AllianceBernstein analyst Max Warburton has a reputation for witty and acerbic commentary.
"I've got to give it to him," Sergio Marchionne, occasional target of Max attacks, told us a few months ago. "I mean, he is a phenomenal writer. He's like the Charles Dickens of [auto analysts]."
Warburton also has lively, unorthodox notions on such matters as the Volkswagen diesel turmoil.
"It's going to be a long time before anyone will be able to look beyond the scandal to VW's fundamentals," he pointed out in an investors note last week. "But interestingly some investors have begun to ask us if we think the scandal could be a positive catalyst for VW, acting to accelerate cost reduction and other change. We believe it's possible -- and the opportunity could be huge."
Among those cost-cutting opportunities, Warburton writes, is the much-ballyhooed, superflexible MQB mega-architecture that will underpin more than 4 million VW Group models. In German, MQB stands for modularer querbaukasten, or "modular transversal toolkit." In Warburtonese, it means "massive quantities of bull."
"Massively overhyped and woefully under-delivering, this platform costs too much to build," he wrote. "VW was already at full economic scale at the platform level, meaning getting further costs out of the greater scale of MQB was improbable. Instead, we believe MQB has actually raised costs, with its very high end materials and design decisions."