Ray LaHood Holds Detroit Love-In

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

I think what I saw at Chrysler is what people felt when Iacocca was there. It’s a new level of energy and enthusiasm because there’s new leadership of people that know what they’re doing, of people that have been successful in the automobile manufacturing business.

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood waxes eloquent about the New New Chrysler and its Iacoccian leader, Fiat’s Sergio Marchionne. Speaking at the Detroit Economic Club [via Automotive News [sub]] LaHood said Marchionne represents “the next generation of leaders for the American automobile industry.” But who’d have thought Detroit would have had to look outside of, well, Detroit for that? Luckily LaHood was able to ward off such awkward questions by simply stating that “Detroit is back.” Yeah, now that the Italians have taken over. Elsewhere in his Detroit visit, LaHood also pronounced “Taurus is back. Ford is back” after a test drive, confirmed that “high speed rail is not competition for cars,” and predicted Detroit would become a “Midwest cruise-ship capital.” TTAC is still trying to confirm rumors that Secretary LaHood has money on the Lions making the playoffs this year.

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

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  • Rod Panhard Rod Panhard on Oct 14, 2009

    Given the LaHood is the token (rhymes with smokin') Republican in the Obama administration, it makes sense that they'd let him play fast and loose when he's on the loose.

  • Geeber Geeber on Oct 14, 2009
    BDB: RFC, Mulally is indeed the Iacocca of this generation. I think it will end better as long as I don’t hear about Ford merging with BMW in 2018. Then I’ll start to get nervous! :) I hope not. Iacocca was a genius at marketing, and he matched Harley Earl's ability to pick styling that would appeal to both the "common man" and the "strivers." But under his watch at Ford in the 1970s and Chrysler in the 1980s, neither quality control nor engineering were "Job 1." Iacocca was satisfied to pay lip service to those qualities, but he never made much headway in bringing about true change in those areas, even while he was at Chrysler. During the mid and late 1970s, Fords had a terrible reputation for quality and reliability - right down there with Chrysler and AMC. Even GM built MUCH better cars than Ford did during the late 1970s. Iacocca was content to sell leather interiors, opera windows and designer trim packages instead of focusing on the basics.
  • ZoomZoom ZoomZoom on Oct 14, 2009
    WetWilly : I’m not sure I’d be waxing eloquent about Detroit when cranes are dismantling the city in the background. This is the funniest thing I've read all week!
  • Dweezilb Dweezilb on Oct 14, 2009

    ZoomZoom & WetWilly That's Portland in the background: ground zero for bikes, trains, and trams in the United States. It's an odd choice for this post, to say the least.