Tag: People

By on April 1, 2016

Preston Perry, tractor owner

If this catches on, local governments will have to choose between anarchy and saving on infrastructure repair.

An 84-year-old man in rural Nova Scotia, Canada just did what many of us have always fantasized about — he rolled out his own heavy equipment to fix the road in front of his house, according to Global News.

Preston Perry of Upper Nine Mile River was sick to death of the suspension-bending potholes in his gravel roadway, and — like Charles Bronson in any movie starring Charles Bronson — stormed out the door to take matters into his own hands.

(Read More…)

By on March 20, 2016

Tesla Model 3 Teaser, Image: Tesla Motors

Tesla Motors’ revolving door better be generating power considering all the use it’s getting. Tesla Motors’ VP of Global Communications, Ricardo Reyes, has either chosen to part ways with the Silicon Valley automaker or been shown the door by security.

The departure comes just weeks before Tesla Motors is to reveal its newest electric vehicle, the Model 3, on March 31. It is expected to sell for approximately $35,000, Bloomberg reports.

(Read More…)

By on February 9, 2016

Hans-Joachim Rothenpieler, Frank Tuch

Like rats abandoning a sinking ship, Volkswagen managers see the writing on the wall in Wolfsburg. Whether or not their particular jobs are in jeopardy, from their own actions or those of others, the road ahead is long, rough, and filled with busy days and sleepless nights.

The latest to jump ship is Frank Tuch (right), who has led Group Quality Assurance at Volkswagen Group AG since 2010. He will be replaced effective February 15, 2016 by Hans-Joachim Rothenpieler (left), who joined Volkswagen in 1986 and previously held the same role.

(Read More…)

By on October 14, 2015

2014-vahlandChairman of Škoda Prof. Dr. Winfried Vahland, who was tapped to lead a new North American Volkswagen region, will be leaving the Volkswagen Group, it was announced Wednesday.

Vahland will not be taking the N.A. role which would have given him the responsibility of overseeing the U.S., Canadian and Mexican markets.

“Differing views on the organisation of the new Group region have led to this decision,” Škoda said in a release on Wednesday, though the automaker was careful to point out that “this decision is expressly not related to current events on the issue of diesel engines.”

A replacement for Vahland in North America has not yet been announced.

(Read More…)

By on April 22, 2014
Mark Fields, Ford Group VP Derrek Kuzak, Bill Ford Jr., Alan Mulally

Mark Fields, Ford Group VP Derrek Kuzak, Bill Ford Jr., Alan Mulally

Two of the most reliable reporters on the automotive beat, Karl Henkel and David Shepardson of the Detroit News, have reported that their sources confirm that Ford Motor Co. CEO Alan Mulally will step down later this year and that Mark Fields, Ford’s chief operating officer, will be named to the CEO position. Earlier on Monday, Bloomberg News reported that Ford “may announce the moves as soon as May 1.” Ford’s annual corporate meeting is scheduled for May 8 in Delaware, with the FoMoCo board of directors meeting the prior day. Mulally, 68, has been with Ford since 2006 and he’s generally credited with successfully guiding the automaker through the troubled waters that brought crosstown rivals General Motors and Chrysler to bankruptcy and a government bailout.

The move is seen by most as a formality and that Fields, 53, has been assured of replacing Mulally since he was promoted from President of the Americas to COO in late 2012. Mulally has previously said publicly that he plans to remain as Ford’s CEO through at least 2014. Other than a stint at IBM, Fields has been at Ford for most of his adult life, having joined the company 25 years ago.

A Ford Motor Company spokesperson declined to confirm or deny the reports.

