– UK: In the name of reducing global warming (which doesn’t exist) and traffic congestion (which does), the government is proposing to require electronic devices in all cars that could remotely seize control over them. (Investment Watch, Jan 31, 2015)
– Is the Auto Loan Bubble Bursting? Delinquent Loans Jump 27% Year-Over-Year (Liberty Blitzkrieg, Dec 5, 2014):
I’ve covered the ever expanding subprime auto loan market on several occasions over the past couple of years, most recently in the post: Chinese Homebuilders Expand in America as U.S. Auto Loans Hit Record Levels. As they always do, it appears that the chickens are starting to come home to roost.
The New York Times reports the following:
An increasing number of borrowers are falling behind on their car payments, even as the total amount of outstanding debt reaches new heights, according to the latest report by Experian, the credit and research firm.
In a presentation on Wednesday, Experian said the balance of loans that were 60 days delinquent increased 27 percent, to roughly $4 billion, in the third quarter from the same period a year ago. Continue reading »
– Forget Tesla ‘D’ – This Is The Fastest Electric Car In The World (OilPrice, Nov 6, 2014):
When we think of electric cars, probably the first thing that comes to mind is the Chevrolet Volt, which is smooth running but needs frequent recharging. Plus it’s no speed demon.
But if you think electric cars still deserve consideration, take a look at the “Grimsel,” the creation of the technical schools ETH Zurich and Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts. On Nov. 3 the students put the spurs to the car and got it to accelerate from 0 to 100 kilometers per hour (62 mph) in 1.785 seconds, using less than 30 meters of track.
– World’s poorest president’ gets $1mn offer for old VW Beetle (RT, Nov 7, 2014):
An Arab sheikh seems to think the ‘world’s poorest president,’ Uruguay’s Jose Mujica, is in dire need of cash. He’s offered $1 million for Mujica’s iconic 1987 VW Beetle – but the pot-smoking leader says he will donate the money to the homeless instead.
“I didn’t give it any importance,” the humble ex-guerilla leader told a news conference, after the Uruguayan weekly Busqueda broke the story. He added that he has “no commitment to cars” and joked that his three-legged dog, Manuela, was pretty much the prime reason for holding on to the vehicle for so long.
Apparently it was Mexico’s ambassador to Uruguay who earlier suggested that Mujica sell off the car. They joked about how he could get 10 4WD trucks for the money, according to an anonymous source within the embassy. Continue reading »
Engineers in Russia are working on a new line of car engines, developed especially for future VIP vehicles, to be used by the country’s president and other officials. The top version is promised to be manufactured with up to an 850 horsepower engine.
The state scientific and motor research center NAMI, which is in charge of the “Cortege” project, has announced plans to produce a line of V12-turbo engines with up to 850 horsepower (hp) capacity in the next couple of years.
Engines will be designed especially for the new project, which aims to provide Russian officials – including the president – with not only limos, but also with convoy cars such as minivans and SUVs.
– Russia may restrict import of Western cars, clothes in new sanctions tit-for-tat (RT, Sep 12, 2014):
Imports of Western cars and clothes into Russia could be restricted as part of a second round of “retaliatory” measures prepared in response to the sanctions against Moscow, says presidential aide Andrey Belousov.
There are many sellers of non-agricultural goods in the West who are heavily dependent on the Russian market, the official said. Continue reading »
– Nevada, Tesla announce huge ‘Gigafactory’ deal (USA Today, Sep 5, 2014):
Tesla Motors and Nevada made it official on Thursday evening: the electric car company’s highly sought battery “Gigafactory” and its projected 6,500 jobs are coming to the Reno area.
Mutual congratulations between the electric-car maker and Silver State officials aside, the news of the announcement event in Carson City was the huge incentives the state will have to contribute to seal its end of the proposed deal: a package estimated to be worth $1.25 billion over 20 years. Continue reading »
– Car Repos Soar 70% As Auto Subprime Bubble Pops; “It’s Contained” Promises Fed (ZeroHedge, Aug 20, 2014):
The auto loan subprime bubble may be the latest to burst (after student loans) as the rate of car repossessions jumped 70.2 percent in the second quarter, with much of that increase coming from finance companies not run by automakers, banks or credit unions. “The number of delinquencies and repossessions rising is what we would expect as the auto industry sells more vehicles,” “But this slight uptick is one to keep an eye on.” The surge in delinquencies and repossessions is being driven primarily by borrowers with subprime and deep subprime credit scores.
