-- Donning my brand-new black Levis (made in
America, I think), and my new Van Heusen dress shirt (made in
Honduras) and tie, I paid the eight bucks to park by the Westin
Book Cadillac (now I realize the valet parking was probably
free) and took the elevator to the Crystal Ballroom.
A bevy of Toyota/Lexus/Scion executives and the Detroit
press corps were on hand for the special event.
Michels, a long-time Toyota executive, was honored for 29 years
of distinguished service undercutting American industry with a
replica of Akio Toyoda's race car, a Toyota Altezza (the model's
name in Japan) that he drove at the prestigious 24 Hours of Nürburgring
in Germany. Mr. Toyoda is a descendant of Mr. Sakichi Toyoda who
founded what is now Toyota Motor Corporation. Mr. Toyoda is also
currently President and CEO. Clearly, Mr. Michels was very touched
by such a special gift.
was also given a framed artwork of Mount Rushmore that featured
his smiling countenance next to four of our greatest presidents
as some kind of joke gift.
Senior Vice President of Automotive Operations, shared a funny
story of when he and Mr. Michels were lodging at a brand-new resort
in the Swiss Alps that still had several bugs in its ointment.
That was good for a few laughs.
Carter announced an all-new Toyota Tacoma pickup truck for 2015,
and two new high performance vehicles from Lexus, all debuting
at the 2015 North American International Auto Show next month
at Cobo. He also said the Camry is expected to be the top-selling
car in America for the 13th year in a row.
Braker, the head of Lexus in America, told me the one Lexus is
the NX 200t, an SUV that runs on regular fuel, with a hybrid version
also available. The other Lexus is a car.
announcement made by Carter was that all of Toyota's North American
managerial operations will be moved to Plano, Texas. Apparently,
the Torrance, Calif. facility will close.
a northern suburb of Dallas, is also home to Frito-Lay Inc. I
joked with Mr. Braker that they should put a bag of Doritos in
the glove compartment of every new Toyota and Lexus, and he quickly
quipped, “You'd like that.”
to myself: “How did he know?”
Note: Six members of the AmericaJR.com Web Team will
be offering complete coverage of the 2015 North American International
Auto Show from the show floor at Cobo Center in Detroit.
more information about the North American International Auto Show,
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