Food Network star Bobby Flay skewersGroup President and CEO Tom LaSorda during the introduction of the auto makerâ€™s redesigned minivans.
As LaSorda helps Flay prepare a pair of dishes in a live demonstration to reflect brand attributes â€“ a spicy salsa for Dodge; a rich ganache for Chrysler â€“ the celebrity chef compliments the executiveâ€™s culinary skills.
â€śIt looks like youâ€™ve spent time in a hot kitchen,â€ť Flay says.
Without missing a beat, and to the delight of the large crowd, LaSorda ad-libs: â€śKitchenâ€™s been pretty hot lately. Thanks for reminding me.â€ť
A food theme dominates Chryslerâ€™s minivan debuts. Referred to as the auto makerâ€™s bread and butter, the â€™08 Dodge Grand Caravan drives out of a giant bread wrapper, and the â€™08 Chrysler Town & Country comes out of a block of margarine.
Chrysler has sold more than 11 million minivans since its first-generation product was launched in 1983.
The Mercedes-Benz exhibit features an ice rink here at the show, where skaters zip in and out of parked cars.
In a slick promotional stunt, the auto maker scatters warning signs all over the slick surface. The signs tout its trademark all-wheel-drive system.
â€śCaution,â€ť the signs read. â€śReal Ice! 4Matics Only.â€ť
Car Guy and People Person to Boot
The airplane guy is a car guy after all. Questioned for bringing in an industry outsider when he hired Alan Mulally from Boeing late last year asâ€™s new CEO, Chairman Bill Ford declares here that his handpicked successor is â€śthe right guyâ€ť and â€śa car guy.â€ť
goes on to assure Mulally also is a â€śpeople person,â€ť adding that while Mulally appreciates Fordâ€™s heritage and culture, he has been instrumental in tearing down the things that â€śhave been holding us back.â€ť
Says Bill Ford in summation: â€śI have never enjoyed working with anyone as much as I have with Alan.â€ť