Bertel Schmitt is in Shanghai the whole week, and behind the infamous firewall. This might, and most likely will, impede the posting of news and articles during this week.
Tis the season when car executives all over the globe either go home to their families, or go on vacation with their families to far-away lands. It also is a Christmas tradition that the Dailykanban takes a week off. We’ll use it to re-charge our batteries, to scarf-up all the food in sight, and we shall return on Monday, January 2nd.
When we get our hands on an exclusive document here at the Daily Kanban, we tend to write long and in-depth analyses. It’s just what we do. But because our latest document haul contains some cool facts that didn’t make it into our story and because we’re eager to show off our fun-loving, light-hearted sides we thought we would put together a listicle. Yes, like Buzzfeed. Just a good, old-fashioned list of things you might not have known, presented in a way that won’t take long to read and will hopefully make you smile. Because here at the Daily Kanban, learning can be fun!
The imbroglio surrounding Model S ball-joints and gag orders for Tesla customers could have been avoided, or at least drastically minimized, would Tesla not have emulated the worst trait of a certain few legacy automakers, namely their hubris and conceit.
Before the story that set the scandal in motion was published, Tesla and the NHTSA were asked by the Daily Kanban to respond to the questions that were raised in the story. Tesla ignored the request.
If Tesla would have responded, saying that it is aware of these allegations, and that according to its investigation, 37 out of 40 suspension complaints were bogus, and filed by a single guy in Australia, the story would have taken a different turn.
If Tesla would have responded with the statement that it is aware that the NDAs may cause unfortunate confusion, and that it already is in discussion with the NHTSA to change that language, the story would have turned out differently, or it may not have been written at all. If the answer would have been that all NDAs, useless and unenforceable as they are, would be expunged forthwith, Tesla would have been feted as a paragon of “the customer comes first.”
However, Tesla preferred to ignore the request. [Continue Reading]
In the eight and a half years since I began studying and writing about the auto industry in a professional capacity, my positions on the topics of the day have rarely failed to cause some level of controversy. I’ve long since lost count of the number of enraged comments, emails and tweets my writing has inspired, and I’ve even had my last name mocked by the White House press secretary during a press gaggle on Air Force One after an Op-Ed I wrote for the New York Times was misquoted by Rush Limbaugh. Once the spokesman of the leader of the free world has made an “Animal House” joke at your expense, every subsequent howl of outrage tends to fade into the background a bit … at least until the most influential automaker in the world smears you with the baseless innuendo and outright lies.
Ever since Tesla Motors wrote a salty blog post responding to my investigation of its use of non-disclosure agreements in return for “goodwill repairs,” a thousand flowers of anger, hatred and slander have bloomed across the internet. An online lynch mob, seemingly unleashed by Tesla and its CEO Elon Musk, has flooded social media, forums and comment sections with false and defamatory statements about me, my motivations and my reporting. Were these attacks in any way fact-based or substantive, we might be able to have an interesting and illuminating debate about the issue at hand. But because Tesla apparently chose to attack me personally, in vicious, indiscriminate terms seemingly calculated to cause as much harm to my professional credibility as possible, it’s time to get truly salty. In fact, if you’re following a low-sodium diet, you may want to go ahead and stop reading now.
The 2015 Tokyo Auto Salon opened its doors yesterday to throngs of people who took the pilgrimage to Makuhari Messe, a site that is so far out that it already is in Chiba. TAS 2015 is a must-go confab of wrenchers and wenches, it is mass worship of body modifications (both kinds,) and bolt-ons (both kinds.) The rites at the annual celebration are performed by pagan nuns in traditional attire. Following the traditions of TAS, there usually is very little attire. Which is made up by a lot of attitude.
(Careful: The following pictures will tax the bandwidth or your Internet connection, and the limits of good taste. In certain jurisdictions, if found with these pictures, you might be beheaded. Elsewhere, you may simply lose your head.)
We apologize, but you will have to get by without the usual Dailykanban fare for a few days. Ed is in Paris with his true love Andrea, and lovers in Paris, what shall I say. I am off to China to hunt down a very interesting exclusive story.
I will try filling the pages to the best of my capabilities. However, doing it from China might be very hard. Our Morning News depend heavily on Google searches, but Google and China don’t get along. One used to be able to get around the firewall with a VPN, but with the help of Cisco, VPNs and China also no longer get along.
Ed and I will be back on November 4th.
This is the time for introspection in the auto industry, and for racking up a last batch of frequent flyer miles. The increasingly expatriate management of global automakers is filling the Delta flight from Shanghai to Detroit, Lufthansa from Beijing to Frankfurt, ANA from Guangzhou to Narita. In Europe, executives traditionally max out the calendar (take 5 days off, gain two weeks of holidays) and won’t be back before January 6th. In America, they celebrate the first real you-know-what since carmageddon. Even in busy-beaver Japan, they will stop working for 5 minutes , to celebrate oshogatsu (New Year) with mochi (rice cakes) and perhaps the ritual hime hajime (NSFW in the U.S.).
Only the Daily Kanban won’t rest.