No. 1013
September 11, 2019

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

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On The Surface


On The Surface #440

April 9, 2008 

arrowdown.gifDaimler AG shareholders. CEO Dieter Zetsche tells shareholders at the annual meeting of Daimler AG that "We have a clear strategy for sustainable profitable growth." Uh-oh. Didn't he say something similar right before he flew Chrysler into the ground? He also said, "Your Company has made substantial progress over the past two years. Old virtues have given us new strength." Which "old virtues" are those exactly? The arrogance engineering overkill, or just the marketing incompetence?

arrowup.gifFord. The automaker says it will put special "Blind-Spot Tracking Mirrors" that show blind spots in the outside upper corners in select Ford, Lincoln and Mercury models to start, eventually making them standard across most of its lineup. It also will offer an optional radar-based blind spot warning system similar to those marketed by other automakers, but with the ability to scan parking lot aisles and warn of oncoming vehicles as a driver backs out of a space. Next up? Day-Glo green exterior lights to warn other drivers when you have a latte in one hand and a cell phone in the other, while you're steering with your knees. These "Knee-Jerk" lights will be available on SUVs and minivans first, for obvious reasons.

arrowdown.gifThe Wall Street Journal. They trumpet a front page story yesterday about the prospects for the Detroit auto manufacturers to begin exporting cars and trucks around the world because of the weakened dollar. Besides the fact that the story was wildly premature, the reality of the situation is that the likelihood of exports having even a negligible impact on Detroit's fortunes anytime soon is pure folly. The buzz among the auto media legions right now? That the WSJ's auto coverage is really stinking up the joint of late.

arrowup.gifThe Missouri House. For the third straight year, the Missouri House has approved a tax break for state residents who buy vehicles made in Missouri. The House gave first-round approval Tuesday to a bill creating a tax credit equal to the state sales tax for cars, trucks, vans and motorcycles manufactured in Missouri. It needs another vote to move to the Senate, but it's doubtful it will matter, because the Senate has killed the measure two years running. Nice thought for the State of Michigan, too, except for the fact that the State is broke and can't afford it.

arrowup.gifFiat. One of our favorite Internet stops of the moment is, the website that tells you everything you need to know about the fabulous Italian minicar and 2008 Car of the Year. Don't miss the "Abarth Experience" if you go.

arrowdown.gifChrysler. "If you can dream it, we can build it" is the new touchy-feely, customer responsive advertising campaign from Chrysler. One question: If we could actually dream it, why would we even remotely want Chrysler to build it?

arrowdown.gifDetroit. After dealing with a corrupt, defiant and relentlessly embarrassing Mayor, the implosion of our hometown auto industry, year three of our "one-state" recession, the worst roads in the country and a perennial also-ran NFL team, we at least knew we could count on our Tigers. Except now they suck. Oh well, we still got a hell of a hockey team in the Red Wings, and the Pistons are going to be in the thick of it until the end. We hope.