DeLorenzo Fluff: now it’s a book
Peter DeLorenzo has a new book. This would be the same Peter DeLorenzo of autoextremist.com who promised in late August (based, he said, on personal conversations with high ranking GM executives) that the next generation Corvette, the C7, was due to be approved in September as a mid-engine model to be introduced in 2010.
The book’s name? “The United States of Toyota,” which is billed as explaining “how Detroit squandered its legacy and enabled Toyota to become America’s car company in a never-before-seen primer on Detroit.” (That’s what the press release says. Honest.)
Now that the just-signed GM/UAW pact has disclosed that the next Vette is a 2012 model, and that DeLorenzo was obviously ill-informed, at best, what’s in this book to entice you to be a reader?
According to DeLorenzo, "After years of calculated mediocrity and engineering to the lowest common denominator, Detroit finds itself literally and figuratively on the ropes. A once-shining beacon of American innovation and corporate manufacturing might has been reduced to a national punch line. And Detroit has no one to blame but itself."
This is described in the press release as “candid,” “blunt” and “insightful” commentary.
DeLorenzo also chastises the anti-car media and government, saying that Detroit is the “canary in the coal mine” for American industry and that “we can’t exist as Starbucks Nation alone." While that’s a fair knock, apparently, no one has mentioned to DeLorenzo that they build Toyotas, Hondas, BMWs and Mercedes-Benz’s in the United States.
DeLorenzo doesn’t seem – at least judging from the press release – to be plowing any new ground. Over the years, there have been a number of books about Detroit and its failures. Among the best was “Chrome Colossus: General Motors & It’s Times,” by Ed Cray.
Even “All Corvettes Are Red,” the story of the genesis of the C5 Corvette, written by the late James Schefter, provided insight into the inner workings, and failings, of GM and Detroit’s automakers. Looking in the rear view mirror and chastising executives for what you see once it’s gone past is an established sport in what’s sometimes called “journalism.” But, it’s not news and it’s not new.
Of course, criticizing books you haven’t read is an established journalistic tradition, too. So, in fairness, I’ve got to read the book. It’s available at Barnes and Noble, Borders, and Amazon.com. But I did read the press release, and after reading that – I’ll wait until the library gets a copy.
And I’ll read it as soon as the 2010 C7 mid-engine Corvette debuts.