AD #1281 – Chevy’s Marketing Chief Quits, Honda Announces TLX for Detroit, 2+2 = Kia Concept

December 19th, 2013 at 11:57am

Runtime: 10:38

- Chevy’s Marketing Chief Quits
- JLR Names New North American Boss
- Honda Announces TLX for Detroit
- 2+2 = Kia Concept
- Autoline Executive of the Year Panel
- KPMG Update

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Hello and welcome to Autoline Daily. We start out today’s report with a couple of notable personnel moves.

GM has had some high profile execs leave the company this year. The head of Chevy and Cadillac in Europe, Susan Docherty left over the summer. Don Butler, Cadillac’s global marketing chief quit in August and now Reuters reports that the head of Chevy marketing, Chris Perry has abruptly resigned. There aren’t a whole lot of details but it doesn’t seem like it was an amicable break-up because there is no mention of Perry’s resignation anywhere on GM’s Media website.

And speaking of management changes, Jaguar Land Rover announced that Joe Eberhardt is now the new President of its North American operations. He will be responsible for Sales, Service and Marketing in the United States and Canada. Previously Eberhardt worked at Chrysler as vice president of sales and marketing during the DaimlerChrysler days. He was blamed by dealers for forcing unwanted cars on them as the company overproduced what the market could bear. But I can tell you that Joe was just doing what the big bosses wanted, and that’s a story I’ll have to get into some other time.

Honda has released its lineup for next month’s Detroit auto show and one of the vehicles it will show off is the all-new Acura TLX Prototype. This luxury performance mid-size sedan replaces the outgoing TL and will slot in behind the RLX in Acura’s lineup. It also announced sales of the TSX will end in 2014 as well. The TLX will focus on sports sedan proportions with more emotional styling. The car can be powered by two all-new direct injected engines mated to an all-new transmission and will be available in two- or all-wheel-drive configurations. Production of the TLX starts in the second half of next year.

And in other Detroit auto show news, Kia will unveil a new concept there. No word on a name yet for this concept but its a 2+2 sports car that is intended for both the road and track. It was conceived at Kia’s design studio in California, so it will be interesting to see what Peter Schreyer has in store for us this time. Speaking of the Detroit Auto Show, we’re going to be there in force.

For the past two weeks I’ve been talking about the Autoline Executive Of The Year. Most of you know that the finalists to win that award include Alan Mulally from Ford, Martin Winterkorn from the Volkswagen Group, Akio Toyoda from you know where, Mark Reuss from GM, and Tom Doll from Subaru of America.

Those finalists were chosen by my blue ribbon panel of automotive experts including Maryann Keller, Dr. David Cole and Neil De Koker. Today I want to talk about the fourth member of the panel, Karl Ludvigsen.

Karl is an award winning journalist and author, having worked at numerous car magazines in his career from Sports Car Illustrated to Car And Driver and Automobile Quarterly. He has written about 50 books on a variety of automotive topics. Perhaps best known is his three-book series on Porsche titled “Excellence Was Expected.”

But he’s more than a writer, having started his career as a designer at General Motors working on experimental front-drive prototypes. He was also a vice president at Fiat of America and at Ford of Europe. Based in England, Karl has one of the most extensive private libraries of automotive publications, books, pictures and pamphlets. In my opinion he is one of the foremost automotive experts in the world and that’s why I wanted him on the blue ribbon panel to choose the Autoline Executive of the Year. Tomorrow I’ll tell you about the last member of that panel, and I’ll reveal who we chose as Autoline Executive Of The Year.

Say, don’t forget to join us for the last Autoline After Hours of 2013. Joining me and Peter De Lorenzo will be Gary Vasilash from Automotive Design and Production magazine, and Scott Burgess from Motor Trend as we hand out Christmas presents and lumps of coal for the best and worst automotive products, people and developments over the last 12 months. That’s tonight starting at 6 pm Eastern time. And that ends the news portion of today’s show.

Coming up next, if you’re at a car company or supplier that is bursting at the seams trying to keep up with demand, KPMG might have the answers for you, in its sponsored message.

