Aug. 13-- We Americans are list crazy. We want to know who's the biggest, the richest, the sexiest and the best dressed.
So it was significant that there were no auto executives among Fortune magazine's list of the 25 most Powerful People in Business.
For much of the last century, auto execs were among the most respected captains of industry because the car business was growing and profitable. It generated jobs and wealth across the economy.
Back then, people paid a lot more attention to what the chairman of General Motors or Ford Motor Co. had to say.
Now most of the darling moguls aren't even industrialists. They're in computers, software, entertainment or finance.
There was one bright spot.
Jim Press, Toyota's COO in the United States, got what amounted to an honorable mention largely because of Toyota's success with the Prius gasoline-electric hybrid. Press was on a list of "disrupters" because the magazine's editors say hybrid technology could shake things up.
At least they spelled his name right.