End-of-the-Year “After Hours”: Tidings of Discomfort & Joy

Gary S. Vasilash

While the source of tradition of people who have not been good for the previous 12 months getting a lump of coal is not clear, what is crystal clear is that when John McElroy of Autoline, Peter DeLorenzo of Autoextremist, Scott Burgess of Motor Trend, and I get together for the last “Autoline After Hours” of 2013, there is plenty of combustible carbon to go around to people and products in the auto industry.

Fig20 Don’t worry: There’s plenty of coal to go around!

But this is not simply a collection of Scrooges. There are tidings of comfort and joy, too, as there are plenty of presents under the proverbial tree, handed out to those who have been good little. . . well, who have done an exemplary job during the past 12 months.

And what you’ll note is that there seems to be a binary aspect to this. With General Motors taking its lumps (e.g., DeLorenzo on soon-to-be gone CEO Dan Akerson) and getting a thoughtful gift (e.g., McElroy pointing out that Mark Reuss is being named the first “Autoline Executive of the Year”). Burgess gives coal to the American consumer for buying so many Toyota Camrys; I give Infiniti’s Johan de Nysschen, president of Infiniti, a present to saying, in effect, that luxury isn’t defined by massive volumes.

It is a lively back and forth, give and take, and general merriment.

Marketing. Mustang.  Mercedes. Mazda. Mulally. Musk. Marchionne. MyFord Touch. And a whole bunch of other things that don’t start with M, like Vettel, Welburn, CTS, NASCAR, Fiesta ST, Corvette, Cruze, and much, much more.

So sit down with a nice cup of eggnog (heavily fortified, of course) and enjoy. . . .