No. 964
September 19, 2018
 

About The Autoextremist

Peter M. DeLorenzo has been immersed in all things automotive since childhood. Privileged to be an up-close-and-personal witness to the glory days of the U.S. auto industry, DeLorenzo combines that historical legacy with his own 22-year career in automotive marketing and advertising to bring unmatched industry perspectives to the Internet with Autoextremist.com, which was founded on June 1, 1999. DeLorenzo is known for his incendiary commentaries and laser-accurate analysis of the automobile business, as well as racing and the business of motorsports. Author. Commentator. Influencer. The Consigliere. Minister of the High-Octane Truth. DeLorenzo is considered to be one of the most influential voices commenting on the business today.

DeLorenzo's latest book is Witch Hunt (Octane Press  witchhuntbook.com). It is available on Amazon in both hardcover and Kindle formats, as well as on iBookstore. DeLorenzo is also the author of The United States of Toyota.

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The Autoextremist - Rants


Wednesday
Dec102008

THE AUTOEXTREMIST

December 10, 2008

 

Queen LaGreena and The Dunderheads.

By Peter M. De Lorenzo

Detroit. It occurred to me after having been subjected to yet another painfully lame interview of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, who has been doling out “haircuts” in Washington at a fevered clip in order to see to it that the Auto Industry Financing and Restructuring Act has real teeth in it - by her estimation - that the domestic automobile industry, at least as GM and Chrysler know it, is going to be inexorably altered - and not in a good way either. As a matter of fact, if the auto companies actually survive Washington’s “help,” it will be a miracle of this new century.

Pelosi - who will be henceforth known in these pages by her newly-minted sobriquet of “Queen LaGreena” - and her esteemed Dunderheads (I mean colleagues) on both sides of the aisle have been hell-bent on making Detroit pay for its countless transgressions – both real and imagined – affixing blame for whatever is currently ailing the U.S. in general to the domestic automobile industry in a masterful redirect of the anger of the citizenry at the piss-poor conditions of the economy.

I now understand completely what the term “skilled politician” actually means. It’s the ability to mask your blatant incompetence and complete lack of understanding of the issues involved – any issue – by creating a fog of negativity and misinformation so impenetrable that the true sport of Washington – the Blame Game – can commence, unencumbered by accuracy, fairness or reality.

And now, with a so-called “deal” on the table to provide GM and Chrysler with loans that will get them through to when President-elect Obama’s administration takes over, the assembled incompetents in Washington continue to demonstrate that they still don’t get it and still can’t find the first clue about the industry and how it works. Nor are they likely to gain on it anytime soon either.

The evidence? Two hoary stereotypes remain in effect in Washington even after members of Congress have been exposed to reams of evidence and pound upon pound of facts and figures about this industry over the last month. And these stereotypes are:

1. Detroit is stuck in a time warp that seems to hover around 1995. And 2. “Fixing” Detroit and the problems facing the domestic automobile industry will take the sacrificing of a couple of executives, a dollop of more stringent emission regulations and fuel economy standards, a couple of finger snaps and voila! It will be just a matter of months before thousands upon thousands of shiny green cars will be marching out of shiny green factories built by shiny happy people singing:

Hi ho, Hi ho!
It's home from work we go!

We did our part - we churned them out
Hi ho, Hi ho, Hi ho!

(While saluting pictures of Queen LaGreena and the Car Czar as they file out of the gates, no doubt.)

Right now the loan package “deal” for GM and Chrysler that’s on the table in Washington is mired in partisan political infighting, and it’s anyone’s guess as to when this “deal” will actually materialize. Senate Republicans want to crush the unions and are threatening a filibuster, green-tinged Democrats want a provision that would force automakers to drop lawsuits against California’s greenhouse gas limits on vehicles - something the White House is adamantly against - and operatives from the incoming Obama administration are in the mix, wanting to extract their pound of flesh from the deal too.

Add in the “Car Czar” provision to the deal – certain to be a Bean Counter in Chief with no feel for the automobile industry whatsoever - and you have a political train wreck of incalculable proportions.

Never have so many people armed with so little knowledge been poised to do so much damage to the country and the American industrial fabric as Queen LaGreena and The Dunderheads are poised to do.

But it will all be good, according to what Queen LaGreena had to say during her various media appearances yesterday. In a display fraught with embarrassing “wince” moments, she careened around the morning news programs demonstrating her clear lack of understanding of the depth and breadth of the issues facing the industry. Not content with stopping right there, she then threw out her “finger snap” solutions and the woefully unrealistic timetable she envisions for the shiny green auto factories of her “new” American automobile industry to come online.

No, Queen LaGreena, left to the devices of you and The Dunderheads – the masters of obfuscation and pontification – it will all be bad.

It’s absolutely horrifying to think that the fate of the U.S. automobile industry and the future of America’s manufacturing base now hinges on the collected “wisdom” on display in Washington.

Thanks for listening.