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Reporter Notebook: Oh Say Can You See?

Reporter Notebook: Oh Say Can You See?

Ward’s writers pass along the buzz at this week’s Center for Automotive Research’s Management Briefing Seminars in Traverse City, MI.

Amazed and Blue

Ken Knight, who heads global manufacturing engineering at General Motors, reveals to the seminar crowd here news his college freshman son will play football this fall at the University of Illinois.

At 6-ft.-4-ins. (1.9 m) tall and 240 lbs. (109 kg), the prospect of the young receiver playing against the rival Big Ten alma maters of MBS attendees draws a blank reaction.

That is until Jay Baron, seminar chairman and president and CEO of Ann Arbor, MI-based Center for Automotive Research, the MBS host, suggests Knight’s son transfer to the University of Michigan.

The partisan crowd erupts with applause.

Oh Say Can You See?

One of the requirements for an MBS speaker not only is command of the most pressing issues of today's auto industry, but also an ability to read a teleprompter.

Unfortunately for Toyota’s Kevin Butt, the event’s organizers didn't consider bifocal wearers when placing this year's teleprompters at floor level.

"When monitors are down there on the floor, and you wear bifocals, that thing is hard to read," Butt remarks.

Fortunately, the auto maker’s chief environmental and safety officer says he remembered his presentation well enough that the blurry words weren’t too much of a detriment.

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