• Oct 23, 2010
The Autoextremist, Peter De Lorenzo, has done his best for "the minions, the gamers, the coddled and the entitled" who want an update on the auto industry but don't want to bother actually reading about it. You know the folks – the ones who write "summarize plz" or "Cliffs Notes?" in a comment thread because they can't be bothered taking the time to figure out what happened.

Done something like Abrose Bierce's Devil's Dictionary but in the space of a tweet - that being no more than 140 characters, and 32 tweets in total - De Lorenzo covers just about every major carmaker and a few other subjects to boot. General Motors' marketing, but not the company itself, gets two tweets, and electric cars also get a double-dip. Not one for restraint, tweets include "Electric Cars: A niche wrapped in an enigma in search of decent batteries and a sustainable infrastructure. Other than that, it's all good." Click the link for more... Hat tip to Chris

[Source: Autoextremist]


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  • 31 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      If you think "truth" is that there will never be anything but oil-burning cars, you have your head in the sand.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Not sure I want to help this guy at all by clicking the link really. I'll leave it unread.
      • 4 Years Ago
      summarize plz
      • 4 Years Ago
      " $1.00 instead of $8.00 if its an 80-mile round trip." Except they can't make it 80 miles.
        • 4 Years Ago
        80 miles in real world, I'll believe it when I see it.
        • 4 Years Ago
        BS. There are plenty that go over 80 miles, some are just back-yard hacks. Heck, even the old EV1 and RAV4EV went over 80 miles and that was 1995 or so.

        This guy is good ad 1 liners and zingers but it's easy flap one's lips. Not so much to back it up with engineering and technical understanding, which he/she obviously has none of.
      • 4 Years Ago
      His comments on EVs are classic. "This new technology will never work! You people promoting it are crazy!"
      Fact: An EV can get you to work and back every day for about $0.50 instead of $4.00 if your commute is 40 miles round trip. $1.00 instead of $8.00 if its an 80-mile round trip. 7 dollars a day for the 10-year warranty period is worth $25,000. And we are currently talking about the first generation of production EVs here. This guy is a classic case of being close-minded.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Yep. this guy knows the industry well but he has the technical smarts of a 3rd grader. In that arena he has a 5L V10 mouth with a 50cc 2 stroke brain.
        • 4 Years Ago
        "The last I remember even old-tech electric cars were suitable for over 90% of average commutes."

        that's great and all. Matter of fact, 80 miles of range would just barely cover my commute (round trip,) as long as I didn't run into traffic. Oh, but most days of the week I also have to go to my customer's site, which is about 20 miles away from work. So now I've tacked on another 40 miles I need, and I have to hope that I'm able to find a charge point or else I might not be getting back to work for a while, nevermind getting home.

        see, that's the problem with EV zealots like you. you want to bottle up what "most people" drive (as if you have the first clue what "most people" do) into easily addressed best-case scenarios, and hand-wave away anything that doesn't fit into that scenario.

        it's just like people who claim Microsoft office is bloated because "most people only use 20% of the features." But when you look below the surface you find that *everyone uses a different 20%.*

        " In fact, there has pretty much
        -never- been an electric car that didn't have a waiting list of folks trying to buy it whether it's the EV1 (lease only), the RAV4EV, the Honda EV+ or others (all of which the makers marketed minimally or not at all and destroyed or planned to destroy after the leases ended). "

        so what? it's easy to have a waiting list when you're only making 1,000 cars. There's a waiting list for the Bentley Continental GT, too. Doesn't mean Bentley could sell 100,000 a year if they wanted to.

        "1) They're hyper-reliable so there won't be much in the way of profit to be made from parts, service or rights to same for other companies."

