Credit Suisse has proposed a novel idea for the European car industry, one whose title we are well familiar with: Car Czar. What would make this position far more radical than that formerly held by our own Steven Rattner is that the European car czar would be tasked with managing a reorganization of the entire industry across the continent, not just in one country. It cites Lewis Booth, retired Ford of Europe CEO and global COO, as the man for the job.
The czars – all of them – are dead in the House of Representatives. Even though every "czar" position in government had already been vacated, the House passed a spending bill that officially eliminated the role and forbids the White House from naming more. In some cases, automotive and banking bailouts and executive pay especially, the czar himself was as polarizing as the job he had to do, and the enduring, transformative effects of their work can explain why politicians might targe
The government's Auto Task Force was given the difficult task of saving General Motors and Chrysler at a time when the credit markets were frozen and the economy was in chaos. The team ultimately got the job done by ushering the two iconic companies through extraordinarily short bankruptcies.
Ron Bloom, the former car czar under President Barack Obama, is being asked to clarify some of the statements he made under oath to the United States Congress last month. Three members of the Congressional oversight committee are specifically interested in the Bloom's denial that he remarked "I did all this for the unions" during a farewell speech. Representative Dan Burton, R-Ind., questioned Bloom about the statement at a hearing of the Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs, Stimulus Oversight an
Last week, the government avoided a costly shutdown by cutting $38 billion from the 2012 federal budget. The American people are just now hearing what those cuts consist of, and it appears the auto industry and industry regulation have been affected.
Steven Ratner, the ex-Car Czar, has a healthy prediction for US automotive sales this year. Ratner believes the magic number will be 14 million for 2011. In 2012, the number will climb to 15 million, per Ratner's estimates. Why the optimism?
Let's try this again. After having his invitation to speak at the Detroit Economic Club rescinded last month, Steven Rattner, the former auto advisor to the Obama Administration, will get another chance to speak to Detroit. The Automotive Press Association is now hosting a lunch where Rattner will speak with members of the media on November 15, just three days before General Motors launches its IPO.
According to Reuters, the Securities and Exchange Commission is set to settle with the former head of the Obama Administration's auto task force, Steven Rattner. Earlier this year, the SEC charged Rattner with participating in a pay-to-play pension program, but the commission is expected to announce today that the former car czar has agreed to pay a fine of more than $5 million and accept a multi-year ban from the securities industry.
Ed Montgomery, the gentleman who helped usher General Motors and Chrysler through some of the most difficult times in both companies' histories, has stepped down from his position as the Auto Recovery Czar for the Obama Administration. Montgomery had been at his post for just 15 months, during which time he managed to shell out an unprecedented amount of aid for two of America's ailing auto manufacturers. The move kept the lights on, the factories humming and workers paid as both GM and Chrysler
While there have been rumors and suggested candidates floated for the so-called federal "car czar" post, it now no longer looks like that position will be filled. That's because President Barack Obama has apparently gone cold on the idea. Instead, new reports suggest that he will look to a select group of senior economic advisers for guidance.
To be fair, the new president faces a lot of immediate challenges. But when it comes to the auto industry, the biggest four challenges could be the bridge loans, fuel economy mandates, the EPA vs The California 14, and the board of czars that will oversee the fortunes of GM and Chrysler. The similarity between these challenges and others on the domestic and global agenda: he doesn't have a lot of time to get them right.
Now that General Motors and Chrysler have accepted Federal assistance in the form of low-interest bridge loans, the two companies may not have many choices available to them if a Fed-appointed individual were to make product recommendations to senior management. In fact, that's exactly what the so-called car czar would likely do, under the guise of keeping an eye on the interests of the taxpayers who funded the automakers' revival. Ford, though, has not accepted any assistance yet, and it hopes
If an emergency loan for the Detroit 3 makes it through Congress, part of the deal will be an overseer for the industry to make sure the money is spent wisely. Of course, the question is who will fill the car czar's slippers? MotorTrend editor Angus McKenzie has come out in favor of Roger Penske, an interesting choice particular considering his successful at the helm of various business endeavors, not to mention his racing teams. In the past, Penske has even been mentioned as a potential CEO of
The House of Representatives and the Senate will discuss and likely vote on the Automaker Bailout Bill (we know, it's not technically a bailout, but rather loans that will be paid back) tomorrow, and the first discussion draft of the bill has hit the internet. The discussion bill is 31 pages long, and like you we're not about to spend our Monday evening reading through the whole thing. Thankfully, some real auto journalists over at The Detroit Free Press have done that for us.
Soon after President-elect Obama and still-President Bush sat down on Monday, reports began to surface that the Obama camp was considering the appointment of a "Car Czar." The position would provide the new administration with analysis and advice on the auto industry and the financial (and product?) perils faced by Detroit Big 3(ish).
When Bob Lutz became GM's car czar last year, he kept telling workers that they couldn't keep doing things the same way if they wanted different results. Seems obvious, and that philosophy is considered one of the litmus tests for being sane. Although there's still a long way to go, and GM might slip to the #2 spot in global production before it gets sorted, it seems the message is getting through.
By now we're all aware what a good Car Czar can do for an automaker. Bob Lutz is often referred to as the Car Czar at General Motors who banned body cladding on Pontiacs, brought over the Aussie-sourced GTO (that really opened the door for the upcoming Chevy Camaro revival) and pushed Cadillac further upmarket where it belongs. Last year Lutz officially became GM's global product Czar, no doubt on account of Saturn's transformation into an imported brand with the addition of rebadged versions of