While America Slept. Tuesday, January 14, 2009

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
while america slept tuesday january 14 2009
Sorry, it’s a bit infrequent for a few weeks while I’m in Europe hunting the elusive Euro: An overview of what happened in other parts of the world while you were in bed. TTAC provides round-the-clock coverage of everything that has wheels. Or has its wheels coming off. WAS is being filed from Berlin – when I’m in Berlin.

Take one for the team, Japan style: Department heads at Toyota are asking colleagues in management positions to buy new Toyota cars by the end of the fiscal year to boost the company’s sluggish sales, the Nikkei (sub) says. “The rare request is the result of a voluntary effort among a group of about 2,200 departmental chiefs and other managers. Employees are under no obligation to buy a car, and no specific models appear to have been singled out.” Hitori wa minna no tame, minna wa hitori no tame. Or: one for all, all for one, as they say in Japan.

Daihatsu may have to cut back: Toyota’s Daihatsu may do “a reorganization of its production structure if sales do not recover by March,” the Nikkei (sub) reports. Daihatus’s minicars had been relatively unscathed by the weak sales. Now they begin hurting too.

Two is the new eleven: Nissan plans to reduce the number of chassis types used in its trucks and vans from 11 to two by 2012, in a bid to cut development and production costs, the Nikkei (sub) reports. Nissan has a lineup of 37 small commercial vehicles. Sizes and shapes of these models vary in each country because of different specifications and user preferences, causing the number of specialized chassis to balloon. Nissan intends to consolidate these structures, designating one chassis for trucks and another for vans.

BYD to enter U.S. in 2011: China’s BYD plans to introduce electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles in the U.S. in 2011. It’s also considering building a local plant “when necessary,” Gasgoo reports. In a booth adjacent to GM’s, BYD is exhibiting their e6, F3DM and F6 plug-in hybrids. The F3DM is billed as the world’s first mass-produced plug-in hybrid sedan, while the e6 is a mid-sized five-passenger crossover vehicle that can travel a claimed 250 miles on a single charge.

China‘s auto industry support plan: China “unveiled a wide-ranging plan to boost the domestic auto industry, one of the pillars of the world’s third-largest economy,” Reuters reports. Measures include the halving of sales tax on small cars and subsidies to encourage car owners to trade their old models for newer, fuel-efficient ones. China’s government said it favored consolidation of the sprawling industry and would promote the mass production of electric-powered vehicles.

Germany‘s auto industry support plan: As part of Germany’s €50b stimulus plan, Germany’s citizens will receive €2500 if they scrap their old car and buy a new, greener car, Automobilwoche (sub) writes. A similar initiative in France, announced last September, had good results. “Greener” means at least Euro IV, which means any street legal new car. Germany will change from taxing cubic inches to taxing CO2. More pollution, higher taxes. Families receive a one time payment of €100 per child. What do Germany value more, their cars or their children? Follow the money.

No WAS tomorrow: Next WAS will appear on Friday – I hope.

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2 of 3 comments
  • KalapanaBlack KalapanaBlack on Jan 14, 2009

    2200 department heads are encouraging their underlings to buy cars, so far more than 2200 people are being pushed to buy. Of course, the actual number of takers may amount to farting in the wind, but it's a larger effort than that, at least.

  • Rod Panhard Rod Panhard on Jan 14, 2009

    There's another way to look at it .... how many oil speculators did it take to drive the price of oil up to $150 per barrel?

  • MaintenanceCosts This class of car competes hard with Chargers/Challengers and modded diesel pickups for the douchey-driving crown.
  • 28-Cars-Later Corey - I think I am going to issue a fatwa demanding a cool kids car meetup in July somewhere in the Ohio region.
  • Master Baiter Might as well light 50 $100 bills on fire.
  • Mike1041 At $300K per copy they may secure as much as 2 or 3 deposits of $1,000
  • Sgeffe Why on Earth can’t you just get the torque specs and do it yourself if you’re so-inclined?!