Lately we’ve been chewing the gristle on the topic of Maserati and by association Fiat. Are they too far gone to save?
As we all know, we’re living in a dispiriting age of mass extinction. Once assured populations are collapsing. Things we considered fixtures in the firmament drop like leaves. Oldsmobile was once the biggest selling car in the US market. Dead.
Take GM’s recent decision to end their presence in the Euro market, for example. I called it GM’s Teutoburger Wald moment though perhaps a more careful sifting in GM’s recent history might find a better instance of the finitude of this firm’s corporate reach.
Was it when they ceased production of Australia-only Holdens? Or when Saturn, Olds and Pontiac were nixed. Ford’s position in Europe is not what it was either. They are giving up on saloons. There are many other brands seemingly in a good position to
press on, business as usual, but who are actually one or two models away from irrelevance. Honda in Europe springs to mind. Mitsubishi is another. Do we need SEAT at all? So, if not mass extinction then some elimination of brands is in the offing. DS, naturally, is on the hit list.
Today’s question is concerns a triage. There is global overcapacity, too many cars chasing too few customers. It would help everyone if 33% of global vehicle manufacturing capacity simply dematerialised today. So, which firms does the readership consider worth axing (with the condition that all affected workers would be reassigned to equal-or-better paying positions in the sustainable energy sector).
To help out I will present an easy to scan list of brands you can look at (see below). Ask yourself this: does the world really need cars from this company? The fact the company might have a great heritage is simply not part of the calculus. We must, in the words of the UK’s greatest living statesman and stoutest defender of the Union, D. Cameron, be “hard-headed”.
Alfa Romeo – Audi – Aston Martin – BMW – Bentley -Buick – Cadillac – Borgward -Chevrolet – Chrysler – Citroen – Daihatsu – DS- Fiat – Ford – Honda – Hyundai – GAZ – Genesis- GMC -Infiniti – Isuzu- Jaguar -Jeep -Kia – Lada – Land Rover – Lexus – Lincoln – Lancia – McLaren- Maserati – Mazda – Mercedes – MG – Mini – Moskvitch -Mitsubishi – Nissan – Opel – Perodua – Peugeot -Porsche – Proton – Renault – Rolls Royce – Seat – Skoda – Smart -Subaru – Tesla – Toyota – Vauxhall – Volvo – Volga – Volkswagen.
This is list is a little Eurocentric/Western. I have forgotten 312 Chinese brands such as Fang Wao, VCU Mighty Leap, Guan Ho Automotive, Hissing Leopard, Wos Lee Glowing Sunrise Motors, Qoros, LPL Automotor Shanghai, BWM Kowloon , Mecedes Bens Saloons and many others. You can treat those as you wish.
Maybe a better question is which of this list is living on time they do not themselves own?