Question of the Month — November 2000
Do you expect to see more than 1 million vehicles in the world classified as hybrids, such as the Honda Insight, by 2010?
Yes 54% No 36% Not Sure 10%

No: Not without power and market appeal

Not unless they can fit a high-powered hybrid into a good looking SUV!
Jacques Jackard
Program Manager
Textron Automotive
Troy, MI

Yes: If you can catch young buyers

If a hybrid vehicle appeals in styling to the young generation, sales will take off.
John Fischer
Engineering Manager, Emissions
Robin America Inc.
Wood Dale, IL

Less is more?

Why do the auto companies want their suppliers to do it for less while their employees do less for more?
Name withheld

Sparks are pretty, but …

The inner title page of your August 2000 issue says the cover photo is Courtesy of Ford Motor Co. I really wonder if Ford wants people to think the bright flashes and evident expulsion on the cover, immediate inside, and p.36 photos is representative of the way they do spot-welding, automated or otherwise. Why is it that the public is still being fed the concept that no sparks equals no action?

Fuel prices won't slow hedonism

Re: Gas prices letter (see WAW — Oct. '00, p.11). If only petrol was $3.50 per gallon in the U.K.! The current average price is $5.80 — albeit our gallon is two tenths larger than the U.S. The increase in SUVs, and the like, on British roads seems to follow in direct proportion to the upturn in the price of gas! Oh, what a hedonistic society we are.
Frank A. Watkin
Hampshire, England, U.K.

But, are Belgians safe?

Re: “The Detroit of Europe — Sort of,” (see WAW — Nov. '00, p.60). I can't help but make the following observations:

Both photographs show workers using torque guns during the assembly process without using any safety glasses or hearing protection. Quite a contrast from the Honda workers in Indonesia wearing production equipment such as safety glasses, hearing protection, gloves and uniforms.

Belgium may have the highest per-capita car production, but how's their safety record?
Jack Dalton
Manufacturing Team Leader
Tower Automotive
Plymouth, MI

Will German knowhow prevail?

At one time it was stated that Daimler wanted the Chrysler manufacturing knowledge and marketing savvy (not just the Jeep brand). Now it seems the marriage is going to a divorce, and Americans are no longer valued. It should prove interesting if German knowhow will make a go of it after all.
H. Sommerstorfer
GM Truck Group
Pontiac, MI

I don't think Daimler-Benz knows or cares what they are doing to Chrysler. Americans are not going to support a sham puppet car company run by agents of the Fourth Reich.
Name withheld
Toledo, OH

How do you spell Ferrari?

My name is Matthew Dowdall, I am 9 years old, I was looking at my dad's November WAW and noticed that on p.80 you have a picture of a Ferrari F550 and the caption says “BMW follows up its Z9 coupe with a topless version.”
Matthew Dowdall
Davison, MI

Check the photo in Andrea Wielgat's story. BMW Z9 should be spelled Ferrari 550. I get a real kick out of you chicks. Two have asked if my Ferrari is a Mustang. A third one has mistaken it for a Saturn. I'm sure BMW was flattered with your article.
Jeff Huncilman

(Editor's note: Thanks for the heads-up Matthew and Jeff. In the first place, it wasn't a “chick” who made the goof. It was a “guy” that grabbed the wrong photo, compounded when a “guy” added the cutline after looking at the story, but not closely enough at the photo. We should all, perhaps, be grateful that the “guys” who made the blunder didn't go into safety engineering.)

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