        BS. like some toyota fanboy who thinks his car's "just broken in" at 180,000 miles, you're ignoring the rest of the car for the powertrain. The automakers aren't making a bunch of profit on blocks, rods, pistons, cylinder heads, or stuff like that. if those things fail such that OE parts are purchased, it's most likely a warranty repair that *costs the automaker money.* for older cars, engine repairs are served by remanufacturers who most commonly use aftermarket parts.

        the other side of this is that it's nice and all that the powertrain is nearly maintenance free, but the rest of the car still has brake, suspension and steering parts to wear out, there is still an air conditioning system, there will still be a cooling system, etc. When someone replaces a car, it's not usually 'cos the engine blew up, but that the rest of the car is starting to nickel-and-dime them to death. as in "I just spent $800 for struts and control arm bushings a few weeks ago, now I need to spend another $600 for half-shafts and wheel bearings?" Being powered by an electric motor won't fix any of that.

        besides, reconditioned batteries sounds like a lucrative business that the automakers would probably want a nice piece of. so yes, they could still profit from the service life of an EV. I mean, cars are infinitely more reliable and durable than they were in the '70s and '80s, so I think they've been able to manage....
        • 4 Years Ago
        Jim, thank you for proving -my- point. A little googling and common sense go a long way. The last I remember even old-tech electric cars were suitable for over 90% of average commutes. Beyond that there's the common sense that since many households have 2 or more cars, they can easily replace at least one of them with an electric one.

        A 2nd degree of common sense is that just like a Miata can't haul a family, lumber, or be comfortable on long trips it still sells because it has its own merits. So too can electric cars except the industry is resistant to selling them. In fact, there has pretty much
        -never- been an electric car that didn't have a waiting list of folks trying to buy it whether it's the EV1 (lease only), the RAV4EV, the Honda EV+ or others (all of which the makers marketed minimally or not at all and destroyed or planned to destroy after the leases ended).

        The 3rd degree of common sense requires removal of partisan blinders and a slight bit of business sense. Every business or industry has a common "business model" or "profit model." It's the mechanism by which they turn a profit. The convenience store sells common "convenience" items at a really high markup. Starbucks does the same for coffee while providing branding, image, and atmosphere. The kid with the lawnmower does so by charging enough to mow your yard to clear the fuel, equipment and other costs while still making a profit...

        ...The auto industry's profit model? They profit not just from the sale of vehicles. They also profit over the life of a car through parts, service, and rights to make and sale parts for other companies. Even after a car is paid off it's still turning profit for the maker as long as its on the road. --This-- is the problem with electric cars... The only moving drivetrain part besides a couple of gears in a single reduction is....The rotor of the motor. No pistons, connecting rods, piston rings, valves, valve springs, rockers, cams, pushrods, crank shafts, oil pumps, alternators, water pumps, oil, fuel injectors..... Electrics are just too simple and too reliable. Therefore they present two serious problems:

        1) They're hyper-reliable so there won't be much in the way of profit to be made from parts, service or rights to same for other companies.

        2) If cars don't wear out and are hyper-reliable then they won't start falling apart and pushing owners to purchase new ones. Translation: poor sales of new cars.

        Contrary to the propaganda, the "market" doesn't simply supply the needs of the buyers. It also supply the desires of the suppliers for maximum profit. It's push-pull, not just pull.
        • 4 Years Ago
        "see, that's the problem with EV zealots like you. you want to bottle up what "most people" drive (as if you have the first clue what "most people" do) into easily addressed best-case scenarios, and hand-wave away anything that doesn't fit into that scenario."

        Well there you go showing off that big brain of yours. Just because something doesn't fit YOU then it can't be any good for anybody else, right?


        "so what? it's easy to have a waiting list when you're only making 1,000 cars. There's a waiting list for the Bentley Continental GT, too. Doesn't mean Bentley could sell 100,000 a year if they wanted to."

        Yeah, and have you ever fired a neuron or two to think --who-- limited production to "1000 cars" and why?



        "BS. like some toyota fanboy who thinks his car's "just broken in" at 180,000 miles, you're ignoring the rest of the car for the powertrain."

        Back at you. There isn't any "rest" of a powertrain, just a spinning rotor and a couple of gears.


