The Truth About Cars » Truth The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Sun, 27 Jul 2014 20:45:49 +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 » Truth Call Of Duty: Akerson’s Battle With The Truth Fri, 01 Jun 2012 18:33:56 +0000
GM CEO Dan Akerson might be in another one of his battles with the truth.

In a softballed interview with Fortune, GM’s CEO Dan Akerson said that he was suddenly and surprisingly drafted to lead GM as if it was time to go to war. “This was a call to service for me,” said Akerson, as he wrapped himself in a red, white, and blue flag and regaled  interviewer Geoff Colvin with stories from the U.S. Naval Academy.  Akerson makes the CEO job sound like a hardship post:

“It was somewhat of a dislocation to me from a personal routine point of view,  I had to move. I am sixty-some years old and it’s a little late in life to try to reinvent yourself.”

Hardship or not, Dan Akerson  followed the call to duty, even if  he “wasn’t expecting it.”

He wasn’t?

The Wall Street Journal says that it was Akerson who applied for the job, and that he used personal connections to get it:

His path to GM began about two years ago. A former Naval Academy engineering student and ship officer (he ran the ship’s power plant), he was at Carlyle in 2009 leading the global buyout unit. But he had followed GM’s troubles closely, and, hoping to get on its board, spoke to a colleague who knew the Treasury Department’s GM point person, Ron Bloom.”

The colleague, David Marchick, described Mr. Akerson to the Treasury man as a “tough-as-nails, no-B.S. conservative Republican.” To his surprise, Mr. Bloom responded: “He’s perfect.”

Well, maybe the Wall Street Journal got it wrong. Certainly, the  U.S. Navy Alumni Association must have had its story straight when it wrote:

On a humid June day in 2009, armies of lawyers were hashing out General Motors’ recent bankruptcy filing in a courtroom without air-conditioning in lower Manhattan. In Washington, Akerson, a managing director of the Carlyle Group, confided to an associate that he’d like to serve on GM’s new board of directors.”

The associate again was David Marchick. He tried to talk Akerson out of it. The job would demand a lot of Akerson’s time.  The pay would be much less than at Carlyle. Most of all, Akerson would have to deal with Washington. But Akerson, says the article, “wouldn’t let the idea go:”

“If you’re really serious, I can give Ron a call,” offered Marchick, who had done business with Ron Bloom, the head of Obama’s auto task force. Akerson agreed.”

Also according to this story, Akerson was pitched to auto task force chief Ron Bloom. Also according to this story, Bloom responded: “He sounds perfect.”

The article was reprinted many times.  Some sites even swear they had seen the same article in the Detroit Free Press. Where it can’t be found anymore.

These stories don’t jibe with Akerson’s claim that he was called up out of the blue, and that he followed the sudden call of duty, personal inconvenience or not. If the stories don’t jibe, then someone does not tell the truth. You decide who is telling lies.

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Quote Of The Day: Stretched Edition Tue, 11 May 2010 21:45:02 +0000

Auto bailout mastermind Steve Rattner knows a thing or two about the truth. Just ask his former financial firm, Quadrangle. So, when asked by the Detroit News what he thought of allegations that GM mislead consumers with its “Payback” ad, he pulled a classic out of the thesaurus. The General, said Rattner,

may have slightly elasticized the reality of things.

And this is a real Corvette that went through a special “elasticizing machine” in the factory at Bowling Green, right?

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Toyota to Stretch Prius Brand Thu, 17 Sep 2009 22:42:59 +0000 Branded! (

A brand is a promise to the consumer. It’s the umbrella under which all products must shelter. All the people responsible for a brand must ensure that it meets that promise. The Toyota Prius is a promise of reliable transportation that achieve high-mileage with low emissions. So it’s no wonder that Toyota has decided to stretch the brand to other vehicles. Oh, wait, the Prius isn’t a brand. It’s a model within a brand, which contains other examples of reliable transportation that achieves high-mileage with low emissions. Is that confusing? Well if it isn’t now, it soon will be. “The Highlander hybrid and Camry hybrid do OK, but calling it ‘Synergy Drive’ never resonated with consumers,” veteran Toyota dealer Earl Stewart told Automotive News [sub]. “But they can make hay on the Prius name. It’s a magic name. If somebody says ‘I drive a Prius,’ everybody knows what he means.” But for how long? The truth about a brand is that its products must fulfill the brand’s promise, or the brand dies. Confusing that brand diminishes it and alienates the people who gave birth to it in the first place. Maybe not straight away, but eventually. And forever.

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