To mark the Cinco de Mayo holiday and the fifth anniversary of the PT Cruiser, the Chrysler group created a 900-pound pinata shaped like a PT Cruiser. Chrysler had the pinata at the Old Town Fiesta in San Diego on April 30, loaded with 1,200 prizes - including keys for a two-year lease on a 2005 Chrysler PT Cruiser.
AT LEAST THEY DIDN'T NAME IT THE BUTTE
You say toe-may-toe. They say toe-mah-toe. You say Too-sawn. They say Tuck-son. Hyundai Motor Co. spokesman Oles Gadacz admits that the Korean automaker is having trouble getting consumers worldwide to pronounce the name of the Tucson SUV correctly. In Korea, Hyundai's TV commercials taught consumers the correct way to pronounce the SUV, which is named after the Arizona city. But Gadacz says many Europeans have no idea how to pronounce Tucson, making it sound like Tuck-son. "Even Australians I've met, on their first encounter with word, say Tuck-son," says Gadacz. He adds: "I'm so glad they didn't call it the Albuquerque."
DEAD? WHO SAID?
By now you know April was another bleak sales month for The General. But there were a couple of bright spots at General Motors that may have escaped you. Oldsmobile truck sales were up 28.9 percent from March, from 32 Bravadas to 44. And Oldsmobile Silhouette minivan sales for the same period rose 7.7 percent, from 13 units to 14. Not bad for a dead division. Oldsmobile, you may recall, built its final vehicle last June.
CUPHOLDER BRAGGING RIGHTS
Mercedes-Benz improved the ride of its redesigned M-class SUV, answering the top complaint of U.S. consumers. But David Larsen, M-class product manager at Mercedes-Benz USA LLC, laughs when he thinks about the No. 2 complaint: cupholders. "You have to understand that we fought long and hard with Germany over the importance of having big cupholders in this vehicle," Larsen says. When the M class debuted in 1997, small cupholders were on either end of the instrument panel. Several years later they were moved to the center console, "but it was kind of back, it was a little awkward to reach," he says. "So now you will see these two nice lighted cupholders right in the center of the console. In this vehicle, we (now) have the best."