Flint fan club

Mr. Flint has struck another chord about interiors (see WAW — Aug. '02, p.64). Maybe Mr. Flint and I are the same age, but I agree with him. Today's interiors leave a lot to be desired.

At present I am ordering new cars for my wife and me, and I have three choices of interior colors: dark slate, taupe and sandstone. I do not care what color the exterior is, these are the three colors that are available for the interior.

No pizzazz at all. I will say that I have a PT Cruiser and the brown interior on this car has a well-blended match to the exterior with some pizzazz on the “dash board.”
Dale Smet
Senior Buyer
Pullman Industries Inc.

‘Ever-Diminishing Three’

Detroit has forever been closed to the kind of thinking that put Japan where it is today (see editorial WAW — Sept. '02, p.5). When Dr. Deming couldn't find an audience here after WWII, he was accepted with open arms in Japan.

Until vertical communication becomes a 2-way street in America, Detroit cannot achieve the goals necessary to survive. The measures called for by your article would have been late in getting started 30 years ago.

Sorrowfully, I doubt that overpaid American managers can ever get over even their own egos and arrogance to change the current course toward the inevitable demise of “The Ever-Diminishing Three.”
Leonard Misner
Senior Manufacturing Engineer
FMO
Skokie, IL

Compression impression

Drew Winter was correct regarding giving up old diesel ideas. Most of America is unaware of the progress that has been made in diesel technology over the past 10 years.

However, there is still an underlying fact that will keep some potential buyers away from diesels: the price of diesel fuel. In most areas of the U.S., diesel fuel costs considerably more than regular gasoline; in many locations it costs more than premium gas.

When one considers the added cost of purchasing a diesel powerplant, it takes quite a while for the improved miles per gallon to offer a return on investment. It's no wonder Europeans embrace diesel engines. The cost of diesel fuel in Europe is much less than the price of gasoline.
Raymond A. Sutyak
Product Support Engineering
Honeywell Engines, Systems & Services
Phoenix, AZ

Saturn as import fighter?

I wanted to comment that your magazine is by far the best auto trade magazine out there right now. About GM's midsize Epsilon platform, I think it was mistakenly said that Grand Prix is part of this platform (see WAW — Sept. '02, p.9). I think it is Grand Am.

About Saturn using Honda engines in the “Vue,” wasn't it not so long ago that Roger Smith had a vision of Saturn being the “import fighter” and investing millions into Saturn to do this? I guess this means they (GM, Saturn) can't produce an engine good enough so if you can't beat them, join them. I'm not sure how much sense that makes.
Walt Drejewski
Utica, MI

Editor's note: You're right, Walt. Grand Am is part of Epsilon, not Grand Prix.

Confusing badges

In your article about the Kia Sorento (see WAW — Sept. '02, p.55), you refer to Sorento being a body-on-frame vehicle such as Cherokee and Pathfinder. You probably forgot, but the Pathfinder is a unibody (rear-drive) vehicle. The Xterra is a body-on-frame, rear drive, vehicle. Anyway, well written article otherwise.
Horst Herrmann
Dept. Manager
Product Quality Assurance
Nissan USA

Editor's Note: Thanks for correcting us. Irrespective of our badge mismanagement, Kia's comparisons openly cite the Pathfinder and the Grand Cherokee, showing what Kia believes to be the Sorento's competition, despite the fact that Sorento is body-on-frame. This is probably because the Sorento is not based on a pickup truck.
BV