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2002 Paris Auto Show, Part I Page 2


 

WHO NEEDS A GURU?
Not Ford, declared Ford CEO Bill Ford. He argued the automotive and business media are all wrong when they demand the number-two automaker find a product “czar,” like General Motors’ Bob Lutz. “The public doesn’t care who designed their car,” Ford said, suggesting that there are plenty of car-savvy executives at the automaker, not just one in a ranking position. Ford of Europe’s nascent comeback proves the point, the family heir and company chairman emphasized. “A lot of what worked here (in Europe) is in the process of being transferred back to the United States,” said Ford, during a press preview marking the start of the biannual Paris auto show. But he also cautioned that “The U.S. (arm of Ford) is a bigger organization and because of that, it’s probably going to be slower to react” to the changes now underway. —TCC Team

 

ASTON’S BEZ: IT’S IN THE EYES
With sales expected to triple over the next four to five years, Aston Martin is going to be looking for a lot of new dealers, especially in the U.S., said its CEO, Ulrich Bez. Considering the low volumes and personalized service needed to sell and service cars of Aston’s caliber, the British automaker is taking a very slow and cautious approach to approving new franchises. After the initial vetting process, Bez says he goes to see each new candidate. What clinches the deal? “It’s not the interview,” he tells TheCarConnection. “But I want to looking into their eyes and see what they bring to the market. I’m inspired (when) I feel some passion.” —TCC Team
Aston Brewing Porsche Fighter by TCC Team (9/25/2002)

 

Kia KCV-11 concept

Kia KCV-11 concept

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KIA GETS CONCEPTUAL
Kia unveiled its KCV-II concept car that’s aimed at young owners with an active lifestyle. The concept has a flexible seating system and an open pickup bed. The car was designed in Kia’s European design studio in Frankfurt, Germany, after an in-house competition. The KCV-II concept is powered by a 3.5-liter V-6 and has full time AWD. It is built on a new platform, code-named KM, that will be used in future new Kias, such as a conventional SUV and a lifestyle version like the KCV-II. With this concept Kia also wants to show that it will introduce a tire-pressure warning system, active headrests and emergency brake assist in their production models in due course. —Henny Hemmes

 

A RALLY CONCEPT FROM MITSU
Mitsubishi shows its Pajero Evolution, the first rally car based on a concept car, the Pajero Evo that was launched in Frankfurt last year. The Pajero Evolution will be ready to race the 2003 season and will debut in the 2002 UAE Desert Rally in Dubai Rally (October 29 – November 2). Of course the Evolution will also participate in the Rally Paris-Dakar in January. The new car has a better weight distribution and a lower center of gravity than its predecessor, achieved by placing the tuned 24-valve 3.5-liter V-6 about four inches lower and 12 inches further backwards. The Evolution is the first Pajero with a sequential six-speed stick shift. The car also features  a system to adjust tire pressure from the passenger seat. —Henny Hemmes

 

2002 Honda Civic Type-R (Euro)

2002 Honda Civic Type-R (Euro)

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, HONDA
Honda unveiled two special editions to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Civic. The first is of the Civic Type-R and the other is called 1.6 Sport. Both cars have 30th anniversary badges. The Type-R is equipped with Recaro seats and a Momo steering wheel; the rear side windows and the rear window have dark tinted glass. The 1.6 Sport has some of the Type-R details, such as the bumper spoilers and the side skirts. The car also has a roof spoiler on top of the hatch, 15-inch alloy wheels, smoked headlamps and door handles in body color. —Henny Hemmes


 
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