The North American auto industry has made significant gains since the 2009 Recession. The economy, though still fragile, is showing clear signs of strengthening. Credit is becoming more available and consumer confidence is recovering. The housing market is on the rebound and with it, so are sales of light trucks. Industry profitability is at record levels for each of the Domestic 3 Automakers as well as many of their global competitors.

Even so, the facts show that the industry faces a number of significant new challenges, and it is apparent that a change to the current the business model is needed in this complex environment. One of these fundamental challenges include a serious “Brain and Experience Drain” within the OEM’s and Suppliers. Over 470,000 auto industry jobs were lost with most of these losses being comprised of highly experienced people who exited the auto industry and are not likely to ever return. To date only 30% of these lost jobs have been refilled. And while there are many industry jobs available … qualified candidates are in short supply.

Another significant challenge that faces the Auto Industry today is that there is a looming tooling and production capacity shortfall within the supply base as a result of the downturn. For instance, the 2013 Automotive Industry Tooling Study from Harbour Results Inc, projects that demand for tooling will outstrip supply by over 70% between now and 2020 in North America.

Combined with these fundamental structural shifts, there are other forces impacting the industry such as an intensified regulatory impact. CAFÉ, for instance, is driving the need for new light weight materials, on-board electronics, alternative fuels and powertrains, while Safety regulations are driving the need for more complex sensing systems, and higher strength materials for impact compliance. These changes need to happen rapidly, with OEM’s starting to pick technology paths and strategies as we speak to meet future requirements.

In an industry that is still feeling the effects of the 2008-9 layoffs and the issues I just listed, the strain to deliver flawless product at launch is becoming evident with recent examples of missteps and product recalls.

Obviously, the challenges are great, but with these challenges come new opportunities and tools that were not available in the past. As manufacturers look to strategically drive future performance metrics to new levels, it is apparent that innovative solutions and risk mitigation strategies are required. Some areas where KPMG has the expertise and tools to provide the next level of technical and intellectual solutions include three main Themes: Predictive Analytics and Preventative Planning, Information Visibility and Latency, and Root Cause Analysis with lessons learned feedback.

For a flawless launch, preventive planning is key. KPMG has developed MOBI, which stands for Mass Opinion Business Intelligence. It’s a set of tools that provide early feedback regarding consumer preferences and opinions, of products and features, during the planning phase for future product. They provide real-time feedback during the development, pre-launch and post-launch phases. MOBI can be utilized in a variety of functions including Procurement, Quality, Warranty, Product Planning, and Engineering.

KPMG has extensive experience in working with our clients to map out supply chain issues with our Risk Exposure Index, and other strategies, to mitigate failure, protect constant supply and reduce time to recovery in the event of work stoppage.

Another new tool for the improvement of communication between OEM’s and the supply base is utilization of ‘cloud’ technologies to transform how supply chains can operate. KPMG is at the forefront of helping clients leverage this technology to transform their ‘supply chains’ into ‘supply networks.’ By increasing visibility and reducing information-latency and demand-uncertainty, companies are able to reduce excessive inventory and free up working capital for more productive uses. KPMG is also a leader in developing custom business formats to apply these tools to the product development and innovation processes as well.

Last, KPMG’s experience in Post launch support is extensive, such that we have dynamic launch assessment tools customized to meet the needs of an OEM or Supplier’s specific product and plant. We work with clients to develop action plans that can be implemented from the design phase through on-site execution directly with the supply chain.

I’m Gordon Heidacker, Advisory Managing Director for Strategic Sourcing and Procurement for KPMG. We welcome the opportunity to speak with you about the elements of a flawless product launch and how we can support you with your new product development, Procurement, and Planning challenges.

To learn more visit

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57 Comments to “AD #1281 – Chevy’s Marketing Chief Quits, Honda Announces TLX for Detroit, 2+2 = Kia Concept”

  1. Lex Says:

    I hope KPMG paid Autoline a substantial amount for that air time!

    My Better Half wants out of her Honda Odyssey and into a AWD CUV because of the amount of snow and bad weather we have been experiencing this year. Everyone has a CR-V, Rav4 or Mazda CX5. Does anyone have an opinion of the New 2014 Nissan Rogue? We love the surround view monitor system. I know the New Rogue is sold in other markets as the X-Trail. I think Nissan will have good sales with this New Rogue, however IMO they would probably hit the ball out of the park if they would have introducted and maintained the X-Trail nameplate in the North American Market.

