No. 979
January 16, 2018

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

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On The Surface



March 4, 2009


Auto Sales. No use going down the list, all you need to know about February car sales is that they were absolutely off-a-cliff dreadful. We're in a full-blown auto industry depression, folks - a Motor City Meltdown - with no end in sight.

arrowup.gifAuto Suppliers. Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm was pitching the White House on Tuesday for aid for the auto industry supplier base, a group that's facing certain doom unless they get some immediate help. If the network of suppliers crumbles, the carnage across America in towns big and small would be absolutely devastating. We have to give the Gov. an "A" for trying at least.

The Obama Administration. All of your Green Dreams to create a U.S. transportation fleet of perfume-emitting Smiley Cars driven by Shiny Happy Americans is already down the drain. Talking about a "re-imagined" American auto industry when it is near total collapse makes about as much sense as nominating the unicorn to replace the Eagle as America's national symbol. The American auto industry needs immediate help right now. What are you guys going to do besides send Rahm Emanuel out to expound on the Sunday news shows? The Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility program? We're still waiting...

Rahm Emanuel. Speaking of which, it's clear that the White House Chief of Staff (aka President Obama’s Attack Dog in Chief) buys into much of the rhetoric spewed at the Detroit Three automakers back in December in Washington. And it's also clear that he's a card-carrying member of the finger-snap brigade assembled by the Obama administration - those who think the myriad problems affecting the auto industry can be cured by a snap of the fingers and a wholesale adaptation of stringent, green-tinged policies, no matter how stifling they might be to an economy already gasping for breath - who truly believes that the American auto industry must pay for their sins and that bankruptcy is the only option. Memo to Rahmbo: Just because you were a large barracuda in the political pool in Chicago doesn't mean you immediately gain a measure of gravitas for being Barack's "Boy" in Washington. We suspect that you're walking, talking proof of the adage that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, and if this is a preview of the kind of facts you'll be bringing to the table over the next four years when influencing public policy decisions then we're in for a couple of container ships of Not Good.

Toyota. That wonderful company that successfully pulled a Green Snuggie over consumers' eyes by actually convincing them that the hallowed Prius walked on water is now asking the Japanese government for $2 billion in loans to help its financial unit through these tough times. That's rich. It seems that Toyota was no different than the American car companies in their inability to predict the end of the large SUV era and all of the associated fallout that came with that egregious miscalculation, and now lo and behold, they're hemorrhaging money too. Because, guess what? Toyota didn't make money selling the Prius, it made money by selling those trucks and SUVs. Not that anyone in Washington would care to notice. After all, we're talking about an entrenched mindset that revolves around the Toyota=Good, Detroit=Bad formula that has dominated thinking by the Potomac over the last decade. And that's not likely to change anytime soon. Another thing for the new administration to contemplate while they're burying Detroit? The fact that a large share of Toyota's profitability on the way to it becoming The Greatest Car Company on Earth was due to the fact that the Japanese government blatantly manipulated the yen to Toyota's advantage in order to help boost its profitability in the American market. Why do we think the Obama administration will find a way to blame that on Detroit somehow too?

The Concorso Italiano. The once-cool "little" Italian-oriented car show held during the car festivities in Pebble Beach the third week in August that turned into a giant mess due to poor planning, poor locations and finally just a low-rent vibe last year is struggling to make a comeback. is reporting that yet another new ownership group has come forward to resurrect the integrity of the show, this time led by a guy named Tom McDowell, who said he was unhappy with last year's event location at the Marina Airport and that he is looking for vindication this time around, hoping to put it at the Pacific Grove Municipal Golf Links. But being California and all, the likelihood of McDonald's group gaining the proper permits in time to sufficiently promote the event is slim.

arrowup.gifPaul Harvey. We could use your sense of whimsy, your sense of humor and a large dose of your unbridled optimism right about now, Paul, because nothing else is working. Good day!

arrowup.gifGreat Northern Roasting Company. A special thank-you to longtime AE reader Jack Davis, founder and "roastmaster" of the Great Northern Roasting Company in Traverse City, Michigan. Jack has sent the AE gang some of their finest beans over the years, and we, as true coffee freaks, are extremely grateful. The company specializes in private estate, environmentally sound coffee from every growing region around the globe. If you're in need of a high-octane coffee fix extraordinaire, check out their selections at .

arrowup.gifDirecTV. The satellite TV service will again give its viewers a live, front-row seat at SXSW in Austin, Texas, with HD broadcasts from the festival beginning at 5:00PM EDT (2:00 PDT) on March 20 and 21st. This is the third year that DirecTV will bring these shows to viewers. Tune into The 101 Network on DirecTV (Channel 101). We highly recommend it.


The Ford iosis Max, the third in the series of iosis ‘kinetic design’ concept cars, was unveiled at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show yesterday. The iosis MAX is a vision for Ford's next generation compact multi-activity vehicle (MAV), and hints at the design direction of Ford's next global C-cars.


Even though we've shown pictures of it before, we can't get enough of the Ford Focus RS. Previewed at the Paris and London shows last year, the production RS makes its formal debut in Geneva this week. With over 300 horsepower the RS can go 0 - 62 mph in 5.9 seconds and has a top speed of 163 mph, and its innovative "RevoKnuckle" design front suspension is said to have cured the dreaded torque steer so common with high-performance FWD vehicles. It's also capable of delivering 30 mpg when driven semi-prudently.

(Photo by Gerhard Graef for General Motors)
General Motors Europe Vice President Opel Alain Visser unveils the Opel Ampera electric extended-range vehicle at a special event prior to the start of the Geneva Motor Show Monday, March 2, 2009. The five-door, four-seat Ampera - which is based on the Chevrolet Volt architecture - will go into production in late 2011. The Ampera will also be offered with right-hand drive in the United Kingdom by Vauxhall.




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