The Truth About Cars » selim bingol The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Thu, 17 Jul 2014 20:36:40 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » selim bingol Former Marine Bomber Pilot Lutz Blasts Former TTAC Chief Niedermeyer, Hits Popcorn Warehouse Tue, 07 May 2013 16:31:02 +0000

Forward contracts on popcorn skyrocketed at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange as former TTAC Chief Editor Ed Niedermeyer drew massive fire for his recent op-ed  in the Wall Street Journal.  On Sunday, GM’s PR Chief Selim Bingo blasted Niedermeyer for “stepping through the looking glass” and for “carelessly comparing GM’s spending in China to that in the U.S.”

A day later, Bob Lutz joined the fray.

Bob Lutz - Alpha Jet - Picture courtesy


The former marine jet attack pilot and Korean war veteran Lutz (never mind that the aging alpha male loves to be depicted with an un-American French/German Alpha Jet) did not use sissy Alice in Wonderland imagery, but overwhelming firepower. He calls Ed’s articles “rants” and accuses him of swapping “truth” for “cheap political pandering.” He blames Ed of the written equivalent of showing his genitals in Central Park, saying Ed “exposes his naiveté by not knowing (or acknowledging) the rules a foreign automaker must follow to participate and profit in China.”

Indicative for the massive pain Ed is causing GM, Lutz sees it necessary to dig into Ed’s meager finances. Lutz (or whoever did the digging) did not find much:  Ed “was paid $27,000 by a Tea Party organization in the last election,” says the article. If Niedermeyer would have remained with TTAC, he could have made more. Not much, but more.  Lutz quickly says that there is “nothing wrong” with it – but then why mention it at all?

Once through with invectives and digging into personal finances,  Lutz ploughs the furrow laid down by Bingol the day before, namely that no American money ever went to China, instead, it went the other way. Lutz catches Ed making a “most egregious error:” Ed said that GM invested only $8.5 billion in its U.S. operations since the bankruptcy. Wrong, wrong WRONG, shouts Lutz: “Since 2009, GM has invested about $9 billion in plants and people.”  The firefight (I understand Ed is on his way to the armory) is loud and making headlines.

Ed has struck a raw nerve at GM. In the shooting business, they call that reconnaissance by fire. If a hail of bullets answers, there  usually is something worth defending.

I have my own beef with Ed: Instead of giving the impression that GM is sending money to China (he never said it, but he has been readily perceived as such) Ed should look deeper into money GM had received from China. The story of GM having been bailed-out by SAIC and hence the Chinese government in times of severe cash flow problems, the co-signing of loans, the back and forth of the Golden Share, the India business, all of that has never been properly explained. All I can tell you is that one does not want to be the recipient of Chinese generosity in times of need. The interest payments on that typically are very big and very painful. The Chinese won’t do what Washington did. They want their money back, in full, again, and again, and again.

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GM’s Bingol Aims At Ed Niedermeyer, Fires Mon, 06 May 2013 13:49:44 +0000 Picture courtesy Bertel Schmitt

A terrorist, about to enter the RenCen

Even after Ed Niedermeyer put on coat and tie as proper attire for our Via Dolorosa to  GM’s towers, GM’s Über-PR Chief Selim Bingol did not like him. “We don’t negotiate with terrorists,” said Bingol, frustrating my naive attempts at fence-mending. Instead of being sent to Gitmo,  one of the terrorists writes frequent op-ed pieces at the Wall Street Journal, causing Bingol to go on the counter-attack.

“Edward Niedermeyer’s suggestion that China is the ultimate beneficiary of the U.S. auto rescue doesn’t stand up to basic fact-checking” writes Bingol in a letter to the Journal today. This in response to an op-ed piece penned by Niedermeyer in the Journal last week where Niedermeyer writes that China ” is disproportionately benefiting from the bailout of America’s erstwhile automotive icon.” Which is slightly different than “ultimate beneficiary,” but Bingol is paid to spin, and he is doing his job.

Wisely, Bingol side-steps the fact that GM will be creating 6,000 new jobs in China, while “since 2005 the number of workers it employs in North America has fallen by 76,000,” as Niedermeyer wrote.

Instead, Bingol focuses on what is more important than jobs at GM, money: “The $11 billion in capital that will be spent in China by 2016 is coming out of our joint ventures rather than Detroit and is far less than the approximately $16 billion in capital GM will invest in the U.S. over that time.” Commenters at the WSJ are not buying it, arguing that instead of spending the money in China, one could spend it here.

Bingol also says that Niedermeyer’s “speculation over the possible loss of GM jobs or technology to China is simple fear mongering, offered without evidence because it doesn’t exist.”

Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow and her colleague Carl Levin will be relieved to hear that from the horse’s mouth, so to speak. Debbie and Carl missed no opportunity to complain about jobs and technology making off to China. They should (but probably won’t) be glad to hear that it is not true.

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How A Frequent TTAC Commenter Nearly Became CEO Of General Motors Thu, 24 Jan 2013 15:08:20 +0000

Selim Bingol, GM’s PR bigshot, may not “negotiate with terrorists”, but he nearly wound up working for a terrorist sympathizer who was active on terrorist message boards: Bingol’s former client Ed Whitacre recommended the man as GM’s next leader.

Automotive News reports that Whitacre originally wanted Mark Reuss, son of a former GM exec, to become CEO. In the end, GM got Dan Akerson. So how to explain the TTAC connection?

First, a preface. TTAC is committed to providing a positive experience for the commenters, provided they adhere to the commenting policy. Furthermore, we know that plenty of our readers work in sensitive positions within the industry, and their anonimity is extremely important. However, Reuss ended up outing himself.

Reuss’ s often snarky comments fit TTAC well. Likewise, Reuss would be a perfect fit for the top job at GM. After all, what’s good for North America should be just great for GM. A youthful, knowledgeable, quick-witted Reuss definitely trumps an Akerson, who, according to Whitacre, was openly contemptuous of GM and their products – a charge commonly leveled at TTAC. Imagine that, a TTAC reader occupying the executive suite at General Motors. One can only snicker at the idea of a Manchurian Candidate or sleeper cell planted deep within GM to help undermine the evil labor unions, hard-touch plastics and Voltec R&D programs.

As the son of a former auto executive myself, I know what it’s like to visit Dad at the office and be awestruck by the magnitude and complexity of what goes into putting cool cars on the road – and the desire to fill Dad’s shoes one day, working in the greatest industry on the planet. Just remember Mark, we are not an evil monolith dedicated to bringing down the RenCen, even if your PR guru thinks so.

Reuss is young, and a frequent TTAC commenter can still be CEO. By endorsing him, we may have diminished his odds under the current regime, but there is always hope for a new one.

Care to comment, nadude?

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