Piech planned it that way
AFTER Volkswagen and BMW carved up Rolls-Royce Motor Cars - BMW getting rights to the Rolls name and VW left with Bentley - VW Chairman Ferdinand Piech said Bentley was all he ever really wanted. Is he putting on a brave face?
Not necessarily. Piech told Automotive News Europe much the same thing in an interview in January. Two months later he elaborated on the reason. 'When you have a Rolls-Royce standing in front of your house,' he said, 'you can be sure that the tax authorities will visit you very soon.'
NISSAN quality control engineers have patented a formula for artificial bird droppings. The engineers set out to improve on nature by inventing a white mess that has the same corrosive properties as the real thing, 'but offers greater consistency between samples.' Nissan drops the artificial droppings onto its cars as one of 500 paint quality checks on vehicles built at its Sunderland, UK, plant.
Why Toyota likes bugs
TOYOTA is holding a beetle promotion at its glitzy Amlux showroom in Tokyo. The featured attraction won't be Volkswagen's New Beetle, but rather the six-legged variety.
In an attempt to lure children (and their parents) during the summer vacation, Toyota will showcase over 300 insect specimens, including some of the world's largest beetles.
Japanese schoolchildren often catch stag beetles and rhinoceros beetles and keep them as pets.
The tie-in to cars? Special displays will focus on the kinds of bugs families are likely to find where they park their cars and camper vans at Japanese camp sites.
James B. Treece
Picchio on its way
PICCHIO, a supercar manufacturer set up in 1989 by a group of young Italian entrepreneurs, may finally produce its first road car. Next year, Picchio plans to start building a 300kph coupe derived from its racing Barchetta, which debuted at the Misano Adriatico race on 4-5 July.
Picchio will also build 20 racing Barchettas next year. In 2000 Picchio plans 25 race cars and 25 coupes. The coupe will be priced at around L300 million ($168,000).