TRAVERSE CITY, MI – It’s almost guaranteed that sometime during the week at the Management Briefing Seminars here, somebody is going to say something politically incorrect on the podium.

A trunk Tony Soprano will love?

Jim Padilla, Ford Motor Co. chief operating officer and chairman-Automotive Operations, appears to have locked up this year’s award for the best faux pas.

With comments that no doubt had Ford’s public relations staff wincing from Northern Michigan to New York, Padilla bragged Thursday about the roominess of the new ’05 Ford Five Hundred’s trunk by saying it will hold eight sets of golf clubs “Or, if you’re from New Jersey, four or five bodies.”

A Ford spokesperson could not be reached for comment on whether the auto maker is working on a product placement deal for the next season of The Sopranos.