  2. Lex Says:

    This Honda introducing new models for Acura has to stop. Acura needs to stand on it’s own two feet. This is one of the reasons that Acura is not considered a true luxury or near luxury brand. Honda and Acura are like Chevy and Buick IMO.

  3. M360 Says:

    I agree with you. But do you think that’s why Lincoln has struggled under the Ford umbrella, as well?

  4. Lex Says:

    @ #3. Yes. VW does it the right way. They keep their brands separate and apart. The Styling is clearly different between brands, No rebadging, even though their vehicles share many components and powertrains.

  5. HtG Says:

    These so called auto experts….

    Juss kidding, John. Any chance you’ll let us loyal commenters know how the vote for Exec of the Year went down? Unanimous or split decision?

  6. ColoradoKid Says:

    VW Combi/MicroBus Lives to See Another Day

    Brazils government giving the Combi/MicroBus an exemption from the new regs by saying its neither a truck or a car . Hmmmn … common sense in Government ? Go figure !

    So with a ” Touch of Gray ” [ and maybe a few ' Shades as well .... hint hint ] … to paraphrase the ‘Grateful Dead ‘..

    ‘ It will get by … It will survive ‘

    Gotta say …. VW would be smart to finally get that MicroBus concept off the drawing boards and into production ASAP . They’ve got the parts ( including the water cooled flat four .. and can you say Porsche flat six powered MicroBus as an option ) the demand is off the charts ( Worldwide ) … so … get with the program VW !!! Theres sales out there just waiting for the product

  7. pedro fernandez Says:

    Gee, the more I talk to people I know around me, neighbors, clients, co-workers, etc. the more negative outlook on our economy and how people are just managing to get by, I know of no one that has purchased a new vehicle this year, the condo where I live is replete with older vehicles and I notice that some folks that used to buy new are now buying used and in some cases, beaters. Several people at work have or are contemplating filing chapter 13 or going through foreclosure, no one is planning on buying any expensive item in the foreseeable future. Then I pass by the area’s exotic car dealership and business seems to be brisk.

  8. Brett Says:


    Lex, take a look at the 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander and 2014 Outlander Sport. Seriously.

  9. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Years ago the VW bus was available with a diesel,but not in this country.An updated bus with a nice turbo clean diesel here in the USA would sell very well I think.

  10. Brett Says:


    I agree completely, Pedro. It’s called “income inequality” and it is destroying the social fabric of this country.

  11. ColoradoKid Says:

    #1 Smart move … the wife wanting to move into a CUV/SUV . Living in CO and spending more than a fair share of time in the mountains ( where it can and does snow in July ) I can heartily recommend the move ;-)

    As far as the Rogue is concerned ? I’ve looked at them . Drove one . Not bad .. but not great either . Its a baby Murano .. with IMO all the inherit problems of the Murano .. including a plethora of blind spots mandating a rv camera … though even it doesn’t completely compensate for the blind spots

    Personally … I’d pass and look elsewhere …. I’m not a fan of the Murano and even less of one of the Roque .

    Fact is the only CUV/SUV in the entire Nissan family I can in good conscience recommend is the FX35 .. or what ever the heck they’re calling it these days … but thats in another price range entirely

    Too bad VW’s got all those reliability woes cause in the Rogue’s class VW’s Tiguan is one heck of a little CUV

  12. ColoradoKid Says:

    Pedro – Really ? Gee…. can’t for the life of me figure out why ( sarcasm intended )

    Errr .. I mean just cause the Fed’s propping up the economy to the tune of $85 billion a month – there’s some 3.5 million homes in Repo Limbo .. just waiting for the axe to fall – REAL jobs are on a decline – Despite a minor increase in manufacturing … manufacturing jobs being on the decline – That TPP about to kill off another large segment of US manufacturing if it goes thru – A Congress that on the best of days is … Constipated .

