Terry McAuliffe Fires Back At Automotive News

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

Just as Automotive News [sub] failed to cite Bertel’s ahead-of-the-game reporting on Terry Mcauliffe’s GreenTech Automotive firm as the inspiration for its coverage, McAuliffe himself has decided to ignore TTAC’s leadership in order to lash out at the leading industry paper’s write-up on his highly suspect venture. In response to AN [sub]’s piece titled When you do the math, promoter extraordinaire Terry McAuliffe’s grand hybrid vehicle plan just doesn’t add up, the former Clinton fundraiser and DNC chair has written a feisty letter to the editor [sub], in which he argues

The Sept. 5 article about our efforts at GreenTech Automotive (“Real deal?”) stands in stark contrast with the Aug. 28 article in which you reported on partnerships between Toyota and Ford, Tesla, Aston Martin, Lotus and Salesforce.com (“Doing deals, Akio style”). The latter story says Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda “is breaking tradition to transform his ossified giant into a nimble competitor.”

Nimble competition is a key to success in our modern age of change and innovation. Yet you seem to take GreenTech to task for attempting just that. We aren’t trying to be GM, and we never plan on being bailed out by the U.S. government. We are embracing a different, leaner business model in which our world-class partners will play a key role in our success, and we are doing it with private capital.

Developing a car from the ground up is an incredibly difficult and technically complex task, even for industry giants in operation for more than a century. Yet you criticize GreenTech for beginning with a neighborhood electric vehicle as a path to producing a fully certified, quality hybrid or electric vehicle; in other words, you criticize GreenTech for thinking big but starting small.

Frankly, your negativity emboldens us. We remain excited about our progress, from our new operations in Mississippi to our 8.8 million-square-foot plant under construction in Ordos, China, to the new distribution agreement in the very green country of Denmark. We remain entrepreneurs in our unwavering commitment to American job creation, quality products and doing business in the new ways globalization demands. Every one of our cars will be built with a spirit of courage, perseverance and vision for an affordable, green future.

With all due respect to McAuliffe, that defense is as unimaginative as the EV hype game he’s playing. And since he refuses to substantively address the criticisms leveled at him, I’ll simply take this opportunity to repeat what I wrote the last time I looked at this story, to wit:

I’ve only been blogging about the car industry for about three and a half years, but I’ve seen this movie way too many times before. If you’ve missed out on the ZAP saga, to cite the most infamous example of the “NEV today, domination tomorrow” scam, read this, this, this and this for a primer on how this game works. It’s not pretty, and I hoped it was left behind in 2008, when it still fooled a few people. Today there’s no excuse for anyone to be taken in by such an unimaginative, played-out scam.

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  • Ronnie Schreiber Ronnie Schreiber on Sep 16, 2011

    The longer I think about it, the less inclined I am towards any subsidies or tax breaks or incentives. All those things done by government tend to distort markets and create all kinds of artificialities. Provide infrastructure perhaps, but don't pick winners and losers. If technologies and business plans work, they'll be successful. Frankly, I'd rather have the government funding research like at Lawrence Livermore and some of the other federal tech incubators than subsidize businesses. To be sure, I favor a system with as minimal business taxes and fees as are practicable. Have a simple tax system that encourages enterprise and then don't distort the market with government intervention.

  • Da Coyote Da Coyote on Sep 16, 2011

    I'll get just slightly political here - only to mention that folks who are closely associated with the present administration (or the Clinton one) were not exactly the sharpest knives in the drawer when it came to science, economics, or business. (Which is why they were in politics.) I wish no private enterprise ill, but Terry Mc C couldn't make a light bulb light - given batteries, wires, and the bulb. He has no business in the automobile industry....well, actually....he has no business in business,

  • Probert Sorry to disappoint: https://robbreport.com/motors/cars/tesla-model-y-worlds-best-selling-vehicle-1234848318/and any list. of articles with a 1 second google search. It's a tough world out there - but you can do it!!!!!!
  • ToolGuy "We're marking the anniversary of the time Robert Farago started the GM death watch and called for the company to die."• No, we aren't. Robert Farago wrote that in April 2005. It was reposted in 2009 on the eve of the actual bankruptcy filing.The byline dates are sometimes strange/off with the site revisions (and the 'this is a repost' note got lost), but the date string in the link is correct (...2005/04...). Posting about GM bankruptcy in 2005 was a slightly more difficult call than doing it in 2009.-- The Truth About Calendars
  • Kat Laneaux Agree with Michael500, we wasted all that money just to bail out GM and they are developing these cars in China and other countries. What the heck. I understand the cheap labor but that is just another foothold the government has on their citizens and they already treat them like crap. That is pretty disgusting to go forward to put other peoples health and mental stability on a crazy crazed, control freak, leader, who is in bed with Russia. Thought about getting a buick but that just shot that one out of the park. All of this for the greed. They get what they lay in bed with. Disgusting.
  • Michael500 Good thing Obama used $50 billion of taxpayer money to bail them out and give unions a big stake. GM is headed to BK again with their Hail Mary hope of EVs. Hopefully a Republican in office will let them go BK the next time, and it's coming. The US economy is not related/dependent on GM and their Chinese made Buicks.
  • MaintenanceCosts "Rural areas hardly noticed COVID at all."I very much doubt that is true in places like the Navajo Nation or the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska, some of which lost 2% or more of their population to COVID.No city had a death rate in the same order of magnitude.Low-density living is a very modern invention. Before cars, people, even in agricultural areas, needed to live densely to survive.