"Hot. Cold. Neutral. Pathetic." Those are the four brand descriptors professional Detroit auto industry provocateur Peter De Lorenzo applies to 40 major automotive brands in his latest Autoextremist rant.
If you've been reading De Lorenzo's stuff for any length of time, you've probably heard all this before, many, many times. But the column still has its share of nuggets, like, "Alfa Romeo: The brand that for the most part exists as a figment of Sergio Marchionne's considerable imagination," and "There's absolutely no reason in the world for this vehicle to exist other than to assuage Henrik Fisker's considerable ego."
De Lorenzo's ire isn't reserved just for executives, as he ridicules Ferrari for being "frickin' greedy," calls Lexus the "Eddie Haskell of the luxury auto space" for its vanilla approach, ridicules Mazda for its "nonsensical and flat-out dumb" Skyactiv branding campaign, and tags Volvo as "the brand for people who question why the even bother to own a car anymore."
While the column doesn't actually rank all the brands, it does quite predictably say that Porsche and BMW sit at the top of the heap, with Jeep and every other successful luxury marque making up the second tier. At the bottom of the pile? Well, that's a crowded place in the mind of the Autoextremist, but that crowning achievement of failure can only be awarded to Smart. Indeed, De Lorenzo forgot to even include that brand on his list.