Dastardly Diesels: Suzuki and Jeep Busted Breaking EU Emissions Rules

While Volkswagen remains the industrial face of diesel-related scandals, it’s just one of many automakers fingered for emissions cheating. VW was simply the first to be dragged through the coals, and its great shame encouraged governments around the world to launch investigations into whether or not other manufacturers are guilty of similarly uncouth behavior.

Dutch road authority RDW has a problem with diesel models produced by Jeep and Suzuki. While Europe has fallen out of love with the diesel of late, the accusations are a little worse than simply falling to adhere to EU emission standards. RDW says the two automakers used “prohibited emissions strategies” that allowed vehicles to emit higher levels of nitrogen oxide (NOx) on the road than during testing conditions.

Read more
Rare Rides: A 1972 DAF 66 Two-Door Wagon, Small and Not Quite a Volvo

Today’s Rare Ride is from an automaker headquartered in the Netherlands which faded away long ago. It’s a little DAF 66, from 1972.

Read more
Marching to the Beat of a Different Hum: 'Singing' Highway Turns Into 'Psychological Torture' for Residents

We’ve all been annoyed by an “earworm” in our lives — a catchy song that, even if you don’t like it, refuses to vacate your mind. Starship’s egregious, overplayed sell-out hit “We Built This City” falls firmly in this category. Grace Slick should be ashamed.

For residents living off the N357 highway near the Dutch town of Jelsum, however, this constantly repeating tune was the anthem of the Friesland region — but it wasn’t just in their heads. Blame motorists, a well-meaning but short-sighted local government, and patriotism.

Read more
'Green Cars Only' Laws: Coming to a Debate Near You
When you’re in conversation with a self-described urbanist, it’s usually impossible to avoid numerous references to Amsterdam, that progressive utopia of bikes, tulips, marijuana-smoking tourists, and more bikes.Well, expect to hear about it even more, now that Dutch parliament has passed a Dutch Labor Party motion to ban the sale of internal combustion vehicles in that country after 2025, according to Auto Express. The bill, which requires senate approval to become the law of the land, would see existing gas and diesel vehicles grandfathered, and the sale of new ones banned.
Read more
Study: Virtual Drivers Possible Key Toward Autonomous Vehicle Acceptance

Virtual drivers may be the key to developing trust in autonomous vehicles, so long as those drivers are quicker on the draw than Johnny Cab in an emergency.

Read more
Marchionne's Choice of Fiat-Chrysler HQ Weighs Political Realities Against Lower Taxes

Now that Sergio Marchionne has succeeded in joining Fiat and Chrysler together, for his next act he’s planning on moving Fiat’s headquarters out of Italy. While such a move has tax advantages, it would present a political and public relations challenge for Fiat and Marchionne in their home country. According to Reuters, the new entity, dubbed Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, will be a Dutch-based company with a UK tax domicile, while shares are listed on the NYSE with a secondary listing in Milan.

Marchionne is aware that locating the headquarters outside of Italy, where Fiat has operated for 115 years and has received government funding, or outside the United States, where Chrysler was bailed out by the federal government, could make waves and there is the possibility that the Italian government might intervene. “I’ve seen weirder things happen,” Marchionne said to journalists at the recent Detroit auto show. “So I sincerely hope they don’t create obstacles.”

Read more
Car Carrier Sinks In The North Sea

1,400 new cars, most of them Mitsubishis on their way from Japan and Thailand to Finland went to the bottom of an icy North Sea when the 485 foot car carrier Baltic Ace sunk off the coast of the southern Netherlands last night.

Read more
Return Of The Zombies: Spyker, Youngman, Phoenix

Victor Muller managed to sell out to China after all. Today it was announced (full press release here) that Muller’s Spyker and former Saab suitor Youngman will form two companies. Spyker calls them “joint ventures,” but they look more like companies owned mostly by Youngman, with Spyker holding a token share.

Read more
Saab To China

As expected, troubled Saab has been thrown a lifeline by China’s Hawtai. Spyker announced today that its Swedish unit Saab has secured €150 million ($222.5 million) in funding from Hawtai. The Chinese company will be able to produce and sell Saab cars in China.

Hawtai will invest €120 million for a 29.9 percent stake in Spyker and provide a €30 million ($44.6 million) convertible loan to Saab. If the convert is exercised (which is pretty much a given – it matures in 6 months with a 7 percent interest rate) it converts at €4.88 a share, says the Wall Street Journal.

