Cadillac inflated US sales in ract to beat rival Lincoln
Cadillac, General Motors' luxury division, admitted on 5 May that it had inflated its 1998 US sales totals in a drive to beat Lincoln and retain US sales leadership for luxury cars.
The division counted almost 5,000 Cadillacs as sold to consumers last December when they had been only registered by GM dealers.
'We regret that the inflated delivery report caused the media, in particular, to believe that Cadillac dealers had indeed sold more vehicles ... than Lincoln,' said Roy Roberts, GM's vice president of vehicle sales, service and marketing.
Using the corrected figures, Cadillac sold 182,570 new cars and trucks in the USA last year, compared with Lincoln's 187,121.
It was the first time since 1939 that Lincoln has beaten Cadillac. Mercedes-Benz was third, followed by Lexus and BMW.
Skoda aims upscale with luxury delivery center
Skoda will shake off its staid image by opening a luxury hand-over facility that will allow customers to take delivery of cars straight off the production line.
'We are working hard to improve on our image deficiency of the past,' said Skoda Auto Vice Chairman Detlef Wittig. 'We believe the best way of improving how people perceive our brand is to let them see the quality which is built into our products.'
The Czech center will be like the one Audi operates in Ingolstadt, Germany. It is being built near the Octavia line at Mlada Boleslav and will have a separate reception area, administration block, a boutique for accessories, and leasing and insurance facilities. It opens in December and is expected to cater for 10,000 personal car collections a year.
Cougar campaign criticized
The 'Born To Be Wild' advertising campaign for the Ford Cougar is irresponsible because it encourages middle-aged people to drive too fast, according to a Danish environmental lobby.
Newspaper advertisements and TV commercials featuring US actor Dennis Hopper driving a Cougar side-by-side with his younger self on a Harley Davidson motorcycle preceded the launch of the sports coupe in Denmark at the start of the month.
NOAH, the Danish section of Friends of the Earth International, said Ford is appealling to 'middle-aged drivers to relive the youthful rush of adrenaline.'
Finn Thomasen, public affairs manager at the Danish Ford importer, said he had not heard of any similar comments elsewhere.
Reuters News Service