Bravo, Sergio!

Gary S. Vasilash


While there is a pervasive “can’t-do” attitude in some quarters when stretch goals are set but when it comes to the subject of the 54.5 mpg standards for 2025, certainly a stretch goal, Chrysler-Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne is not among those who are wallowing in excuses.

Marchionne at Jeep

According to a story in Automotive News, after presenting a speech at the NADA convention in Las Vegas Marchionne told reporters, “"This standard is 14 years out. If you start giving up on projects that are 14 years out, we might as well choose another occupation."

Exactly. You work to achieve things that are hard.  That’s your job.  That’s why it is work.  That’s why some people are successful and some only talk about it.

Or you don’t work hard at achieving things and you spend your energies coming up with excuses as to why it can’t be done, or why it is too expensive or. . . blah, blah, blah. And you keep hoping that the status will remain quo.

Guess what? It won’t.

If people at the top of organizations don’t have the vision—and the fundamental fortitude—to see where they need to go and then encourage their engineers, technicians, purchasing people, designers, manufacturing personnel, etc. to strive to get there, then maybe they ought to find something else to do for a living.

By the way: The NADA isn’t on board with the 54.5 mpg  On November 16, 2011, the organization stated: “This regulation gambles that millions of consumers will be able to afford thousands more for generally smaller, more expensive vehicles that may not meet their needs. This policy is contrary to what most consumers are actually buying today, despite the wide availability of more fuel efficient models. We need fuel economy policies that encourage the sales of fuel efficient vehicles, instead of risky mandates that frustrate consumer demand and depress fleet turnover. The number one question that must be asked is: How many people will no longer be able to afford a new vehicle if the government raises the price of a new car by about $3,000? We will analyze the rule with this principal question in mind. We urge Congress to do the same.”

Doesn’t sound particularly can-do, does it?