Advertisement
Find a Car
Go!

Iacocca: Boobs, Bozos and Gangsters

Follow Marty



He’s back…and he’s pissed.

There’s one thing you can say about the legendary Lido, Lee A. Iaccoca: he’s not a man to hold his tongue – or wagging finger. And in a new book, he’s taking aim at an assortment of boobs and fools, ranging from the “gang of clueless bozos steering our ship of state right over a cliff” to the “corporate gangsters stealing us blind.”

Among Iacocca’s biggest concerns is the likelihood that DaimlerChrysler AG will sell off its ailing U.S. arm. The result would likely be a “shattered remnant of the…company it once was,” warns the 82-year-old former executive, in Where Have All the Leaders Gone, clips of which have been surfacing in the Detroit Free Press.

Instead, insists Iacocca, the German-run parent company should be investing heavily to turn Chrysler around. His concerns are not surprising, considering Iacocca is the man often credited with saving Chrysler twice, the first time in 1981, convincing a skeptical Congress and White House to authorize federal loan guarantees. Indeed, Iacocca became so completely intertwined with the automaker that wags within the company liked to suggest that his name was really an acronym for: “I Am Chairman of Chrysler Corporation Always.”

Iacocca left the automaker only reluctantly. Forced by the board to name a successor, he opted for Bob Eaton, a long-time General Motors executive, rather than Chrysler’s then-number-two, Bob Lutz. But Iacocca quickly had a falling out with Eaton, and in an unexpected move, the former chairman allied himself with billionaire investor Kirk Kerkorian, in an unsuccessful, hostile takeover bid. Rebounding from that attack, Eaton carved out the “merger-of-equals” that created DaimlerChrysler.

"I'll always believe that if I hadn't chosen Bob Eaton to succeed me as chief executive at Chrysler,” laments Iacocca, in the book, “it would still be a strong, profitable, American car company.”

But Iacocca’s wrath and rage isn’t limited to the business world. He says he’s especially upset with the direction Washington is taking the nation. “I hardly recognize this country anymore,” he blurts out.

Clearly, at 82, Iacocca still believes he knows the better way to run things.

A Chilly Reception for Kerkorian Bid?—TheCarConnection.com
Advertisement
 
Follow Us

 

Have an opinion?

  • Posting indicates you have read this site's Privacy Policy and Terms of Use
  • Notify me when there are more comments
Comments (12)
  1. Iacocca's got it right, as he always did in the past. Damn, maybe he shoulda run for president after all.
     
    Post Reply
    Vote
    Bad stuff?

  2. Lee is right again. Chrysler was not managed properly. This country is on the wong path too.
     
    Post Reply
    Vote
    Bad stuff?

  3. Indeed Iacocca calls it like he sees it and is accurate on both counts. This country desperately needs business and political leaders who will stand up, talk honestly about our issues and make unpopular decisions for the betterment of our country and culture. The whole PC environment is ludicrous, damaging, pointless, and fosters a total state of denial and 'head-in-the-sand' behavior of most Americans. Iacocca where are you when we need you!!!!!!
     
    Post Reply
    Vote
    Bad stuff?

  4. You would think that some of these companies and politicians would want to meet with this man, but then I'm sure that they would not like to hear just what he has to say. This man just may hold the key to straightening this country out..
     
    Post Reply
    Vote
    Bad stuff?

  5. Considering the crap that Chrysler produced under Iacocca's hand he's hardly in a position to talk...
    Garbage like they foisted on the public THEN is largely the reasons they're in the sewer NOW. He helped lay the groundwork for their demise, now he's got all the answers?
    What BS.
     
    Post Reply
    Vote
    Bad stuff?

  6. The American automobile industry needs more leaders like Lee. He was a real leader as shown when he pulled Chrysler out of the brink of bankuptcy. During his rein at Ford, he introduced the Mustang (which ended up being a great success story and still is). He certainly would not have dropped the Taurus name (the best selling car in America for years) for the Five Hundred (which is not selling).

    Look what that Smith guy did to General Motors (and even some of the current GM so-called executives). Thank goodness they hired Bob Lutz; he is turning around GM just in time. Where does the American car industry hire their high-level executives: from the drop-out list at colleges? I think the average "car-lover" could do a better job then they do. Look at the Ford line.; the new Lincoln looks like the Ford Five Hundred, etc. Don't any of the executives poll the consumer and get their opnion on what he or she is looking for?

