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Categories: Car Guys

Jerry York passes. Farewell to a turnaround maestro

Posted by: David Welch on March 22

I am regrettably late writing about this. As most readers know, former Chrysler Corp. and IBM Corp CFO Jerome York passed away on March 18. York will be most...

Bob Lutz retires from GM. Long live his influence

Posted by: David Welch on March 03

It truly is the end of an era. Bob Lutz, the cocksure maverick who led a product renaissance at both General Motors and Chrysler, will retire effective May 1....

Lutz moves to an advisory role. But for how long?

Posted by: David Welch on December 11

Before General Motors Chairman and CEO Ed Whitacre announced the shakeup in the company’s executive ranks on Dec. 4, the rumor mill was cranking out all kinds of possibilities...

Johan de Nysschen speaks: Volt is a car for idiots

Posted by: David Welch on September 04

In the politically-correct world of corporate America, rarely do you see an executive throw down the gauntlet or talk a little trash. But then, Audi of America President Johan...

Car Czar Ron Bloom: Feds Will Exit GM Stake ASAP

Posted by: David Kiley on July 27

The head of the White House task force on the auto industry Ron Bloom said Monday that the task force will not be micro-managing GM and Chrysler, especially when it...

GM CMO Lutz: Probably Won't Shake Up Ad Agencies Soon

Posted by: David Kiley on July 22

As General Motors emerges from Chapter 11 and starts the road toward rebuilding its image, the 77-year old vice chairman who was named the automaker's top marketing executive says he...

GM's Lutz Says Task Force Should Be Permanent; Expresses Doubt About Fiat-Opel Deal.

Posted by: David Kiley on May 29

GM’s vice chairman Bob Lutz said Thursday that he hopes that the White House auto industry task force becomes a permanent entity in some form. “It’s the first time in...

Kidder To Chair New Chrysler

Posted by: David Kiley on May 20

Chrysler LLC named C. Robert Kidder, 62, the former chairman and chief executive officer of Borden Chemical Inc. and Duracell International Inc., chairman of the company that will likely...

Chrysler's Chapter 11 Raises Management Questions For Future

Posted by: David Kiley on April 30

Chrysler finally files Chapter 11. CEO Bob Nardelli is leaving. Vice chairman James Press is likely gone. Vice chairman and former Chrysler CEO Tom Lasorda is retiring. Fiat, which will...

Ford's Horbury Returns To Volvo

Posted by: David Kiley on April 01

Ford Americas chief of design Peter Horbury is leaving his post and will return to be head of design at Volvo Cars. Horbury had been head of Volvo design before...

Ford's Mulally Is The $13 Million Man

Posted by: David Kiley on March 24

Ford Motor Co. CEO Alan Mulally’s total compensation for 2008 dropped by 37% to $13.6 million last year. That's still a hefty sum, considering Ford’s record losses and continued financial...

Mr. Obama: Meet Mr. Benz, not Mr. Ford.

Posted by: David Kiley on February 25

When President Obama said in his February 24 speech, "And I believe the nation that invented the automobile cannot walk away from it," I shouted, FACT CHECKER! FACT CHECKER! Dear...

Judging Lutz's Legacy

Posted by: David Welch on February 10

The boo birds are out. A day after General Motors announced that its car guy, Bob Lutz, is retiring the harsh comments lined up on our website like banks...

BMW's Chris Bangle Designs His Own Exit

Posted by: David Kiley on February 03

Chris Bangle, the head of design for the BMW Group since 1992 and one of the most controversial and well-known designers in the auto industry, resigned his post on...

Cash Strapped Fiat Dating Others Besides Chrysler?

Posted by: David Kiley on January 22

There is a reason why Fiat SpA says it is not putting any cash into a deal that could eventually give it a stake in Chrysler LLC. It is running...

VW: No Interest in Chrysler Minivan Business

Posted by: David Kiley on January 15

VW's U.S. chief Stefan Jacoby says the German automaker has no interest in acquiring Chrysler's minivan business. Chrysler manufactures the Volkswagen Routan minivan in one of its Canadian plants....

