A continuation of comments on bullet points, quotes and queries on Vlasic, Bill (2011). Once Upon a Car: The Fall and Resurrection of America’s Big Three Automakers–GM, Ford, and Chrysler. William Morrow.
Chapter 25 – Ortiz
- Tom LaSorda of Chrysler took a trip over to Italy to meet with Fiat executives to discuss the potential for Chrysler to use some of Fiat’s smaller vehicles.
- There, Sergio Marchionne predicted a much harsher future for Chrysler than anyone else expected.
- Jerry York met with Don Leclair and Alan Mulally to discuss Kirk Kerkorian’s intent to invest in Ford. When they reported back to Bill Ford, Ford was very very wary, thanks to Kerkorian’s reputation in the industry. However, Bill Ford nerves were calmed a tiny bit when he had a chance to meet with both York and Kerkorian himself.
- Kerkorian announced intents to buy up to 5.5% of Ford, though he would always be overpowered by the voting rights of the Ford family.
- Both GM and Ford downsized greatly as gas prices rose to around $4.00 a gallon. Ford delayed their newest version of the F-series and started to process of retooling some of their truck plants to be used for smaller vehicles. GM cancelled the CXX plan, shut down several plants, and started to sell multiple brands.
- “If you think your salvation is coming from the market numbers, you’re wrong. You have to not be able to bleed to death at ten million to make it”(269).
- “Once gas passed $3.50 a gallon, consumers stampeded into smaller cars as never before. One in five vehicles sold in the United States in April was a compact car. A decade before the number of smaller vehciles was one in eight. .. For the first time in memory, vehicles with fuel-sipping four cylinder engines outsold bigger V-6s and V-8s”(273).
- “Once again, his (Mulally’s) relative inexperience in the auto industry proves to be a competitive advantage. Traditionally, the Big Three reacted to a crisis by pulling back, cutting costs, and holding their breath until normal conditions returned. But why should they ever expect “normal again?”(277).