Even on a soggy spring morning, H&M is causing a commotion outside its newest store in suburban Chicago. Madonna and Beyoncé blast from giant speakers as workers hand out gift cards to dozens of shoppers lining up before the doors open to the Bolingbrook, Ill., store.
When Chrysler designer Ralph Gilles first became a family man, he wasn't ready to drive a dowdy minivan. So he pimped out a '99 Dodge Caravan with big wheels, dual racing stripes and a monster engine. "I thought, 'If I'm going to have a minivan'," he says, " 'I'll have it my way'." Now Chrysler is letting him have his way with its entire minivan lineup, injecting some style into what is essentially this generation's station wagon.
Greetings from the Alice in Wonderland Auto Show in Detroit. On one end of this city's aging conference center, General Motors, maker of the hulking Hummer, is generating buzz with its 150-miles per gallon hybrid electric concept car, the Chevy Volt .
In the grocery section of a big-box store in north Beijing, shoppers struggle to catch a bargain. And a fish. "We'd still rather pick it out ourselves," says law student Guo Jiao, as she and a friend repeatedly plunge fishing nets into a tank full of slippery grass carp.
When I interviewed General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner two days before his first meeting with Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn this summer, it was clear that this was an unwilling bride being forced into a shotgun marriage. "There's a lot of aspects of all of this that haven't been normal," Wagoner said, referring to how his hand was forced into negotiating with Ghosn by GM's big and restive shareholder, Las Vegas billionaire Kirk Kerkorian. "It's not the way I would have done it." In the end,...