My favorite interviews over a 65-year auto writers career

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Edsel Ford IIFord Credit President “I’m far from a numbers man but Ford Credit is a must in the Ford world.”

Heinz NordhoffCEO of VW Werk, “We would like to sell more cars in Israel and the Middle-East. Our family enjoys vacations in Israel.”

Roger Smith-GM CEO-”I’m proud of creating Saturn. It’s a shoe-in best seller, now and going into the future.”

In Turin, at a Fiat Media Dinner-”The Renaissance started here, and we intend to keep it going with Alfa, Fiat 500 and all those beautiful Italian brands.”

At a Yugo press trek, back in 1984-85-grimacing as YugoSlavs sought to enter global market with poor junk-was it this fiasco that scared off the Chinese?

Japan-Auto-Production

Finally, Japan – Upon entering the U.S. market in the 1950s – A Toyota Hollywood press agent hosted the L.A. media by leaving a $100 bill under each attendee’s dinner plate. That was Japan’s reaction to negatives about the first Corolla and Civic cars.

Japan prospered where China, Russia and others feared to tread-A Toyota family member, in a prophesy of success at a media preview in Evansville, IN. “We must keep our standards world-class in entering all the markets-or we would fail.”

That Japan should roll up its global role as a perfectionist player, was the story of stories in my 67-year career. At the end of WWII-Japan as an industrial threat was little noticed. Hats off to the automakers from Japan for shedding their biases. Japan quality has dominated and inspired all since 1944!

As for a favorite brand in all my years covering the auto industry, Lexus overall, BMW notwithstanding!

To come-How pickup trucks stole the thunder!

Best wishes, Mac

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