Quotables from notables in 2013
"I had a Tesla. I was one of the first cats with a Tesla. I think I was, like, number five on the list. But I'm telling you, I've been on the side of the road awhile in that thing. And I said to them, 'Look, guys, why am I always stuck on the side of the [expletive] road? Make it work, one way or another.'"
George Clooney, in an interview with Esquire, explaining why he is a former owner of a Tesla Roadster
"In other news, George Clooney reports that his iPhone 1 had a bug back in '07."
Tesla CEO Elon Musk, responding on his Twitter account
"Oh, yeah, they had a load of incentives, a ton. I cannot articulate them all. They invested a lot to make sure that 2012 was successful."
Damon Shelly, chairman of BMW's dealer council, speaking this year on efforts to boost sales in the last quarter of 2012. BMW outsold Mercedes-Benz in December by a big margin to win the luxury sales crown for the year.
"It's like the Rolling Stones looking for inspiration from the Black Keys."
Jeff Schuster, senior vice president of LMC Automotive, on a General Motors task force that is studying Tesla
"No one was saying, 'Gee, I hope they are OK' when the yen went from 115 to 75 and we were on our deathbed."
John Mendel, American Honda, addressing Detroit 3 complaints that the weakening yen is giving Japanese companies an unfair advantage in the United States
"Every time you opened the door, more dead bodies fell out. Everything was a series of surprises. You'd peel back a layer of the onion and you'd find more issues."
General Motors Vice Chairman Steve Girsky on the problems he has encountered at Opel in Europe since becoming chairman of Opel's supervisory board in November 2011
Left, Whitacre, right, Lutz
"He'd retired several times over the years, but he'd been brought back by former CEO Rick Wagoner as vice chairman to oversee the 'creative elements' of products and consumer relationships. What that meant, I had no idea. I got the sense that Bob's main job was to weigh in with advice and opinions about anything he wanted, any time he felt like it."
Ed Whitacre, former General Motors CEO, in his 2013 book American Turnaround, on his first impression of ex-GM executive Bob Lutz in 2009 when Whitacre arrived as the company's nonexecutive chairman
"Ed's most notable contribution to design was a comment I recall at a Cadillac styling session. Professing to know nothing about cars (true), he nevertheless opined that Cadillacs had the look of 'old-fashioned choo-choo trains.' We digested that opaque bit of input and elected to stay with what we had."
Bob Lutz, former General Motors vice chairman, in his blog on forbes.com, accusing Whitacre of overstating his effectiveness as GM's first post-bankruptcy CEO
"Running over fire while people are whipping you."
Henrik Fisker's description of launching a car company. Fisker resigned in March as executive chairman of Fisker Automotive
"We had people with 20 and 30 patents. I was kind of a downer. I said, 'How many have we commercialized? How many are in our cars?' None."
General Motors CEO Dan Akerson on taking the fun out of a company forum to celebrate innovation at the company when the topic of patents came up