Fred Diaz. He leaves Sergio Motors to become vice president for Nissan Division sales and marketing, effective May 1. Was he tired of the Sergio Shit Show, or just sick and tired? Both. Congrats, we didn't think he had it in him. But someone please tell us that going to Nissan isn't a sentence, because we're not so sure.
Reid Bigland. He's taking over for Diaz as head of Ram truck. We cringe at the thought of his preening press conferences getting even bigger and even more tedious, if that's possible. Oh the horror... the horror.
Tim Kuniskis. Formerly Sergio's aide on Fiat in North America, he now takes over Bigland's old position as head of Dodge. Well, we guess it's a promotion. Maybe. But he still works for Sergio, and we all know what that's like. So, maybe not.
Steve Majoros. One of The Autoextremist's old ad colleagues gets a new gig, but it means going to The Dark Side and being named director, Global Cadillac Marketing. It sounds good, sort of, but then again he's reporting to Minimum Bob Ferguson. Y-i-k-e-s.
The Open Road. From the "You Can Pry My Cold Dead Hands..." File, word from the Society of Automotive Engineers 2013 World Congress in the Motor City this week is that self-driving cars won't arrive before 2015. Halla-frickin-luja.
Mark McNabb. The former GM executive has "left the company to pursue other opportunities," Maserati said in a statement today. Great Move on McNabb's part. Maserati is and will be a Dark Hole for the foreseeable future. That didn't take long. VW of America has hired Mark McNabb as its COO. McNabb, 51, will start at VW on May 1. He will report to CEO Jonathan Browning and oversee U.S. sales.
Unlike traditional performance vehicles where the steering wheel-mounted paddles allow drivers to upshift and downshift the mechanical transmission, Cadillac ELR’s paddle shifters enable the driver to temporarily regenerate energy and store it as electricity in the battery pack for later use. The ELR is Cadillac's first electric-powered vehicle and goes on sale in early 2014.
Forty-nine years to the day after its 1964 debut in New York, the iconic Ford Mustang celebrates another milestone: One million Mustangs have rolled off the line at Ford’s Flat Rock Assembly Plant since production moved there in 2004. Ford is celebrating this milestone as year 50 of continuous Mustang production gets under way at Flat Rock Assembly. Raj Nair, group vice president for global product development, rode off the line at Flat Rock Assembly Plant in a Ruby Red 2014 Mustang convertible on Wednesday. Nair was riding shotgun with Ed Salna, material planning and logistics manager at the plant. Salna is a 27-year veteran of Flat Rock Assembly, starting work there more than a year before the plant produced its first car. Ford has built Mustangs near its home base in Dearborn, Mich. for 49 years. The car was built at Ford’s famous Rouge factory, just a few minutes from company headquarters, for four decades before moving a few miles south to Flat Rock in 2004. Introduced in April 1964, Mustang proved to be far more popular than anyone expected, prompting Ford to add production capacity outside Michigan. By early 1965 plants in Metuchen, N.J., and San Jose, Calif., were also building Mustang. Less than two years later, on Wednesday, March 2, 1966, the one-millionth Mustang rolled off the line in Dearborn. To date, Ford has produced and sold more than 8.5 million Mustangs.
BMW is real excited about their new X4 Concept, apparently. They keep sending us photos, in case we didn't get them the first time.
The new Buick Riviera concept vehicle has made its global debut in Shanghai. GM PR minions say that, "The coupe combines avant-garde aesthetics and advanced technology, including plug-in hybrid electric vehicle propulsion, in a single package." It is the fourth global concept vehicle jointly developed by GM’s Shanghai GM and Pan Asia Technical Automotive Center (PATAC) joint ventures in Shanghai. The new Riviera’s designers took inspiration from the Chinese saying: “The greatest good is like water,” according to the release. "The vehicle’s sweeping design, which goes from thick to thin, has the vibrant nature of a moving river embodied in its athletic shape, elegant ambience and deeply sculpted lines." Um, okay. "Riviera is a design study of the future expression of Buick design with its elegant athletic shape, sculptural beauty, and precision execution," said Ed Welburn, GM vice president of global design. "It is a great opportunity to share Buick's future design language and technology strategy." The concept has a bunch of new electronic stuff jammed into it that further removes the driver from the act of driving, which we're not going to bother mentioning.
The Game Changer: The original 1963 Buick Riviera production car.
Toyota President Akio Toyoda hosted an event in New York City on April 19 celebrating the Lexus division's dedication to design. The event, called “Design Matters,” showcased Lexus’ commitment to design, both in its new products and in its global brand activities to an audience of established and aspiring members of the design community. Kristin Chenoweth served as mistress of ceremonies with The Roots and Questlove providing musical entertainment.