 proposes exempting all Missouri-made vehicles from the 4.225 percent state sales tax when sold inside the state. Specifically, that would mean a transaction price break for the Ford Explorer, Lincoln Aviator, Mercury Mountaineer, Dodge Ram pickup, Chrysler and Dodge minivans, Chevrolet Express van and Malibu, GMC Savana and Pontiac Grand Prix. On a $30,000 vehicle, a consumer would save about $1,250. There's no word on the likelihood of the bill passing. One source says General Motors has expressed concern that such an exemption would irritate retailers in neighboring states.
CURBSIDE SERVICE -- A lone picketer stood outside the Detroit-area hotel where the Society of Automotive Analysts had gathered Tuesday, March 15, to hear Malcolm Bricklin talk about plans to export Chinese cars to the United States. The protester carried an American flag and a sign that read: "Cheap labor in China. No labor in USA." Bricklin "thought he deserved more than just one protester," Automotive Hall of Fame President Jeffrey Leestma told the crowd. Then Bricklin "took him a hot cup of coffee and completely disarmed him. In a nutshell, that explains Malcolm Bricklin."
SEMPER NO TO MARINES -- A UAW policy banning import-brand vehicles and those with pro-Bush bumper stickers from parking at the UAW's Solidarity House headquarters in Detroit turned into a PR headache last week. It turns out some of the vehicles were owned by Marine reservists who had been allowed to park in the lot. UAW President Ron Gettelfinger tried to mend fences. He apologized for making a "wrong call" and told the reservists they could park there. Lt. Col. Joe Rutledge, commanding officer of the Marine Corps Reserve Center in Detroit, was glad Gettelfinger had changed his decision, but told the Detroit Free Press: "We've already made other arrangements to park elsewhere."