Thursday morning car news roundup, July 31, 2014

Thursday - Picture courtesy

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World’s largest automakers 2014: Toyota first, Volkswagen second, GM third. And this is how the year is going to end – probably

Akio Toyoda - picture courtesy Bertel Schmitt

The world’s largest automakers have handed in their production numbers for the first half of the year. As predicted, the race is tight. However, the rankings have not changed. Six months into the year, Toyota is well ahead of number two Volkswagen, with GM only 50,000 units behind in number three. The stats are deceiving, and GM’s chances to get to the number two spot by year end are next to nil. [ Continue Reading...]

Wednesday morning car news roundup, July 30, 2014


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Japanese automakers: The currency party is over

Honda - Picture courtesy Bertel Schmitt

A year ago, Ford execs all the way to Mulally riled against a weaker yen, saying it gives Japanese automakers an unfair advantage. Indeed, when the abnormally strong yen came back to acceptable levels later in the year, profits of Japanese automakers surged. That party appears to be over. Yesterday, Nissan reported no appreciable currency effects on its earnings. Today, Honda reported same. [ Continue Reading...]

Tuesday morning car news roundup, July 29, 2014

Tuesday - Picture courtesy

 Honda's quarterly profit up on Asian sales growth - DetN: Honda's quarterly profit surged nearly 20 percent on demand for remodeled cars in Japan and elsewhere in Asia. The Japanese automaker also raised its full-year profit and sales … [Continue reading]

Champs Tesla and Google are chumps in China: Model S sans sat nav, China closed to self-driving cars


For years, Detroit has produced very little to be proud of. In search of the all-American auto hero, journalists and Wall Street alike turn to Tesla and Google. Both are very light on unit sales, but big on lofty promises. Tesla promises to save the … [Continue reading]

Nissan’s currency gains in Japan evaporate in Russia

Nissan Q1 - Picture courtesy Bertel Schmitt

Nissan presented a stellar quarter today to the media assembled at the Yokohama headquarters. Forex gains had a big impact on the earnings of Japan’s automakers in the past quarters. Not this time, at least not at Nissan. … [Continue reading]

Monday morning car news roundup, July 28, 2014

monday picture courtesy

US: NHTSA probes into Dodge Chargers, Hyundai Sonatas and Isuzu trucks - Just-auto:Following several complaints of defects, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is probing Dodge Chargers, Hyundai Sonatas and Isuzu … [Continue reading]

From The Boneyard

Parade - Picture courtesy

For more than ten years, every word a certain top executive of Volkswagen uttered in public was pure BS. I wrote his speeches. I wrote articles under his name. I even ghostwrote a book for him. I studied his mannerisms, his way of thinking and talking. He slowly but surely slipped into the role for which I wrote the script. He’s retired now, but still is a sought-after speaker on the conference circuit.

He liked to live and work on the edge, and I gladly walked him there. We had a strange symbiotic relationship. His trust in me bordered on the obscene. Even before major strategy announcements, his brief for the speech usually amounted to: “You know what to write.” He rarely did read the speech before giving it. He always delivered it with great aplomb and usually to thundering applause. I could put practically any word into his mouth. Power that had to be used wisely. [ Continue Reading...]

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