Special Coverage

Frankfurt Auto Show

Unkindest Cut of All

By nearly all accounts, DaimlerChrysler chief Dieter Zetsche is making tremendous strides turning around the fortunes of the Mercedes Car Group since adding the division’s responsibilities to his duties.

But as Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne hints, Zetsche also has gained a reputation as a cost-cutter. During a press conference addressing emissions standards, Marchionne chides a journalist for asking too specific a question for the forum, saying the query would be like asking about seatbelts in a Mercedes.

“That would be an easy one,” Zetsche chimes in. “Yeah,” Marchionne replies. “You don’t make them anymore.”

Fiat Gets Funky

Standing in front of a Cinquecento model nearly 25 ft. (745 cm) tall, Fiat chief Luca De Meo proclaims the new B-car is “the soul of our brand.”

It’s enough to make Motown jealous. Especially considering one of Cinquecento’s colors is a pearl-finish paint dubbed “funk white.”

Put That Rumor to Bed

A Volkswagen-brand small pickup is headed for Latin America and emerging markets, says Adrian Hallmark, executive vice-president, Volkswagen of America.

Hallmark confirms the news to quash show rumors suggesting VW is keen to enter North America with a pickup. Not true, he says. “It’s about our seventh priority. To the emerging markets, it’s their second or third priority.”