Communication of Japan’s largest automakers in the hands of the Americans

Diversity at Pepsi. Julie Hamp, 3rd from left

Diversity at Pepsi. Julie Hamp, 3rd from left

“Isn’t it interesting that communications of the two largest Japanese automakers are now headed by two Americans?” That was Jeff Kuhlman, on Skype in a Starbucks in London Heathrow, on his way to New York. PR man he is, Jeff spoke about himself, comms chief of Nissan, and about Julie Hamp, now comms chief of Toyota. I wrote about the big management changes at Toyota, but I was focused on someone who forged crankshafts instead of relationships. Dense me did not make the global connection. There is an even more interesting part of the story: The two American comms chiefs of the two big Japanese carmakers are long-term pals. They worked together at America’s largest automaker. [Continue Reading]

New data show Model S sales down 33% in January, Tesla reaches new lows

Harry Truman

Do I have your attention? See what I’ve done here? I could have done worse: I could have written, without violating any laws, or ethics rules, that “U.S. sales of the Model S, the electric car of high-flying California carmaker Tesla Motors, crashed in January, making a decidedly wrong start into the new year. Tesla currently produces one car, the battery-driven Model S, in a factory deserted by GM and Toyota, and according to estimates by Autodata Corp., the company’s U.S. sales plummeted by 33 percent year-on-year to just 1,000 cars in January. Never in all of 2014 did the company sell so few, Autodata says.” Disingenuous? Yes. False? No, check yourself. Outraged nonetheless? You have every right to be. Truth coming up in a minute. [Continue Reading]

Cadillac-boss Johan de Nysschen: “Detroit fans – don’t mess with me.”

De Nysschen's Hong Kong apartment, destination Manhattan.

De Nysschen’s Hong Kong apartment, destination Manhattan.

He has been on the job as president of Cadillac for less than 2 months, and Johan de Nysschen is already being turned into the company’s scapegoat #1. His biggest mistake in the eyes of his critics: Moving America’s former luxury brand to New York. When the Daily Kanban reported hints of a move a month ago, it was dismissed as making “no sense,” as the Detroit News’ Mark Phelan declared. Last week, the nonsensical became official when GM finally confirmed that Cadillac is moving its HQ from Detroit to Manhattan. This being announced, “the wrath of hell descends upon me, I’m accused of moving the entire company just because I prefer to live in New York,” de Nysschen wrote today to his 291 Facebook friends. Apparently, the criticism rattled the usually unflappable de Nysschen. He writes:

[Continue Reading]

Will Cadillac defect Detroit, and take Manhattan? GM says it’s “possible.”

New perspectives for Cadillac

New perspectives for Cadillac.

According to usually reliable contacts close to the upper echelons of GM management, the company is thinking very seriously about moving its premium brand Cadillac from grungy Detroit to swank Manhattan. [Continue Reading]