    Nope … can’t comprehend the thought at all ( even more sarcasm intended )

    But … if this helps at all …. those at my income level …. and way way way above ….. are even less positive about our economic future [ as well as the Worlds ] than your friends and neighbors are

  13. Bradley Says:


    Subaru..Subaru If you have snow, really test it. I think you will notice Subaru does AWD the best.

    The head of Chevy/Cadillac Marketing in Europe quits. Um, didn’t GM just announce the Chevy name is being pulled out of Europe?!? It would be rare for some of that failure not to be tagged to the lead of Marketing.

    Although, I think the issues with Chevy in Europe was altogether a bad implementation.

    ***I can only imagine how the original conversations went***

    “We want Europe to enjoy the Chevy brand, but we will give them all Korean branded Chevy(s). This will really make the European buyer feel like they are buying a piece of Detroit.”

  14. ColoradoKid Says:

    10 – There is btw a difference between genuine wealth … and pretentious new money wanna be wealth .

    And its the later getting above their heads in excess debt that are buying those exotic cars – new mansions/McMansions etc

    While the genuinely wealthy are holding on to their cash … driving older cars .. not buying new homes etc … because they have little or no faith in our economy

  15. ColoradoKid Says:

    13 – Thanks Bradley !

    I’ll second that . The Forester is a brilliant CUV . As I’ve said before … if it were not for the seat issues ( they don’t fit me ) … I’d be driving one myself … instead of Franz ( GLK )

  16. pedro fernandez Says:

    CK the Chinese have become America’s Visa, Master Card, Discover, American Express and home equity loan all rolled into one packet. When the note is due, we’ll all be eating Chop Suey. Riots in Europe that goes unreported by the mainstream media who keep entertaining us with such trivial BS as Miley and Kim and Kanye and all assortments of freaks, while the manure it hitting the fan across the pond and will get here eventually.

  17. MJB Says:


    That excessive spending (borrowing) happens at the very top too. Happened to David Siegel, Tim Blixeth, and plenty of others with net worths in excess of $2billion. It’s not just the wanna-be’s who like to flaunt it (on credit).

    Heck, much of Richard Branson’s wealth is in stock which he borrows against to finance (much of) his lifestyle.

  18. Wim van Acker Says:

    #13: Chris Perry, Head of Chevrolet Marketing left, not the Head of Chevrolet Marketing in Europe (replay @ 00:25).

  19. Jon M Says:

    I’m rather disappointed that Honda let its Acura brand slip like it has, and I agree that it needs some new life injected into its products. For that reason I personally was surprised to hear that they were dropping the TSX from the lineup. What’s going on with that decision!?! Does the TSX not sell good enough, or do they have another model in the works to take its place? Perhaps maybe Honda is planning a model in the spirit of the Integra?

  20. Bradley Says:


    The transcript says Europe.

    Honda killed two cars that made my short list. The Acura Integra and the Gen1 Acura TSX.

    Honda killed them, it wasn’t that sales dwindled. Who said lets make the Gen2 TSX BIG!?!

  21. Bradley Says:


    Google says Chris Perry is marketing for US Operations.

    Maybe Mary stepped on his toes?!?! This could be good, as GM needs to be different.

  22. Jon M Says:

    #20 Bradley

    That’s exactly what’s disappointing. I never knew anyone with an Integra who didn’t love it. The current generation TSX isn’t quite the same as the Integra or RSX it replaced, but it was still a good car.

  23. Kit Gerhart Says:

    #7, Most of the people in my condo who buy new cars made and saved money years ago, or inherited money. Those now in the work force are buying used, and keeping what they have forever.

    #1, With AWD, you can get going faster, but can’t stop any better, so you crash harder. I got by for my entire 40 years of driving in snow with 2wd, first with RWD cars, and later, with FWD cars which did better in snow, and would go through snow up to the depth where the undercarriage dragged substantially.

    That said, if you’ve really “got to have” AWD, I agree with Bradley and CK. Check out Subaru. They have a great line of cars, and CUV’s with AWD.

    As far as the Chevy marketing guy leaving GM, that may be a good thing. While the constant turmoil in GM management doesn’t look good, Chevy marketing hasn’t been so great, and maybe they need someone different to oversee it. Chevy has some good products that are selling ok, but maybe not as well as they deserve to.

