I am back with you following my semi-retirement from Car Culture Lifestyle blogging and my formal retirement from leading the local FIAT-ABARTH club I founded in 2013. The reason for my reprisal... unfortunately... is a very sad one.
Sergio Marchionne, the famed and (quite frankly) one of the greatest automaker CEOs of all-time fell ill last week. It was reported he underwent invasive surgery last month and his grave illness was connected to his body's reaction to it. I could go into further detail, but you have no doubt already read the multitude of reports that surfaced since last Thursday. He passed into the next today.
I am a creative realist. People like this man tend to become my life heroes.
The motivation behind what will be my final e-publication to this blog is simple... I want to honor the man responsible for saving the ABARTH, Chrysler, Dodge and FIAT brands. I want to honor the man who made Jeep & RAM brands more relevant than ever before. I want to honor the man responsible for relaunching Alfa Romeo in true Alfa style... "Italians know how to build great cars." I want to honor the man responsible for reviving Maserati from the doldrums to which the brand was stuck for some time. I want to honor the man who lit fire under the arse of Scuderia Ferrari... "A Ferrari that does not win is not a Ferrari." I want to honor the man who, only last month, announced FCA would report out completely debt-free profit by the end of this month... July 2018. I want to honor the man responsible for the livelihoods of over two hundred thousand people around the world. What have we done in the past 14 years? And I'm certain I'm only scratching the surface of his brilliant legacy.
Don Sergio Marchionne was much more than a "fix-it" man. He was fearless. He was creative. He was visionary. He was an apparent man of his word... He made public oaths to reopen plants around Italy as well as the rest of the countries in which FCA is active and he methodically worked hard toward making good on said oaths. He was a loving father.
Many news outlets falsely and ignorantly claimed FCA "replaced" Sr. Sergio with a new CEO. No one can take the place of Our Honorable Departed. I cannot say how FCA and Ferrari will look and/or operate without Don Marchionne in their respective orbits. But I can say... beyond a shadow of a doubt... the automobile industry will never look quite the same. So, please, rev your engines with purpose today. We all, FIATisti-ABARTHisti and all petrolheads alike, owe this great HUMAN BEING at least that much. 'A small way this great leader of the modern automobile industry + classic working class hero will LIVE FOREVER...
Vivere. Amare. Guidare.