So that’s the boilerplate news. In the background of the story, though… (Read More…)

By on November 30, 2011

A TTAC tipster sent us a Teknikens Värld  interview with Saab’s long-suffering would-be rescuer, Victor Muller, in which the eternal Saabtimist seems ready to admit defeat. In essence, he admits that GM is unlikely to ever approve a plan involving Chinese firms, that the Chinese firms are throwing “money into a black hole” and that all the previous plans are off the table. Of course, Muller does seem to think that some kind of rescue may yet be possible, but he admits

If I doze off Saab would disappear in an instant

If Muller is losing faith, and doesn’t even have a hairbrained scenario to hype, it seems that the end may well be near. But then, the whole rescue of Saab is beginning to be eclipsed by questions about Muller’s erstwhile partner, Vladimir Antonov, who was recently bailed out of British jail, where he was being held on charges of embezzlement and document forgery. But first, to the Muller interview…

(Read More…)

By on November 12, 2011

Hear about two high-ranking Mitsubishi execs leaving their positions simultaneously, and you might be forgiven for thinking “rats leaving the sinking ship.” After all, Mitsubishihas been in deep decline for the better part of a decade, as sales have fallen from a peak of over 345,000 units in 2002. But in actuality, Mitsubishi is having something of a turnaround year. Sales are up 51% year-over-year, and volume crossed the 70k mark in October, guaranteeing the brand its best year of sales since 2008. So, why did VP of marketing and product strategy Gregory Adams, and vice president of corporate planning and incentives Mike Krebs leave Mitsu “to pursue other opportunities”? Automotive News [sub] offers few answers beyond pointing out that Krebs is a ten-year veteran of Mitsubishi Motors America, while Adams joined in 2010. Why the two decided to jump ship (or were forced out) at the same time remains a mystery  for now…

 

By on November 11, 2011

From the first part of this clip from Bob Lutz and Elon Musk’s recent appearance on the Charlie Rose, in which the two discuss “The CO2 Thing,” you might guess that the two are at odds with each other. After all, Bob’s the gruff, “Global Warming is Bullshit” type and Elon is the sensitive, change-the-world type. But by the end of this brief clip, the two industry mavericks are falling all over themselves with mutual admiration. But then, both have learned from the other (however indirectly) over the past few years: Lutz’s legacy of the Volt was in part motivated by Musk’s endeavor, and Musk himself has a lot more respect for Detroit’s “old school” manufacturing know-how now that his firm is actually trying to build its own cars in volume. It’s a study in contrasts watching these two iconoclasts from such separate worlds going at it… and yet you get the distinct impression that these two guys aren’t quite as different as you might think.

Watch the complete Musk-Lutz interview here.

Watch Lutz’s one-on-one interview here.

By on November 9, 2011

A week ago the president of OICA, Patrick Blain, ruffled some feathers on this side of the Atlantic by laying into the US auto industry with such bon mots as

If the American manufacturers had gone years ago to the government and said, ‘Listen, we have a huge project’ – electric cars, for instance, the government could at least have studied it. But they never tried.

Take the Chevrolet Volt (extended-range electric vehicle launched in 2010). Without government help, at least in the developmental stages in which certain economies of scale must be reached, it is too expensive. It’s just another example of the American industry being too late. They have missed many trends.

Because the sign of an innovative automaker is entanglement with the government… just ask Blain’s compatriots (and former colleagues) at Renault! Oh, and incidentally, Detroit did approach the government for help developing green cars back in the 1990s and managed to waste a cool billion dollars building three prototypes (see: PNGV). But there I go taking Blain at his word… when he’s already walking back his nonsensical comments.
(Read More…)

By on October 14, 2011

Having had an unexpectedly action-packed couple of years as Transportation Secretary, Ray LaHood  has had enough. The Chicago Tribune reports that

the Illinoisan who heads the U.S. Department of Transportation, said today that he is staying in that job for one term only and will not run for public office again.

And no wonder. LaHood has created controversy over his vehicle-tracking proposal, his Toyota comments, his agency’s database quality problems and private information-leaking, his quixotic “War On Distracted Driving” proposals and hypocrisies, weak grasp of safety data, endorsement of toll roads and more. No wonder the man wants out of government… but what comes next for LaHood?

(Read More…)

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