Kerkorian Out of the Ford Business

Posted by: David Kiley on December 29

DETROIT—Billionaire financier Kirk Kerkorian has sold the remainder of his investment in Ford Motor Co. Tracinda, which briefly ranked as Ford's largest outside investor earlier this year, said in a...

Bill Ford Prods For Energy Policy: Do I Hear Gas Tax?

Posted by: David Kiley on December 16

DEARBORN,MI--Today, Ford showed some of the wares it will unveil next month at the North American International Auto Show. The details are embargoed until January. But I can say...

New Pictures of Cerberus's Feinberg Coming?

Posted by: David Kiley on December 12

Reclusive Cerberus Capital Management CEO Stephen A. Feinberg found himself in an uncomfortable position on Thursday. Representatives from General Motors, Ford and Chrysler and the UAW met Thursday with...

Italian silliness: Maserati says its cars can help (deserate) men pick up women

Posted by: David Welch on November 21

Need something on the lighter side during this maelstrom of bad economic news? I gotchyer comic relief right here. It’s no secret that owning an expensive car can improve...

Big Three Exec Pay Will Be An Issue in Bailout

Posted by: David Kiley on November 18

Senate Banking Committee chairman Chris Dodd told CEOs of the Big Three automakers today during auto industry bailout hearings that their compensation will be an issue for lawmakers who will...

Volvo No Longer Run by a Swede

Posted by: David Kiley on September 02

Ford appointed Stephen Odell, one of Ford Motor's top executives in Europe, to run its Swedish Volvo unit, replacing Fredrik Arp. Arp, who came to Volvo three years ago from...

Kerkorian's Ford Interest Becomes Clearer

Posted by: David Kiley on June 19

Billionaire investor Kirk Kerkorian raised his stake in Ford Motor Co. to 6.5 percent and said he may be interested in investing additional capital in Ford. The 91-year old Kerkorian...

Farewell Noz

Posted by: David Welch on June 12

Regular readers of the Auto Beat Blog may have noticed frequent comments from a man going by the name “Noz.” His real name was Bruce Parkinson. He passed away...

Wilhite Named President of Jumpstart Media

Posted by: David Kiley on May 28

When Steve Wilhite called to tell me he was headed to Jumpstart Automotive Media to be the firm's new president, I said, "'s about time you got a real job."...

Kerkorian Buys Into Ford. For Love or Money?

Posted by: David Kiley on April 28

Mercurial and often nettlesome financier Kirk Kerkorian is accumulating shares in Ford Motor Co. To be sorted out in the coming days and weeks is what the 90-year old with...

Suzuki: In a Recession, Weak Brands Are Exposed.

Posted by: David Kiley on March 31

American Suzuki chairman Rick Suzuki will be stepping down from his post, according to a letter he sent employees and was reported in Automotive News, to “bear responsibility" for...

Jim Farley Successor To Mulally?

Posted by: David Kiley on March 24

Automotive News's interview with Ford human resources chief Joe Laymon reveals a gang of six internal candidates who could replace CEO Alan Mulally in four or five years when he...

Krause a Big Loss To BMW

Posted by: David Kiley on March 13

The departure of Stefan Krause, the BMW board member in charge of sales and marketing, is a blow to the German carmaker. I sat next to Krause at dinner at...

Does Porsche's Wiedeking Now Have a Bullseye on His Back

Posted by: David Kiley on February 19

Ferdinand Piech, chairman of Volkswagen AG and a major shareholder in Porsche AG, VW’s largest shareholder, may think Porsche CEO Wendelin Wiedeking has become too powerful and wants to oust...

Another Korean Carmaker Gets Its House Cleaned

Posted by: David Kiley on February 11

If I'm one of the Big Three automaker, or one of the leading Japanese auto companies, I'm showing very limited fear of Koreans Hyundai and Kia. Kia's Korean management over...

Car Boy Gets His New Ride

Posted by: David Kiley on January 02

I couldn't get the car I wanted. But I did pretty well. After a few months of boring my wife and friends with my search for my next car,...

Ford Adds Responsibility To Farley Before Day-One

Posted by: David Kiley on November 02

Ford Motor Co.'s new global chief marketing officer James farley hasn't officially started yet. But already he's getting more responsibility. Ford said today that Farley will be in charge of...

