The 2013 Power List
Steady is the New Up
By Todd Lassa | From the March 2013 issue of Motor Trend
Five years after the American automobile industry nearly capsized, the business is staying afloat because of the North American market, Brazil, Russia, India, and China. The European Union, collectively a market about the size of ours, is the economic albatross of General Motors, Ford Motor, and Volkswagen Group. Toyota Motor Corporation is in a three-way race with GM and VW for the honor of World's Largest Automaker, but gets no help from China, which is doing its best to purge Japanese brands from the market as penance for the ancient dispute...
...Survivors have their heads down, trying to get competitive cars and trucks to market for a reasonable profit. There's less movement this year on the Power List, the tally of the men and women who move and shake the business world's most fascinating industry.
1. Sergio Marchionne
Chrysler Group LLC Chairman/CEO, Fiat SPA CEO
2012 Rank: 1
Still The Most Influential...
2. Ferdinand Piech
2012 Rank: 6
Steady Grip On Power...
3. Akio Toyoda...
5. Mark Reuss
GM North America President
2012 Rank: 5
(Mostly) Delivering The Goods...
8. Mark Fields
Ford Motor Company COO
2012 Rank: 36
Why he's moving up, quickly: Was promoted from Ford America's operations executive V.P. to COO, positioning him to take over from Mulally when he retires.
Why he's rated higher than his boss: Detroit buzz is he's already doing Mulally's job on a daily basis.
10. Jim Farley
Ford Motor Company Global Marketing, Sales and Service Exec V.P.
2012 Rank: 14
If Anyone Can Fix Lincoln...
Additional title: Named Lincoln senior global leader last December, he's in charge of fixing it or killing it.
12. Alan Mulally
Ford Motor Company CEO
2012 Rank: 3
On A Pre-Retirement Tour...
21. Peter Schreyer
Kia Design Chief
2012 Rank: 11...
28. Dan Akerson
GM Chairman and CEO
2012 Rank: 9
Profitability Isn't Enough
Influence on: Healthy corporate profits. Trying to hike stock price so Feds can sell our 26 percent, then free up executive salary limits.
Owners beware: Questionable personnel decisions, from cutting loose Joel Ewanick and Dave Lyon to making AT&T veteran/Washington lobbyist Robert Ferguson Cadillac's global chief.
Bottom line: Like Marchionne, Akerson is known for pushing his employees and working them hard. Unlike Chrysler's, GM's employee morale is at rock-bottom.
46. Max Wolff
Lincoln Design Director
Raising The Dead
Why he's here: Wolff serves as proof Ford sees a future for Lincoln, after Alan Mullaly considered killing Ford's last premium brand. The plan is to offer understated, alterna-label luxury. Sounds more Buick than Cadillac.
Came from: Australia, then Cadillac. Lincoln hired him in late 2010.
Influence on: Future Lincoln designs. He came into the MKZ program too late to have much influence.
Inherits: The flying wing grille.
Outlook: Wait and see.
49. Barb Samardzich
Ford of Europe Product Development V.P.