April Showers and Flowers
Two comments about your April '99 issue. First, your SAE Congress high-lights are always much appreciated and well done. Second, I believe the Chrysler PT Cruiser will be the most talked-about car in the industry next year. Tom Gale should be congratulated for having the guts to do a 2000 model that has the style and character of a classic Ford tudor.
David Minter Ford Motor Co. Via Internet
Actually, David, full credit for the "gutsy" PT Cruiser extends to the "old" Chrysler management team of Eaton, Lutz, et al. As a group (Tom Gale included), they were 100-octane car enthusiasts and perhaps Detroit's greatest risk-takers of the last 15 years. Would the PT (or even the more radical Prowler) have been approved by the "new" regime at DC? We're not so sure. -- ed.
Grading the Automakers
I was shocked to see a B+ rating for Ford in your annual Industry Report Card feature issue. Here is a company that ignores customers, does not respond to problems, does not answer correspondence and somehow is given a B+ rating. My recent personal experience with my local Ford dealer and with the Ford Customer Service Div. (and including writing a letter to Ford President Jac Nasser) deserved a rating of D-, or a flat F.
Rather than fixing the car, the dealer adulterated it. The Customer Service Division, with all its arrogance, took the word of a dealer and never spoke to me before closing the case. Mr. Nasser's office totally ignored my complaint. Do you think Ford deserves a B+?
Transmission Technology Co. Lincoln Park, NJ
I read with great interest your article on grading General Motors' performance. I think that a grade of C- in Management is a little generous, considering what GM has done to its salaried retirees. I wonder what the UAW will be thinking about this in the upcoming negotiations.
GM salaried employees should consider joining the UAW to protect what little they have left for retirement. Now the hourly retirees have better medical benefits than the salaried retirees. You just can't trust GM.
Name withheld by request
Spun Off, Not Sold Off
In her April editorial, Marge Sorge listed my company (Meritor Automotive) among those anus of automotive conglomerates that have been sold off recently. We (Meritor) were not sold off, we were spun off. This may not make a great deal of difference for the point of your editorial. However, it does make a difference to the employees. It allows what was formerly the "profitable" automotive division of Rockwell International to focus its profits on the automotive business.
I agree with the rest of your editorial and truly enjoy the publication.
Senior Gear Engineer Meritor Automotive Heath, Ohio