Coffee Brake: DT Book Review — Six Men Who Built the Modern Auto Industry

-by Hunsbloger: Today’s Coffee Brake will be a short review of the book Six Men Who Built the Modern Auto Industry by Richard A. Johnson.  I highly recommend this book which is a very quick and
entertaining read which does an outstanding job of outlining the
relevant portions of each of these six men’s biographies as well as
inviting the reader behind the scenes to the less well known dynamics of
the ‘what-if’s’ or ‘what could have been’s which were so heavily
reliant upon their interpersonal relationships.

You will see the potential for greatness in the relationship between Lee Iacocca and Soichiro Honda as well as the animus that Henry Ford II harbored which prevented it from ripening. Would there have ever been a Honda Civic imported to the US if Ford had decided to use Honda engines in their small cars?

You’ll come to understand the intense desire of Henry Ford II to own Ferrari. You’ve seen what Ford did to Volvo/Jaguar/Rover; can you imagine what it would have been like if Ford had acquired BMW before Lutz arrived?

There is coverage of Ferdinand Peich’s standing as a step-child in the Porsche dynasty while also creating their incredible history.  His later ascension through VW after this book was written becomes far more entertaining, especially in light of the total breakdown of his relationship with Winterkorn and the board. Who knows; add your own mystery sauce and you might end up with a conspiracy theory that Peich engineered the leak about VW’s current diesel-gate.

Bob Lutz finally gets his due as a contributor at BMW and as an instigator just about everywhere else as he maintains his jet jockey’s cocky attitude to gain every position he ever wanted except CEO of any of the companies that he’s worked for.

Pickup a copy of this 2005 book here on amazon.

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