By on July 3, 2013
Topyota Avalon - Picture courtesy Toyota

Red Avalon – now with extra white and blue

Very few car buying decisions are guided by patriotic motivations. And the few there are, are rarely supported by hard data. Which spares us embarrassing moments. “Many of the ‘most American’ cars on dealership lots today are made by Japanese automakers,” says Edmunds. ”The most American sedan, for example, is Toyota Avalon, and the most American hatchback is Honda Crosstour.” (Read More…)

By on July 2, 2013

Japanese carmakers are not out of the woods yet in China, and might be in the thick of things again if matters flare up. The other day, 30 right wing Japanese activists had to be kept away by Japanese Coast Guard, while the US and Japan held war games in preparations for a possible Chinese invasion of the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands. (Read More…)

By on July 2, 2013

France’s PSA has been all over the world with hat in hand, looking for a charitable donation that may keep the carmaker alive a little longer. Things are so dire that it is news when PSA does not ask a carmaker for a donation. That carmaker is Fiat, itself short of funds. (Read More…)

By on July 2, 2013


In Germany, Europe’s largest car market, sales were down 4.7 percent in June.  In the first six months of the year, sales in Germany were down 8.1 percent.  Opel’s June sales were down 10.1 percent in Germany, Chevrolet’s sales plummeted 17.1 percent, but those of Ford rose 8.7 percent. Peugeot sales plummeted 26.5 percent.
(Read More…)

By on July 2, 2013


Sales of all new motor vehicles in Japan were down 10.8 percent in June, continuing a down trend after the Japanese government discontinued subsidies on eco-friendly cars in September last year.  Sales of minivehicles, and especially sales of imported cars softened the blow. (Read More…)

By on July 1, 2013

Fuel Cell - Picture courtesy tfl.gov.uk

We’ve been saying it for years that Toyota, along with several other automakers, will launch a hydrogen fuel cell car in 2015. Two years ago, you heard it from Toyota’s  Chief Engineer Satoishi Ogiso. A month ago, Toyota’s America-chief Jim Lentz promised that “the first fuel cell sedan is coming to the U.S. in 2015.” Now, Bloomberg says that “at the Tokyo Motor Show in November, Toyota plans to show a hydrogen-powered sedan that would be sold as a 2015 model.” (Read More…)

By on June 27, 2013

“To suffer”

 

With luck- and hapless Susan Docherty cleaning out her desk in Europe, GM needs someone else to lead Chevrolet in Europe. They found Thomas Sedran, who will take the helm at Chevrolet’s EU HQ in Zurich, Switzerland. Sedran will start in July, says Reuters,  while Docherty will be leaving GM in September. (Read More…)

By on June 25, 2013

IMG_8658

Volkswagen’s  R&D chief Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg is cautiously optimistic about the use of carbon fiber technologies in volume cars. Said Hackenberg today in Wolfsburg: (Read More…)

By on June 25, 2013
IMG_8338

Hackenberg hints on future cars, with the members of the social media in rapt attention

Volkswagen plans to use the 0.8 liter diesel  hybrid drivetrain from its futuristic, ultra-efficient and ultra-expensive  (no pricing announced) XL1 two-seater in a future regular small car, Volkswagen’s R&D Chief Ulrich Hackenberg said today in an interview in Wolfsburg’s Autostadt. Said Hackenberg: (Read More…)

By on June 25, 2013
antisocial media

Hackenberg talks to reporters from SAE Magazine and Fortune …

“It is good for the future of diesel in the USA that  a domestic producer also uses a diesel engine,” said Volkswagen’s R&D Chief Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg today.  “If the volume of diesel engines is increasing, then it makes sense to produce diesel engines in the U.S.A. That would be great for us and the customer,” Hackenberg said. (Read More…)

By on June 24, 2013

driver

This is day one of the Wolfsburg tour, where your BS returns to the scene of his former crimes. I came in on a 12 hours JAL flight from Tokyo. I was picked at Hannover Airport by an Iranian driver with a black Multivan. Imagine, this is the place where I was running through the parking garage in the olden days, looking for a Phaeton with the keys hidden in the exhaust pipe.

Johnny Lieberman of Motor Trend however … (Read More…)

By on June 23, 2013
Ford Setagaya Dori

Open: The Ford dealer down the road from me. Go there yourself.

Last week, I had a few very interesting discussions with a few very famous people, and I should not keep them to myself. The discussions were about one of my pet peeves, the supposedly closed Japanese car market, and the allegedly manipulated Japanese currency. Some very knowledgeable people I talked to were convinced it’s true. Other very knowledgeable folks said it’s utter baloney. In a rare display of balanced reporting, I will bring you both. And as they say, we purport, you decide.

(Read More…)

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