March 1, 1954
Cincinnati Enquirer, Business Section
Last week, Ardent Motors Corporation received a little bit of a black eye, given to them by Eastern European manufacturer Bogliq. Stronger than expected sales of the Bogliq Belfast, coupled with weak European interest in the Ardent 400-series, prevented Ardent from reaching its stated goal of widening the sales gap between the two companies.
Though the 400 series automobiles have found great success in theome markets of the United States and Canada, it seemed to be a bit too big and lavish for some markets in Europe, notably Italy and Spain.
We sat down recently with Jack Chancellor, CEO of Ardent Motors, regarding these recent revelations.
“This is a mere minor setback in Ardent’s global marketing and sales plans,” Chancellor told us when asked about the shocking sales revelations.
When we pressed for details on how Ardent plans to deal with flagging European sales growth, Jack Chancellor was at first reticent, but then tipped his hand.
“Wait for the New York auto show in a couple weeks. You’ll see the answer. Its name is Wren.”
Slightly cryptic, ever confident. Gentlemen, that is Jack Chancellor.
“God damn it, John,” Jack fumed. “I have told you, Stanton’s way is the way forward.”
Stanton stifled a grin, doing his best to keep a professional facade while the CEO of Ardent Motors berated its outgoing Chief Engineer. A position that would be his in only a few months.
“Mr. Chancellor, you’re gambling on a new tech…”
“Enough, John!” Jack slammed his fist down on his desk. Silence enveloped the room. The aging executive took a hard look at the two designers as he lit another cigarette, an ever-present adornment as of late when he spoke. “Stanton’s way is the future. It’s the way Europe is going. Now, if we’re going to beat these Moldovans in Europe, we can’t win with big boats, now can we?”
John Case didn’t respond.
“No, the Wren is for Europe. We can sell a few here at home, maybe transition the domestic market as the Starlight winds down its life. See what comes out of the 200-C project as a possible replacement in the future.”
“The Wren is the answer,” Stanton echoed.
“Shut up,” Jack shot back. Stanton seemed to shrink in his seat. Jack leaned back and thought for a moment. “You two pulled it off together, despite yourselves. You managed to work through your differences, and this is where we’re at. John, you’ve been the rock of Ardent for so many years. You’re going to go out on top. Internationally known, not just a hero at home. And Stanton, remember these past few years. At some point, some young gun is going to be on the hunt for your position.”
Stanton smirked. “I’ll show him who’s boss.”
“You’ll respect him and teach him what you know. And what John taught you,” Jack glowered, sending the younger designer into the back of his chair again. “More than half of the shit that’s happened during this design phase has been due to your ego. Now, you bring in money here, so that’s allowed. But only as far as I tolerate it. If others start checking out because you can’t shut your mouth, you can book yourself a one-way ticket back to Boston.”
Stanton Glass swallowed, forcing back any visible signs of his disdain.