    Dr. Myers
     
    Post Reply
    Vote
    Bad stuff?

  7. I believe that if Lee were left in charge that Chrysler would be in a better position than they are now. You can say what you want about the K-car and the Omni and Horizon but that was the direction that america was going in smaller, high milage cars. And the first generation of asian cars imported to the US weren't any better in quality in the beginning, the difference was they Improved theres and the Ameican car companies didn't until much later. It like locking the barn door after the horses excaped
     
    Post Reply
    Vote
    Bad stuff?

  8. Many influential people believe that as the German car industry is successful they'll be top dog at turning round another countries producers. But evidence indicates that too often they screw things up. BMW/Rover internal BMW bickering turns it into a complete disaster. Rover finally killed off by inept UK management, now owned by Chinese. Daimler/Chrysler who knows, but it doesn't look good. The only exception to this rule appears to be VAG who are doing pretty well with Skoda and Seat, but ego trips like the VW Phaeton show even they get it wrong on occasion.
     
    Post Reply
    Vote
    Bad stuff?

  9. gang of clueless bozos steering our ship of state right over a cliff He's right100% especially The Reublican administration with the incompetant administreteur!,L'FUNNY Prez. de EUA!Oh Oh Oh,Merry Christmass!!!!!!
    Jesus!(Sacre Nom)!
    Jose Cabrera y Lopez Badillo!
     
    Post Reply
    Vote
    Bad stuff?

  10. If you knew anything about production processes, you'd know that it currently takes around 3 years or so to get a product out the door from it's first inception. Many manufacturers are working to shorten that period.

    In 1979/80 when Lee Iacocca went to Chrysler from Ford, the design of the K-Cars which you disparage, had already been locked in place.

    Lee Iacocca didn't have much to do with the day to day design process, prsumably Bob Lutz did. What he did do, as far as I know of, was to approve the creation of the Chrysler Minivans, an industry changing vehicle. (GM had a similar design around 10 years earlier, but never pursued it.) Lee also had the guts to have Chrysler start making Convertibles when other manufacturers had given them up.

    Both products had a significant impact on generating showroom traffic, which led to the sales increase that Chrysler needed to survive.
     
    Post Reply
    Vote
    Bad stuff?

  11. I WORK FOR A CHRYSLER DEALER AND OUR QUALITY IS OUTSTANDING, BUT OUR HEALTHCARE COSTS AND RETIREES ARE SUFFOCATING US...18 BILLION DOLLARS.
    TOYOTA WILL HAVE RETIREES ON DAY AND HEALTHCARE FOR RETIREES, THEY WILL
    END UP WITH THE SAME PROBLEMS AS EVERYONE ELSE.
     
    Post Reply
    Vote
    Bad stuff?

  12. Give them hell Lee!!!!

    As a life long Chrysler professional with over 35 years experience I would still give my left arm to shake Mr Iaccoca's hand. He had the balls to go in front of Congress in 1978 and tell them that if he had been told the truth about the company he would have never accepted the job. He told the truth about the shape of the company every day afterward. Like the time he was quoted saying We only have a few million in the bank and I don't know if we can make payroll. He is brash bold and a real leader. In the 80's one of my corporate contacts said that if he ran for president he thought he would run as a democrat and that Iacocca was a registered republican. The way the Germans have run a proud American company off the cliff is totally inexcusable. Someone on this blog spoke about the crap that was being built in the late 70's by Chrysler. As someone in service and parts I can tell you that they L cars (Omni and Horizons) the K cars (Reliant and Aries) the E cars (FWD New Yorkers, 600) the G cars (Laser and Daytona) the H cars (LeBaron GTS Lancer) were sold in the hundreds of millions and those cars are seen on American roads today. Chrysler did the best job with engineering with a very limited budget and the super salesman Lee Iacocca saved my job kept my babies in diapers and saved the nation from depression. Think about this....if Chrysler would have failed in 1979 or 1980 a half a million people would have been unemployed almost instantly not counting the over half million in the dealerships and support network.

    Thank you Uncle Lee. I for one am greatly in your debt.
     
    Post Reply
    Vote
    Bad stuff?

 

Have an opinion? Join the conversation!

Advertisement
Advertisement
Try My Showroom
Save cars, write notes, and comparison shop with hi-res photos.
Add your first car
Take Us With You!
   
Advertisement

 
© 2014 The Car Connection. All Rights Reserved. The Car Connection is published by High Gear Media. Stock photography by izmo, Inc. Send us feedback.