No. 968
October 17, 2018

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

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On The Surface


On The Surface #449

June 11, 2008 goes Mobile!!! Now you can get the "Bare-Knuckled, Unvarnished, High-Octane Truth" via your mobile phone. That's right! Now you'll never have to wait or miss reading your favorite auto industry coverage. Simply point your web-enabled phone to and it's all right there. Home, On the Table, Fumes, Horizon, Road Kill and even Mail. Of course, those drinking the latest flavor of Steve Job's Kool-Aid can point their tragically-hip iPhones to the same address... , click on the sign and add a slick UjianNasional icon right to their iPhone desktop. It doesn't get any better than that!

arrowup.gifarrowdown.gifChrysler. When you're clueless and hopelessly out of touch, you might as well admit it. Chrysler is having an employee "rally" in honor of Lee Iacocca on June 26 at its Auburn Hills headquarters according to the Detroit Free Press. That Iacocca was the last leader (he retired in '92) of Chrysler who actually knew what the hell he was doing - even though he contributed to two boom and bust cycles for the company under his watch - is a sad testament to how bad things really are at the Cerberus-helmed Chrysler LLC. Honoring Lido (at least for the good stuff) is a nice idea, we agree. But then again, it will remind everyone just how f---ed up things really are out there now.
arrowup.gifCadillac. Publisher's Note: I had the opportunity to spend some time with the development team behind the new Cadillac CTS-V yesterday out at GM's Milford Proving Grounds, and it's refreshing to know that in these dire times there's still a place for committed, dedicated, hard-core enthusiasts in Detroit. The new-generation CTS-V is, by all indications, the greatest American high-performance sedan ever built. With a supercharged V-8 delivering 556HP and 551 pounds-feet of torque, the CTS-V is the most sophisticated sedan ever offered for sale by GM, and one that will stand up to BMW's "M" cars and the Mercedes-Benz "AMG" performance cars and go toe-to-toe with them in every respect. This is the car that lapped the famed 13.9-mile Nurburgring "Nordschliefe" at 7 minutes and 59 seconds - the fastest recorded by a sedan to date - and it will be available at Cadillac showrooms in October (see John Heinricy talk about his record setting lap at the Nurburgring ). If this is truly The End for the high-performance era, then the CTS-V is a fitting last tribute. Congratulations to all who contributed to this outstanding program. - PMD 

Michigan Research Institute. This organization will present GM CEO Rick Wagoner with its Trustee Citation Award "for his visionary leadership in developing sustainable transportation by aggressively driving a strategy for energy diversity in markets around the world." Well, alrighty then!
The UAW. From the "Be Careful What You Wish For" File, the United Autoworkers Union officially endorsed Barack Obama for president yesterday for the simple reason that they always endorse the Democratic Party's candidate for this nation's highest office. The union is operating under the assumption that Obama will come around to their way of thinking just in time to get elected. You must be joking. We knew they were clueless down at Solidarity House, but we didn't know they were that clueless.
arrowup.gifCamaro vs. Challenger. Chrysler will be touting its 250HP V6 Challenger SE as an entry-level sport coupe that delivers all the Challenger design presence for not too much money (a base price of $21,995) and 25 mpg on the highway. Watch for Chevy's entry-level V6 Camaro to get 28 mpg on the highway and come in with a base price right on top of the Dodge. The so-called rebirth of the "muscle car wars" is a nonstarter. GM and Chrysler will sell every one of its big V8s in these cars without even trying. The real battle will take place in the entry-level trenches, where Chevy and Dodge will be trying to convince the American driving public that these new pony cars are worthy of consideration for everyday driving.
Bob Nardelli. We were thinking of devoting this entire issue of AE to "Minimum Bob," because every time we turn around the ex-GE/Home Depot and now Chrysler honcho is popping up and imparting his words of wisdom to the point that we can barely keep up. Yesterday, at an event organized by The Wall Street Journal in New York, the reality-challenged CEO told the audience that he expects Chrysler to be an independent company three years from now, and that Chrysler's private-equity owners were not second guessing their acquisition. Right. Talk about hard to swallow. Nardelli also reiterated his standard line about why Cerberus owning Chrysler is officially a good thing because - as he points out on a daily basis - because under private ownership decisions come quicker and are not subject to the normal second guessing that comes from equity investors and analysts. Sounds good on paper, like it always has since Cerberus announced it would save Chrysler and the entire auto industry with their calculated brilliance, but that doesn't take into account whether or not the actual decisions being made are worth a shit to begin with. And let's just say we are seeing no evidence of that thus far. But keep talkin' Bob, because the media needs something to write about this summer. It's better than reading the usual trashy beach novel, even if it is Gulp Fiction.
arrowup.gifGM. GM has filed a notice of action in Ontario's Superior Court of Justice on Tuesday to try to force the Canadian Auto Workers union to end its blockade of the automaker's Oshawa, Ontario, headquarters, according to the Associated Press. Not only that, GM wants $1.5 million in compensation for the blockade from CAW Local 222 President Chris Buckley and four other members. And they are said to be "shocked." The protest, which began after GM announced that it would close its Oshawa truck plant in 2009, is going nowhere, and now GM - for once not putting up with the typical CAW bullshit - is playing hardball. Good for them.