By on January 2, 2009

Print is so dead. How anyone could expect a magazine with a two-month lead time to compete with the internet on the news front? It’s like pitting a semaphore line against G3 cell service. In case they don’t know it, the buff book’s business model is as dead as the carmakers’ they support. And while we await the car mag medium’s reinvention and rebirth (U.S. Evo please), we get to admire their attempts to remain au courant. I mean, poor todd lassa. Not only is the Motor Trend scribe’s name chronically under capitalized, but he also had to decide whether or not Red Ink Rick Wagoner would still be at the helm of GM in January 2009. What are the odds, eh? Unfortunately, todd erred on the side of common sense.

“Rick Wagoner led Motor Trend’s Power List for the first time in 2008. In the time between this writing and its publication, Wagoner may be running the company, he may be replaced, or he may not have an automobile company to run anymore. [Apologia alert!] Such has been the catastrophic effect of $4 a gallon gas followed by the meltdown on Wall Street– a perfect storm that has overwhelmed the vulnerable Detroit automakers in the midst of radical and and far-reaching restructuring.”

Yada yada yada. No Wagoner. At all. Anywhere.

Honda’s Takeo Fukui has replaced Rick at the top of Motor Trend’s power player list, for possessing “global vision that pays off in a depressed market.” So todd’s oh for two; this was obviously written before Honda joined its fellow automakers in the new car sales toilet. todd’s sub-logic is equally amusing. He gives Fukui the nod for creating the hydrogen fuel cell Clarity and a Prius-killing hybrid– that hasn’t even hit the market yet.

Well, at least Motor Trend online has a “Top Ten People We Watched in 2008.” Topping that list? You guessed it. Rick Wagoner.

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16 Comments on “GM CEO Rick Wagoner Falls Off Motor Trend’s “2009 Power List”...”


  • avatar
    dgduris

    Let’s see…

    A record of consistent operating losses, no public plan to turn around that loss and save the ship, no expectations of one based on history…

    …and billions of dollars in “loans.”

    Rick, dude! You’re my Power-Broker hero!

  • avatar
    jkross22

    Maybe Motor Trend is in line for some TARP money. Or better yet, they’re getting Ill governor Rod Blagojovich to auction off some spots on the 2010 Power List.

  • avatar
    Stingray

    I found this some days ago… and bookmarked it:

    http://www.motortrend.com/features/consumer/112_0902_2009_motor_trend_power_list/index.html

    50 pages *sigh*

  • avatar
    morbo

    MT could always do what the rest of us ‘free’ marketers in the USA do now. Change to a bank holding company, rename themselves “The First Bank of Bankyness”, and get some of that sweet, sweet sugar.

  • avatar

    Stingray :

    My bad. I used the website’s search box and came-up empty-handed.

    Text amended.

  • avatar
    TexN

    Tough break, Rick. Perhaps if they come up with a “Power to destroy market cap” list……..

  • avatar
    brettc

    RF, don’t you mean “at the helm of GM in January 2009”? Either way though, he shouldn’t have been running GM in 2008 either.

  • avatar
    kericf

    Don’t worry guys, he is up for “Michiganian of the Year”, so he does have that going for him. I’m sure there is a bonus for winning such a prestigious award written into his contract somewhere. I mean, you have to be able to keep your top talent from bolting to your competitors.

  • avatar
    Dr Lemming

    Print is dead? Kind of like radio? Sure, the buff mags will need to come up with a different business model, but if they are smart it will still include a print element.

  • avatar
    no_slushbox

    God this is a horribly presented list. It requires 51 pages to use, and isn’t even really a top 50 list (although at least it contains no top ten lists), it is:

    “The 25 People Who Matter”

    then

    “The Five People Detroit Needs Most”

    then

    “The 20 People to Watch”

    Some of “The Five People Detroit Needs Most” should really be at the top of “The 25 People Who Matter” list.

    Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi now owns Detroit. She shares control over the Detroit automakers’ fates with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and President-elect Barack Obama, but I get the sense they are just disgusted with the no-win situation. Obama may even have the courage to engineer Chapter 11 Reoganizations instead of just indefinitely feeding the bailout.

    Nancy, on the other hand, seems pretty thrilled that she now controls the Detroit automakers, and will be able to shape their products to her liking.

    When you cannot support yourself you have to play by the rules of those who support you. Or, as it is often said by parents to children “[i]f you are going to live in my house you are going to abide by my rules.”

    To MotorTrend’s credit they put Cerberus Capital management chairman John Snow near the top of “The 20 People to Watch”, at number 4. He is definitely someone that needs to be watched. Very carefully. Possibly in a maximum security facility.

  • avatar
    Casual Observer

    If you can get the government to hand you billions of dollars with no evidence you can ever pay it back, then you belong at the very top of the “2009 Power List”. You think someone who wields no power could do something like that?

  • avatar

    I see they still have this guy on the list.

    http://www.motortrend.com/features/consumer/112_0902_2009_motor_trend_power_list/24__kazunori_yamauchi.html

    Am I the only one who finds Gran Turismo horribly overrated and that SimBin makes actual racing simulators that are horribly underrated?

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    You mean 3G, not G3.

    Anyways, 3.5G is where it’s at. This week.

  • avatar
    ExtraO

    …Humpty-Dumpty had a great fall…

  • avatar
    morbo

    “Am I the only one who finds Gran Turismo horribly overrated…”

    Sadly ferrarimanf355, you are the solitary person on Planet Earth that takes no joy from this wonderful creation of man. GT5 Prologue is the culmination of all that is artistic and mechanical. You’re inability to understand the depths of human genius inside this work render your soul unfulfilled and wanting.

    But seriously, the game rocks, especially on an HDTV. I’m waiting for the full GT5 (next) this year.

  • avatar
    akear

    Rick Wagoneer is the best thing to ever happen to Roger Smith’s legacy.

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