Keith Naughton

Hip To Be Square

When Honda's engineers set out to create hot wheels for the under-25 crowd, they didn't just set up focus groups, they visited kids in their natural habitat: the X Games.

Lending Spree

Last week marked the start of the 2003 model year, and the hottest offering on the showroom floor remains zero percent financing. With sales stalling, GM, Ford and Chrysler rolled out shiny zero percent deals on their newest models.

The Perk Wars

More accustomed to being praised than pilloried, Jack Welch tried to make the uproar over his perks-for-life retirement deal go away last week. When his wife's divorce papers this month laid bare the lavish lifestyle General Electric was financing for its former chief, Welch became the latest CEO in the cross hairs.

More Than Zero

Jim Holton was not in the market for a new car. But last month he bought a $38,000 GMC Yukon on a five-year, zero-percent loan. "It was all I could think about,'' says the contractor. "I had to buy this.''Detroit rolled out zero percent to jump-start the car market after September 11, but the come-on is still packing 'em in.

More Head Wind For Martha

Even when Martha Stewart cooperates with the insider-trading probe that's dogged her all summer, she still manages to appear less than forthcoming. Last week her lawyers delivered more than 1,000 pages of e-mails, phone records and other documents to congressional investigators demanding the domestic diva clear up discrepancies in her story about her ImClone stock sale.

Electric Avenue

My gasoline-and-electric-powered Civic Hybrid died in traffic. Repeatedly. On purpose. Turns out the gas-stingy Hybrid shuts off when it comes to a stop. But as soon as I pressed the accelerator, Honda's new high-tech marvel sprang to life, its electric motor and tiny four-cylinder engine humming quietly and air conditioning pouring from the vents. (Don't want to swelter in a standstill?

Autos: Deals On Wheels

Forget about bargain hunting in the wreckage of the stock market. The best deals these days are on new-car lots. That might sound like some car-dealer come-on, but as the auto industry closes out its 2002 model year, rebates, cut-rate financing and lease deals have never been better.

The Mighty Fall

Times are tough enough for Steve Miller, the chief executive who's trying to lead troubled Bethlehem Steel out of bankruptcy. But he never thought the rapidly expanding rogues' gallery of CEOs would make his job even harder.

More 'Ridiculousness'

Wielding a big knife and a look of determination, Martha Stewart kept her head down while chopping cabbage on CBS's "The Early Show" last week. But even in her weekly cooking segment, Martha couldn't escape the insider-trading scandal that's tarnished her homemaking empire.

Road Test: Backroads Bully

I'm aiming the hulking new Hummer H2 SUV straight into a yawning hole in the earth. As I go vertical, I see only mud through the windshield. I'm certain I'm about to be planted six feet under this ridiculous off-road course in Indiana.

Martha's Tabloid Dish

As Joelle Kheel riffled through a stack of Martha Stewart pastel bedding at a Kmart in Manhattan last week, she became annoyed. "I don't know why I'm even looking at her products," huffed the retired actress.

A Dash Of Style

When office-furniture designer John Kaloustian first saw the interior of the Audi TT, he was sold. He couldn't resist the thick rawhide stitching on the tan leather seats. "Those baseball-glove seats were a must-have," he says.

Bargains Keep Rolling

The dire predictions rattled through Detroit last fall. Sure, car sales soared thanks to the zero percent financing bonanza automakers unleashed in the wake of September 11, but it couldn't last.


When Maureen Totaro decided to buy her daughter a Mercedes for her 16th birthday, she worried what the neighbors would think. "I was embarrassed she'd look like a spoiled rich kid," she confesses.

Roots Gets Rad

Not since Monica has a beret caused such frenzy. After Team USA donned berets and sleek midnight blue jackets in the Winter Olympics opening ceremonies, American shoppers were clamoring to find the artsy chapeau made by Roots, official outfitter of America's Olympians.

Japan Gears Up

It was Chrysler's coming-out party for its most important new model. Surrounded by a throng of reporters at the opening day of the Detroit Auto Show, the Chrysler brass touted the "breakthrough" styling of the sleek Pacifica, a combo minivan-SUV-station wagon.

Crisis At Kmart: Not A Good Thing

Growing up in a big family, Maura Gavin was devoted to the "BlueLight Special." Every week she and her five siblings would troop to Kmart with mom to hunt down deals. "I must have heard 'Attention, Kmart shoppers' a thousand times," recalls Gavin, 37, of Ohio.

Another Auto Exec Heads For The Hills

When Detroit faces tough times moving the metal, top executives often start heading for the exits.Just two weeks after Jacques Nasser lost his job as Ford's CEO, Ron Zarrella today announced he is resigning as head of General Motor's North American car business to become CEO of Bausch & Lomb, the eye-care company he came to GM from seven years ago.

Hit The Road, Jacques

Bill Ford began preparing for the change nearly a month ago. Ford Motor Co. had been floundering. Its brand name had been sullied by the Firestone scandal.

'Lock And Download'

Terrorists scored a direct hit on the American economy, sending it spiraling into recession. The nation's defense contractors are a rare bright spot, with the stocks of many soaring by nearly 30 percent in the past month.

Is Michigan A Terror Stronghold?

With one of the largest populations of Arabs outside the Middle East, Detroit and its surrounding suburbs have become fertile ground for terrorism fund-raising and recruiting. "The Detroit/Dearborn area is a major financial support center for many Mideast terrorist groups," according to a Michigan State Police report obtained by NEWSWEEK. "Southeast Michigan is known as a lucrative recruiting area and potential support base for international terrorist groups.


The Feds couldn't have sounded more effusive at a Justice Department photo op last week with state and local police chiefs to tout cooperation in the war on terrorism.