Ford Motor Co. CEO Bill Ford really likes his Ford Mustang collection. But he likes his wife, Lisa, even better. When asked at an industry luncheon last week what Ford model "excites" him the most, Bill Ford's first response was a little cheeky. "Besides my wife, you mean?" he joked, before identifying the Mustang as his all-time favorite car. We hope Lisa Ford appreciates the flattery. But future Mustang designers should be wary. The day the Mustang doesn't excite him more than any other vehicle, the CEO said, "is the day somebody has to look for another job."
Mustang's the car, but Lisa's the star
The next time a crook in a getaway car in France looks in the rearview mirror, chances are the cops in pursuit will be driving a blue Subaru Impreza WRX. The Japanese car brand has sped past French rivals to win a contract for highway patrol cars. "We have a contract to supply 63 cars to the Gendarmerie Nationale for patrols on the roads," Subaru spokesman Gilles Varmoux told Reuters. Bad news for the miscreants: The cops' new Subarus will do about 150 mph, compared with about 120 mph for the Peugeot and Renault models they'll replace.
Two Qs are all Audi gets under its settlement with Nissan over use of the letter in vehicle names. After an Audi executive mentioned the possibility of an entry-level SUV called the Q3, Audi and Nissan issued a joint letter saying that name will not be used. Audi will use the name Q5 for a small SUV due in 2008, and the mid-sized Q7 SUV goes on sale here in June. But no more Qs for Audi, the letter says: "Pursuant to an otherwise confidential settlement agreement of certain trademark litigation between Nissan and Audi, Audi will not use the letter 'Q' in any name other than the forthcoming Audi Q5 and already introduced Audi Q7." Nissan sued Audi in federal court in Detroit last year over the use of the letter Q, pointing out that it has four Q registered trademarks for its vehicles. The parties settled in November.
Mercedes-Benz and its Southern California dealers are doing their part to help discover the next great fashion designer. They're hosting a competition that will reward one high school student with a one-year, $20,000 scholarship to attend the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising this fall in Los Angeles. Part of the scholarship money will be raised by the auction of 10 guitars decorated by entertainers, models and athletes.
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