No. 1005
July 17, 2019

About The UjianNasional@PeterMDeLorenzo Author, commentator, influencer. "The Consigliere." Editor-in-Chief of

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On The Surface



November 4, 2009


  The Chrysler Meeting. Okay, let's just say that the organization of this relentless death march of a meeting left a lot to be desired. Ninety minutes in it was clear that this session could have been handled in two hours, tops. Speakers droning on, overhead charts, and absolutely nothing surprising. Yes, they're going to be better, yes, they're going to employ more advanced technology, yes, they're going to cut costs with myriad synergies. BFD, I would hope so. It looks like it's going to be good in the 2014-2015 time frame, or let's just say they expect to be competitive, at least. But what are they going to do for their dealers for the next two model years? How about nothin' much. If I were a Chrysler dealer, I'd be sweating bullets right about now.

Fred Diaz. The worst presentation of the day goes to Fred Diaz on behalf of the Ram Truck brand. Subjecting the media to a glorified rah-rah dealer meeting speech was simply inexcusable, unforgivable and frankly unbelievable. Not only that, but they're going to get into the eighteen-wheeler market down the road? What a train wreck.

"My Tank is Full." The new Dodge Ram campaign is called "My Tank is Full." An overwrought, over-written, over-promising embarrassment of an ad campaign that pegs the "wince" meter with about a 12. My Tank is Full? How about My head is Exploding? These guys are good. Not.

Jeep. Speaking of beyond category tedious, the new Jeep ad campaign - I live. I ride. I am. Jeep. - which we were given a preview of at "Sergio's Ball" was, how should we say, puzzling. Is Jeep subjugating its imagery for a Harley-Davidson-esque tone? If so, it's too late. Harley owns that space. And the execution of it? Ouch, baby. It's all about getting in touch with one's feelings, and, what was the ad about again? Straight from the "Just Shoot Me" File. Wake us up when somebody actually gets a clue out there.

arrowup.gif Ford. Big headlines, meaningful progress. Keep your heads down, keep focused and don't bother with the press clippings. You still have a long, long way to go.

arrowup.gifGM. We're glad at least a few people on the board had the cojones to do the right thing, and that's keep Opel and Vauxhall. GM needs to get down to business and make it work - it's too good and important of an entity to let go.

Frank Stronach, Magna, Sberbank. In the immortal words of Rod Tidwell, "Boo-fucking-hoo."

Toyota. Publisher's Note: The Japanese auto company has abruptly pulled the plug on its Formula 1 program. The automaker entered the sport in 2002 hell bent on finally trying to do something about burying its stodgy image as an "assembler" of motorized appliances once and for all. And it failed miserably. Toyota is estimated to have spent as much as $2.5 billion - if not more - in its quest only to achieve a few poles and a few podium finishes, and not one single victory. This move by Toyota signifies more than a pullback for financial reasons, it's an embarrassment of the highest degree. This company demonstrated that in spite all of its financial might and technical resources it could not get it done. All they have to show for it now is its new Lexus LFA super sports car, which becomes a $350,000 answer to a question that nobody was asking, no matter how good it is. The bottom line in all of this is that the natural order of things has been emphatically proven yet again. When Honda goes racing, it's part of their corporate soul, and they have won and will continue to win championships when they put their minds to it, because that's who they are. As I've said repeatedly, they don't call it the Honda Motor Company for nothing. Toyota? Not so much. It's a car company, yes, but it's more of an assembler of ingredients than anything else. Racing and winning has never been a part of who they are. It has never driven them, and they've competed over the years when it seemed like the thing to do, not because they believed in it to their core. And so it goes... - PMD

Smart. Publisher's Note: Back when this venture was first announced I went on record as saying it would last 12 months, tops. Well, 20 months in and with sales trending downward month after month - October sales were down a staggering 70.4 percent - I think we can safely say that the Smart experiment is a bust. Even with an electric version allegedly coming here, it doesn't matter. It's a niche car, and the niche has been filled. Buh-bye now.  - PMD



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Publisher's Note: Check-out John McElroy's daily news show covering everything about the auto biz by clicking on the graphic below. Good stuff guaranteed. - PMD


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