AAH #1: “Automotive Socialism”

April 4th, 2009 at 8:44am

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In our first official episode of “Autoline After Hours,” regulars Peter De Lorenzo of AutoExtremist.com and PR veteran Jason Vines join John McElroy in studio. John Neff of Autoblog Skypes in from Cleveland, OH. This time the group tackles the momentous week that was. General Motors Chairman & CEO Rick Wagoner gets fired by the President of the United States. Designer Peter Horbury leaves Ford to work at Volvo. Plus, the group rates the GM brands.

We had you rate the GM Brands. View the results here.

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14 Comments to “AAH #1: “Automotive Socialism””

  1. stuart Says:

    This interview is rediculous. Rick Wagoner was the deer stuck in the headlights. His leaving (removal) signaled to GM that the next step and the only next step if they don’t pull this out by themselves will be Chapter 11. I doubt that the admisistration is going to go into anything else, such as dealer laws etc. Remember, it was GM that lost billions over the past few years and it was GM who asked government aid. Period!

  2. Dave E. Says:

    Shooting someone is acceptable? Rick Wagoner got a bonus for walking away and you may note that the government appointed Edward Liddy to run AIG after Willumstad “quit.” I agree with the president on the action taken. I feel bad for Rick but, Rick’s probally not going to have his bonus taxed to death. Let’s see what Fritz can do. I would like to own a pontiac but not a buick, its for old people.

  3. GJA Says:

    I love the new show and would really like to see it published as a podcast, like Autoline Daily and Autoline Detroit. If anyone else agrees, please post a comment to that effect so that the Autoline powers-that-be will take notice.

    Dave E – I am in my mid-30s and just bought a 2009 Buick Enclave, and its great! Have you actually driven a Buick in the last 2 or 3 years? I think that if you had, you wouldn’t say they are just for old folks – its simply not true.

  4. Todd Agostini Says:

    I do think that President Obama should have been as agressive with the banks as he is being with the Auto Industry.

    However I think he is doing our industry an immediate service by taking action. I think more people should be dismissed and a true new era should begin.

    If you guys have ever worked in Automotive Retail and had your income determined by volume of sales you would not want to continue to be patient while people waste time. In retail if you don’t produce results your dealer will blow you out. Rick Wagoner did not produce results.

    Results didn’t have to just be sales volume. GM still has a bad image with upper middle class and upper class Americans. Even while sales were going down the management at GM could have achived better results in brand image.

  5. pedro Fernandez Says:

    There’s so much that needs to be fixed at GM that I don’t believe anyone has either the ability nor the time to fix it, it’s like trying to fix the Federal
    government in one presidential term. Too many problems to overcome. The only way maybe would be for everyone involved to be on the same page, realizing that BK is not a good option and everyone from the top management to the assembly people and dealer network to bite the bullet if this company is to survive

  6. John McElroy Says:


    “Autoline After Hours” will be a podcast very soon. Within a couple of days for sure. Watch this space for info on how to subscribe when it becomes available!

  7. pedro Fernandez Says:

    John: in the last A.A.H. webcast, you pointed that no ones likes the word “plush” when referring to a car. This is partly due to the so-called automotive media which for years has embraced only sharp handling autobahn cruisers, like if we have any autobahns here, and ridiculed plushness in cars. I remember in one of your shows one of these guys called the Lexus ls430 a “nice” Buick as an insult to this fine line of cars. I think GM should bring back the word plush in their ads. A lot of people out there still like that kind of vehicle.

  8. Dave E. Says:

    I have driven a Enclave and think it’s nice, but is it really a Buick?

  9. pedro Fernandez Says:

    Back in the day, brand names meant something at GM, after the 1980′s self-destruction that took place there. Caddy, Buick, Olds were basically all the same car. Remember when Chevy engines started showing up in Buick and Olds, that created a consumer backlash, and when they made everything FWD, that was disastrous. I remember driving a brand new Sedan De Ville, and saying to myself: this is a Cadillac? I much preferred my dad’s 3 year old Pontiac Bonneville.

  10. Dave E. Says:

    The Holden re-badges gave Pontiac a uniqueness within GM and oddly, an American Muscle car feel. It’s too bad that they probably won’t last.

  11. John McElroy Says:

    The podcast version of Autoline After Hours is now available. Subscribe for free here:

  12. Mark Wilson Says:

    When will the guests on your show reflect the electric powerplant movement? I,ve been watching your program for over two years and I would scream at the tv when the CEO’s (Moe, Larry and Curly)of the big three auto makers were on your show. What were they thinking?
    When the auot makers of this country stop taking their marching orders from OPEC, we will start having cars and trucks that are good for the United States, and not the oil industry. The whaling fleets in the late 1800 made the same argument when gass lighting was the new form of home lighting, then came electric lights. So lets move onto the electric auto and get happy again.

  13. Ron Paris Says:

    John: Have to agree with you about ZAP Products being nothing more than a decade-long stock scam. They are headquartered (or at least used to be) right next door in Sebastopol, CA and have always been a running joke here in Sonoma County. One half-hearted/half-assed product release after another; their only market seems to be reolacement cars for worn-out 240 Volvos driven by their ex-hippie neighbors in western Sonoma County. I know more than a few gulible locals who have lost money on their stock.
    Ron Paris
    Santa Rosa, CA
    PS: Fiat “Abarth” is pronounced with a long “A”, not a short one.

  14. Eric M. Says:

    What happened to the GM brand survey. Never saw the result published and when I try the link here, it goes to the Ford survey. ?