TTAC News Round-up: Winterkorn Appears on BI Top 15 List, Oil Near 11-Year Low (Again), and Jeep Goes Online in India

Mark Stevenson
by Mark Stevenson

Where do you end up if you’re the former CEO of a company guilty of cheating diesel emissions tests, the fallout of which wipes out billions of dollars of value from said company? Business Insider’s “The 15 biggest career crashes of 2015” list, of course.

That, and Nissan prices the new Sentra, oil is still on a well-lubricated downhill slide, Jeep is now online in India, and more … after the break!

Even Maaco can’t fix Winterkorn’s career

Martin Winterkorn, former CEO of Volkswagen Group, has been listed on Business Insider’s “ The 15 biggest career crashes of 2015” list for that little diesel emissions mess. Other list attendees include child-pornography enthusiast Jared Fogle; the very-white former Spokane, Washington chapter NAACP president Rachel Dolezal; and that guy from Taco Bell who repeatedly punched his Uber driver for no reason while on camera.

“This activity has been going on for years, meaning Winterkorn either had full knowledge of the deception, and approved it, or he was negligent in uncovering and stopping it,” Kelley Blue Book talking head senior analyst Captain Obvious Karl Brauer said to BI. “Either situation reflects poorly on Winterkorn and his leadership skills, and given the tragic impact this scandal will have on VW, his resignation wasn’t just likely, but necessary.”

Oil, now just $36.69/barrel

Reuters is reporting the oil glut will continue thanks to Saudi Arabia’s insistence in ignoring supply and demand.

Brent crude sat at $36.69/barrell early Wednesday. WTI futures were trading at $36.67.

Instead of limiting production so as not to further the oil price slide, Saudi Arabia committed to drilling more and more so as to satisfy their deficit bill.

“We will satisfy the demand of our customers. We no longer limit production,” Saudi Arabia’s oil minister, Ali al-Naimi, told reporters, according to the Wall Street Journal.

2016 Nissan Sentra priced from $17,615*

Nissan announced its redesigned Sentra compact will be priced from $16,780 for the S six-speed manual model plus the inevitable $835 destination and handling charge you can’t avoid.

Most trims — FE+, SV, SR and SL — come standard with Nissan’s Xtronic continuously variable transmission. Only base S trim buyers get to pick between a CVT or six-speed manual.

From Nissan:

Fuel economy is rated at 29 mpg city, 38 mpg highway and 32 mpg combined with the Xtronic transmission. The Sentra FE+ S grade achieves 30 mpg city, 40 mpg highway and 34 mpg combined. The Sentra S with 6-speed manual transmission is rated at 27 mpg city, 36 mpg highway and 30 mpg combined.

Not bad, Nissan. Not bad.

Explore Delhi with a 6.4-liter HEMI V-8

On the cusp of the Delhi Auto Expo, Jeep has launched its website prior to the brand’s entry to the Indian market.

Jeep India will initially market imported versions of the Grand Cherokee (including the 6.4-liter V-8-powered SRT) and Wrangler Unlimited in the country. Jeep will begin building vehicles in India in 2017.

The Jeep brand officially launches in India in February 2016, reports Team-BHP.

Meet the new Mazda Roadstar. Say what?

It seems the creative department at Mazda went on a little bit of a bender the night before putting together these photos of the Mazda Roadster RS Racing Concept, expected to debut before the Tokyo Auto Salon.

Look at that front plate. Whoops!

At least the guy taking care of the rear image was conservative in his saké intake.

Mark Stevenson
Mark Stevenson

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  • APaGttH APaGttH on Dec 30, 2015

    Oil dipped below $35 a barrel and has bounced between $34 and change and pushing $40 since. Looking at supply, production, and demand, it is pretty amazing the price is that high to begin with. Hedge funds and traders got to cover those calls, and the expiration of contracts is what is driving the regular dips and rises we're seeing. Overall trend, considering OPEC isn't slowing down, Russia isn't slowing down, Iran can trade (which really wasn't a big impact), and the US ban on crude oil exports now dead, the market will have even more supply. The US ban on crude export doesn't just help the United States producers, but by proxy Canada and Mexico producers as well. RBOB continues to be disconnected from the price of a barrel of oil. Yes, the national average for gasoline is below $2.00 a gallon (barely) but it should be a good 25 to 30 cents cheaper. The national average is inflated a bit with west coast consumers paying from $2.10 to $2.70 a gallon regular (depending where you're at) because, ehem, ehem, there are, ehem, "supply" issues. Yaaaaaaay. Even a follower of the oil industry can shake their head at times when they look at the data and go, "what supply issues." Typical pattern is this is the basement, and the prices for RBOB start to creep up. If we continue to have a non-winter for much of the country, supply of crude will be ridiculous come the spring. One thing to look for with the export of US crude oil ban lifted, WTI should start moving closer to Brent in price. The WTI price index was created in part because of the ban. Waiting for UR-Turn to return.

    • Lorenzo Lorenzo on Dec 31, 2015

      Who is willing to wager that US production being exported will drive down the price of Brent, and not the reverse? Fracking is far from a mature technology and frackers are innovating and shaving costs out of necessity. Besides, a big increase in US crude production is from the Spraberry play in Texas' Midland Basin, long bypassed (once called the world's largest unrecoverable oil reserve), but now very economical due to horizontal drilling techniques that made fracking possible.

  • Krayzie Krayzie on Dec 31, 2015

    It should be Roadostar!

  • Calrson Fan Jeff - Agree with what you said. I think currently an EV pick-up could work in a commercial/fleet application. As someone on this site stated, w/current tech. battery vehicles just do not scale well. EBFlex - No one wanted to hate the Cyber Truck more than me but I can't ignore all the new technology and innovative thinking that went into it. There is a lot I like about it. GM, Ford & Ram should incorporate some it's design cues into their ICE trucks.
  • Michael S6 Very confusing if the move is permanent or temporary.
  • Jrhurren Worked in Detroit 18 years, live 20 minutes away. Ren Cen is a gem, but a very terrible design inside. I’m surprised GM stuck it out as long as they did there.
  • Carson D I thought that this was going to be a comparison of BFGoodrich's different truck tires.
  • Tassos Jong-iL North Korea is saving pokemon cards and amibos to buy GM in 10 years, we hope.