No. 979
January 16, 2018

About The Autoextremist@PeterMDeLorenzo Author, commentator, influencer. "The Consigliere." Editor-in-Chief of

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On The Table


JANUARY 16, 2019

Ford and VW. Editor-in-Chief's Note: 
The two global automakers have entered into an alliance "that leverages the two companies' strengths to better compete, innovate and serve customers," according to the press release. The statement stressed that the alliance 
does not involve cross-ownership between the two companies. What is involved? The companies will first deliver medium pickup trucks for global customers, aiming to start in 2022, and intend to follow that with commercial vans in Europe. The van and pickup agreements are targeted to deliver scale and efficiencies for each company starting in 2023. The crucial news in the release? Volkswagen and Ford are also "committed to exploring potential collaboration on EVs, autonomous vehicles and mobility services." In case you're wondering, that last bit is why this deal came together in the first place. Ford can't compete in the EV space as currently configured, while VW can. Will this lead to a stronger partnership going forward? Count on it. -PMD

Phoebe Wall Howard, The D
etroit Free Press. Editor-in-Chief's Note: Phoebe Wall Howard's lengthy - probably 7,500 words - cover story on Kumar Galholtra, the new president of Ford North America in the Sunday edition of the Freep was a remarkable piece in a number of ways. The inside story is that it almost didn't happen, as Galholtra wasn't sure he was all that interesting of a subject. (He is, of course; frankly he's the most interesting top-level executive at Ford.) Howard pressed for the story against all odds, and fortunately she was granted the kind of access that is absolutely essential to pull this kind of piece off. Galholtra was presented as "a man of the people," the kind of new breed of multi-dimensional executive that will play a key role in the future of Ford. How key? Reading between the lines - and seeing Galholtra's presence at the Ford show on Monday - this piece reveals that internally Galholtra is being considered as a future replacement for Jim Hackett, a CEO who has distinguished himself for doing nothing in particular. So that's the rest of the story, keep your eye on Galholtra, he is ascending in the Ford-ness of it all. -PMD 

(Lexus images)
The Lexus LC coupe made its debut at the Detroit Auto Show three years ago, and now the brand has introduced its LC Convertible Concept at this year's show. Lexus PR minions are calling it an "aspirational halo vehicle for the entire Lexus lineup." “This concept takes the unmistakable design of the LC coupe and reimagines it as a future convertible,” said Tadao Mori, chief designer of the LC Convertible concept. “It blends all the best aspects of the original coupe with the dynamic design of an open-air convertible.” Chances of production? 100 percent. 

From the "When You Ain't Got Nothin', You Got Nothin' To Lose" File: MINI is introducing a 60th anniversary edition available 
in 3 Door and 5 Door configurations. Special-edition vehicles feature LED headlights, LED fog lamps, white turn indicators and LED rear lights in Union Jack design, the lighting package for the interior, and also the MINI Driving Modes and the MINI Excitement Package complete with ambient lighting. There is also an on-board computer, automatic air conditioning, a rain sensor and a storage package on board. With MINI sales trudging along, special-edition vehicles are usually a manufacturer's only hope to generate momentum. Thus, the 60th Anniversary MINI.

(BMW images)
Editor-in-Chief's Note: We knew when we took one look at the BMW X7 SUV that BMW was on a design road going nowhere good. Now, with the introduction of the new 7 Series, our suspicions have been confirmed. BMW PR minions had this to say: 
"The latest edition of the 7 Series features design updates that touch almost every area of the body, including the front bumper, hood, headlights, front fenders, rear bumper trim and rear lights to accentuate the elegance of the BMW 7 Series." The massive front end is a result of  "the significantly expanded surfacing at the front of the car, which is now two inches taller at its highest point." Only two inches? The thing looks gargantuan, and it's a clear attempt by BMW designers to make its big sedan look like an SUV. It's stunning, but not in a good way. This is a rolling monument to design tedium at its finest. -PMD