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


On The Surface #461

September 3, 2008

GM. Publisher's Note: That GM is obsessed with making a profit in North America again is no secret, but I contend that it’s a fool’s errand at this point. GM will never make or sustain a profit in the North American market as long as the company is configured the way it is today, and it may just take a major catastrophe for the powers that be down in the RenCen to figure that out. The future of GM’s survival will hinge on the company relying on their two corporate pillars – Cadillac and Chevrolet – with some peripheral help from Saturn and Buick. I also believe that GM should keep Hummer and market it everywhere but the North American market but that’s another column for another day. Everything else GM is trying to do in terms of justifying the existence of its eight divisions is pointless and ultimately impeding their progress. - PMD

Cadillac, GM. Publisher's Note: We had the pleasure of witnessing the unveiling of the new 2010 Cadillac CTS Coupe recently (photos were not allowed), and I'm happy to report that the production version of the stunning concept that was revealed at last January's Detroit Auto Show is even better than the concept, right down to the last detail. The outstanding new CTS Coupe will be available about a year from now, hard on the heels of the new CTS sport wagon that will hit the street next spring. And those in the know are saying that the "V" version of Cadillac's design masterpiece won't be far behind. - PMD

Robert Cumberford. The often acerbic and always opinionated designer/analyst (and one of our favorites), who along with a very few others still around today actually worked for GM's legendary Harley Earl, offers a fine remembrance of the story behind the 1958 Corvette - the car he designed under Earl's direct tutelage - in the new October edition of Automobile. Cumberford captures the spirit of that "different time and different era" masterfully, and the column is a must read for automotive enthusiasts of all stripes and interests. Excellent stuff.

Tata. Things are not going well at all for India's Tata Motors Ltd. The company has had to shut down construction of a factory slated to produce the world's cheapest car - the $2,500 Nano - due to continued protests by farmers at the site who claim that the company never properly compensated them for the 997 acres it acquired in the village 20 miles northwest of Calcutta. A new site for the plant is being sought. Watch for the price of the Nano to skyrocket. Funny, but a $5,000 Nano doesn't have quite the same ring to it...

GM. The decision to extend GM's "employee discount for everyone" program an additional month is understandable, given the piss-poor conditions in the U.S. auto market. And it's great for American consumers looking for a deal. But when the discount music stops in the October-November-December time frame, the aftermath is going to be ugly for GM.

Detroit. From the "Be Careful What You Wish For" File comes word that Washington politicians are actually seriously talking about some sort of loan program for the Detroit automakers. The catch? With those loans come strings, some of which will be worse than receiving no loans at all by the time the politicos get down with formulating their list of "conditions." Not Good.