Cassandra Watch: Steve Cropley Edition
Autocar‘s Steve Cropley doesn’t discuss the US market much, focused as he is on European happenings. But the man who called Rick Wagoner’s take on ethanol “crisp and lucid” (and blacklisted our own Robert Farago from Autocar’s pages back in the day), now agrees that a US automaker will almost certainly cease to exist. Unfortunately, his belief in this inevitability is borne not of clear-sighted analysis of Detroit’s predicament, but of a deep and abiding love for all things GM. Speculating on rumors of a possible GM-Chrysler hookup, Cropely suggests that Chrysler should go down and be subsumed by the General. “My own impression,” writes Cropely, “is that, even when times are as tough as this, a GM led by Rick Wagoner and the fine teams that he’s assembled, stands a better chance of making the cars we’ll need tomorrow than what I’ve seen of the modern, Cerberus-controlled Chrysler. All GM needs is time to implement its bold plan followed by some faith from car buyers.” But Cropely’s analysis is not all GM fanboyishness. “The Chrysler marque itself stopped meaning very much to me 20 years ago,” intones Cropely. “I mean, who cares if the Voyager and PT Cruiser live or die?” [Note to Steve: they are dead, and nobody cares.] Picking Chrysler to go belly-up is hardly a bold claim at this point, and arguing that GM is the firm to fix it is beyond absurd. Still, add another post-Detroit Three pundit to the Cassandra list.