Penske and Fisker
One of the most storied managers in the auto industry is Roger Penske. Racer. Racing team owner. Business executive. Civic leader. Anyone familiar with racing knows that before Penske, garages and transports were rather chaotic; after Penske they were operating room-like in their cleanliness and organization. I remember visiting Detroit Diesel after Penske bought it from GM (and before he sold it to Daimler) and marveling at the organized and comparatively pristine factory—and realize they make massive metal objects there.
Fisker Automotive, the company that has brought the Karma, the extended range electric vehicle to market, announced that it is now working with Penske Automotive. Which on the one had is certainly a sign of credibility for the company, given Roger Penske’s sterling reputation.
Fisker Atlantic prototype
Penske Automotive operates 336 retail automotive franchises, which cover 42 different brands.
But this Fisker-Penske affiliation is for one store, Fisker of Scottsdale.
Certainly, the wealth in Scottsdale will help move a lot of +$100K sheet metal. But it is A store. One.
Second, Penske doesn’t always have the Midas touch. As you may recall, his company had operated the smart franchise in the U.S., which had the trajectory of a meteor—the entire arc, not just the ascent.
Still, it is a good move for Fisker.
The Buick LaCrosse has been Buick’s top-line car since it was introduced in 2004 as a 2005 model sedan.
It’s the fifth generation of a vehicle that has been increasing in sales year after year since its introduction in 1997.
For conducting business in the U.S. market, Toyota has historically had several separate business entities: a sales and distribution company headquartered in California (Toyota Motor Sales, USA); manufacturing operations (Toyota Motor Manufacturing North America); a racing subsidiary (Toyota Racing Development, USA); the Toyota Technical Center for R&D in Ann Arbor; and a design facility in California (Calty Design Research, Inc.). On April 1, 2006, Toyota merged its R&D operations and its manufacturing operations into a single company.