Porsche 911 Carrera. Now With 4WD. Again

Porsche saw the Paris Motor Show coming, and asked: “Und was zeigen wir denn da?” A Porsche FNG had an idea: “How about a 4WD Porsche 911 Carrera?” The others rolled their eyes: “Been done before.” The FNG did not give up: “How about a new 4WD Porsche 911 Carrera then?” And so it happened.

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Paper: Opel To Cut Each Third Job In Germany. Opel: Nonsense

New panic at GM’s European Opel dependence: Opel needs to shed 30 percent of its workers. This is the supposed target of a “secret strategy” that has been agreed between Opel and GM, says BILD, Europe’s largest circulation newspaper under the headline “One out of three jobs imperiled!”

Based on an anonymous inside source, BILD writes about a three-step phased plan:

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A Marriage That Actually Works: Nissan And Daimler Break Taboos, Build Joint Cars

The German edition of the Financial Times has a story about “broken taboos.” It says that “smaller Mercedes models and cars of Nissan’s premium division Infiniti could together roll off the assembly lines in 2016.” The FTD heard that the joint car could be “a small SUV, possibly based on the Mercedes A or B class.” Reuters has a good English abstract of the German story. Apparently, the FTD was asleep when a major busting of taboos was perpetrated in the beginning of the year.

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Opel Sends Workers Home

GM’s troubled German daughter will close its main factory in Rüsselsheim and its component plant in Kaiserslautern for a total of four weeks in response to a drop in demand for cars in Europe.

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More Car, Less Filling: Volkswagen Launches New Golf Generation

It’s a little less than 40 years ago that a newly minted copywriter called Bertel Schmitt wrote his first ads for a newly minted car called Volkswagen Golf. As chronicled in the Autobiography of BS, the car became an involuntary star. At its launch, everybody at Volkswagen was convinced it would be a dud.

29 million cars later, the Golf is one of the world’s most sold cars, and by large Volkswagen’s most important. In a few weeks, Volkswagen will launch its all—new seventh generation of the Golf, the emm-kay seven in blogger parlance. This is a make-or-break launch. If something would go wrong with this launch, it would be doubly bad for Volkswagen. The new Golf also is the first Volkswagen that is based on VW’s new modular MQB architecture.

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Born From Props: Rolls Royce Presents Supermarine S6B Inspired Special Model Collection

This will be a wee complicated and very British: The Schneider Trophy, a prize competition for seaplanes was won several times by a Supermarine S6B, which in turn was powered by a Rolls-Royce R Type engine. Follow so far? What does this have to do with cars? Honestly, not the foggiest. But Rolls-Royce Motor Cars proudly presents the Phantom Coupé Aviator Collection, which is said to be inspired by said seaplanes. Still with me? Alright.

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GM's Opel: Workers, Go Home

GM’s Opel unit is faced with dwindling demand and wants to shorten workers’ hours at its Rüsselsheim plant, media from Reuters to Germany’s Manager Magazin report. Rüsselsheim makes the Opel Insignia, and for that, the rapidly deteriorating southern European markets are especially important, an Opel spokesman said. A shortened work week at Opel’s engine plant in Kaiserslautern is also being negotiated, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung says. However, this is Germany, and it is not as easy as is sounds.

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WSJ Catches BMW Goosing Sales Numbers, Misses Volt Goosing

The Wall Street Journal has an extensive report in which Neal Boudette caught BMW cheating with its sales numbers. Boudette unmasked the shocking practice of car makers selling cars to dealers instead to customers: “Hundreds of BMWs counted as sold in July remain in showroom inventories and are still advertised for sale as new cars, according to dealers.” The WSJ dug deeper into the scandal.

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Emasculated Americans FAIL Porsche Bigtime. Losers!

Europeans: Use instead of Euros. Americans: Use it as a screensaver

Shame, yes, shame on you, Americans, you horrible people. You are the weakest of the globe – when it comes to Porsche’s July numbers. Porsche sales in the U.S. climbed only a miserable one percent. At the same time, people in Europe withdrew their last sinking Euros from faltering banks and moved them to the safety of a new 911 or Cayman.

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GM Europe Springs A Huge Leak: Explosive Production Plans To Trigger Wrath Of The French

While in Detroit the leaking remains limited to gossip and innuendo, Opel in Germany sprung a Deepwater Horizon–sized leak that could pollute the political landscape for years. The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung says it is in possession of something that is regarded as part of the crown jewels of a car company: The long-term production plan through the next decade. It’s bad enough that a paper publishes closely guarded secrets – their publication could blow-up the plan.

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Volvo: No, Jacoby Will Not Run Opel
“There is no substance behind the rumors about Stefan Jacoby leaving Volvo Car Corporation,” a spokesman for Volvo Cars told Reuters. He had to, because Sweden’s Dagens Industri named Jacoby as a candidate for the dangerous job as Opel CEO.
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Former Porsche Managers To Be Charged For Stock Manipulation

After three years of work, police in Germany concluded its probe into the affair surrounding the failed takeover of Volkswagen by Porsche. Former Porsche CEO Wendelin Wiedeking and his then CFO Holger Haerter have been investigated for market manipulation. According to Der Spiegel, the public prosecutor in Stuttgart, Germany, will charge the duo. Reuters heard meanwhile that the trigger is not yet being pulled, and that the two have three suspense-filled months ahead of them.

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Germany In July 2012: Down. Opel: Way Down

German new car sales are no longer Teflon-coated. New car sales in Deutschland were down 5 percent in July, Germany’s Kraftfahrtbundesamt reports.

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Toyota Raises Bar To 10 Million Units, Too High For GM

Toyota has decided to increase global production this year by about 300,000 units, The Nikkei [sub] reports, as usual for the Nikkei without quoting sources. If this is true, then it would bring global production numbers for Toyota and Lexus close to 9 million for the year. With Daihatsu and Hino, that number would be around 10 million. That is too high for GM to reach.

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BMW Slays European Dragon In China And America

It’s not all blood and tears in Europe. Actually, the bloodier Europe looks, and the more Marchionne & Co do cry, the bigger the smiles at European carmakers with heavy exposure to foreign markets. The Euro is way down, and a low Euro means heavy profits from abroad – if you have business abroad. BMW sure does, and it posted its second best quarterly earnings in company history. Profit before financial result (EBIT) amounted to € 2.27 billion in the April-June 2012 quarter.

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  • Sgeffe Any PR position seems to require a Marketing degree (which I hope is a Bachelor of Science degree, but I digress! ;-) )And as I've opined before, all a Marketing degree really consists of is a degree in shoveling bovine excrement!
  • Dwford Ford. They have over committed to EVs with the cancellation of all sedans as well as the recent cancellations of most of their gas crossovers. Too soon. GM has a whole new lineup of gas crossovers coming, while also introducing new EVs: the correct strategy.
  • The Oracle The Chinese team needs a new name other than something you’d find on Amazon for a cheap product.
  • FreedMike Smart idea. EVs are a far easier sell to someone who can charge them at home.
  • Dwford This is just going to become part of selling EVs. Automakers need to make it as simple as possible to buy an EV. And the process of hiring an electrician etc is a barrier many people will not want to deal with.