Toyota Yaris: So Gay!

Posted by: David Kiley on October 30

That's not me talking. Rather, says it was the most researched vehicle on its website. In descending order, the rest of the list was: Saab 9-3, Mazda MX-5...

Part Two: Car Boy's Quest For New Wheels

Posted by: David Kiley on October 19

Everybody's comments are great. Much appreciated. Some of you think I am a lunatic for cross-shopping a Ford Focus and a BMW 1 Series. I thought I should give short...

What Will Car Boy Buy? Help Me Choose My Ride. Part One

Posted by: David Kiley on October 15

Buying a new car can be exciting, as in “I’m so glad to unload my clunker, and smell that ‘new car’ smell again. Or it can be a drag,...

New U.S. VW Chief Wants To Bring Back The Phaeton

Posted by: David Kiley on September 07

Perhaps no Volkswagen model more embodies the company's odd product strategy over the last decade more than the $75,000-$90,000 Phaeton sedan. The car, which VW chairman Ferdinand Piech developed...

Nardelli's Coup

Posted by: David Welch on September 06

There’s no telling what new Chrysler Chairman and CEO Robert Nardelli will do to transform the troubled car company in the coming months. But I think it’s fair to...

Sales slump, Jackson takes the stump

Posted by: David Welch on September 04

Another month of slightly-down car sales should be enough to put anyone to sleep. But AutoNation CEO Mike Jackson thinks that the slumping economy and car market should wake...

Lutz on the Mount

Posted by: David Welch on August 17

Call General Motors car czar Bob Lutz skeptical about the likelihood that Robert Nardelli, the Former General Electric and Home Depot executive tapped as Chrysler’s new CEO, can get...

Iacocca Missed a Leader in Lutz

Posted by: David Kiley on August 13

If Lee Iacocca has one thing to answer for, it's letting his personal feelings about Bob Lutz get in the way of naming the auto exec CEO when he had...

Nardelli A $1 a year man?

Posted by: David Kiley on August 07

The Financial Times is reporting that Robert Nardelli, the new chairman/CEO of Chrysler, ill draw a $1 per year salary from the automaker's owner Cerberus Capital. If true, that's a...

The Nardelli Era Starts at The New Chrysler

Posted by: David Kiley on August 06

Just back from the Chrysler press conference at which Bob Nardelli (right)was introduced as chairman and CEO. I counted at least four times that he put his hand on...

Bernhard Back At Chrysler. What Does He Know That Daimler Didn't?

Posted by: David Kiley on July 27

Not surprisingly, Wolfgang Bernhard, former COO of Chrysler, will be taking the reins as chairman of the new Chrysler Corp. for new majority-owner Cerberus Capital Management after the deal to...

UAW's Gettelfinger More Pragmatic Than He Appears

Posted by: David Kiley on July 23

General Motors and Ford began talks with the United Auto Workers today in what will probably be the most important round of contract talks the Detroit automakers have had in...

Ford Gets A Good One In On Obama

Posted by: David Kiley on June 01

I don’t know if Bill Ford came up with this himself, or he had it written for him. But he scored a nice upper-cut punch against Presidential hopeful Senator...

Nissan's Ghosn Has Harder Job Than He Thinks

Posted by: David Kiley on April 28

Renault Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn has long driven himself hard to meet publicly stated financial goals. He didn’t disappoint this week, when he made good on his fourth quarter...

Mulally Vs Bush

Posted by: David Kiley on April 11

We are having some fun with Ford CEO Alan Mulally. The CEO a few weeks ago was at The White House with Chrysler CEO Tom Lasorda and GM CEO...

The Peanut Gallery Wins Battle With Ford's Fields

Posted by: David Kiley on January 18

I hate it when tree watchers win. What do I mean? People who are so intent on staring at the bark on a tree they can't see that the whole...

Bernhard is Leaving VW. But May Take A Year Off

Posted by: David Kiley on January 10

When reporters asked Porsche AG chairman Wendelin Wiedeking about the present and future of VW brand cief Wolfgang Bernhard, he literally just broke into an extended chuckle. No question...


Want the straight scoop on the auto industry? Our man in Detroit David Welch, brings keen observations and provocative perspective on the auto business.

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