Inspection scandal crimps chances for top spot

Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa and CCO Yasuhiro Yamauchi in Yokohama (c) Bertel Schmitt

A quality inspection scandal that taxes the comprehension of anyone outside of Japan throws a monkey wrench into Carlos Ghosn’s aspirations to make the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance the world’s largest automaker. [Continue Reading]

Don’t even think it: No, China is not caving in to Tesla

Customs checkpoint at the Xiamen Free Trade Zone. Picture courtesy brics2017.org

When you read this, you probably have heard that China is doing away with its requirement that foreign automakers need a 50:50 Chinese partner before they can make automobiles in the Middle Kingdom, the only legal way to avoid the country’s egregious 25% import tax. You will also have heard that this will open the gates to Tesla’s ultimate domination of the world’s largest car market, and especially of the world’s largest electric car market. If you haven’t heard, you certainly will.

There is only one problem: It is not true. Car companies indeed will be able to build EVs on Chinese soil, and on their own, but they won’t get around the tax, and therefore won’t be competitive with indigenous products. [Continue Reading]

China NEV Weekly, Episode 3: Electric sports cars, electric Trucks

Welcome to Episode 3 of the China NEV Weekly, where we look at the latest New Energy Vehicles from China. Today with electric sports cars, trendy electric minis, and big electric trucks. Yes, trucks. Been there, done that.

[Continue Reading]

Tesla fans: Study Ford’s China joint venture very carefully

Send in the clones: Zotye’s Macan left, Porsche’s Macan right – Pictures Carnewschina.com

Hopping on the Chinese EV bandwagon, and trying to comply with looming tough EV mandates in China, U.S. carmaker Ford has signed a joint venture agreement with Zotye Auto to make low-cost electric cars in China. Investors in Californian carmaker Tesla should closely study this agreement.

The jointly produced cars won’t be sold as Ford cars, but under “a new brand,” Ford group vice president Peter Fleet told Reuters. Why would Ford give up the strong brand cachet it has, and embark on the long, arduous, and expensive schlep to build a new brand nobody has ever heard of? Simple answer: [Continue Reading]

Nissan sells some 14,000 of the new electric LEAF in its first month

Nissan domestic sales chief Asako Hoshino: “Sold 9,600 LEAF in Japan.” (c) Bertel Schmitt

The new 2018 Nissan LEAF went on sale in Japan on October 1st, “and demand was strong to say the least,” rejoices InsideEVs. “Better still, Nissan knows what to do with demand – fill it! What is “simply amazing” is how Nissan shows it in September, then sells the pants off it in October. For October, the LEAF set a new all-time sales record with 3,629 deliveries! Making the LEAF the 19th bestselling car in Japan for the month.”

Wait until InsideEVs hears this:

Including pre-orders, the LEAF actually sold 9,600 units in Japan in October. Together with a little over 4,000 LEAFs sold in Europe, Nissan’s 2nd generation EV found around 14,000 happy buyers globally by end of October, and wait until it comes to the U.S., where it should be available in January.

[Continue Reading]

China NEV Weekly, episode 2: Blue is the new green in red China

China NEV Weekly

Welcome to Episode 2 of the China NEV Weekly, where we look at the latest New Energy Vehicles from China. While Tesla fans may have to wait years for their Model 3, there rarely is a week without new EVs, cranked-out by bustling Chinese OEMs. This week in CNW: NextEV goes downmarket, an (oh, dear) electric coffee car, EVs for less than the (possibly expiring) federal tax credit, and blue is the new green, also in red China.

[Continue Reading]

Andy Palmer: Beautiful Aston Martin to become luxury goods conglomerate, take on Bentley and Rolls-Royce

Andy Palmer: “Our brand purpose is ‘For the love of beautiful.’” (c) Bertel Schmitt

“We don’t want to be just a luxury brand like Chanel, or Tag Heuer. We go to the group level, we aim to be a little bit like Richemont, or LVMH,” Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer told me yesterday in Tokyo.

Richemont is a Swiss-based luxury goods holding with brands such as Van Cleef & Arpels, Baume & Mercier, Cartier, and many more. Its French pendant is LVMH. Born out of the fusion of Louis Vuitton and Moet Hennessy, LVMH is known in affluent circles for brands like Dior, Fendi, Bulgari, Moët & Chandon, or Kenzo. [Continue Reading]

China NEV Weekly, episode 1: EVs with Chinese characteristics

Welcome to the China NEV Weekly, where we look at the latest New Energy Vehicles from China. NEV is an official government classification that includes three kinds of vehicles: EVs, PHEV, and hydrogen cars.

NEVs are subsidized by the central and local government to a maximum of about 90,000 yuan ( $13,570). On top of that, many cities offer extra perks including free license plates and free parking lots.

[Continue Reading]