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]

GM under renewed #dieselgate suspicions

Opel-Vauxhall-Vectra Picture courtesy

Where will the next dieselgate shoe drop? Informed observers are convinced it will be at GM. This weekend, the London Times published tests that show Vauxhall’s Corsa, Astra and Vectra diesel cars as “among the most polluting models on Britain’s roads — typically emitting twice the level of toxic nitrogen oxides (NOx) seen from rival manufacturers’ cars.” [Continue Reading]

The Silverstone grudge match is official: Andy Palmer vs. Darren Cox vs. John Hindhaugh

Darren Cox - Picture courtesy Bertel Schmitt

Darren Cox: “Take that!”

Andy Palmer, since October CEO of Aston Martin, faces his first real challenge on the job. Darren Cox, Nissan’s broad-shouldered Global Motorsport Director, and John Hindhaugh, the voice of Radio Le Mans. have challenged Palmer to a car race. The three will duke it out at a grudge match to be held at the iconic Silverstone Grand Prix circuit In Northamptonshire, England. [Continue Reading]

That car-filled test track actually was empty, each time Google came checking

Sunderland, 12/31/2001: No cars

Sunderland, 12/31/2001: No cars

Zerohedge can be an insightful and though-provoking site, but since Saturday, it is hobbling around with huge self-inflicting holes in its lower extremities, courtesy of well-aimed shots into their own feet. The site ran a story titled “Where the World’s Unsold Cars Go To Die.” The story went viral, and it was bunk. In the meantime, it has been debunked by everybody from Jalopnik’s Matt Hardigree to the Dailykanban’s Ed Niedermeyer. A day after its publication, the story also landed on Snopes, where it belongs. This did not stop sundry other sites from taking the story at face value. The debacle underlines the importance of what I – mostly in vain – tried to drum into my charges during my stint at the helm of (supposedly) Never believe anything. Always check up on the story. Always try to get as close as possible to the actual source. You will be amazed of what you can find sometimes. Or in this case, what you can’t find. [Continue Reading]

Autocar: Back off, Yanks, Nissan has British DNA


Austin A40 Somerset by Nissan

Austin A40 Somerset by Nissan

Did we tell you that no British paper would call the (so far nonexistent) fight between the current, China-built London taxi and the new one from Nissan a battle of the Asians? Because “Nissan has been adopted as a British company, and credited with the revival of the auto industry in the UK?” We sure did. England’s Autocar (that’s the world’s oldest buff-book for you) takes it much further. They say Nissan is as British as Austin. [Continue Reading]

Nissan’s Hackney Carriage Triggers Hackneyed Headlines

London Taxi. Picture courtesy Nissan

“Asian Makers Battling to be London’s Black Taxi of Choice,” headlines The Detroit Bureau with more than a hint of suppressed racism. What is happening is that Nissan is bidding to replace the fabled, but ancient London Taxi with something that is better suited for now and the future. The current purveyor of the famous London Hackney Carriage is the London Taxi Company, a British company that happens to be owned by China’s Geely. London Taxi Co. is not putting up much of a battle, but don’t let that ruin a hackneyed headline. [Continue Reading]

UK market up again, but ingrate FT can’t get enough

London Traffic Jam - Picture courtesy

New car sales in the UK rose again in October, bucking a bad trend on The Continent. While the overall EU auto market has its worst year in written history, car sales on the island are up for the 20th consecutive month. Nonetheless, the Financial Times is deeply displeased. [Continue Reading]