Special Coverage

NADA Convention & Exposition

No Need for Alarm

Newly minted Chrysler chief Jim Press raised a few dealer eyebrows during his keynote address at the J.D. Power and Associates Round table here, as he tells attendees: "In my mind, in Detroit there are a new Big Three.

No worries, the former Toyota exec meant Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep.

Hold the Cheesecake, Please

The show floor of the National Automobile Dealers Assn. convention here has hundreds of exhibitors, including some who have hired provocatively dressed women to draw attention to their stands.

Not all dealers are amused. Tamara Darvish, vice president of the 26-dealership DARCARS Automotive Group, says she’s offended by the cheesecake approach.

"You look at the quality of people some vendors are using to attract people, and it’s degrading, insulting," she says.

Best Nest

There’s a growing trend among adult children, who are waiting longer to move out of their parents’ home.

Usually it’s a matter of a cash-strapped kid not being able to afford it on his own. But not always.

Edsel Ford II, Ford Motor board member and great-grandson of Henry Ford, was heard lightheartedly commenting at a NADA reception: "My son is 25, and he still lives at home."

No Wrong Turns

Two former Toyota executives who now work for U.S. auto makers say at the convention here they made the right decision.

James Press, ex-president of Toyota and now co-president of Chrysler says, "After 37 years at one place, I wondered if leaving for Chrysler was the right thing to do." After four months at Chrysler, he says, "It was."

Jim Farley, a former vice president of Toyota’s Lexus division who now heads Ford’s global marketing and U.S. sales, tells Ward’s the job switch was one of the hardest things he’s ever done. It also "was the most important thing I’ve ever done."

Adds Press: "I can take credit for the good things at Toyota, and say I wasn’t part of the problems at Chrysler."