Lotus Cars last week issued a press release to herald its first pickup. "The Lotus Elise 'Load Lugga' is an Elise-derived flatbed that seeks to secure a slice of the ever-growing worldwide market for sports car-derived pickup trucks," the release said. If readers weren't already beginning to smell something fishy, the next paragraph gave it away: "Utilizing a Briggs and Stratton pull-start diesel engine, uniquely supercharged by Lotus' own engineers, the Elise 'Load Lugga' is the first Lotus to marry advanced four-wheel-drive technology with the Lotus design philosophy of 'performance through light weight.'" Not only that, but the pickup can handle an 11 pound payload that "ensures the new Lotus will be equally at home carrying a small bag of sugar as an expanded polystyrene surfboard." The embargo date for the press release? April 1, of course.
Need to lug just a little? Then this is your pickup
The Chrysler group is coming out with a long-wheelbase version of the Chrysler 300 sedan. It's 6 inches longer than the current 300, which is 196.8 inches long, and will be called, literally enough, the 300 Long Wheelbase. Modification will be done at Accubuilt Inc., a custom specialty vehicle manufacturer in Lima, Ohio. Pricing of the 2007 model will be announced closer to launch in the fall. Chrysler will show the vehicle at the New York International Auto Show next week.
Many Pontiac dealers are still waiting for the last piece of the G6 puzzle: the retractable hard-top version. It was scheduled to reach dealerships last fall, but General Motors insiders said production didn't start until Feb. 20. Last August, Automotive News reported that engineering problems with the retractable hard top were pushing back production. While GM sales chief Mark LaNeve did not say what caused the delay, he did offer this last week: "They should be shipping any day now."
English may be the international language of business, but sometimes there are breakdowns in communication. Consider this e-mail invitation to an engineering symposium in China: "Dear Sir/Madam: Sorry to disturb you with the e-mail. You are hardly welcomed to the symposium and congress." We're pretty sure they mean heartily. But we're not poking fun; their English is a lot better than our Chinese.
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