  24. Wim van Acker Says:

    #18: the transcript says: “…that the head of Chevy marketing, Chris Perry has abruptly resigned.”

  25. Wim van Acker Says:

    I meant: #20: the transcript says: “…that the head of Chevy marketing, Chris Perry has abruptly resigned.”

  26. HtG Says:

    23 my inner physicist says that the Subie’s low, flat engine block helps traction because of reduced weight transfer in turns. On the other hand, I’d be uncomfortabl parading around in a Boxster during these times, no matter how old it is.

    Did you guys read about the NJ lawyer that got murdered over a RangeRover in the Short Hills Mall. That’s in a cushy suburb, but dang, if you needed a nudge to
    reconsider your conspicuous displays of wealth….

  27. pedro fernandez Says:

    #26 HtG that is why intelligent fellows like us drive around in almost invisible economy cars from the past century, right? Let me put it this way, street peddlers usually give me quarters when they see me and my Vibrolla.

  28. gary susie Says:

    Sister had subaru and at 90,000 miles iot was nothing but problems. 3 different mechanics told to get rid of it because they have a lot of electrical problems at that mileage.

  29. pedro fernandez Says:

    Just saw a BMW i3 review from the UK and they use the little engine to charge the battery only, not to power the car, don’t understand why GM did not do this with the Volt, it would have cost less and with much simpler drive system.

  30. C-Tech Says:

    I have a feeling the fallout at Chevy Marketing may have more to do with something recently discovered than something with past marketing.

    Ok John, you promised us the rest of the story on Joe Eberhardt later, don’t forget!

  31. C-Tech Says:

    @ #29 Pedro if you look at how much further (not much) the BMW i3 goes when the engine is charging the battery, you’ll appreciated the Volt system. The i3 with the engine can still leave you stuck with a run-down battery. The Volt and plug-in Prius can run on the engine alone.

  32. C-Tech Says:

    @ #1 I believe Toyota still offers an AWD Sienna if you like the room and utility of a Minivan. Otherwise, I would consider an Equinox or Rav-4.

  33. pedro fernandez Says:

    Yeah, the range is not that much, they made the tank too small, it is made to act like an emergency backup, not like the Volt which could run on gasoline as long as a regular car, but remember the distances in Europe are much shorter than over here.

  34. Bradley Says:


    Yea, I misread it.

  35. C-Tech Says:

    @ #33 The distances in Europe are the same as here, they just use the metric system. :)

  36. Kit Gerhart Says:

    29, They made the Volt the way they did, so it could be a “do everything” car, as long as it had adequate space for ones needs. They have the direct connection of engine to wheels, to improve mpg when running on gas after the battery is depleted.

    The scooter engine in the i3 is mainly a hedge against range anxiety, but does not make the car capable of extended highway driving. Also, the i3′s gas tank is very small, so the gas engine would add no more than ~100 miles of range between fillups.

  37. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The Sienna is still available with AWD, but only in the top, XLE trim level that starts at about $37K.!/series/sienna/grade/XLE/trim/130920438

  38. HtG Says:

    The last week here in NY saw some sustained cold temps, and this got the roads really hard. My all-season tires were struggling for grip even on dry surfaces. In this situation it became clear why snow tires are superior even in the absence of snow on the road.

  39. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Correction. You can get the Sienna with AWD in the LE and XLE trim levels (2nd and 4th from bottom), but not in the base, and SE.

  40. Buzzerd Says:

    I find Subaru’s base engines are kind of crap and there CVT’s haven’t been getting great reviews so if you want an auto, like most, they don’t have anything to offer. I have been looking for a car to replace out vibe and I want AWD, why ? cause I live in a winter country and can afford it. There isn’t much out there if you want a hatch which I find far more useful than a sedan.

  41. Buzzerd Says:

    I will probably end up buying the Chev Trax, not the most exciting car but will more than do the job. It would be nice if they offered it with a more potent engine.

  42. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ Buzzerd: I have a 12 nox ltz awd with the 3.6L V6.I bought it 2 years ago and have had zero problems with it….of any kind.The awd works great in the snow,and the ice,but as Kit pointed out,awd doesn’t do much for braking on ice.Overall I get the hwy epa est plus a wee bit more.Comfort is good,electric heated seats are of course,way awesome.

