Special Coverage

Management Briefing Seminars

The Glamorous Life

Bob Boniface, director-design exterior and interior for the upcoming Chevrolet Volt, says he’s living proof 75% of all daily commutes in the U.S. are less than 40 miles (64 km) – the targeted range between charges for the General Motors plug-in electric vehicle.

To make his point, Boniface flashes up on an overhead screen a 3-D model of his daily drive from home to work, a circuit that includes regular stops at a Lowe’s hardware store and one of his four children’s sporting events.

“You also can see the extravagant life of a GM design executive,” he says.

Then he takes a jab at vice chairman and product development honcho Bob Lutz, who flies fighter jets and has been known to buzz the GM Tech Center in his personal helicopter.

“I used Lutz’s helicopter to film this,” he says, adding, “I’m just kidding – it was his wife’s helicopter.”

The Driving Force

You can tell it’s getting late in the week when a discussion at the Management Briefing Seminars deteriorates rapidly from engines to squirrels and on to the beleaguered and downtrodden.

Asked if General Motors’ upcoming Chevrolet Volt plug-in electric vehicle could use a turbine engine to recharge its batteries, designer Bob Boniface replies, “For a range extender, (the car) doesn’t really care where it gets electricity.”

Even “a squirrel on a treadmill” could generate electricity for the Volt, he says.

The laughter that follows nearly drowns out a biting comment from host Dave Cole of the Center for Automotive Research.

“A supplier on a treadmill” also could suffice, he notes.

Only His Hairdresser Knows for Sure

Mullet jokes lately are becoming as much a staple at the Management Briefing Seminars as fishing stories. Now, thanks to the magic of Photoshop, pictures of real and imagined mullets are popping up every year. Ward’s operatives were able to obtain a copy of the particularly realistic-looking depiction of Dave Cole wearing a mullet displayed at MBS earlier this week. Was it real? Only his hairdresser knows for sure.