No. 902
June 21, 2017

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

Follow Autoextremist


On The Table


MAY 24, 2017

arrowup.gif Mark Truby. Editor-In-Chief's Note: In the management shakeup at Ford, Mark Truby, who once upon a time was a journalist covering the auto beat for The Detroit News, got promoted to replace Ray Day, the company's PR chief, who will exit the company at the end of the year. Day was Mark Fields' PR guy and unfortunately for Ford, considered by many in the media to be one of the most universally despised PR hacks in the business. I spoke to some members of the media who insisted that Day contributed to Fields' downfall by never articulating a strategy that Wall Street could understand or believe in. Day also drove away many talented people who went on to work for other car companies, turning their talents against Ford with a large dollop of resentment thrown in for good measure. Never a strategic PR person by any stretch of the imagination, Day exhorted his troops to crank out press releases to keep Ford in the news and to drive up the stock price. When that failed, and the collective media stopped buying what he was selling, Day tried out different tactics to keep Ford in the news. One memorable example of this was when Ford tried - and failed miserably - to abscond with the buzz at the Detroit Auto Show last January by staging a bogus press conference away from Cobo Hall. That particularly ugly episode was the last straw for many in the media. I personally never felt Mark Fields was properly served by Day. Truby needs to clean house if he is to succeed in his new gig, and that means jettisoning some holdovers from Day's staff who relished treating the media with utter disdain and condescension as a matter of course. Will Truby step up to the plate? Another giant "we'll see" as far as I'm concerned. -PMD 

FCA. The U.S. Justice Department is suing Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV alleging that the Italian-American auto maker used illegal defeat software to cheat on government emissions tests. This action comes despite a last-ditch proposal from the company presented to regulators that included a "fix" for the technology. One hundred four thousand 2014-2016 model-year Jeep Grand Cherokee sport-utility vehicles and Ram pickup trucks allegedly used the defeat software to pass government emissions tests and then pollute far beyond legal limits on the road. Time of your life, eh, Sergio?

The new 2018 GMC Denali has the usual gamut of styling - featuring a new multidimensional grille design - and trim enhancements, plus a new, 10-speed automatic transmission. The new grille plays a functional role as well,
offering greater airflow to the radiator. Active aero shutters behind the grille close in certain conditions on the highway to reduce aerodynamic drag and enhance efficiency. The new Hydra-Matic 10-speed transmission — paired with Yukon Denali’s 6.2L 420HP V8 — allows for a wider, 7.39 overall gear ratio spread compared to the Yukon Denali’s previous eight-speed automatic, enabling a lower numerical top gear ratio and contributing to greater efficiency. New Mastique Ash real wood trim is featured plus a number of other interior tweaks that we won't bother mentioning here. The 2018 GMC Denali is coming this fall.

(BMW images)
The BMW Group will unveil
the BMW Concept 8 Series at this year’s Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este. BMW is calling it "the essence of a modern-day BMW coupe wrapped up in an enthralling design study." The concept, of course, is a tease of the forthcoming BMW 8 Series Coupe, which is slated for launch in 2018. “The BMW Concept 8 Series is our take on a full-blooded high-end driving machine,” says Adrian van Hooydonk, Senior Vice President BMW Group Design. “It is a luxurious sports car which embodies both unadulterated dynamics and modern luxury like arguably no other. For me, it’s a slice of pure automotive fascination.” Well okay, cue the use of "no other" because that's what luxury car companies say. It does look like a BMW, so it has that going for it. We'll look forward to seeing it in the flesh.

(BMW images)
The BMW Group is also presenting its vision of zero-emission urban mobility on two wheels at
the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este 2017: The BMW Motorrad Concept Link. (Catchy name, that.) BMW says that this electric bike is "Inspired by the BMW Motorrad Vision Next 100, the design study unites digital connectivity with the demands of urban mobility on two wheels." Alexander Buckan, Head of Vehicle Design at BMW Motorrad had this to say: “The technical realities of electric drive – such as the flat energy packs in the underfloor and the compact drive on the rear wheel – allowed us to create a highly distinctive design which shapes a new segment. The resulting expressive power of the vehicle is absolutely new for BMW Motorrad and breaks with all conventional viewing patterns.” The focus of the Concept Link is on being able to enjoy the riding experience without any distractions, according to BMW. The traditional instrument cluster has been dropped, instead speed, navigation and battery information is projected onto the windshield directly into the rider’s field of vision. Secondary information is displayed on the large-surface panel located below the handlebars. The panel enables a number of possible ways of interacting with the outside world and for communicating with other vehicles. The touch sensitive surface of the large-size panel displays and controls extensive infotainment, connectivity and routing information. Freely programmable, touch-enabled buttons on the handlebars allow the rider to access preferred and frequently used functions without having to remove his hands from the handlebars. Sounds complicated to us, especially on a bike, but hey it's a concept, right?