The sudden termination of historian Manfred Grieger’s contract with Volkswagen is generating controversy in Germany, with some accusing the automaker of trying to put a lid on its dark past.
Grieger spent 18 years on the VW payroll, and was hired specifically to air the automaker’s dirty laundry. During his time with the company, Grieger penned detailed accounts of Volkswagen’s wartime use of forced labor from concentration camps while opening up the company’s archives to journalists and historians.
The New York Times reports that his contract came to an end this week. Some suspect that Grieger’s criticism of a report on Audi’s past led to his departure, and they worry VW could be trying to downplay revelations about its history with the Nazis and Brazil’s military dictatorship. (Read More…)
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has released the first official images of the 2017 Jeep Compass, the solitary model replacing both the original Compass and its slab-sided Patriot compatriot.
Say goodbye to the flag-waving Patriot name, as this is a world model, and global Jeep customers are more familiar with the Compass name. Fittingly, the small SUV’s coming out party was held at its Goiana, Brazil assembly plant. (Read More…)
I’ve been glued to various screens watching The Games of the Thirty-First Olympiad, much like many of you, I assume. Streaming some lesser-known sports, such as kayak slalom, which resembles a water autocross save the distinct lack of Tilley hats, has helped me get through slow days at the office.
But like any other time I’m watching a broadcast from another land, my petrol-addled mind wanders to the streets outside the televised event’s venue. I daydream about the cars parked there. What are those people driving that I can’t get here?
In old mystery novels, it’s usually the butler, gardener or maid that police nab for committing a dastardly crime. In 21st Century São Paulo, Brazil, it’s the helicopter pilot.
After rescuing Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone’s mother-in-law from kidnappers earlier this week, Brazilian authorities arrested the racing tycoon’s pilot on suspicion of involvement, the BBC reports. (Read More…)
Rarely does a high-profile hostage-taking resolve itself in such a nice, PG-13 film manner.
Aparecida Schunck, the 67-year-old mother-in-law of Formula One chief Bernie Ecclestone, was found tied up in a dingy apartment near São Paulo, nine days after her kidnapping, the BBC reported last night. (Read More…)
Brazilian media sources say kidnappers are demanding a huge ransom for the safe return of Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone’s mother-in-law.
The São Paulo kidnapping of Aparecida Schunck, mother of Ecclestone’s wife Fabiana Flosi, was reported in Veja and Globo, according to the BBC. The assailants are asking for $36.5 million. (Read More…)
In the 1970s, the Audi 80 was sold in the United States as the Audi Fox. In the following decade, Volkswagen decided to sell the Brazilian-made Volkswagen Gol as a Volkswagen Fox in the United States, presumably using the Fox name because it was so good.
The Fox was cheap and disposable and most were crushed before the end of the 1990s, so this ’88 wagon is an unusual find these days. (Read More…)
A top Ram executive is heading to Brazil next week as the truck maker increasingly cozies up to the idea of adding a smaller pickup to its lineup.
The trip comes after Mike Manley, global head of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ Jeep and Ram brands, told The Detroit News that an “opportunity” exists in the U.S. midsize pickup market.
“I think that space is big enough, certainly, to have two offerings there,” Manley said at last week’s New York Auto Show, referring to the recently-announced Wrangler pickup and a hypothetical Ram model.
I can’t believe it, but I’m about to argue that the American market needs another SUV. Seriously. No, please, don’t click away.
Really, beyond the various Wrangler derivatives, are there any true sport utility vehicles offered here any longer? Everything else is a unibody cute-ute or some monstrous limo/wagon hybrid that can’t handle a curb, let alone a rocky trail.
Plus, it has the perfect name for both the writers and readers of TTAC: Troller.
Nissan said it will produce a vehicle based on the Kicks Concept car shown at the Sao Paulo Auto Show in 2014. It will be sold globally, beginning in Latin America this year.
CEO Carlos Ghosn said the car appeals to Latin American markets that prefer compact crossovers. You know who else buys compact crossovers? You, and everyone else you know, apparently.
According to several reports, the Kicks would fit into the automaker’s lineup between the smaller Juke and larger Qashqai. Is there a hole for crossover sales between our Juke and Rogue? There’s only one way to find out. (Read More…)
General Motors will invest $5 billion to build a global line of cars with Shanghai-based SAIC Motors that will be sold in Brazil, China and other emerging markets, the automaker announced Tuesday.
The cars won’t be sold in the United States, according to the statement.
The global vehicles will go on sale starting in 2019 and the automaker expects the line to eventually produce roughly 2 million cars annually.
The last time I saw this car it lay bare and gutted in front of me. The seats had been pulled out, the dash taken apart and wires dangling. The carpets were in the process of being removed. All of this in an effort to find the source of an infestation that had plagued it.
Oh, Brazil. Not having the cars, the will or possibly the means to offer proper SUVs to customers back in the 90s, local makes did as the always do and improvised. Raise up the suspension, modify it (or not) as needed, insert bigger wheels, add lots of plastic cladding and graphics, and your pseudo-SUV common hatch or station wagon is magically transformed into an “aventureiro”.
Like it or not, compact SUVs, particularly B-segment vehicles, are the segment to be in right now. They may be anathema to enthusiasts in the developed world, but in developing markets, their is no hotter property. In Brazil, where the Renault Duster and Ford Ecosport have reigned supreme, the market has just gotten a bit more crowded.
And then came the 90s.
With democracy finally back, a new Constitution, and new economic ideas and policies forcing the market open, the slow pace of the 80s suddenly gave way to much friskier times. General Motors was the first to make use of the opportunities, they would import systems and brought on the best Opel had to offer. The Corsa was launched and soon had long waiting lists and people paying over list price. It followed Fiat’s plan, a small car with lots of color and accessory options. Two door and four doors. Soon, sedan, station wagon and a pickup version. All highly successful, all putting pressure on the Gol and derivatives. (Read More…)