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BLOG: Larry P. Vellequette
Posted 10:28 am U.S. ET, Aug. 5
Posted 3:38 pm U.S. ET, Aug. 27
Posted 5:16 pm U.S. ET, Aug. 6
Since Fiat was reintroduced to the United States in 2011, the Italian brand has stretched the advertising envelope.
But a new animated spot set to debut on Gas Station TV this month touting the fuel and ecological advantages of a Fiat 500 minicar may be the brand’s most wry offering yet.
The one-minute commercial features animated woodland creatures -- a rabbit, a ... Continue reading "Fiat's cute cartoon characters suggest buying a 500 -- or else" » Aug 27, 2014 3:38 pm U.S. ET Post Comment
Chrysler Group CEO Sergio Marchionne today seemed like a grizzly bear standing amid a stream of happily swimming salmon.
In comments to analysts, the enigmatic Chrysler boss said he was "envious" of the profit margins of his suppliers, and vowed to seek a share of their newfound wealth.
Have no doubt: Profitable suppliers are the salmon in this scenario, and Marchionne i ... Continue reading "Will Marchionne's profits grab come up empty?" » Aug 6, 2014 5:16 pm U.S. ET Post Comment
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. -- Take note: there is a squeeze coming to an auto dealer near you.
Two important factors to new automotive sales -- low interest rates and relatively high values for used automobiles – are forecast to move in unwelcome directions that soon will make it more expensive to buy a new car, SUV or pickup.
The forecasts, delivered at the 2014 Managem ... Continue reading "Why a squeeze is coming to auto dealers" » Aug 5, 2014 10:28 am U.S. ET Post Comment
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. -- There's three dozen people in the auto supply chain who should be on the mind of everyone attending the Management Briefing Seminars here this year.
For more than three years, the U.S. Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division and its counterparts in Europe and Japan have been working over automotive suppliers like a boxer on a heavy b ... Continue reading "Why the supplier price-fixing investigation looms large" » Aug 4, 2014 9:40 am U.S. ET Post Comment
Spend a few minutes with Chrysler Group’s new monster power plant -- the 707-hp, 6.2-liter supercharged Hemi V-8 -- and you will be left, as I was, with one overriding question:
What else can you put it in?
Not to say that it’s out of place in the 2015 SRT Challenger. It’s not. It absolutely belongs there and fits like a glove. But very few automakers t ... Continue reading "Let's hope for a litter of Hellcat kitties" » Jul 19, 2014 12:01 am U.S. ET Post Comment
In economics, it’s known as the law of diminishing returns, the shrinking benefit you get when you pour ever-increasing resources toward achieving a singular goal.
The U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Information Agency showed a good mathematical example of the principle today with a graphic it released about the consumer benefits of fuel economy.
For consu ... Continue reading "Why fuel economy faces law of diminishing returns" » Jul 11, 2014 3:02 pm U.S. ET Post Comment
Here’s an automotive exercise: Think of the most practical product you own, something you use every day.
Maybe it’s a pen you keep in your pocket, or a garment, a briefcase, a handbag -- whatever.
Do you like it? Probably, or you’d switch to an alternative. Is it stylish? Maybe, but it doesn’t really have to be in order to be practical. Yet, becau ... Continue reading "Minivans are too practical to have the reputation they have" » Jul 9, 2014 3:13 pm U.S. ET Post Comment
Maybe it’s the five-year bankruptcy anniversary, or the juxtaposition of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles laying out its five-year business plan as General Motors struggles to contain a ballooning recall crisis.
Either way, time and careful observation have now clarified for me a theory that I’ve noodled over since that dark spring in 2009.
You see, there is a funda ... Continue reading "Why the bankruptcy legacy seems different at Chrysler and GM" » May 22, 2014 3:02 pm U.S. ET Post Comment
To borrow a line from The Blues Brothers movie a few decades ago, Chrysler Group is “getting the band back together” on Tuesday to reveal its next five-year business plan.
So I wonder: Is it too late to put in a request?
If it’s not, if there’s still time, then what I’d really like to hear next week is that CEO Sergio Marchionne and company ... Continue reading "Can I request a Jeep Gladiator in the plan? " » May 2, 2014 2:06 pm U.S. ET Post Comment
As a young man, Emery Ward Jr. fell in love in 1936 -- with a Ford.
He never got over the attraction. In fact, the older he got, the more it intensified.
After Ward died in 2007, the objects of his affection -- a collection of nearly two dozen 1936 Fords of every shape and stripe -- remained locked away in a barn in Sandusky, Ohio, near the shores of Lake Erie. Until now ... Continue reading "Ohio man's collection of '36 Fords going to auction" » Apr 19, 2014 12:01 am U.S. ET Post Comment
Journalists chasing a meaty story can act like a pack of wild dogs sometimes.
They tear into the living flesh of their subject and rip it away, scurrying off to some more private place to process their information meal in peace.
For the most part, this process is figurative. No one’s flesh is ripped away.
But this week in New York -- and earlier this year at the D ... Continue reading "CEO media scrums are as ineffective as they are dangerous" » Apr 18, 2014 9:22 am U.S. ET Post Comment
If you show up decades late for your own surprise party, are guests still expected to cheer your arrival?
Maybe not for most. But it might be a different story if your name is Alfa Romeo.
This week, the Alfa Romeo 4C will appear at the New York auto show, marking the sporty two-seater’s North American debut.
There won’t be a formal news conference -- the 4C ...