No. 1004
July 10, 2019

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

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On The Surface



October 21, 2009

GM, Chrysler. Publisher's Note: We knew it was bad, but just how pathetic was it inside GM and Chrysler during their final days before bankruptcy? Plenty. Steven Rattner's account in the new Fortune magazine is shocking in parts, laying out the stark reality for Chrysler as being "larded up with debt" and "hollowed out by years of mismanagement" and that it "never had a chance" under Cerberus. But his most brutal assessment was reserved for GM, calling its financial staff "perhaps the weakest finance operation any of us had ever seen in a major company," among other things and, "If ever a board of directors needed shuffling, it was GM's, which had been utterly docile in the face of mounting evidence of looming disaster." He also said that former chairman Rick Wagoner set the tone at GM of "friendly arrogance," which perfectly described the lingering feeling I had whenever I was around some - not all I should point out - of GM's leaders. For more, read David Shepardson's excellent piece in the Detroit News . - PMD

arrowup.gif arrowup.gif  Steven Rattner. Two big "up" arrows for revealing your insider's perspective on the GM and Chrysler bailout deliberations. And one BIG FAT "down" arrow for feigning amazement that senior GM executives worked on the top floors of the GM Renaissance Center headquarters - behind locked and guarded glass security doors - and describing that the execs had special pass cards "that allowed them to descend to their private garage without stopping ... No mixing with the drones." Oh really, Steven? As if you and your Wall Street cronies can be held up as shining examples of "men of the people?" Everyone in the world knows that that's utter and total bullshit. The High-Octane Truth, Steven? It's all you and your ilk can do to get from the lobby of your building to your chauffeur-driven cars before you have to acknowledge that other "drones" in the world exist, right? So spare us the high-falutin' holier-than-thou bullshit because we're just not buying it.

GM’s CFO search. From the “Be Careful What You Wish For” File, GM’s search for a new CFO to replace Ray Young is not going so well. It seems that the Government is leery of coughing up the necessary dough (it will require a salary of well over $1 million) to attract the level of talent needed to do the job properly. Government ownership = messy. Who knew?

Nobuki Ebisawa. Honda’s chief of design tells Automotive News that at one point the young designers reporting to him were doing designs that were too flashy and emotional and that they needed to be dialed back. Huh? You have got to be kidding, right? We certainly didn’t see a danger of that happening. He did redeem himself - but only somewhat - by saying that the new Honda CR-Z hybrid sports car – a design we like very much – was an example of the design dynamic he likes for future Hondas. But then he seemed to be still puzzled as to go how to go about defining the distinction between Honda and Acura. Still? If you’re still grappling with the distinction between the two, maybe it’s time to take a nice, long vacation and let someone else tackle the problem.

arrowup.gifThe Porsche Panamera. Publisher’s Note: I have been inundated with requests to flesh out my opinion of the new Porsche Panamera sedan. Yes, I know they refer to it as a four-door sports car, but it’s a sedan, pure and simple. And a big one too. It's clear that the Panamera - if it had been brought forward before the Cayenne - would have been much more palatable. As it stands, it has a sensational interior, it provides an interesting alternative for some of Mercedes/BMW sedan buyers looking for something different, and I believe it will be successful (my media colleagues have already said it drives sensationally well in early reports). I think it's fine from the B-pillar forward, but the fact that former CEO Wendelin Wiedeking - who is no longer with the company - insisted that the back seat had to accommodate his 6'2" frame, clearly compromised the design, to put it mildly, in the end redefining the term “butt-ugly.” The most interesting thing about it? Ferdinand Piech, the head of the VW Group (and Porsche scion), has already gone on record as saying that both the Cayenne and the Panamera will be discontinued within five years, as they don't fit with the Porsche mission. Very interesting. So, the bottom line for me is that the Panamera is far better than the Cayenne because at least it’s a car and not a truck, I love the interior, I don't love the design from the rear, but they'll probably sell the hell out of 'em anyway. - PMD

arrowup.gifThe next-gen Corvette. Speculation is beginning to ramp-up about the next-generation Corvette - which will be the seventh in the iconic car’s lineage - thus the shorthand reference to it as the “C7.” Originally slated to be a mid-engine car, then changed to a conventional front-engine, rear-wheel-drive configuration with a mid-engine supercar variant to be built in limited numbers along side it, the C7 will make its debut as a 2012 model, with conventional front-engine, rear-wheel-drive architecture. Expect a car that’s 7/8 the size of the current car and as much as 300 pounds lighter in order to deliver the kind of mileage numbers required. Also, a standard drive train that features a high-performance V6 is being strongly considered. But no worries, an ultra high-performance V8 will still be the featured powertrain, however, so that aspect of the Corvette will not change. The Sting Ray concept that appeared in the sequel to “Transformers” last summer is the design influence for the new car, which Ed Welburn has already said will feature a “split” in the rear window reminiscent of the 1963 Sting Ray.

(Photos courtesy of General Motors)


arrowup.gif  VW. It purchases a 49.9 percent stake in Porsche, paving the way for a full takeover of the smaller German company. It could be really good, it could be a non-issue, or it could be really bad, depending on which side of the bed Ferdinand Piech happens to get up from most mornings.

    Omnicom. The giant advertising holding company is in deep trouble with Chrysler. The latest evidence? Chrysler is shopping its $1 billion advertising media account, and the Omnicom-owned PHD - the current media agency of record for Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep - is unlikely to retain the business. The words Not Good come to mind whenever we think of Omnicom these days.


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


See another live episode of "Autoline After Hours" hosted by Autoline Detroit's John McElroy, with Peter De Lorenzo and friends this Thursday evening, at 7:00PM EDT at .


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