Auto News for Feb. 23

Honda announced today that its chief executive will step down in June and be replaced by an engineer who played a key role in the development of the CR-V and Odyssey. CEO Takanobu Ito presided over the company during the Takata airbag recall and recalls of the subcompact Fit. If the Honda board approves the move, the top spot will be taken over by Managing Officer Takahiro Hachigo in a move that surprised many auto analysts. Honda has recalled more than 14 million vehicles with the Takata airbags.

The man who introduced the Z car to these shores – Yutaka Katayama – has died of heart failure at age 105. He is a former president of Nissan’s sales and marketing business here in the U.S. and was remembered as “Mr. K” in TV ads in the 60’s and 70’s.

Interior_02Mercedes-Maybach Pullman

 

There is first class and then there is the Mercedes-Maybach Pullman limo that will have its world debut at the Geneva extravaganza. Just one look at the interior proves that this is a lot more than an old Checker cab. Just over 21 feet long with a “Club Lounge” in the rear four passengers can sit facing each other in the “compartment” with an electrically-operated partition window. The top-of-the-line S 600 features a V12 biturbo engine rated at 523 horsepower with 612 lb-ft of torque, or more than enough to leave pesky reporters and photographers in its dust. There will be lots of leather trim, even in the head liner, and three analog instruments in the roof liner for outside temperature, speed and time. Two high end Burmester sound systems are offered among a long list of custom options. Prices will start at $566,922 and the first customers will be able to take delivery in early 2016. Of course, older readers will remember when the Pullman name was synonymous with first class train service back in the day.

 

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