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By on September 10, 2011

What does it take for a tuned Porsche Cayenne to be featured at TTAC? It must be nothing less than the most interesting tuned Cayenne in the world. And your eyes don’t deceive you… that’s exactly what you’re looking at. The Eterniti Hemera may or may not have advantages relative to the competition from Mansory, Ruf, Gemballa et al, but its story beats all of them (with the possible exception of Gemballa, er, hollow. Eterniti burst onto the scene when a Twitter squatter managed to spread all kinds of speculation about the company, including that it would use licensed RedBull F1 technology, adding to rampant speculation that the company was somehow associated with Nissan’s Infiniti brand. Of course Bertel Schmitt tracked down the truth, and even though Porsche no longer associates itself with its former dealer and Eterniti founder Kenny Chen, Bertel could have told you nearly a month ago that the Hemera would be a tuned Cayenne. So, though this glorified bodykit of a car may seem like something of a letdown, its strange social-media-parable storyline makes it… the most interesting tuned Cayenne in the world.

 

By on September 10, 2011

It happens to all foreign joint venture partners: They are invited to have tea and a chat with representatives of China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC). After the pleasantries are exchanged, the weather has been discussed, and statements of mutual admiration have been made, someone from the NDRC side will say: “Don’t you want to start a Chinese brand? We would really appreciate it.” Who can say no to the wishes of the Chinese government?

The latest to say “Ja” is BMW. BMW will build a second, truly “Chinese” brand for China. “We are discussing this with the NDRC, and we will find a solution,” said BMW CEO Friedrich Eichiner to Germany’s FAZ. BMW’s futuristic carbon fiber i cars won’t be BMWs  in China. Read More >

By on September 10, 2011

The distinction between employees for a private photo enforcement firm and taxpayer-funded public servants blurred in the city of Lynnwood, Washington. Emails between city officials and American Traffic Solutions (ATS) suggest a cozy relationship developed where both sides were willing to perform the duties of the other in terms of marketing and public relations.

Lynnwood Police Sergeant Wayne “Kawika” Davis, for example, used official government resources and time to come up with a marketing plan to sell for the privately held firm at a conference held at the Tulalip Resort Casino in June.

Read More >

By on September 10, 2011

Now that Chinese car sales are a hot topic on CNBC, and now that even Jalopnik reports Chinese car sales, here a short primer on how it’s done. You may want to write that down. It’s tricky.

The people who have the final word on Chinese automobile production and sales are not from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. The final word has the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM). Never use the data of the China Passenger Car Association, they just lead you astray. I also recommend to distrust Bloomberg, they are prone to making mistakes – although this time, they were right.  If your Chinese is a bit rusty, use sources such as Shanghai Daily to double-check. No problem. Love to help. Now, for the numbers: Read More >

By on September 10, 2011

After only 18 months on the job (and he did a good job) Carl-Peter Forster resigned his job as group CEO and managing director of  Tata Motors. In a press release, Tata cites “unavoidable personal circumstances”. The industry is scratching their combined heads: What are those reasons? Are they real, or the usual BS? Read More >

By on September 10, 2011

There was a time when Bavaria (that’s the south-east of Germany for the geographically challenged) wasn’t known for much more than beer, cows, and King Ludwig’s castle. Now it’s the breeding ground for luxury cars (locally known as the “Premium-Segment”). And the cars breed with wild abandon. Both Audi and BMW report record sales for August. Read More >

By on September 9, 2011

Carmakers don’t want to be caught napping when the “next China” is at stake. They are setting their sights on Southeast Asia. Currently en vogue: Indonesia. The country with a population of 237 million  has a bullet on the PowerPoints of most major carmakers. Toyota is already there and wants to double down. Read More >

By on September 9, 2011

As if Victor Muller doesn’t have enough problems. He has managed to upset Sweden’s state collection agency Kronofogden so much that they are threatening arrest. Muller claimed there is enough money to pay the employees, but if he does that, the state collection agency will get  its hands on the money. The collection agency says that Muller has to hand over the cash or go to jail. This quote by Victor Muller sent Hans Ryberg, head of the enforcement agency in Uddevalla to the ceiling: Read More >

By on September 9, 2011

Volkswagen and Porsche will need to live in concubinage for a while longer. They will live and work together, they will be seen at parties such as the upcoming IAA in Frankfurt together, they share beds and platforms, but they won’t be officially married.  Volkswagen announced today ”that the planned merger with Porsche SE cannot be implemented within the time frame provided for in the Comprehensive Agreement. Nevertheless, all parties remain committed to the goal of creating an integrated automotive group with Porsche and are convinced that this will take place.”

And why are the nuptials delayed? Says Volkswagen: Read More >

By on September 9, 2011

When scanning old negatives for the most recent installment of the Impala Hell Project series, I found these Ansco Pix Panorama camera shots that I took in gritty, grimy, industrial Hayward, California in 1993. They didn’t add anything to the Impala Hell Project story, so I’m sharing them in a separate post. Read More >

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