Big changes are afoot in the top ranks at BMW, as the Bavarian automaker has announced not just one, but several appointments in the top floors of its towering headquarters in Munich in what the company itself is referring as "a generational change" in its leadership.
Earlier this month we brought you a report that Luca di Montezemolo – the longtime but recently ousted Ferrari chief – was to take up a new position as the chairman of Alitalia. And now the troubled but resurgent Italian airline has confirmed his appointment as part of its new board of directors.
The problems plaguing automotive supplier Takata this year for its faulty airbag inflators are starting to take their toll. Not only do an estimated 7.8 million vehicles need repairs, but it's facing an investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. A recent report also alleges that hidden attempts to fix the problem date back to as early as 2004. With all of this turmoil you might expect Takata's chairman, Shigehisa Takada, to be righting the ship, but the man is no where
Luca di Montezemolo may be 67 years old, but he's not quite ready to retire just yet. Not, at least, if the latest reports emanating from Italy are to be believed. According to Reuters, the longtime former Ferrari chief is due to be named chairman of Alitalia.
Holden had a crisis of leadership over the past few years. GM's Australian division had three chief executives in as many years, before Mike Devereux steered it through a period of relative stability for the better part of three years. Devereux was succeeded earlier this year by Gerry Dorizas, but after less than eight months on the job, Dorizas is stepping down, too.
If the history of an automaker is divided up by the mandate of its leadership, then this is surely the end of an era for Ferrari. After repeatedly locking horns with Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne over a variety of issues, longtime Ferrari chairman Luca di Montezemolo has announced his resignation.
Aston Martin has been without a helmsman since Ulrich Bez stepped down from the chief executive office at the end of last year to serve as non-executive chairman in a semi-retired ambassadorial capacity. The British automaker, now on the cusp of a new era, has been running without a CEO since, but has now named Bez's replacement in Andy Palmer.
Takashi Yamanouchi has been with Mazda for a long time. He signed on with the Japanese automaker in April 1967 – one month after graduating from Keio University – and rose through the ranks over the years. By 1996 he was named to the company's board of directors. In 2008 he was named president and CEO, an office he held until 2013, after which he handed over the day-to-day reins to Masamichi Kogai and took up the seat at the head of the board room to serve as the company's chairman.
Change is afoot at PSA. The parent company of both Peugeot and Citroën is on the verge of securing major funding from both the French government and from Chinese automaker Dongfeng, it recently named former Renault COO Carlos Tavares as its chief executive officer, and now it has selected its new chairman.
A report in Japan's Nikkei newspaper cited by Automotive News claims that the father of the Prius, Takeshi Uchiyamada, will take the role of chairman at Toyota. Currently Toyota's vice chairman, Uchiyamada joined the automaker in 1969, and in 1994 became the chief engineer of the Vehicle Development Center that birthed The Hybrid to Rule Them All. He said of it, "When we started, the purpose wasn't to do a specific car project. It was to make a vehicle suitable for the 21st century." A specialis
We're saddened to report the death of John G. Smale. Considered an outsider to the automotive industry upon his appointment, Smale served as chairman of General Motors from November 1992 to the end of 1995.
Sergio Marchionne appears to be very well regarded within the auto industry and his work making Fiat a viable automaker has been pretty remarkable overall. Now Marchionne is charged with saving the beleaguered and product-starved Chrysler while also keeping momentum back home in Italy. That's a big job that Marchionne won't be able to do for long. The dualing CEO reportedly said in a speech at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington that he will decide which company to r
Emerging reports from the German press suggest that Bernd Pischetsrieder is being considered as a top candidate to lead automotive supplier Continental. The veteran automotive industrialist was chairman of BMW for most of the 1990s and then of the Volkswagen group until three years ago, but continued until two years ago as chairman of VW's truck subsidiary Scania AB. Pischetsrieder is remembered for directing BMW's ill-fated acquisition of the Rover group, but was conversely credited with the cr
Tom Purves, Chairman of BMW North America, is getting a new desk -- one that is adorned with a silver Flying Lady. As of July 1, Purves will take over as the CEO of BMW's Rolls-Royce brand in Goodwood, England. Replacing Tom Purves as the CEO of BMW's North American Unit will be Jim O'Donnell, who has occupied the No. 2 seat since the beginning of this month.
Daimler chairman Dieter Zetsche is bullish on the adoption of diesel in the United States. At the ECO:nomics conference, Zetsche told the Wall Street Journal that Daimler is very happy with its diesel accomplishments over the last two years (see video below the fold). According to Zetsche, in the states where they are currently available, Daimler's diesel SUVs are showing twenty percent take rates and diesel cars are showing twelve percent take rates. Zetsche is confident Daimler will see the sa
At the ECO:nomics conference (March 12-14), GM chairman Bob Lutz was asked about his global warming is a "crock of sh*t" statement. In the video (which you can watch below the fold), Lutz was asked why he said it and if GM investors and customers should care that he said it. Lutz did not answer the why but he explained there are a "whole bunch of motivations for doing what we are doing." These motivations may include climate change, energy independence and conservation but the common denominator
Wall Street Journal blogs about GM CEO Rick Wagoner recent talk to reporters in Washington about GM chairman Bob Lutz's recent comment that global warming is "a total crock of sh*t." Wagoner backed away from the comment, saying that "the comments weren't coming out of the company" and "I would have preferred to pass on the comment." Wagoner didn't back away from Lutz, though, calling him "the clear leader of GM's push to develop extended-range battery-powered hybrid vehicles."
Like their competitors, Ferrari uses advanced aerodynamics to keep their cars on the ground. But what if they flipped their technology upside down to create an aircraft? The result could very well be this, the Piaggio P180 Avanti II.