My Car Quest

May 27, 2024

New TV Comedy Series Set in Automaker World

by Wallace Wyss –

It’s about time a major American business appeared on TV, the auto business. It’s expected to be a lot like The Office but the product is cars instead of paper. One clip I saw showed an autonomous car running someone over.

NBC’s description –

From the creator of Superstore comes a new workplace comedy that takes the wheels off the automobile industry. Set in Detroit, the corporate executives of Payne Motors are at a crossroads: adapt to the changing times or be sent to the junkyard. Shaking things up is the new CEO, whose leadership, experience and savvy is only slightly offset by her complete lack of knowledge about cars. Luckily, her team has some of the best minds in the business – when they aren’t fighting or trying to outwit each other. From the corporate office to the factory floor, the crew of Payne Motors is driving home the laughs.

The preview is Dec. 13th on NBC. Looking forward to hearing some comments…

Let us know what you think in the Comments.

Wallace Wyss

THE AUTHOR: Wallace Wyss, has written 18 car history books.


American Auto

New TV Comedy Series Set in Automaker World
Article Name
New TV Comedy Series Set in Automaker World
NBC's American Auto is expected to be a lot like The Office but the product is cars instead of paper.


  1. I’m excited to see this new show. It’s timely given we are at the automotive crossroads where ICE (internal combustion engine) and electric vehicles are vying for a place in the garage and on the highway. While I’m sure the “car clueless” female character will be amusing, I hope they don’t go too far in stereotyping women as there are many of us with passion and knowledge about automobiles that far exceeds that of many of the males we know.

  2. wallace wyss says

    I think Jay Leno starred in a movie comedy about the auto industry. Thus was so long ago Leno had black hair !
    I found it described on Wikipedia:

    “Collision Course is a 1989 action-comedy film starring Jay Leno as a Detroit police officer and Pat Morita as a Japanese officer forced to work together to recover a Japanese turbocharger stolen by a thief played by Chris Sarandon. It was directed by Lewis Teague and unreleased in the U.S. until 1992, when it debuted on home video.

    The story plays upon the culture clash between Detroit – whose economy is largely built on automobile manufacturing – and Japan – whose trade policies and export of cars were blamed for Detroit job losses in the 1980s.”

  3. Glenn Krasner says

    Similar to the film mentioned by Wallace above, you had Michael Keaton in “Gung Ho”, with the American – Japanese culture clash combusting, when a Japanese auto company opens up an American transplant manufacturing facility in the US. When I was a “tween” in the 1970’s, you also had an ABC mini-series, called “Wheels”, that dealt with issues that Detroit (the industry and the city) dealt with in the 1960’s, starring Rock Hudson and Lee Remick. You also had the action film, “Action Jackson” with Carl Weathers fighting a corrupt, murdering auto executive played by Craig T. Nelson. Not to mention all the auto biography films, like “Tucker”, and most recently, “Ford vs. Ferrari”, which is the latter film’s American title In Europe, that film was called “Le Mans ’65”, because Americans always seem to have an adversarial approach to life and business. Without a doubt, the very best film about the auto industry is the film “Blue Collar” with Richard Pryor, Harvey Keitel, and Yaphet Kotto, a very serious movie about three buddies who work on “the line” actually filmed at Checker in Kalamazoo before it closed, and in and all around Detroit. Glenn in Brooklyn, NY

  4. wallace wyss says

    I caught two episodes of American Auto run as a preview. i think it is a curious mix of running jokes that would have been in a series 50 years ago and newer more topical jokes referring to current issues like discrimination, homosexuality and sex at the office. The cars are as I thought, disguised modern day cars.The series has a woman running the car company and I actually thought her clueless demeanor parallels 2021 where GMs Mary Barra takes credit for bringing electric cars to America without acknowledging the much bugger contribution of Tesla. Did anyone else catch it?

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