AAH #26 – Leuliette’s Lessons

September 25th, 2009 at 11:26am

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This week we partake in the wisdom of an experienced automotive veteran, Tim Leuliette, the Chairman, President and CEO of DURA Automotive Systems. Joining John McElroy in the studio as usual is David Welch of BusinessWeek, in addition to Gary Vasilash of Automotive Design & Production. Now that the supplier Magna owns Opel, it finds itself in the awkward position of competing with its OEM customers. Fisker gets half of a billion dollars to get the Karma into production. Meanwhile, Tesla loses its head of manufacturing and engineering just as the Model S is going into production. All that plus we get to your questions in Rapid Fire!

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3 Comments to “AAH #26 – Leuliette’s Lessons”

  1. Andrew Charles Says:

    How soon do people forget: Magna Steyr was given the responsibility to develop the Bravo for Fiat, and they did it quick, and they did it cheap.

  2. Andrew Charles Says:

    There seems a lot of confusion about the G8 and the Caprice Holden exports as a Chevrolet to markets such as the Middle East. Not the same car at all. Holden builds essentially 4 different models under different names. The G8 is a version of the VE Commodore/Calais—an upper midsize sedan also exported as the Chevrolet Lumina and Chevrolet Omega. The other vehicles Holden builds are the VE Sportwagon stationwagon, the VE Ute pickup, and the WM Caprice/Statesman. The WM is a fullsize sedan a good deal longer than the G8—about the same size as a Buick Lucerne, while the VE is at least 4″ shorter than the LaCrosse. The WM is built almost exclusively for export as the Chevrolet Caprice, but also goes to Korea as the Daewoo Veritas, and is built in China as the Buick Park Avenue with some styling changes. In addition to the longer wheelbase the WM has a different greenhouse (more like the Audi A8) and minor styling changes to the sheetmetal. A short-wheelbase version with the Caprice front-end and a similar six-light greenhouse has been seen in testing, but has not been produced. A V6 Caprice starts in the low $30K region in the Middle East, but in most markets pricing is upwards of $40-59K. In my opinion, they may struggle to get a model in the US market with equipment levels similar to and pricing as low as the MKS, let alone a Chevrolet Caprice, unless they build it locally.

  3. Alex Kajdi Says:


    I enjoyed your conversation with Tim Leuliette, the Chairman, President and CEO of DURA Automotive Systems. He is down to earth on what the auto industry will and will not do based upon the pure economics. David Welch is also very insightful on the pulse of what the average consumer wants from the automobile industry.

    Your discussion regarding the G8 was insightful. The Chevy Impala needs to be updated with a more robust looking vehicle which can also be employed as a police cruiser. The G8 seems to fill that slot.
    As I have written before, hopefully GM will bring back some Pontiac models in the future once the auto market rebounds.