While America Slept. Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
Halt! Nothing goes there. Toyota will suspend production in Japan on Dec. 24 and 25. This sounds normal to you? Mind you: They don’t believe in Rudolph in Japan. Toyota will partially halt output of Lexus luxury cars at its Tahara plant in Aichi Prefecture and suspend all production at subsidiary Toyota Motor Kyushu Inc. “It is rare for Toyota to stop all production at a factory,” says an astounded Nikkei (sub.)

Honda submerges emerging market plans: Honda froze a project to raise capacity in Turkey and postponed the launch of its second Indian plant by at least a year, says The Nikkei (sub.) With raised eyebrows, the Nikkei notes that the “cutbacks are now spreading to emerging markets, which are seen as key battlefields for growth.”

European CO2 compromise: The EU member states agreed on a big CO2 compromise for cars, Das Autohaus reports. There will be limits. But not so fast and not so strict. Like in 2012, only 65 percent of new cars should produce less than 120g/100km of the climate-killer. In 2014 it will be 80 percent. 100 percent in 2015. This is a big walk-back from original plans, and the greens are up in arms. The ruling still needs a formal approval.

Volvo officially for sale: According to Das Autohaus, “Ford considers selling Volvo. Ford confirmed speculations.” Ford has already begun making “Volvo more independent.” Make that: Prettied up for a fast sale.

China won’t quite make 10 million: According to Gasgoo, Chinese auto makers will sell 9.6m units this year. Their target was to hit the 10 million mark in 2008 – missed it! All things (and specially other parts of the world) considered, 9.6m units is still a nice growth from 8.4m the year before.

FAW Mazda adds capacity: Confirming their conviction that growth will go on, FAW Mazda builds a new plant in China. Says so in Gasgoo. The plant is expected to be completed by the end of 2010 and will boost the carmaker’s production capacity to 120,000 units.

This is no joke: For all of this week, WAS will either be late, or non-existent. I’m in Germany on business and will post as time allows.

Bertel Schmitt
Bertel Schmitt

Bertel Schmitt comes back to journalism after taking a 35 year break in advertising and marketing. He ran and owned advertising agencies in Duesseldorf, Germany, and New York City. Volkswagen A.G. was Bertel's most important corporate account. Schmitt's advertising and marketing career touched many corners of the industry with a special focus on automotive products and services. Since 2004, he lives in Japan and China with his wife <a href="http://www.tomokoandbertel.com"> Tomoko </a>. Bertel Schmitt is a founding board member of the <a href="http://www.offshoresuperseries.com"> Offshore Super Series </a>, an American offshore powerboat racing organization. He is co-owner of the racing team Typhoon.

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  • Bertel Schmitt Bertel Schmitt on Dec 03, 2008

    Thank you, ZCline. As for the perspective, these are the views of a German who lived and worked in the USA for 25 years, who moved to China in 2004, and who's married to a Japanese. The last move was the best.

  • ZCline ZCline on Dec 03, 2008

    Even more unique than I thought!

  • Scott Le Mans - Steve McQueen. It's an oldy and cult only but those who saw it know who's cars were featured.
  • Sobhuza Trooper Gas powered generators? The Wretched Past. UGH!!!! Battery powered generators? The Glorious FUTURE. YEA!!!!! Let California Californicate the World!!!!
  • Yuda Power grid is already failing with the few chargers there are This is just gonna make things worse for normal people
  • Yuda EVs in general are a scam LMAO I'm not surprised
  • Lou_BC "In 2007, 85% of Americans drove themselves to work and 6% rode with someone else. But by 2018, while the 6% of Americans who carpool has remained constant, there has been a decrease in the percentage of those who drive themselves to work, edging down to 77%." .................. If people can't recharge at home, it would be logical to set up charging infrastructure at workplace parking lots. That would cover 77% of the population. An 8 hour workday should be adequate to keep an EV charged.