Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Auto show-Dealer CEOs share their thoughts on industry


Executives from two top U.S. automobile dealers sat down with Reuters’ Detroit bureau chief Kevin Krolicki and correspondent James Kelleher at the Detroit auto show and dished on the industry. Some thoughts on various automakers  and the sector follow:

Earl Hesterberg, Group 1 Automotive CEO

Regarding GM and CEO Ed Whitacre:

“I am happy to see some sense of urgency and aggressiveness. We have not had nearly enough sales activity in our GM dealerships for the last year and we’ve been waiting for them to get aggressive and try to get back in the market and get it growing. … (Whitacre) seems to have that same urgency to step up their volumes.” 

“Clearly he has a sense of urgency and a mandate. There’s been a lot of government money and support put into this so there’s certainly isn’t any lack of focus.”

“We’re still waiting. We haven’t seen the results on our end yet.”

Auto show-Chrysler boss shows UAW chief some love


sergio1No one can accuse Sergio Marchionne of hogging the limelight at the Detroit auto show.

When the head of both Chrysler and Fiat gave U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi a primer on the 3.6 liter V-6 engine on some Jeep products, he found himself surrounded — as is often the case — by a throng of journalists and other show attendees.

Auto show-$120 billion blend of richness and optimism


coffee1Optimism and delicious “bailout blend” coffee reigned at the Detroit auto show.

Automakers and officials at the North American International Auto Show struck an optimistic yet cautious tone as they sought to put a toxic year of slumping sales and massive government aid behind.

What Estee Lauder can (af)Ford


It was clearly a joke, but the bleak state of the auto industry was sadly evident when this happened at  Estee Lauder Cos Inc.’s annual stockholders’ meeting on Friday.

Leonard Lauder, the company’s chairman, and founder Estee Lauder’s son, was first up at the meeting held at the St. Regis hotel in New York City.