My girlfriend and I recently vacationed in Zurich. Anyone who’s ever been to Switzerland will be surprised by this, since it’s possibly the least romantic place in human history. Seriously: instead of flowers, stuffed animals and chocolate, Swiss couples exchange presents like a well-built lamp, oddly-shaped stainless steel kitchen utensils, and … chocolate. And then they shake hands and sleep in two separate very sturdy beds.
After marking September 11 with the US 2001 best-sellers, announcing the launch of the Africa Project and a couple of world updates (Top 150 best-selling models in June 2012 and our monthly World Roundup for July 2012), today I have to stop in Switzerland because we are witnessing a Japanese earthquake there…
Not in the mood for mountainous countries? There are 167 other countries and territories in my blog ready for you to explore, so get to it!
Back to Switzerland.
Munich, Germany, to St. Moritz, Switzerland. It can be a scenic afternoon ride. The nicest route, shown here would take you very leisurely four hours these days. Before the car was invented, it would have taken a few days and a lot of real horses. How about with pure plug-ins? 31 participants embarked on a plug-in rally from Munich to St. Moritz. It started on August 1. It ended on August 5th. Yep, five days. When I was young, I did that in two easy days on a bicycle. The electric cars took the better part of the week. (Read More…)
When you think about the Swiss auto industry, one thing usually comes to mind:
“What Swiss car industry?”
They nearly had one. The “Swatch Car” was pioneered by Swiss swatch-watchmaker Nicolas Hayek. It was killed by Ferdinand Piech, 5 seconds after he took the helm as CEO of Volkswagen. The Austrian Piech graduated at the Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich (ETH) in mechanical engineering, but even that didn’t keep him from exterminating the little Swiss critter at Volkswagen to save his own Lupo 3L (which also died.) Hayek turned to Daimler, the Swatch car became the Smart, Daimler took over, the Swiss car industry remained a dream.
But then, aren’t we forgetting Monteverdi? (Read More…)
We finally know who’s responsible for shutting down Nissan assembly lines in Japan and the U.S.A. The shortage of a critical computer chip stopped Hitachi from making ECUs, which in turn stopped Nissan from making cars. For days, the identity of the lackadaisical chipmaker had been kept under wraps. Now, the culprit has been unmasked. (Read More…)