March 2009 Issue

First Word: 03/09

In American business, Donald Trump is variously regarded as a helmet-haired blowhard or the most audacious businessman on the face of planet. But when it comes to audacity, compared to Christian Dries, the CEO of Diamond Industries, Trump is a painfully shy Girl Scout in a pink party dress. This is the only rational conclusion you can make after reading a recent press release explaining the certification of the new Austro diesel engine under Driesí guidance in Austria. In a crash 42-month program, Dries spentóaccording to the press releaseóthe princely sum of $62 million (48 million Euro) to develop the Austro and set up a factory to produce it. Letís run the playhead back to 2002, when Diamond announced its audacious plans to build a new twin in a market where twin values were practically in free fall. And, oh, by the way, it would have diesel engines which hadnít been certified yet. Fast forward to 2008: The Thielert engine economics made security-backed mortgages look like a lead-pipe cinch and by last spring, Thielert was in bankruptcy. That meant 500 or so Twin Stars were suddenly without a long-term viable engine. It also created a corps of angry customers.

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