“What he invests on research and development in a year is not enough for us to even make part of a mudguard. He should stop bugging us,”
Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne responds to the unsolicited advice of Tod’s founder Diego Della Valle. It’s been a busy week for Sergio, whose homecoming in Italy was met with endless chirping from various corners of society.
As Bertel reported earlier, Marchionne met with none other than Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti to discuss Italy’s flagging car market. Marchionne also lashed out at Volkswagen, telling them
“I will not give Alfa to them, they should solve the problems they have elsewhere. They have a great problem with Seat.”
While Marchionne is known for his erm, candid comments, his frustration is palpable; ignorant outsiders – and ignorant insiders – pontificating about the auto industry is a tradition as old as the Model T. Whether it’s insisting that obscure, foreign-market variants would be the savior of an ailing company or preaching the merits of an iCar, so many have their own ideas of what would fix the car industry, but so few have any real understanding of what it takes the develop, design, engineer, manufacture, market and sell a car. Even with my relatively limited knowledge of these elements, it is easy to get frustrated when the ignorant spout off about their quick-fixes for the industry, if only because every glimpse at the inner workings of the auto industry are a humbling reminder that modern automobile production is nothing short of an industrial miracle.