Fiat has been busy over the last couple of days, outlining the future of the car companies that make up its corporate family – Ferrari, Chrysler and Alfa Romeo all had future model plans detailed in a marathon press conference yesterday.
At the same time, Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne showed us just what a loveable eccentric he can be, by slamming, well, just about everyone in the industry.
"I used to think that the chemicals industry was the greatest destroyer of capital until I ran into this one," he said. "Now I suppose that it is the banks that have set a new standard for waste. But the level of arrogance in the auto industry is fantastic. There is nothing to be proud of."
He also refused to talk to automotive analysts on the basis that they had slammed the deal that saw Fiat and Chrysler team up last year.
"Analysts have written vitriolic notes which have been hogwash, gadarene discussion, fundamentally offensive... the first time they write these things they should be labelled as inexperienced; the second time they need to be labelled as ignorant."
It is a joy to have someone at the pinnacle of the automotive world who's prepared to speak his mind, rather than diplomatically tip-toeing around the issues facing his company.