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Thursday, January 05, 2006 

Vol. 2 No. 2

The Best (and Worst) of Everything: Top 10 Lists of 2005

This is the time of year that Automotive News, the weekly newspaper that serves as the bible for the mainstream automobile trade, publishes one of my favorite issues, the one where their editorial staff offers their “top 10” lists of what seems like just about everything auto-industry related for the prior year. So with proper citation and approbation, I give you a few of my favorite Automotive News lists this year:

Feel free to let us know what you think…

Top Ten (Automotive) Stories of 2005

  1. “Delphi forces the issue” – the world’s largest auto supplier -- files for Chapter 11
  2. “Rick Wagoner’s terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad year” – for General Motors 2005 ‘started out bad and it got worse,’ CEO Rick Wagoner said in an interview with Automotive News in December
  3. “GM, Ford try value pricing” – Note: Detroit’s “Value Pricing” maneuvers also got their “Flop of 2005” award
  4. “Katrina pummels Detroit too” – as gasoline shot up to $3.07 a gallon Detroit’s SUV’s sales plunged the opposite direction
  5. “Bill Ford’s new top guns” – by the end of the year, old guys out, new guys in charge, Mark Fields & Anne Stevens, president & COO respectively
  6. “Transplant factories hum” – as Ford and GM cut production and plan to close plants, “North America’s import-brand manufacturers pushed factory volumes to record levels”
  7. “Deiter moves on – and up” – Dieter Zetsche moves from CEO of Chrysler Group to the top job, CEO of DaimlerChrysler AG in Germany
  8. “Music City, here we come” – Nissan dumps their headquarters in Southern California to move to Nashville, Tennessee
  9. “Not a bad sales year overall” – US light vehicle sales expected to total 16.9 million, the Big 3 continued to lose market share though
  10. “Toyota leads hybrid surge” – consumers flock to Toyota Prius for the “feel-good factor”; Note: the Toyota Prius also got the “Coup of 2005” award as well

Top Ten (Automotive) Newsmakers of 2005

  1. Steve Miller, CEO, Delphi
  2. Malcolm Bricklin, promoter of Chinese imports to US
  3. Fujio Cho, Toyota, Vice Chairman
  4. Bill Ford, CEO, Ford Motor Company
  5. Ron Gettelfinger, President, United Auto Workers Union
  6. Carlos Ghosn, CEO, Renault & Nissan
  7. Kirk Kirkorian, Las Vegas multibillionaire
  8. Anne Stevens, COO, Ford (of the Americas)
  9. Rick Wagoner, CEO, General Motors
  10. Dieter Zetsche, CEO DaimlerChrysler

Top Ten (Automotive) Marketing Gambits of 2005

  1. Lee Iacocca pitches Chrysler employee discount plan with Snoop Dog and
    Jason Alexander
  2. Pontiac introduces the Solstice on NBC’s “The Apprentice”
  3. Lexus attempts product placement in magazine articles
  4. GM budgets $300 million to market value pricing strategy
  5. Toyota launches massive ad campaign to promote hybrid technology
  6. Jaguar, Land Rover end ads in gay oriented magazines; parent Ford Motor denies it succumbed to pressure from Christian conservatives
  7. Cadillac enlists rappers, pro athletes and actors as advisors on Escalade
  8. GM combines media buying and planning in a single agency
  9. Toyota takes a financial bath on sponsorship of the NBC reality show, “The Contender”
  10. GM pulls it ads from the Los Angeles Times to protest editorial coverage it perceives as negative

Top Ten (most popular) Vehicle Colors in North America of 2005

  1. Silver
  2. White/white pearl
  3. Gray
  4. Blue
  5. Black (tie)
  6. Red (tie)
  7. Light brown
  8. Green
  9. Yellow/gold
  10. Other…

And let’s throw in one other list just because…well, just because…

Ten Automotive CEO’s Favorite Restaurants of 2005

  1. Bill Ford, CEO, Ford Motor Company – Giovanni’s Ristorante; Detroit, Mich
  2. Mike Jackson, CEO, AutoNation – Jackson’s Four Fifty; Fort Lauderdale, Fla
  3. Koichi Kondo, CEO, American Honda Motor Company – Ooedo; Tokyo Aoyama, Japan
  4. Tom LaSorda, CEO, Chrysler Group – Lino’s; Rochester Hills, Mich
  5. Steve Miller, CEO, Delphi – Trout House; Sunriver, Ore
  6. Roger Penske, CEO, United Auto Group – The Mariposa; Park City, Utah
  7. Jim Press, CEO, Toyota Motor Sales USA – Montgomery Inn; Cincinnati, OH
  8. Tom Purves, CEO, BMW North America – The Great Gallery in the Royal Automobile Club; London, UK
  9. John Sanderson, CEO, Siemens VDO – Opus One; Detroit, Mich
  10. Rich Wagoner, CEO, General Motors – Il Posto; Southfield, Mich

There were lots more, but I just thought I’d give a sampling of a few of my favorites…

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