Here PDL AE rant of the week www.autoextremist.com
Detroit. In the wake of the Detroit Auto Show and on the eve of the NADA convention in San Francisco, it’s a perfect time to ask, “What the hell just happened?”
The Detroit show was a kaleidoscope of the good, the bad and the ugly of course, but then again we would all be disappointed if it wasn’t. After all, if everything was all bunny rabbits and rainbows down at Cobo Hall something would be deeply amiss, right? So I’m glad the usual suspects showed up and laid bare their hopes, dreams, fantasies and delusions for all to see, with varying degrees of success, credibility or abject failure, whichever the case may be.
I’m not going to regurgitate the whole show again (you can read Peter’s review of the show from last week here – WG), but a couple of things are worth mentioning. Some in the media thought that Nissan should be awarded a gold star for its new Titan, especially since it offers a Cummins turbo-diesel engine. Really? You have to be kidding. The new Titan is a derivative, let’s-throw-everything-plus-the-kitchen-sink Hail Mary pass at the pickup truck market that manages to come off more like a pathetic cry for help.
The fact that the Nissan brain trust actually thinks that they can blend an assortment of existing design cues from each top competitor in the market in a new pickup entry and call it good says more about the intransigent arrogance embedded in the company – and especially in its leader Carlos Ghosn – than anything I could possibly say. The Titan is a woefully disappointing me-too effort aimed at a market that has no room for me-too of anything. And Ghosn’s ridiculous comment about the Titan meeting “unmet needs” in the pickup truck market? It’s only the quintessential definition of unbridled, out-of-touch automotive arrogance laid bare for all to see, in case you’re wondering.
And what about Hyundai? A few of the Tweet-holes in the Twitterverse took me to task for deigning to criticize the Santa Cruz Crossover Truck Concept, because apparently there’s a fundamental belief “out there” (and with too many in the “so-called” media) that everyone in this business should get a gold star just for showing up. This just in: It doesn’t work that way.