The birthplace of the Model T, Ford Motor Co.'s former Piquette Plant in Detroit, is now a National Historic Landmark. The plant was the center of the universe for Ford during its early years, says Steve Rossi, chairman of the Model T Automotive Heritage Complex Inc., which is restoring the building. Rossi notes that the Model T was conceived in a small room in the back of the plant. And the three-story wooden and brick structure is where Henry Ford tinkered with ideas for mass production. From 1904 to 1910, Ford built 12,000 Model T's at the plant before production shifted to Ford's nearby larger Highland Park plant.
Model T's home is U.S. landmark
In his latest posting on General Motors' FastLane blog, product chief Bob Lutz said he's "weary of hearing that 'GM doesn't have any vehicles that people want' or that GM 'doesn't excite anyone' or doesn't have any products that are 'relevant.' " He said quality continues to improve, and vehicles score well in consumer surveys, and he asked readers to suggest ways to "get our message directly to the people." This drew a novel suggestion from "Mark": "Send me a car (Corvette Z06 or GTO preferably, but I'm willing to negotiate), and I'll be sure to tell everyone why it's a damn good car! Just e-mail me and we can go from there."
Love may fade, but an advertising contract goes on. Subaru of America is advertising its Forester wagon using Sheryl Crow's "Everyday is a Winding Road" as background music. That would seem like no big deal, except Subaru also was a major sponsor of cycling star Lance Armstrong, to whom Crow had been engaged. The rock star and cyclist ended their relationship this month but the band plays on.
Ford Motor Co. is dropping a planned Mercury version of the Ford Freestyle crossover before it even goes on sale. Ford earlier had said that Mercury would get the crossover in 2007. It was to be built at the automaker's Chicago assembly plant. But Anne Stevens, Ford's COO of the Americas, has confirmed that plans for the Mercury version of the Freestyle have been scrapped as part of the company's turnaround plan. Ford will keep building the Freestyle, which debuted in 2004. At one point last year Ford made plans to discontinue the current version of the Freestyle after the 2007 model year. But Ford's turnaround plan gave the Ford version a reprieve.
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