Zetsche Strikes a Chord at Mercedes Unveil

As he prepares to become chairman of DaimlerChrysler AG in January, Mercedes-Benz chief Dieter Zetsche is too busy to fiddle around. Or is he?

Zetsche found time to sit in with a small orchestra here at the 2005 Tokyo Motor Show, preceding the unveiling of the Mercedes Hygenius, a fuel cell-powered concept vehicle. (See related story: Mercedes to Show Hygenius Concept Vehicle at Tokyo)

The musicians played a selection from Bach, after which Zetsche told onlookers that no individual is bigger than an entire organization. “Even a soloist is, first and foremost, a member of an orchestra.”

Zetsche was a full contributor to the performance, having studied violin as a youngster.

Admittedly rusty, Zetsche tells Ward's the professionals were very patient with him.

Earthquake Doesn't Shake Showgoers

An earthquake measuring 6.5 on the Richter scale struck off the coast of Japan's Honshu Island, where Tokyo is located. The temblor generated buzz on the show floor, but little else. None of the vehicles were damaged.

Step Aside Please

The Tokyo Motor Show attracts journalists from all over the globe, some less seasoned than others. Consider the camera crew that wanted to shoot video of the popular Chrysler 300. Chrysler officials tell Ward's the crew asked a group that stopped to admire the car to move on. Leading that group: Porsche chief Wendelin Weideking.

emayne@primediabusiness.com