– Russian Sanctions Retaliation Escalates: Dumps Intel/AMD And Now Foreign Cars (ZeroHedge, July 18, 2014):
Ignoring for one second yesterday disastrous air crash in Ukraine, the ‘boomerang’ of sanctions continues to be thrown back and forth between the US and Russia. Having restricted Russian firm’s access to USD funding, Putin has come out swinging. His first act was to demand that state departments and state-run companies will no longer purchase PCs built around Intel or AMD processors (which might explain AMD’s slashing their outlook); but now he has hit out at the heart of what has made America great (in the eyes of some) – banning the use of foreign cars for officials in favour of home-produced cars. Continue reading »
– Russia Bans Purchases of Foreign-Made Cars By Government (The Moscow Times, July 14, 2014):
Federal and municipal governments were prohibited from buying foreign-made cars by Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, who said he hoped the decision would “help preserve necessary balance on the market.”
The state spends huge sums buying equipment, and “of course it is better if they go to domestic companies, not foreign producers,” Interfax quoted Medvedev as saying at a meeting with deputy prime ministers on Monday. Continue reading »
– Tesla Car Chase Ends In Flaming Car Wreck Explosion So Violent It Is Confused For Fireworks (ZeroHedge, July 7, 2014):
With GM recalling virtually every car it has made since emerging from bankruptcy, another maker of flaming paperweights has quietly managed to slip through the cracks of public attention. So it was perhaps well-timed, if only for GM, that over the weekend we not only learned, but saw footage, of what happens when a Tesla is involved in a Police chase that results in a lamp post crash. Nothing short of complete obliteration.
“There were fires after that that broke out,” Eric Martinez said. “I saw the firefighters — like 25 firefighters – standing around the white car with the Jaws of Life.” Martinez added that at one point, explosions could be heard. “We originally thought it was fireworks. Everybody thought it was fireworks that were just exploding,” he said.
– Here Are The 28.5 Million Cars Recalled By GM In The First Half Of 2014 (ZeroHedge, June 30, 2014):
One could say things about what is now without doubt the biggest company joke in the history of the US – maybe global – automotive sector, putting even East Germany’s infamous Trabant to shame.
Things like following the just announced latest recall of another 7.6 million cars across models from 1997 to 2014, and another 800K+ cars thrown in just because, GM has recalled more cars in the first 6 months of 2014 than it has sold in all of 2011, 2012 and 2013. Which incidentally would be true as the chart below shows.
Things like it took GM over a decade to that these latest recalls affecting cars made in the 20th century resulted in “seven crashes, eight injuries and three fatalities.”
– Meet The “Lone Engineer” GM Is Blaming All Its Troubles On (ZeroHedge, June 20, 2014):
Back in 2011 Goldman, when the FDIC-insured bank holding company with no deposits, was slapped with the biggest at the time SEC penalty for shorting CDOs it had sold to clients, it started a trend of scapegoating all its evils on a lone, then 20-something individual, Fabrice Tourre, who seemingly had “worked alone” and whose actions were not supervised by anyone: the chain of responsibility started and ended with him. Naturally, nobody went to jail. A few years later, stuck in the biggest scandal of its post-bankruppcy existence involving over 20 million recalls in just the first 6 months of 2014 alone, GM has decided that what worked for Goldman should work for it too, and as the WSJ reports, is “pinning of a decadelong failure to recall defective cars on a lone engineer.”
Unfortunately for GM, an organization that is far more politically charged than Goldman, it is “running into skepticism from lawmakers who say GM documents show dozens of people were alerted to ignition-switch defects during the past decade.”
But before we get into the details of what is set to be even more political theater, just who is this lone engineer? Continue reading »
What could possibly go wrong?
Added: May 27, 2014
Fully autonomous driving has always been the goal of our project, because we think this could improve road safety and help lots of people who can’t drive.
We’re now developing prototypes of vehicles that have been designed from the ground up to drive themselves—just push a button and they’ll take you where you want to go! We’ll use these vehicles to test our software and learn what it will really take to bring this technology into the world.
– Don’t You Dare Call Your GM Car A “Decapitating”, “Kevorkianesque”, “Rolling Sarcophagus”, Or “You’re Toast” (ZeroHedge, May 21, 2014):
Instead of “defective”, GM suggests its employees use the phrase “does not perform to design” according to just released documents in the GM recall probe. However, the internal presentation provides a glimpse into the internal thinking at GM as it suggests the following 69 words should not be used in a company memo… including “Hindenburg”, “spontaneous combustion”, and “Kevorkianesque.”
