Sergio Marchionne likes to be at the centre of attention and he got his wish in Detroit this week.
When I first came across the chief executive of Chrysler and Fiat at the auto show, he was surrounded by photographers and was showing off a Fiat 500 to Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the House of Representatives.
Mrs Pelosi had good reason to pay attention since the US government has staked $12bn (€8.3bn, ￡7.4bn) on his ability to resurrect a company that Barack Obama's auto task force decided was unviable on its own. Without him, it might not have paid for the smallest of the Big Three to travel through Chapter 11.
A lot rides on whether he can repeat his trick at Fiat, where he restored a failing company to stability, if not to parity with global rivals. "Our reputation and credibility is at stake. We've put the whole damn thing on the line, including my life,"he told me.
The jumper-wearing Mr Marchionne is not given to self-doubt. In a recent speech, he quoted Machiavelli's precept that "a return to first principles in a republic is sometimes caused by the simple virtues of one man". He regards himself as that man.
His chances of success, however, depend on how you define the target. If it is to stabilise Chrysler, refurbish its line-up, repay $7bn of government money and refloat it with an initial public offering in, say, 2011 (none of them trivial achievements), I reckon he will probably manage it.
If, however, success is defined in his own terms – promoting Chrysler-Fiat into the premier league of global volume carmakers alongside Ford, Toyota, Volkswagen and others – I doubt it. His empire is too much of a mish-mash of domestic brands to conquer the world.
Mr Marchionne has altered the mood at Chrysler, whose share of the US car market has been declining since the late 1990s, battered first by a disastrous takeover by Daimler and then a period owned by Cerberus Capital, a private equity firm, which he calls "the Twilight Zone".
It has a bad product portfolio, with not only the Chrysler brand but Dodge skewed towards the US, and trucks and vans. Its passenger cars suffer from poor design and quality problems, none being recommended by Consumer Reports, although Jeep is still a good property.
Meanwhile, Ford in particular is showing signs of a revival, having based its new Focus car on design and technology from its European arm, and selling the model across the world. Even the accident-prone General Motors has much stronger international reach and is bringing out a global range of cars, including its Aveo and Cruze models.