Car guy Piech wants to be a real truck guy too
Volkswagen Chairman Ferdinand Piech has become obsessed with big trucks. He desperately wants to buy a commercial vehicle manufacturer for VW and now sources say he is taking heavy-truck driving lessons.
To qualify for the license, Piech must pass theoretical, technical and driving tests. The driving part includes reversing a truck and trailer around a corner and driving safely through narrow lanes. A strict physical check-up is also required.
DaimlerChrysler Chairman Jurgen Schrempp, who once managed Mercedes-Benz's truck division, already has his heavy truck driver's license.
MB's US headache
US owners of Mercedes-Benz ML320s, ML430s, E320s and E430s could lose their heads - their cylinder heads, that is - if a California engineering consultant wins his lawsuit.
Jim Feuling, perhaps best known for his work on the experimental Oldsmobile Aerotech speed car, claims Mercedes copied his patented designs for cylinder heads containing three valves per cylinder.
Feuling is suing Mercedes-Benz, its dealers and 360,000 people who have bought those vehicles since 1997.
Feuling wants Mercedes to recall all the vehicles and replace the cylinder heads of its 2.3-liter V-6 and 4.3-liter V-8 engines.
James Bond's the name; this time BMW Z8 is the car
BMW's new supercar roadster, the Z8 (below), will feature as 007's personal transport in the forthcoming movie, The World Is Not Enough.
The car of choice for Britain's most famous spy has moved on since Sean Connery appeared behind the wheel of a Sunbeam Alpine in the first James Bond film, Dr No.
The Z8 will debut at the Frankfurt auto show in September and will go on sale across Europe in spring 2000.
Britain turns to Trotman for help with small business
Former Ford Motor Co. Chairman Alex Trotman has been appointed by British Prime Minister Tony Blair to head a review of the way the country helps its small- and medium-sized businesses.
The review will look at what further incentives could help smaller UK firms.
'We need a new approach in Britain to encourage business and risk-taking,' said UK Chancellor Gordon Brown. 'We need to increase the number of entrepreneurs, and to raise the survival rate of small businesses.'
Trotman, who retired last year, was named to head the Ford empire in 1993. He began his career in the purchasing department of Ford's Dagenham plant.