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September 2006 Newsletter
 
Sidorov Precision Driver Training Issue 5/September 14, 2006

*Changes at Ford

Bill Ford has stepped down as the CEO of the company that
bears his name. The interesting part is that his
replacement, Alan Mulally, does not come from the
automotive industry but from Boeing. I guess that is a sign
of the desperation we see in the North American auto
industry, or at least from the Big Three. Well, perhaps we
can leave Daimler Chrysler out of this. Even though many
thought the combining of the two companies was a merger, it
was a takeover by the German giant. I was doing development
work for the old Chrysler Corporation at the time, and
watched a lot of people walk the plank. Bill Ford will stay
around in some sort of capacity. Meanwhile, the auto giant's
new Save Our Company program, Way Forward, starts by
chopping 30,000 jobs. There's a fair chance Ford will sell
Aston Martin and perhaps Jaguar as well.

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*Volvo Wins

Recently, a Volvo racing car (not an oxymoron), driven by
Michael Galati, won a World Challenge GT race. The event
was run at Mosport, Ontario, on September 2 2006, in the
pouring rain. Other cars in the field included Dodge Vipers
and various exotic Porsches, plus a couple of Cadillacs (not
a misprint) including one driven by my friend Ron Fellows.
Aided by all-wheel-drive, the racing Volvo, based on the
S60R model, made a demon start, and disappeared into the
lead. On the last lap one of the turbos blew, but the
driver did an excellent job of nursing the thing home.

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*That Music Thing

It is too late to put the genie back into the bottle, but
here is a thought. Way back when the first car radios made
the scene, there should have been a decibel level imposed.
My police officer friends go nuts when they have the siren
on, but some cool dude can't hear because the tunes are
cranked so high. There is nothing wrong with high quality
music in a car, as long as it is quiet enough that more
important driving-related sounds can be heard. I know this
line of thinking will be unpopular with many. Sorry folks,
I'm a professional driver, and consider the driving part
the important bit when a vehicle is in motion.



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