The article you are about to read was written by former Editor-In-Chief Bertel Schmitt during the course of a long and somewhat personal disagreement he had with former contributor Steven Lang. This article does not represent the views of The Truth About Cars, its staff, its contributors, or its ownership. We’re leaving it up because we don’t censor the past — but we no longer stand behind the piece or recommend that you read it — JB
The NHTSA is looking into whether GM is doing the right thing with cars it has recalled. According to Reuters, “the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it has opened what it calls a recall query to look at whether a stress test GM is using on a portion of the recalled cars is good enough, because a fire occurred after the procedure that was meant to catch the problem.” (Read More…)
Less than a year after joining the WTO, Russia finds itself dragged in front of the same. The EU launched a formal trade dispute with Russia, claiming that its Eastern neighbor is “illegally protecting its carmakers with a recycling fee levied on imported cars,” as Reuters reports. (Read More…)
Prematurely pronounced dead, trucks are back in favor. They never went out of style with one eclectic clientele: Thieves. “Thieves continue to target large pickups and large SUVs at higher rates than other vehicles,” says the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) that keeps track of these things. “No. 1 on this year’s list, the four-wheel-drive F-250 crew cab, has a claim frequency of 7 per 1,000 insured vehicle years, or nearly 6 times the average for all vehicles.”
European SEAT sales showed new signs of life lately, but the vital stats of Volkswagen’s Mediterranean brand still are weak enough for doctors to recommend a lot of rest. SEAT recommends to have workers stay at home an extra day of each week, Reuters writes.
According to the wire, SEAT “wants to halt production for 16 days on one of its lines, between September and December, affecting 2,800 workers, and stop production for 35 days next year on another line, affecting 3,800 workers.” (Read More…)
Fiat bought another 3.3 percent of Chrysler, “bringing it a step nearer to its goal of creating the world’s seventh-largest automaker by sales,” says Reuters. What Fiat really wants is to consolidate loss-making Fiat with profitable Chrysler, and to get “access to some of Chrysler’s cash flow for investments in new models,” the wire says. (Read More…)
Car sales in Russia disappointed a month ago, and they disappoint again: Russian sales of new cars and light commercial vehicles dropped 11 percent in June, says Reuters. For the first half of the year, sales are off 6 percent while Russia caught a whiff of the European contagion. Now, all hopes are on the government and cheap credit. (Read More…)
Akio Toyoda at the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show
If you want to sell cars, you need to market them. Except in Japan, say the Detroit 3. In Japan, it’s easier and cheaper to complain about closed markets and manipulated currencies than to waste money trying to sell cars. After the jump, you will find a list of automakers that will display their cars at this year’s Tokyo Motor Show. You probably can imagine who is not on this list. (Read More…)
Members of the media are still speculating why Audi’s R&D chief Wolfgang Dürheimer was sacked and replaced by Volkswagen’s engineering rock star Urlich Hackenberg. Today, the market delivered the reason: With BMW in the passing lane in China and America, global sales of the roundel brand keep rising faster than those of Audi and Mercedes. (Read More…)
Ah, the wondrous web of global automaking: Drivers and sorters at DHL are going on strike, and this threatens to cripple production at Jaguar Land Rover in the UK. JLR has outsourced a good deal of its logistics to Deutsche Post–owned DHL. DHL employees serving JLR’s plants at Castle Bromwich and Solihull voted for a strike after they did not receive terms and conditions extended to regular JLR staff. (Read More…)
Renault hopes to get going on its foray into China, and to sign a joint venture agreement with Dongfeng, Reuters says. “We are waiting for an official invitation from the Chinese industry ministry,” Reuters heard from an insider. Rumors of an impending JV kept Chinese media guessing and speculating for years. (Read More…)
1,200 BMWs are sitting at German dealers and cannot be repaired. The reason: Missing parts. After a software change in BMW’s German parts distribution system, supply with needed parts has become sporadic and unpredictable, Automobilwoche [sub] says. BMW works council chief Manfred Schoch blames cost cuts by BMW’s management:
“There were other solutions, but they wanted to save money. Now it will be getting three times as expensive.”
BMW has started to provide customers with replacement cars. Even that cause problems. “If people want to go on vacation in a Touring, and they are given a sedan, they won’t be happy,” a dealer told Automobilwoche.
A BMW spokesman confirmed the backlog to Reuters, but said the situation is improving.
And here, by popular demand, the sales of cars imported to Japan in June, and for the first half year of 2013, as published by the Japan Automobile Importers Association. For those with open eyes and mind, a few items quickly become clear: (Read More…)
Detroit is finally dropping the mask and says what it really wants in U.S. / Japanese trade relations. It wants to keep existing barriers that frustrate importation of Japanese cars, and that, for all intents and purposes, prevent importation of Japanese trucks. For the next generation, Detroit wants to be in your pocket without outside interference. (Read More…)
Nissan and Renault co-CEO Carlos Ghosn still sees a future in the electric car, it’s the European market that doesn’t have great prospects of a turn-around as far as Ghosn is concerned. (Read More…)