OK, at first blush Jay Leno and rapper 50 cent might seem like a strange combination. But for General Motors this odd couple is the star power the automaker needs to draw attention to specialty auto parts.
Last night here in Las Vegas, Leno unveiled a Corvette Z06 modified for racing performance even when running on E85 ethanol. When I asked him about the car he quipped, "The nice thing is, it's all kind of home grown. The car was made here and the fuel doesn't come from those people throwing bombs at us, unless they live in Kansas."
There were no jokes, but still plenty of car comments when rapper/actor 50 cent showed me the modified Pontiac G8 he worked on. It includes a ruby red suede interior and an 800 watt sound system. Trust me, it's LOUD!!!!!!!!!!!
Both men, along with former NBA player Jerome Williams, who modified a Buick Enclave, are part of the star power GM is using to draw attention to its growing after market auto parts business. GM dealers are pushing these add-ons more and more as a way a profitable way for it to give customer exactly what they want in a new Chevy, Pontiac, Cadillac, etc.
It's a smart move. Stars draw attention, and as the popularity of shows like Pimp My Ride demonstrate,...people want to see what can be done to a new car, truck, or SUV. Check out the pics I've sent in. Not a bad way to spend some time in Vegas.
Tomorrow from SEMA: The coolest cars in sin city.
Questions? Comments? BehindTheWheel@cnbc.com