By the next morning, of course, Karl Rove was on Fox News politicizing the ad. Has Clint Eastwood --America’s tough guy and the former Republican Mayor of Carmel, CA – gone soft in the head? Or worse, become a Democrat? Never mind that Clint is an actor who probably got paid bazillion dollars for reading a speech for 2 minutes. For the same money, I would have dressed up as Bo-Peep and sang Deutschland, Deutschland Uber Alles. This debate (over nothing) has gone viral since.
Lost in all this discussion is any analysis of the validity of Clint’s (and Chrysler’s) claim. Are the Detroit Big 3 producing cars that can compete on a global stage? More importantly, are they competitive in the world’s most important market, the U.S. of A?
|2012 Buick Regal|
Last year, I blogged about Bob Lutz’ book, Car Guys vs. Bean Counters (They Don't Write Songs About Volvos). It’s a great book even if you’re not a car nut. Lutz spent his life working in the industry and was largely responsible for Chrysler’s comeback in the 90’s. The book is well written and Lutz is a great American character, a former Marine Corps fighter pilot whose treatise offers terrific lessons in leadership.
While Lutz’ book may be self-promotional, he also goes out of his way to say the he doesn’t believe anyone, including him, could have saved GM from its 2009 bankruptcy. However, the changes in cost structure brought on by that event coupled with his decade long focus on design and engineering have resulted in a great product lineup from Chevy, Buick, Cadillac and GMC. Ditto, Ford and Chrysler.
|2012 Chrysler 300C|
However, if you are in the market for a new car, you owe it to yourself to check out the American competition before you make your final choice. Before you buy that Lexus, stop off at a Buick dealer. That’s right. Buick!
|2013 Ford Fusion|
In each case, you will find the American car offers similar (or even better) performance, utility, ride and handling – at a lower price!
As for the S-Class Mercedes? Well, not yet. But, then it’s only half time.