Special Coverage

SAE World Congress

Pay Me Now or Pay Me Later

Dan Hancock, General Motors vice president-powertrain global engineering, kicks off his presentation to an Original Equipment Supplier Assn. conference here in conjunction with the SAE World Congress with an ominous note.

Hancock, who is heading up some fund-raising activity for SAE, says his committee is nearing its goal but is about to begin the campaign for individual donations. “And we all know what that means,” he says.

While waiting his turn at the podium, Hancock says he came up with a plan to kill two birds with one stone: He’ll answer questions submitted on cards after his speech, but “anyone that wants to ask a question, I’ll see you later about a donation.”

The good news for attendees: The question cards don’t require a signature.

That doesn’t stop Hancock when the first question is read. “Hey, I need to know who you are,” he says, “so I can ask you for a donation.”

Is It Warm in Here Or Is It Me?

Wolfgang Reik, executive vice president-LuK Group Research and Development, Advanced Development Schaeffler Group Automotive, begins his SAE presentation arguing global warming is a real threat.

“I know there are some doubters here,” he says as he shows a slide detailing the evolution of underwear, from 1800s bloomers to today’s tiny thongs.

“This is the ultimate proof global warming is real,” he says, declining to speculate on the effect of climate change on future underwear.

Word Up

Ed Mantey, vice president-Toyota Technical Center U.S.A., adds another term to the industry lexicon during his presentation here.

Mantey says the auto maker is striving to eliminate, or “zeronize,” problems in its product programs.

Just to be clear, Mantey also featured the word on a PowerPoint slide.

Calling All Sluggers

PPG Industries invites onlookers to take a baseball bat to its newest product, which General Motors calls Enhanced Technology Glass.

The laminated glass guards against passenger ejection during a rollover or serious collision. Featured as standard equipment on GM’s new fullsize vans, ETC gets its protective properties from a layer of polyvinyl butyral that is thicker than the PVB normally used windshields.

An automotive writer swings the lumber but manages only to give the window a welt.

“We were going to bring in Miguel Cabrera and Magglio Ordonez,” says PPG Global Account Manager Al Kivisto, referring to the slumping Detroit Tigers sluggers. “But they kept missing during practice.”

– compiled by Barbara McClellan