When will Chinese carmakers follow the Japanese, and Korean example, and take over the world? If it happens, who will it be? Sitting at a desk overlooking a glitzy Shanghai skyline that can put Manhattan, or downtown Tokyo to shame, I predict that scrappy Geely will be at the vanguard of Chinese automakers to take on the world. I write this after having seen Geely’s R&D center in Hangzhou, after having talked to its production engineers in Geely’s hometown some three hours south of Shanghai, and after having been granted a rare glimpse behind the closed doors of the company’s design studios in Shanghai. I am rarely impressed, but I am.
Red alert in Wolfsburg. Not because of dieselgate, people can learn to cope. Volkswagen folks are worried about rumors of an incoming Ariane Reinhart as head of VW’s HR. “This would be a true catastrophe,” a terrified voice on Volkswagen’s Hallway Radio told the Dailykanban today. [Continue Reading]
NOxious #dieselgate emissions have decimated rows of Volkswagen managers. Now, the deadly diesel discharges are beginning to poison careers of top managers at Audi. After Monday’s revelation that Audi-developed 3 liter diesels also contain cheater-software, Audi’s CEO Rupert Stadler has come under intensive fire. Volkswagen chief Matthias Müller is livid, Volkswagen’s hallway radio says. Müller trusted Stadler’s solemn vow that Audi is clean, and he looks like a liar. Stadler doesn’t think of stepping down, German media says, but the hallway radio already has a candidate for Stadler’s throne. [Continue Reading]
In one or two weeks’ time, a sudden end will come to the much communicated story that diesel cheating is an isolated matter, only performed by criminals at Volkswagen. Dailykanban received information that in one or two weeks, a number of other automakers will be exposed as diesel cheaters. A Volkswagen problem will turn into an industry-wide systemic problem, and it could very well be the beginning of the end of diesel-powered cars. [Continue Reading]
Yesterday, I sat down with Vincent Cobee, head of Datsun, to discuss his plans for Nissan’s decidedly non-upscale brand. In the middle of the discussion, Cobee mused that “Nissan has become the breeding ground for top management of luxury car makers.” And right he was. [Continue Reading]
On Monday, Volkswagen’s Supervisory Board convened an emergency meeting to work off the overload of bad news. The Hallway Radio characterized the atmosphere as “icy” and erratic: “Meeting often breaks into small groups, nobody trusts nobody,” a Hallway Radio reporter texted, using – nobody trusts nobody – the Snowden-approved unbreakable Signal app. [Continue Reading]
Nerves are frayed in Wolfsburg, laid bare by the never-ending barrage of bad news. The suffering is getting so huge that cutting Volkswagen’s head off to end the pain becomes a viable option. Should the scandal spread from diesel to a large number of gasoline driven cars, VW’s new CEO Matthias Müller, along with Volkswagen’s complete Board of Management, will be replaced, says the Hallway Radio. [Continue Reading]
Volkswagen’s hallway radio is humming with talk about a possible new cheat: Volkswagen sells 8 speed transmissions, but the on-board computer allows use of only 7 speeds. “Am hearing that the 8 speed automatic of the Touareg uses software that is programmed for 7 speeds only,” a Volkswagen manager tells the Dailykanban. [Continue Reading]