Cars n' Stars: Honda Revenues Up, Kendall Still Rideless, Petty gets Sponsor, Nissan Cleans House

27 February 1998


American Honda, despite a couple years of unfavorable publicity
regarding execs receiving kickbacks and racketeering, announced sales
of $11.5 billion and a 5.3% net income gain for the third quarter of
1997.

Tommy Kendall, the guy who won an unprecedented 11 consecutive
Trans-Am races in 1997, is still roaming the pits (any pits) looking
for full time ride for 1998 in any kind of race car.  Nobody in racing
can figure out this dilemma, as Kendall is a media darling, has
Hollywood looks, and is one of the savviest road racers around.  His
only ride for 1998 at this point is in the IROC.  He showed his talent
at Daytona by leading the race until getting bumped out of the 20 lap
event.  He will start on the pole at Michigan Speedway.  Kendall is
about 6'6" of golden (his hair) goodness, and really should get looked
at by Craftsman Truck teams, as well as Busch Grand National
operations.

Adam Petty, son of NASCAR shoe Kyle Petty is racing in ASA this year
and just picked up sponsorship from Sprint, the phone people.  He
will--true to the Petty tradition--be driving a Pontiac.

Nissan Motors hasn't had any exciting new products for quite some
time, and this is reflected in their sagging sales.  So what do you
do? Fire everybody.  That's what the Japanese management did recently
in the states: they got rid of Division V.P. Tom Eastwood, V.P. Steve
Welsh, and several other top execs in a move to return to their "core"
business, whatever that is.

Ford is going to build a plant in the Philippines to assemble vehicles
with Mazda platforms. The plant will cost $153 million.

Cadillac participated in the just concluded Olympics in Nagano by
shipping 34 golden DeVilles to Japan for the American teams to use.  Yankee overkill?

CART is going ahead with their IPO (Initial Public Offering) to raise
a $zillion for expansion.  The organization will be listed on the New
York Stock Exchange under OPW and will go off at $14-$16.

In F-1, the Belgium G.P. scheduled for Aug 30 looks doubtful because
of the cigarette advertising hassle that's going on 'round the world.
If a couple of the scheduled GPs are dropped the race dates will go to
China and South Africa.

Chevrolet finally has recognized the value of motorsports as a
marketing tool: the company has decided to devote $5 million of the
$10 million ad budget allocated for promoting the Monte Carlo to
motorsports advertising.  They say the Monte is the winningest car in
NASCAR.

Mitsubishi says they have developed a new direct injection motor that
is the cleanest burning mill on the planet. Called the GDI, it will
appear in the next Gallant. That was yesterday, today Honda announced
a new motor with ZERO emissions, which will be ready to drop into
Accords in the year 2001. The new Honda powerplant is Called the Z-LEV
it will emit .004 grams of non-methane organic gases per mile.

Because they both drive Chevy Blazers, superstars Michael Jordan and
Mohammed Ali will be pitching Chevvies for the Chicagoland dealer
association this year.

There's a street rod show taking place in San Antonio, Tx Feb 27-March
1: 909 396 0289 X 178

Bill Maloney -- The Auto Channel
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