Lear's Simoncini namechecks competitors at museum benefit in Detroit

Simoncini to competitors: “You want to be Lear when you grow up? Write a check!”

Matt Simoncini cupped his mouth in his hands and shouted above the noisy crowd at a fundraiser he was sponsoring last week for the Motown Museum in Detroit. “Delphi! Delphi! Anybody here from Delphi!”

The Lear Corp. CEO was trying to shame his auto supplier competitors into matching his $ 200,000 donation toward the museum’s $ 50 million expansion plan.

Hearing no takers, Simoncini turned his attention to another competitor. “Anybody here from Adient?” The audience roared with laughter as the hyper exuberant Simoncini twisted the knife.

“You want to be Lear when you grow up? Write a check!”

Kidding aside, it was quite a night. Beneath a huge tent with a clear ceiling, hundreds of Motown fans were entertained by the Four Tops after a live auction that raised tens of thousands of dollars for the cause.

“We were raised on Motown,” Simoncini told the crowd during brief remarks during dinner. “It was the song track of my life.” He said the Motown brand represents creativity and entrepreneurship, and linked the 1960s music revolution to the blossoming of modern Detroit. “This brand represents what we are.”

UAW Vice President Jimmy Settles Jr. urged the crowd to help make the museum a global destination. “The ask is easy,” he said. “Please dig deep tonight.”

Speaking last, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan joked, “I’m the third-best politician on stage.”

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