EYECATCHERS: The Sunroof King

A German immigrant who arrived in the U.S. as a 22-year-old mechanical engineer ten years ago, Heinz Prechter has combined stamina with a knack for improvising to break into a lucrative phase of auto manufacturing.

His specialty: the installation of sliding sunroofs, long popular on European cars but until recently rejected by U.S. automakers, who felt that demand did not warrant adopting a special assembly-line procedure.

Prechter nonetheless went methodically from one auto company to another, in stalling demonstration roofs free of charge. After several years his persistence paid off: Dodge and...

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