        "The automakers aren't making a bunch of profit on blocks, rods, pistons, cylinder heads, or stuff like that. if those things fail such that OE parts are purchased, it's most likely a warranty repair that *costs the automaker money.* for older cars, engine repairs are served by remanufacturers who most commonly use aftermarket parts."

        Oh boy, more grey matter at work... Where should I start? How many times have you heard of things of that sort breaking under warranty? Entirely moot. Also, remanufacturing requires new parts for one, it's only common for more popular and much older cars (think 350 chevy V8). On top of that, parts of relatively new design require buying the rights to copy (patent law 101).


        "the other side of this is that it's nice and all that the powertrain is nearly maintenance free, but the rest of the car still has brake, suspension and steering parts to wear out, there is still an air conditioning system, there will still be a cooling system, etc."

        OK. add all these possible problem areas with the thousands of moving, wearing, corroding (i.e. exhaust) parts associated with a gasoline engine... See the difference?


        "When someone replaces a car, it's not usually 'cos the engine blew up"

        Who would have guessed? They replace it most often because it's no longer reliable in getting them from A to B. That almost always has something to do with the engine, the transmission, or systems related thereto.

        "but that the rest of the car is starting to nickel-and-dime them to death. as in "I just spent $800 for struts and control arm bushings a few weeks ago, now I need to spend another $600 for half-shafts and wheel bearings?" Being powered by an electric motor won't fix any of that."

        Maybe not, but it will limit your possible expenditures to those areas. Remember, with a standard engine you always get electric's expenses plus alpha. With electric, there's no alpha.


        "besides, reconditioned batteries sounds like a lucrative business that the automakers would probably want a nice piece of. so yes, they could still profit from the service life of an EV."

        Oh boy, more sound intellection. "Reconditioned batteries" is a business *anyone* can get into which translates into *competition.* which means less profitability. Nice try though.

        Here's an exercise for you, mr. big brain. Make yourself some regular visits to an AutoZone or other auto parts supplier. Look at the stuff that's on the shelves and pay attention to what the customers are buying (no, not the fuzzy dice or cardboard trees) What vehicle systems are they most related to?

        Now, fire a neuron or two to consider what parts or related ones wouldn't be in that store if most powertrains were electric.

        Pro Tip: The truth is, Toyotas (Hondas, and Subarus too) have indeed been much more reliable than non-Japanes counterparts over the years. Statistics prove that and the movement of feet and wallets to those dealerships have too. The catch is that they sat on their butts for so long that the Americans (particularly, Ford) and Koreans have caught up on reliability and are whipping them in overall product execution. The Japanese sat on their butts just like the Americans did for --decades--

      • 4 Years Ago
      All you need is the Jaguar description in the picture to know this guys full of sh!t
      • 4 Years Ago
      I looked up "cavedweller" and saw his name.
      • 4 Years Ago
      No take on Saab?
      • 4 Years Ago
      WOW I forgot all about this guys column. I use to read it all the time until he came off as just being BITTER. Oh well.
        • 4 Years Ago
        He is bitter. But his jaundiced view (and vigorously mixed metaphors) of the auto industry is spot on - he's got a great grasp of the problem of automotive branding. I read him every week.
        • 4 Years Ago
        All that guy does is whine and cry, I dont think he's ever been right in any of his ramblings either.

        Its easy to pick apart companies after mistakes have been made, its making the RIGHT predictions about how to fix them. When he said all Pontiac needed to crawl back from the dead was a retro 71 Firebird I never read his rants again.

        Peter De Lorenzo - 2 THUMBS DOWN.
        • 4 Years Ago
        And why is this guy even mentioned on autoblog? He's obviously a total dum......ss
      • 4 Years Ago
      didnt read all rants, however I liked most the Honda and Rolls-Royce rants :)
      • 4 Years Ago
      140 characters or fewer *
      • 4 Years Ago
      Uh, yes, I did. He was always a blowhard and he's still a blowhard. But you're welcome rofl!
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