Read more
"They Cannot Pay Their Bills." Saab Stops Production Yet Again

Yesterday, Spyker CEO Muller said everything is peachy. Saab “is not on the verge of collapse,” Muller said to a rapt audience of reporters, while, as Reuters snidely remarked, “Saab was presenting new vehicles already shown at the Geneva auto show.” Muller promised that “a small glitch does not change the fact that cars are being made,” and that Saab would have the widest and newest range in its history next year. This year? No problem at all. Just that output would be more weighted towards the second half of the year. Which in itself would be a miracle, and outpacing the competition, because in Europe, auto sales are more weighted towards the first half of the year. This was yesterday. Now is today.

Read more
Saab In Trouble Over Unpaid Bills

While other manufacturers have problems getting parts, Saab has problems getting parts. But for different reasons.

“Production at Saab stopped for a second day on Wednesday as the money-losing automaker faces payment problems with its suppliers,” reports Automotive News [sub]. They add that Saab said it will start production again on Thursday, after money problems have been settled. According to the Automotive News report, Saab made a very inadvisable move: They did not pay their shipping company.

Read more
Saab Needs Help (Again) (Updated)


Remember the 4 “dead brands” walking? Pontiac, Saturn, Hummer and Saab? Seems like a long time ago. Who’d have thought Saab would be the last brand standing? Arguably, the one of the weakest brands of them all. At least Hummer and Saturn had genuine interest. But Saab found a Dutch white knight (a white knight with a 3 legged horse and a rusty sword), in Spyker and survived. It really started heads scratching as to how a damaged brand and a never profitable car maker could survive in an industry where size is king. But it seems the Dutch-Swedish venture may be getting some help from an unlikely source.

Read more
Spyker And Saab In Deep Trouble

When Spyker bought Saab from GM, they bit off too much than they can chew. Spyker is upside down, under water, or whatever you call it when you have negative equity. They just announced that their debt exceeds their capital. And it looks like they have been dipped by GM: “The negative equity is due to the preferred shares that were issued to GM.”

Read more
Nasty Securities Laws Make Spyker's Muller Use The Cyprus Connection

Ah, the tangled web of automotive high finance. Victor Muller, CEO and largest shareholder of Dutch automaker Spyker Cars said “oops” (or Dutch words to that effect) and reduced his voting interest is Spyker from 34.3 percent to 26.8 percent.

Why? It just dawned on Muller (or his CPAs) that with more than 30 percent he would have had to make a buyout offer for the rest of the shares. After having gobbled up Saab through complex dealings involving Russian money of dubious provenance, being forced to buy out the whole company because of some silly law wasn’t a high priority for Muller.

Rules are rules, so what’s a newly minted tycoon to do?

Read more
Resuscitated Saab Makes Cars Again

Saab is in full re-start mode. A few days ago, we reported that Saab is re-starting incentives. Now, they are re-starting production. Germany’s Automobilwoche [sub] reports that “after a one and a half month pause, Saab is building cars again.” Now under the ownership of the Dutch boutique maker Spyker. They even hired a new sales chief, Adrian Hallmark, formerly Executive Director Asia at Volkswagen AG and Executive Vice President at Volkswagen of America. According to Automobilwoche, Hallmark faces “a formidable task.”

Read more
  • Namesakeone If you want a Thunderbird like your neighbor's 1990s model, this is not the car. This is a Fox-body car, which was produced as a Thunderbird from MY 1980 through 1988 (with styling revisions). The 1989-1997 car, like your neighbor's, was based on the much heavier (but with independent rear suspension) MN-15 chassis.
  • Inside Looking Out I watched only his Youtube channel. Had no idea that there is TV show too. But it is 8 years or more that I cut the cable and do not watch TV except of local Fox News. There is too much politics and brainwashing including ads on TV. But I am subscribed to CNBC Youtube channel.
  • Jeff S Just to think we are now down to basically 3 minivans the Chrysler Pacifica, Honda Odyssey, Toyota Sienna. I wonder how much longer those will last. Today's minivan has grown in size over the original minivans and isn't so mini anymore considering it is bigger than a lot of short wheel based full size vans from the 70s and 80s. Back in the 70s and 80s everything smaller was mini--mini skirt, mini fridge, mini car, and mini truck. Mini cars were actually subcompact cars and mini trucks were compact trucks. Funny how some words are so prevalent in a specific era and how they go away and are unheard of in the following decades.
  • Jeff S Isn't this the same van Mercury used for the Villager? I believe it was the 1s and 2nd generations of this Quest.
  • VoGhost I don't understand the author's point. Two of the top five selling vehicles globally are Teslas. We have great data on the Model 3 for the past 5 years. What specifically is mysterious about used car values?