Over the years, he's called them every mean name in the book, publicly drawn attention to their flaws and mercilessly made fun of their various bulges and blunders. I'm talking about the caustic commentary that has helped propel Top Gear co-host Richard Hammond to the pinnacle of his profession, all while teasing the progeny of our humbled domestic auto industry.
"I'm making the case for American cars here...What am I doing?!" Hammond jokingly quips in the attached video after catching himself saying nice things about a recent run in with the new Jeep Sahara.
"You can take the roof off, my daughters at home would love it. It looks good. It's nice to drive," he uncharacteristically gushes of the 4-door off-road offering from Chrysler.
When asked if the much-maligned U.S. automakers will ever be considered among the best in the world, his answer again is nothing short of stunning.
"I see no reason why not," he says before suggesting that the "quirks and odd touches" of American cars are what will set them apart from an increasingly homogenized, efficient and cheap universe of rivals.
"I think we're actually going to be wanting cars with quirks, with traits, otherwise we are just going to end up with homogenized steel cans where one looks the same as the other," he predicts.
We also discuss the potential growth of the Chinese market, as well as what Hammond sees as the "inevitable" emergence of a Chinese-made car, especially since he predicts some of the European makers "won't be able to afford to carry on."
More broadly, in an industry where ''advantages in quality and performance are getting infinitesimally small,'' he posits that success will come to those who find a way to stand out and can build "practical everyday cars that look good and have something special about them."
You got that, Detroit?