Blog: Dave LeggettWhatever happened to…

Dave Leggett | 20 March 2006

…Wolfgang Reitzle? Remember him? Dapper guy who walked the walk at BMW and then left to head-up Ford's luxury cars division PAG after apparently being passed over for the BMW chairman job. He seemed to be doing the business for Ford and then exited, amid reports of disagreements with Ford’s top brass, the auto industry altogether to work at the apparently much less glamorous German industrial group Linde.

He’s just biding his time, we thought. He’s at Linde for contractual reasons, surely, we all said. Linde is industrial gasses and forklift trucks for goodness sake. Once he’s done his time outside of the industry, he’ll be back, we all thought. Well, maybe our assumptions were a little bit off. Maybe there is life outside of the auto industry, even for someone like Reitzle.

There was an interesting report in the Sunday Times yesterday describing Reitzle’s current impact at Linde. Worth a read. Sounds like he has plenty to keep him occupied at Linde, though I would also guess that he keeps close tabs on what is going on in the auto industry. I still wouldn’t rule out a return at some point, though it is looking increasingly unlikely the longer he stays out.

The Sunday Times was a pretty good read this week in the motoring section (the rest of the paper is rather dull and verbose). I do wonder how far Jeremy Clarkson can go with his colourful phrases and metaphors though. They make me smile and I’m a signed up Clarkson fan, but he does seem to be pushing new boundaries lately.

There were a couple in his ‘Good car bad car’ supplement that jumped off the page a bit. The Kia Rio hatchback predictably takes a battering and he goes for the jugular with this line: ‘Honestly, I’d rather climb into Mark Oaten [a British politician at the centre of a tabloid press gay prostitute brouhaha] than climb inside a Rio.’ Or how about, ‘Things I’d rather do than own a Korean or Malaysian car include French-kissing Bill Oddie [a bearded sixty something ornithologist and TV presenter over here]’. He’s certainly moving on from the more tame and mundane ‘rather stick pins in my eyes’ sort of stuff.

But his review of the Fiat Grande Punto this week is an absolute corker in terms of how he eventually gets on to the subject of the car itself (follow this link:,,176-2090397,00.html)  Round the houses, as we say, with a few stops for tea and cakes on the way. Clarkson in full flow and unfettered (I assume) by anything as inconvenient as an editor. Long may it remain so. But those increasingly colourful metaphors could be putting people off their breakfast Jezza.

Link to Reitzle article below.

Reitzle takes Linde to global glory


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