Cassandra Watch: Autoextremist Edition

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
cassandra watch autoextremist edition

The former PR spinmeister currently writing under the Autoextremist moniker has long been one of Detroit’s most fervent not to say (’cause that would be rude) ardent supporters. No more. Peter DeLorenzo has put down his pom-poms and finally faced the truth about both GM and Chrysler. “GM’s foray into the idea of a Chrysler takeover exposed that company’s dire situation for all to see. Burning through cash at a prodigious rate – a little more than $1 billion per month according to estimates – GM’s search for crucial financing is getting beyond desperate at this point, and now everyone knows it… GM’s situation grows more precarious by the moment, and if they don’t make a deal for that much-needed infusion of cash soon – in the next 12 months, preferably less – then we could be contemplating the unthinkable. And that means not only the end of GM’s 100-year reign as the largest American car company and one of America’s historical industrial touchstones, but the end of General Motors, period.” As for Chrysler…

Sweet Pete sees Carlos Ghosn’s Nissan – Renault as the more likely suitor for what remains of the Crisis Corporation. But, even if the Brazilian-born auto exec eventually assumes the reins in Auburn Hills, “At the end of all of this and no matter what scenario unfolds, Chrysler’s roller-coaster ride as one of America’s ‘Big Three’ – which saw boom and bust cycles playing out with much Sturm und Drang over the years – is finally over. It may hang on as an entity called ‘Chrysler’ for a few more years under Ghosn’s stewardship, but don’t kid yourselves, the U.S. domestic automobile industry is imploding at an alarming rate.”

And the good news? “Well Ford just may be the last American car company standing when this is all done playing out.” May?

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  • Br549 Br549 on Oct 22, 2008
    I find it funny that people like to point to Toyota’s one or two mistakes in the marketplace to justify 30 years of GM’s mistakes that have led it to the brink of disaster. Seeing as how I brought Toyota into this thread, I felt it necessary to highlight my earlier post a few boxes up: I feel, along with DeLorenzo, that much of the Lutz, et al, conundrum is inherited and the result of cumulative misteps over the course of many years. Lutz isn’t a superman, sure, but who is? My overall point was (and is) that a good deal of GM's current problems are related to current market conditions and not to be laid at the feet of current management, and certainly not current product. Toyota's current dilemma simply attests to that fact. My argument pointed out GM's past errors. It did not "justify" them.

  • John Horner John Horner on Oct 22, 2008

    psarhjinian nailed my evolving perception of Peter DeLorenzo as well. Several years back I used to look forward to Wednesday mornings because here (or there) for the first time a smart industry guy was saying things about Detroit I had been thinking and saying to my friends for years, plus he had inside access I could only dream of. But then, he went off the rails and down the rat-hole of the Gospel According to Lutz. At about that time, I discovered an even more interesting car website .... TTAC. Hmmm, a guy who used to make a lot of sense and then develoved into an angry caricature of himself. Ummm, best not go there :).

  • Dave M. Definitely an improvement. H-K designers are rockin' it for the past 4-5 years. If only their N-V-H engineers could catch up....
  • Jeff S Hyundai and Kia seem to be one of the few manufacturers to have any fresh styling to their products. Kudos for the effort and the styling on this Sonata is very nice.
  • Dukeisduke The front reminds me of the Lucid Air.
  • Jeff S I was wondering why Ram would introduce a midsize pickup in a field that has a number of midsize pickups but now that it is an EV this makes more sense since currently their are no midsize EV pickups. Ram has been teasing us with a new Dakota for a number of years with speculation of it being either midsize or compact. Will be interesting to see more pictures of this new Dakota and to find out when it is going to be released.
  • Dukeisduke I own a 2013 Tacoma, and I was disappointed in the 2016 "redesign". Sure, some of the sheetmetal was different, and it got a new frame, engine, transmission, rear axle, and interior, but overall, the truck looked similar (not exactly a redesign, and the switch from the torquey 4.0l 1GR-FE to the whiny 3.5l 2GR-FKS was a downgrade IMHO. No turbo diesel offering, which was disappointing, and no rear disc brakes.Hopefully the fourth-gen will be more of an actual redesign, won't look like the horrifically ugly Tundra, and will still offer an NA V6, not a turbo 4 like the Ranger and Colarado/Canyon.