Sergio Marchionne and Martin Winterkorn
It's been a very long week here at TCC: our inboxes are packed with press releases and publicity photos from NAIAS, and we're so behind on our news feeds that we'll be lucky to catch up before the Geneva Motor Show in March. At the top of our to-read list, though, are two intriguing profiles of European CEOs with big plans for the U.S.: the Volkswagen Group's outspoken Martin Winterkorn and Chrysler/Fiat's thoughtful Sergio Marchionne.
The former piece focuses largely on Winterkorn's audacious plan to surpass Toyota and become the world's largest automaker, while the latter is a wide-ranging Q&A with an articulate, pragmatic man that Americans ought to know far better than they do. As an example of Marchionne in action, here's a clip of an interview he gave on the floor of the Detroit Auto Show. Though Marchionne seems defensive and shy at first (thanks to some clunky questioning from the CNN reporter), he soon opens up and speaks frankly about Chrysler/Fiat's future -- including the company's repayment of U.S. bailout loans. Between all this and, you know, loafing around, we've got a very full weekend ahead.