Becker Automotive Design to Exhibit Transformed Vehicles Complete With CARiN Vehicle Navigation

29 December 1997

Becker Automotive Design to Exhibit Transformed Vehicles Complete With CARiN Vehicle Navigation

    LOS ANGELES, Dec. 29 -- While much of the glamour of concept
vehicles, such as those to be unveiled and exhibited at the Greater Los
Angeles Auto Show, Jan. 2-11, lies in the styling, or "what's under the hood,"
some owners want, and often need, much more.  They aren't content until they
can "add on" special features and functions based on personal needs or
preferences.
    Becker Automotive Design helps these aficionados realize their dreams by
taking OEM luxury and performance several steps further.  Adding world class
electronics, exterior styling, high performance upgrades and custom interiors,
Becker Automotive Design creates one-of-a-kind transformations.  Using both
knowledge and craftsmanship gleaned from over 25 years of pleasing the elite,
Becker specializes in meeting customers' wants, whether they are special
interiors, stability and comfort, responsiveness, safety, or the best
electronics including audio, communication and navigation systems.
    Six specially transformed Becker vehicles will be on display at Booth No.
K700 in Kentia Hall at the Greater L.A. Auto Show in the Los Angeles
Convention Center.  There will be five sport utility vehicles (SUVs), some
valued in excess of $100,000, which will feature the luxury of a Rolls-Royce
combined with unique utility and performance, and a turbo-charged Carrera
Porsche, will sport an extraordinary $20,000 sound system and the latest in
vehicle navigation.
    SUV owners who come to Becker want a vehicle transformed that gives them
the luxury and feel of the Bentley, Mercedes and BMW on the inside while
retaining a big, bold, rugged look and performance.  Inside these are custom
built and designed leather seats, European luxury carpet, suede headliner and
exotic burl wood trim.  Electronics range from laser and radar detectors or a
mobile office to a complete video system or a stereo system that will "make
you feel as if you are in the orchestra pit of the Hollywood Bowl."
    Value-added is Becker's ace.  Customers do not just look for luxury and
comfort.  To Becker, performance upgrades are equally important.  This may
include such installations as gas pressurized adjustable shocks that help the
vehicle instantly recover from road dips.  Or, the addition of heavy duty
anti-sway bars that provide more secure seating through turns.  Supercharging
combined with an advanced exhaust system can add an additional 150 horsepower
which will move a 6,500-pound vehicle "like a feather to your touch."
Outfitting a vehicle with the world's best braking system gives a more
controlled and safer stop.  Such improvements add to better vehicle handling,
improved safety and more driving enjoyment.
    It is the expertise needed to transform these types of vehicles that draw
many celebrity customers to Becker, and keep them coming back.  When actor
Wesley Snipes (White Men Can't Jump, One Night Stand) wanted to add the latest
in vehicle navigation to his Acura NSX and his Toyota Land Cruiser, Howard
Becker, president and owner, without hesitation, recommended CARiN, the
aftermarket version of a BMW 5 and 7 Series option, made by Philips Car
Systems.  "It's about the only commercially available system that can audibly
guide you to a destination without having to read a map or look at the
screen," said Becker.
    Another famous customer, Will Smith, rap recording artist (Big, Willie
Style) and movie actor (Independence Day, Men In Black), calls Becker
craftsmanship "the best on the planet."  Commenting on the CARiN unit in
Becker's Suburban demonstration vehicle, Smith thought it might be the best
way "to track alien life forms throughout the United States."
    Mark Stephenson, vice president of marketing at Philips Car Systems, said,
"We know CARiN has star qualities but had no idea we would get this kind of
attention from celebrities like Wesley and Will.  That's the kind of
value-added that typically comes from Becker.  In fact, Howard did such a
beautiful job installing the CARiN Navigation System that we used it in a
recent video.  He makes our aftermarket unit look like standard equipment."
    Gary Tuttle, a director for Tec-Masters, Inc. who will represent CARiN in
Becker's booth, said, "We are fortunate to have an opportunity to do the L.A.
Auto Show with someone like Howard Becker whose work is inspiring and exciting
and whose client list reads like a Hollywood who's who."
    "Our customers end up with very special vehicles that not only are top of
the line in luxury and performance but also are safer and more fun," said
Becker.  "Everyone attending the L.A. Auto Show will have a chance to see
these special vehicles as well as preview the CARiN Navigation System in
them."
    Philips Car Systems has global headquarters in Wetzlar, Germany, and U.S.
offices in Farmington Hills, Mich., Cheshire, Conn., and Atlanta, Ga.  As a
unit of Philips Electronics N.V., Philips Car Systems has access to the
resources of one of the world's largest digital technology corporations with
262,500 employees in more than 60 countries and worldwide sales of
approximately $41 billion in 1996.
    Becker Automotive Design, located in Los Angeles, is a leader in the
transformation of Suburbans, Tahoes, Yukons, Hummers, Mercedes Benz M Class,
Range Rovers and Expeditions into luxury and performance utility vehicles.
Becker's expertise includes the selection and installation of world class
electronics, exterior styling, high performance upgrades and custom interiors
specifically suited to the customer's wants and needs.  The company utilizes
its knowledge and craftsmanship to provide special interiors, stability and
comfort, responsiveness, safety, and sophisticated electronics including
audio, video, communication and navigation systems.

SOURCE  Philips Car Systems

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