A couple of months ago, Fiat Chrysler boss Sergio Marchionne unveiled a presentation to analysts that made for uncomfortable reading.

The short version was that the automotive industry was living - and investing - in cloud cuckoo land. In fact, at the end of the presentation was a drawing from the ‘Alice in Wonderland’ fairy tale.

Pictures from children’s books are extremely rare in financial presentations, but its inclusion was designed to press home just how far from reality, in Marchionne’s opinion, the current business model of the automotive industry has become.

Sergio Marchionne might like to play on being the auto industry’s outsider, but his takeover of Chrysler and creation of FCA is the hugely impressive result of his ability to pull off a deal and a turnaround that would have escaped virtually all other auto bosses.

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With this presentation - titled ‘Confessions of a Capital Junkie’ - Marchionne decided to give the car industry both barrels. He said that industry was slowly destroying itself with massive product development costs. Indeed, he claimed that car companies are, on average, spending their entire market value on product development every four years.