What do young people look for in a car? Things other than what their parents wanted back in their youth, says Swamy Kotagiri, executive vice president-corporate engineering and R&D for Magna International.

The father of a 17-year-old daughter says young car shoppers particularly are interested in connectivity. Behind the wheel, they plan to use their mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.

In contrast, when Kotagiri was a youthful car consumer, he looked at engine size, performance and styling. Auto makers must adapt to new buyer realities, he tells attendees with resignation.

“We are going to have driver distraction, so how can we better make the car safe?”

Hole in One

Kelly Biers, director-continuous improvement, ZF North America, during his presentation talks about a new energy-efficient cooling tower the supplier recently installed at one of its facilities, while also taking a playful jab at the Grand Traverse Resort where the annual CAR MBS is held.

“The cooling tower can save 1.6 million gallons (6.1 million L) of water per year,” Biers says. “That would probably water the (golf) course three or four days here.”

Body Check

Tom Apostolos, president of Ricardo, was introduced at an MBS session on connected-vehicle technology, as being a Canadian. His opening remark: “I’ll keep hockey analogies and ‘eh’ down to a minimum.”

Where’s Dave Cole?

After 41 straight years as the name and face of the Management Briefing Seminars, Dave Cole is missing this year. “You can’t be part of something for more than 40 years and not miss it,” he tells WardsAuto.

Cole is founder and chairman of the Center for Automotive Research, which sponsors the briefings here. Jay Baron is the current CAR president and CEO.

Cole says he stayed home in Ann Arbor, MI, to attend a funeral and to be on hand when his granddaughter, Abbie Cole, enrolls at his alma mater, the University of Michigan, on an athletic scholarship. She’s a 6-ft., 5-in. (1.95-m) volleyball champion.