After seeing all the recent Cadillac TV commercials saying Ferrari employs their MagneRide technology, I looked into this a bit because I often hear Brits on race game forums wax on about how Americans don't know how to make cars, esp regarding their handling. I have to admit I was a bit skeptical whether Americans actually designed it.
Well, turns out the first generation of it actually was designed by Delphi of Troy Michigan. Problem is, if you look at what followed in GM's chapter 11 problems, they apparently sold off their global suspension and brakes business as one of many divisions they scaled back overhead on, which includes of course MagneRide.
This is why MagneRide is now actually owned by Beijing World Industries Group. So while those commercials may be giving Americans new hope in buying domestic, they seem to hide a sad, sad truth about the state of our economy and the reality of just how long it will take to truly recover. Even with the Tsunami in Japan and flooding in Thailand, US auto sales haven't increased to be anywhere near what they were before the recession.
What I find odd, is that Delphi, according to Wiki, rationalized the sale of their global suspension and brakes business, which of course includes MagneRide, by viewing it as one of the "facilities and business lines that do not support the company’s future strategic framework", yet here we have big names like Ferrari interested in MagneRide, but now the Chinese are the ones profiting off it.
After looking into this I came away thinking it's not the way Americans design cars that's the problem, it's the way they manage their business. So while it sounds all good at first when you hear Lawrence Fishburne making it clear that Ferrari is copying Cadillac's suspension, and not the other way around, what he doesn't tell you is that financially he's really being a spokesperson for the Chinese. Any thoughts?
10th August 2004