GM CFO Makes Reuters Correspondent Want To Throw Up

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt

Former Wall Street banker turned GM CFO Dan Ammann put the fear of a higher being into Reuters’ Detroit correspondent Ben Klayman. To drive home the point that bean counters can be car guys too, Ammann raced his gray-metallic Corvette Z06 around GM’s Michigan test track – with a nauseated Klayman in the passenger’s seat.

“I almost threw up afterwards,” recounts Klayman. Klayman’s feature story about the CFO who wants it understood that he’s not one of the gray-suited “bean counters” who once dominated, and nearly destroyed, General Motors, is required reading.

And as long as he won’t throw up in the car, no harm done.

Bertel Schmitt
Bertel Schmitt

Bertel Schmitt comes back to journalism after taking a 35 year break in advertising and marketing. He ran and owned advertising agencies in Duesseldorf, Germany, and New York City. Volkswagen A.G. was Bertel's most important corporate account. Schmitt's advertising and marketing career touched many corners of the industry with a special focus on automotive products and services. Since 2004, he lives in Japan and China with his wife <a href=""> Tomoko </a>. Bertel Schmitt is a founding board member of the <a href=""> Offshore Super Series </a>, an American offshore powerboat racing organization. He is co-owner of the racing team Typhoon.

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11 of 22 comments
  • El scotto El scotto on Jul 19, 2012

    They should get all GM executive above a certain rank high speed certified. Stick their butts in the car they're backing and have them drive the competition too. Yeah, some real world honesty for the corner office guys/gals. Does GM still have a parking garage where the executives cars are gassed, washed, repaired as needed?

  • Eyeflyistheeye Eyeflyistheeye on Jul 19, 2012

    Ammann could have gotten the same outcome of unstoppable nausea from Klaymann if he would have locked him in a 2013 Malibu for ten minutes. Wocka, wocka, wocka!

  • Icemilkcoffee Icemilkcoffee on Jul 19, 2012

    I would be more impressed if he had worked on his own car as well as driving it.

    • See 1 previous
    • Derek Kreindler Derek Kreindler on Jul 19, 2012

      @el scotto This man code thing about working on your own car is absurd. Who cares? I drained an abscess once and it went fine, that doesn't mean I'll start doing my own surgery.

  • NotFast NotFast on Jul 19, 2012

    Did all you rock throwers notice the seats in the pic above aren't stock? Looks like Sparco race seats.

    • See 3 previous
    • CJinSD CJinSD on Jul 19, 2012

      @CJinSD I've been around Laguna Seca, Buttonwillow and Infineon in just the last year. The original equipment seats in various BMWs, Hondas, Mazdas, and Porsches have been up to the task. Forgot one: The seat in an old PT Cruiser was also supportive enough around Buttonwillow for the capabilities of the car. It probably wouldn't have been an improvement on the Corvette seat, but then a retro econobox isn't a powerful sports car.