A day after Volkswagen’s dieselgate scandal (U.S. edition) hit, my former charges at Thetruthaboutcars started to add-up the possible cost of bringing an affected VW in compliance – a frivolous undertaking, given the fact that back on September 22, nobody except a couple of rogue coders had heard of a defeat device, not to mention the fact that the BOM list and number of work-hours remain a mystery to this day. Then, TTAC wrote that “any sort of recall repair work would need to be weighed against the cost for VW to buy back its own cars.” With that, they hit pay-dirt. Buy back is what Volkswagen is going to do. [Continue Reading]
Global automakers look for untapped growth markets, and with Antarctica looking less than promising, Africa is the last continent left that is worthwhile to be put on four wheels. Africa as a whole has more than a billion people, which puts it in the same league as China or India. As a new car market, however, Africa shrinks to the size of France. About 1.7 million new automobiles change hands in Africa annually. But then, that was the size of the Chinese market only some two or three model cycles ago, and look at it now. No wonder that automakers with a longer horizon than the next quarter are setting their sights on Africa – only to find out that it has been taken over by Toyota, and that for more than 50 years already.