Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

from Blogs Dashboard:

Clothes make the man


Forget the power suit. Behold the rise of the power sweater.

Sergio Marchionne, the auto executive steering the still-evolving alliance between Fiat and Chrysler, came to the Detroit auto show this week with no new models to display.

So the attention of the automotive press turned instead to Marchionne's signature styling -- rumpled sweaters, casual slacks and a professorial air that makes him a stand-out in Detroit's sea of sober dark suits.

Known for his long work hours, limited sleep and chain smoking, Marchionne's penchant for dropping quotes from Friedrich Nietsche, Karl Marx and Karl Popper also adds to his air of an academic who has wandered into the board room by mistake.

So how many black sweaters does Marchionne own?

"I buy them in the dozens," he said at an auto industry conference on the sidelines of the auto show. "I don't sleep very much so I buy them on the Internet. They come in all the time."

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.”¬†

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.