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]

Tesla about to lose a big chunk of one of its most important markets, Norway

Ice age ahead: Model S in Norway (Picture: Youtube)

For electric carmaker Tesla, Norway is a paradise. Lavish tax breaks for electric cars, combined with expropriative taxes on gas cars (such as “total taxes for a Chevrolet Camarao V6? 125,000 dollars” as a Redditor writes) are the reason why nearly one in every ten Tesla cars go to the rugged and cold 5 million people country in Scandinavia. In yet another blow in a rough week, Tesla is about to lose its Nordic paradise.

“Norway plans to trim lavish tax breaks for Tesla and other electric cars that have given it the world’s highest rate of battery-vehicle ownership,” Reuters wrote today after reading a proposal by Norway’s right-wing government. At closer reading, one sees that the main target is Tesla. [Continue Reading]

Thursday morning car news roundup, September 15, 2016

Today is Thursday

Top News:

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Volkswagen’s Matthias Müller Loses Face And A Friend, VW Unions Victorious

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Volkswagen customers the world over are still waiting for the definitive dieselgate fix. Meanwhile, the company is busy with itself.

Volkswagen CEO Matthias Müller lost a boardroom showdown with the company’s powerful union, along with an important lieutenant, Germanys BILD Zeitung says. According the in VW matters usually well informed paper, Müller wanted to reinstall Porsche ’s R&D chief Wolfgang Hatz. The request was denied.

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Dieselgate Reaches Daimler: A Defeat Device By Another Name

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Europe’s auto industry is desperately trying to paint dieselgate as an isolated lapse of judgement by Volkswagen, while Volkswagen is desperately trying to paint dieselgate as the work of a “couple of engineers” lacking parental supervision. The transparent paint-job has received a huge crack today when Germany’s Daimler AG was found using the defeat device Daimler’s mustachioed CEO Dieter Zetsche has sworn not to exist.

Except that Daimler doesn’t call it a defeat device.

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Despite Brussels Proposals, EU Carmakers And Regulators Continue To Live In Sin

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Pass!

According to euromyths, and all too often according to law, everything in Europe is regulated by commissars in Brussels, from the bend radius of bananas (law repealed) to a ban on eating your pet horse (law in effect.) Everything but automobiles, as it turns out. There is no central oversight, the decision on what cars are allowed on Europe’s roads rests solely in the hands of individual member states. If a EU state does not want to take action against a misbehaving national carmaker, there is nobody in Europe who can. Governments have a vested interest, if not outright shares, in their carmakers, which explains why no EU government has imposed a penalty on Volkswagen, never mind that some 8.5 million of the 11 million vehicles globally equipped with VW’s defeat devices are on Europe’s roads, emitting massive doses of cancer-causing gases with barely a finger-wagging. In light of the scandal, there is a proposal circulating in Brussels that wants to tighten the loose rules.

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Dieselgate Cover-up Runs Into Opposition

Get on with it

Get on with it

Pressure is building on Volkswagen and German government agencies to come clean about the dieselgate scandal. Volkswagen’s second-biggest shareholder has given VW a three-month deadline to provide a full account of the scandal, while German lobby group Deutsche Umwelthilfe, frustrated because Germany’s Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt (KBA) has yet to provide details about the recall of millions of affected Volkswagen diesel cars, has brought suit against the regulator.

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Crown witness confirms Hallway Radio reports: #Dieselgate cheating open secret at VW

Horn at the hearings

Horn at the hearings: “Couple of engineers”

A “crown witness” in the dieselgate scandal has been talking for months, implicating a large number of engineers and executives, a report in German media says. When Volkswagen’s U.S. chief Michael Horn took the stand at a House committee last October, he said that the cheating was the work of a couple of rogue engineers, and that nobody higher up had any idea. As unbelievable as it did sound, the story of a couple of engineers lacking parental supervision became the narrative at Volkswagen, with the story line culminating so far last week in a botched interview given by Volkswagen’s new CEO Matthias Mueller, where he told National Public Radio that Volkswagen didn’t lie, and that a few engineers simply misinterpreted American rules.

As of today, Volkswagen needs a new narrative.

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