Despite the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, the Greater New Orleans New Car Dealers Association plans to host its annual auto show in the city next year. The dates: March 23-25. In the past, the show was at the Superdome. But the stadium sustained so much damage that it may be demolished. The auto show will move to the city's convention center and gain 75,000 square feet of display space.
CULINARY CRASH TEST -- A TV commercial from French automaker Renault SA depicts several crash tests meant to demonstrate how the Renault brand earned the highest safety rating in Europe. But the commercial (check out www.sicher.de/start_spot.php) doesn't show any cars. Instead, food is crash-tested. The choice of foods was meant to represent German, Japanese, Swedish and French cars, said Axel Schueler Bredt, managing director for public relations at Nordpol & Hamburg, the German agency that created the commercial. Renault recently won a five-star safety rating, the highest possible, for its Clio III car from the European New Car Assessment Program.
THE WORLD ACCORDING TO TOYODA -- Auto industry observers who like to speculate about Toyota Motor Corp.'s chances of passing General Motors as the world's largest automaker may want to listen to Akio Toyoda. His view on the matter is more local than global. Toyoda, Toyota's executive vice president of purchasing and product management, says: "How many cars we sell in the world doesn't matter. At all levels, we should be No. 1 in town. If we do that, we'll be No. 1 in the world."
YOU CAN'T FIGHT CITY HALL But if you're a new-car dealer in Simi Valley, Calif., you can sell cars there. The Simi Valley City Council has given that community's car dealers permission to hold monthly sales in the city hall parking lot. City officials say a monthly sale will encourage residents to stay in town rather than look elsewhere for a new car. Oh, and under California law, cities can pocket 1 percent of the transaction price on each vehicle sold.