Halftime: Is Renault-Nissan World’s Largest Automaker? Tomorrow, We’ll Know

The Renault-Nissan Alliance jumped the gun today, and it announced its deliveries for the first half of the year. Tomorrow noon time, all Japanese automakers will release their numbers as scheduled, but now we know a day ahead that the Alliance delivered 5.27 million vehicles in the first six months, and that, at this point into the race, the number will make the Alliance at the very least the world’s second-largest automaker. When Toyota’s numbers will be announced tomorrow, we will know whether Toyota, or the Alliance has the bragging rights for world’s largest automaker at halftime.

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Ultrafast-Charging Solid-State EV Batteries Around The Corner, Toyota Confirms

Five years ago, Takeshi Uchiyamada was not yet chairman of Toyota, and I was still at Thetruthaboutcars. I went to a Toyota event in Tokyo, where Uchiyamada-san mentioned the possibility of a breakthrough solid-state battery. He had a small specimen of the battery, and it even powered a vehicle – a skateboard. I was told then it could take a decade before the solid-state battery powers a car, because that’s how long battery breakthroughs take to travel the distance from research lab to road. Half of the decade is past, and that timing still holds. In another five years, and if a report in a Japanese newspaper is to be believed, Toyota will have the key technology for wide-spread  adoption of battery-electric vehicles: Solid-state batteries with twice the range of today’s EVs, while charging only in minutes.

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German Car Cartel Triggers Rat-Out-Race Between Daimler, Volkswagen And BMW

One of the aims of the German car-cartel that became public over the weekend was to avoid “an arms race” of AdBlue tank sizes. Strangely, it turned into a race for who rats out whom first. According to a report in the usually well-informed Sueddeustche Zeitung [German], Daimler was first in coming clean with Germany’s and Europe’s cartel watchdogs, and it could avoid a multi-billion fine. Volkswagen came in second, and could get a 50% rebate on the punishment. BMW, one of the least suspicious in the dieselgate scandal, is kept holding the bag.

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First The Cartel, Now The Rebellion: Labor Leaders And Managers Demand Heads At VW

The explosive car cartel scandal that became public over the weekend could result in billions of fines for Daimler and BMW. For alleged co-conspirator Volkswagen, the scandal could turn into something much costlier: An open rebellion of the people who work there, from the rank and file all the way into the upper reaches of management. That rebellion is under way, and the rebels demand heads.

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Dieselgate Product Of Vast VW-BMW-Daimler Car Cartel Conspiracy, Fresh Report Says

Two years ago, the dieselgate scandal just started to unfold, I recommended to dig deeper, and to dig elsewhere than Volkswagen, because having worked in said Industry, I knew that dieselgate is everywhere. Everybody in the industry knew it, but nobody talked. In America, dieselgate-cheaters are behind bars, while in Europe, emissions cheating is treated as a lesser offense than illegal parking: Not a single fine was handed out in Europe. Today, peccadillo suddenly morphed into a monstrous antitrust case when it became known that dieselgate is the product of a secret cartel far beyond Volkswagen. “Audi, BMW, Daimler, Volkswagen, and Porsche colluded for years in more than 1000 meetings,” wrote Der Spiegel [German, paywall] today.

Germany’s Handelsblatt has a similar report.  EU antitrust regulators confirmed investigations, Reuters wrote.

The dieselgate scandal never was as simple as the common good prevailing over the villain Volkswagen. Today, we may begin to understand the true enormity of a scandal that involves a cabal of carmakers and politicians.

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More Than A Million Mercedes Diesel Cars Could Lose Their Type Approval, Court Said

Western Europe’s diesel car share “has continued its seemingly unwavering downhill slide,” the exclusive AID newsletter told its industry customers. In the course of one year, the diesel take rate dropped from 54.7% in France to 48.2%, and in Germany from 46.3% to 40.4%. Threatened by lock-outs from Europe’s inner cities, new car buyers seek the relative safety of gasoline cars. Prices of used diesel cars are dropping, writes Germany’s Welt. New developments could turn the diesel-flight into a stampede: A German court said that more than a million of Mercedes-Benz diesel cars could lose their type approval, and would be illegal to drive if Daimler AG is found guilty of using illegal defeat devices.

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Germany Arrests, U.S. Indicts Fired Audi Dieselgate Engineer

German authorities no longer treat Volkswagen’s dieselgate scandal as a gentlemen’s offense, like they have done so since after the scandal erupted nearly two years ago. Earlier in the week, suspended Audi diesel engine engineer Giovanni Pamio was arrested by Munich’s prosecutors, Germany’s BILD and Spiegel Magazin wrote today. Yesterday, the manager was charged in the U.S. with conspiracy, wire fraud, and making false statements. Pamio is an Italian citizen, and as such could be extradited from Germany.

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Renault-Nissan Alliance To Electrify China’s Trucks And Vans

Accompanied by the usual media crescendo, albeit without putting his words into action, Tesla’s Elon Musk has been talking a lot about launching electric trucks, and starting production of EVs in China. World’s leading EV maker, the Renault-Nissan Alliance, again is way ahead of Tesla, on both counts. Not only does the Alliance already have a few hard working electrified commercial vehicles in its blue collar portfolio. The Alliance also has firm plans to produce many of them in China, Ashwani Gupta, Alliance senior vice president of a recently created Renault-Nissan LCV Business Unit, told me.

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