It is difficult to remember sometimes that auto executives have lives outside of the office. We asked some of them how they had fun last year.
HAVING FUN ON THE TOP
Every Saturday, when most Austrians are still asleep, Otto Kaschnitz (right) is on his way to the hills and mountains surrounding Salzburg. In winter he carries skis; in the warm season, a climbing outfit. The soft-spoken engineer enjoys being on the top with his mountaineering cronies, none of whom is in the auto industry. Never a word is spoken about cars and trucks when they climb.
Kaschnitz is co-chairman with Wolf-Dieter Hellmayr of Porsche Austria, the VW Group distributor. Hellmayr agrees with Winston Churchill: No sports.
All night wedding party
Andreas Renschler, 39, president of Mercedes-Benz US International Inc., said: 'No question -the most fun I had this year was my wedding. My wife and I were already married, but this was our big church wedding. We held it in a town in the Black Forest of Germany. We invited about 100 people, including 20 people from America. We threw a big party that was supposed to have ended at 2: 30 in the morning. It went on until 6.00.'
A spill was part of the fun
Flying a micro-light airplane over the Victoria Falls and white-water rafting in Zimbabwe were the non-professional highlights of 1997 for Citroen's managing director in Ireland, James Wyse.
'I had a fantastic week in Zimbabwe, hardly sleeping at all because there was so much to do and I didn't want to miss out on any of it,' he said. 'I was also very keen to try a bungee jump from the Victoria Bridge but there was not enough time, which was a pity. Mind you, I think my wife was relieved when she saw the photos afterward! Seeing the Victoria Falls from the air was absolutely wonderful and the rafting was fantastic. We capsized at cataract No. 6, which was all part of the experience. I enjoyed every minute of it.'
TWO-WHEEL, 360KM JOURNEY
Morten Hannesbo (above), a former Toyota executive, has been managing director of Nissan Motor Denmark AS for a year. Besides his sales talent, the 35-year-old brought his interest in wheels. He enjoys in-line skating and bicycling. The highlight: An annual 360km bicycle course around Zeeland.