"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.


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  • 39 Comments
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      miles
      • 2 Years Ago
      I read autoextremist, sometimes Peter has insight an perspective lacking elsewhere. Unfortunately, he also has a hardcore habit of stroking his own ego, saying goofy things like "Autoextremist requires a deep well of passion that courses through my veins right through to my soul". I guess I can see that pushing the "Peter" brand what a marketing guy is all about, but he also has a tenancy to verbally bash anyone that disagrees with him, which is not necessary. Just step back one week to the May 30 post to read him gushing about the high-octane awesomeness that is Peter M. De Lorenzo. Ah well ... where would this industry be if not for egos, eh?
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      Cruising
      • 2 Years Ago
      This man raved for months about the Lincoln MKZ concept from the Detroit Auto Show like it was going to be a game changer for the brand, I'm not exactly sure what he saw because frankly the masses were not amused.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Cruising
        [blocked]
      Polly Prissy Pants
      • 2 Years Ago
      The thing that strikes me the most about this list is how many high powered CEOs engineered such colossal failures due to their incompetence yet still got paid (and got to keep) their millions and millions in compensation. Looking back long term at the industry as a whole, the various CEOs didn't perform any better than your average grade schooler pulling guesses out of his bum.
      grant
      • 2 Years Ago
      Sergio Marchionne must have drowned peters cat. thats the only explanation I can see for his immense hatred for anything fiat/chrysler does.
      Differentberries
      • 2 Years Ago
      That brand image meter is monumentally out of touch.
      Brian
      • 2 Years Ago
      I didn't get a chance to read all of them however those that I did read, I pretty much agreed with- especially Buick, GMC, Chevrolet and Honda. Most automakers are really bringing their "A" game now-a-days when it comes to their vehicles and are also doing a great job at defining their brand however Honda seems to be taking a step in the wrong direction- building vehicles that are not as good as those they have replaced and the GM brands listed above are either lacking well executed new products, brand cohesiveness or both. Granted, Cadillac is doing a great job and there are some bright spots here and there throughout GM however I can help but feel that GM is making the most of the opportunities provided to them as a result of being bailed out.
      AMG THIS
      • 2 Years Ago
      If Peter was as good as he thought he was, he'd be running an OEM's marketing efforts or be CEO of a huge agency that did work for one of the OEM's...Not hiding behind his keyboard like a little troll, which he even looks like. The guy is a washed up pathetic loser, that is all.
      Claud
      • 2 Years Ago
      Autoextremist is an also ran car site...........The writers/editors vent their spleens at the car crowd, when not kicking cats and dogs. Apparently they(he) believe they have been anointed by the Almighty with the real TRUTH about all things automotive......... I run from people/websites who are so negative!...................
        FSLIV
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Claud
        I would have to agree. I use to follow him also, as his rants were pretty on point. That is before the bankruptcies of GM and Chrysler. After that he became so bitter that it became blatant subjective ranter. I used blatant because I know there is no such thing as objective journalism especially in automotive journalism.
        jz78817
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Claud
        Whether I agree with him or not, the one thing I like about DeLorenzo and his site is that *he isn't beholden to anyone.* And that's the problem I have with most cookie-cutter car sites. They don't want to piss off the automakers and lose access to cars and media drive events, so we get nothing but scads of mealy-mouth filler cluttering up the web. At least DeLorenzo says what he really thinks. I just wish he would carry that over to AAH. Unfortunately, that program *is* beholden to its sponsors.
      sjmoo
      • 2 Years Ago
      I occasionally read Peter De Lorenzo just because he usually has a different viewpoint from the norm. However, I can never get past the feeling that he is just a few steps behind what is actually happening in the industry. Almost like he has been doing this too long and living in the past. Case in point: BMW. They do not deserve to be on the top of the podium. They sure did 5 years ago, but BMW has recently resorted to building some of the most inconsistent products in the industry. The sooner people call them out on it the sooner they will get back to their roots. Also, I think his views of MB are a little dated. I fully agree that much of what they produced from '97-'07 was wildly inconsistent at best, but in recent years they have really gotten back to their core values. They may not be uncompromising performance cars, but they are distinctly Mercedes and immensely desirable in their own right. In fact, I would argue that MB is turning out a more consistent lineup than BMW at the moment.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @sjmoo
        [blocked]
          • 2 Years Ago
          [blocked]
          sjmoo
          • 2 Years Ago
          Actually the balance shaft issue only affects 2006 M272's. That was the first year of production for that motor and there were supplier quality issues. MB revised the design for 2007 and has openly stated that they will perform the repair work for free on affected cars that are past the warranty cut off. Likewise, the M113 V8 engine you are speaking of was first introduced in 1998 before the Daimler-Chrysler merger was even finalized. It's problems are entirely electrical which I already stated before were just horrendous. The M273 introduced in '06 was just an evolution of the M113, but with improved QC. As a result, it has no widespread issues. Having said all that, I totally agree that MB, due to incompetent leadership, threw its reputation out the window in a quantity over quality product offensive (much like BMW is doing now). Nevertheless, they have started to mend and deserve to be acknowledged for it.
      zzzzzz
      • 2 Years Ago
      Peter Delorenzo is someone who couldn't hack it in the automotive industry, so he's made a living out of whining about it.
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