  43. cwolf Says:

    pedro, new and used car sales will once again be permited in Cuba! I’d like to know who will be able to afford a new vehicle and what kind. Wouldn’t the newest used car be a 1959? Betcha a few cronies will have their fingers in the till.

  44. Jesse W. Henry Says:

    #1 – Lex – I have to agree with many others here in saying I vote for dedicated winter tires on the Odyssey.

    We had a couple of snows here that started warm and ended in single digits… my friend went out after the second and put winter tires on his wife’s Forrester when the stock all seasons had her sliding through stop signs and my Escort was doing just fine with winter tires.

    The nicest thing to me about rear or front wheel drive cars and winter tires is that you know when it’s slick out before it gets “zero traction” slick and always have way more stop and turn then go.

  45. Kit Gerhart Says:

    43, Probably Raul will get a new S-Class.

  46. HtG Says:

    John just said on AAH that Mark Reuss will be named auto-exec of the year. Prolly DeLorenzo has a problem
    with the C7 rear window. But anyway….

  47. pedro fernandez Says:

    Only those who are government big shots or those who have wealthy relatives abroad and get plenty of money sent to them, regular folk who get paid really bad, can only dream of buying one of these. Cuba kept getting new cars from other countries, you see lots of rental Korean and Japanese cars that are at least 3 and 4 yrs old. Surprisingly, no Chinese cars, then Chinamen need to get paid with hard cash, not Castro IOU’s that never get paid. BTW where did you hear this?

  48. pedro fernandez Says:

    Raul will get a pink Beetle or Mini, I’m sure!

  49. MJB Says:


    I can vouch for that. I bought a ’91 Integra used and got a total of 273,000mi out of it before selling it to a kid who only bought it to rebuild the thing.

    Heck, is have gotten many more miles out of it had I changed my oil regularly. Can’t remember how many times I (very foolishly) ran it with low oil. That engine was practically bullet proof.

  50. HtG Says:

    48 to each according to his need.

    Amirite, Pedro?

  51. MJB Says:

    Correction, “I’d have gotten…” silly auto fill on this Galaxy S3… :/

  52. cwolf Says:

    I believe the Cuban car thingy was found at automotive news. How’s this:

  53. Buzzerd Says:

    @Branigan – I like the Equinoxs and my brother-inlaw works at the plant that builds them but it’s bigger than we want. We have an Avalanche also so the second vehicle is mostly to drive to work in, all 10 minutes.

  54. Jonathan Brown Says:

    My vote for automotive executive of the year goes to Mark Reuss…the man is a visionary and yet still completely down to earth. I have never met the man yet with all his fine efforts of excellence at GM I can sincerely state that GM products are the best in the industry.

    I admire a man with the passion to drive excellence in product. This industry and its success is all about excellence in product and excellence in service.

    I believe Mark Reuss will work wonderfully with the new CEO Mary Barra and together with the rest of the GM team create a corporation that is even more successful than it is today..

    Continually striving for improvement and excellence in each market segment they are involved with.

    I own a Corvette C6 Z51 and a beautiful Cadillac CTS 304hp FE2 AWD and the ownership experience has been fantastic.

    I always admire GM not only for its product but also for the excellence in service of its vehicles.

    At the Grand Opening of Jackson Chevrolet….Mr. Mark Reuss attended as a special guest and that is the dealership I have my corvette serviced at. Clearly this dealership is the wave of the future for GM and yet its been in business for over 80 years…

    Amazing new facility that has both a sales and service department that truly represents what GM and Chevrolet is all about.

    Mark Reuss gets my vote for all he has done and all he is going to do in his new position at GM.

    I know he and Mary Barra will lead the corporation along with all the other fine executives to continued success..

    I like the stock prices too!

    PS check out for your Aspergers and Autism children. Use order code SPECTRUM20 for a 20 percent discount this holiday season.

  55. pedro fernandez Says:

    #50 Yep!

  56. jmann Says:

    #7 – See George Packers, The Unwinding.

  57. T. Bejma Says:


    I have personally met Mr. Reuss and you are correct, very down to earth, very personable and an excellent choice for Auto Executive of the Year.