The full 69 banned ‘judgment’ words…
always, annihilate, apocalyptic, asphyxiating, bad, Band-Aid, big time, brakes like an “X” car, cataclysmic, catastrophic, Challenger, chaotic, Cobain, condemns, Corvair-like, crippling, critical, dangerous, deathtrap, debilitating, decapitating, defect, defective, detonate, disemboweling, enfeebling, evil, eviscerated, explode, failed, flawed, genocide, ghastly, grenadelike, grisly, gruesome, Hindenburg, Hobbling, Horrific, impaling, inferno, Kevorkianesque, lacerating, life-threatening, maiming, malicious, mangling, maniacal, mutilating, never, potentially-disfiguring, powder keg, problem, rolling sarcophagus (tomb or coffin), safety, safety related, serious, spontaneous combustion, startling, suffocating, suicidal, terrifying, Titanic, unstable, widow-maker, words or phrases with a biblical connotation, you’re toast
and in case you needed a little more help… here are some more translations… Continue reading »
– Following Latest Recall Shocker, GM Has Recalled 56% More Cars In 2014 Than It Sold In 2013 (ZeroHedge, May 20, 2014):
They don’t call them Government Motors for nothing.
Over the weekend we titled our summary of GM’s unprecedented avalanche of recalls so far in 2014 – the year in which the company’s criminal practice of covering up its faulty products became a congressional scandal – as follows: “GM Set To Surpass Total Recall Record This Year.” Three days later we are happy to report that while Detroit, we not only have a big recall problem, we also have a new record, after moments ago GM just announced another 4 recalls affecting 2.4 million cars.
This brings the total number of vehicle investigations since the start of the year to 35, and with today’s four latest fiascos, has initiated a whopping 29 recalls. More importantly, this also means that the number of domestic recalls rises to 13.6 million, smashing the previous record of 11.8 million recalls in 2004, and brings the number of global recalls to 15.2 million: or a stunning 56% greater than the 9.7 million cars GM sold in all of 2013!
– Where the World’s Unsold Cars Go To Die (ZeroHedge, May 16, 2014):
In the past several years, one of the topics covered in detail on these pages has been the surge in such gimmicks designed to disguise lack of demand and end customer sales, used extensively by US automotive manufacturers, better known as “channel stuffing”, of which General Motors is particularly guilty and whose inventory at dealer lots just hit a new record high. But did you know that when it comes to flat or declining sales and stagnant end demand, channel stuffing is merely the beginning?
Where the World’s Unsold Cars Go To Die (courtesy of Vincent Lewis’ Unsold Cars)
Above is just a few of the thousands upon thousands of unsold cars at Sheerness, United Kingdom. Please do see this on Google Maps….type in Sheerness, United Kingdom. Look to the west coast, below River Thames next to River Medway. Left of A249, Brielle Way.
Timestamp: Friday, May 16th, 2014.
There are hundreds of places like this in the world today and they keep on piling up…
THE WORLDS UNSOLD CAR STOCKPILE
Houston…We have a problem!…Nobody is buying brand new cars anymore! Well they are, but not on the scale they once were. Millions of brand new unsold cars are just sitting redundant on runways and car parks around the world. There, they stay, slowly deteriorating without being maintained.
Below is an image of a massive car park at Swindon, United Kingdom, with thousands upon thousands of unsold cars just sitting there with not a buyer in sight. The car manufacturers have to buy more and more land just to park their cars as they perpetually roll off the production line.
There is proof that the worlds recession is still biting and wont let go. All around the world there are huge stockpiles of unsold cars and they are being added to every day. They have run out of space to park all of these brand new unsold cars and are having to buy acres and acres of land to store them.
The images on this webpage showing all of these unsold cars are just a very small portion of those around the world. There are literally thousands of these “car parks” rammed full of unsold cars in practically every country on the planet. Just in case you were wondering, these images have not been Photoshopped, they are the real deal!
Its hard to believe that there are so many unsold cars in the world but its true. The worse part is that the amount of unsold cars keeps on getting bigger every day. Continue reading »
For the wealthy Chinese with 5 million Yuan (around $800,000) burning a hole in their pocket, there is a new must-have ‘toy’. Instead of the latest Ferrari or Lambo, it is none other than the provocatively named “Red Flag L5” that is popping eyeballs and leaving the wealthy Chinese breathless…
Forget Ferraris. Someone paid at least 5 million yuan ($803,300) to buy a Chinese car.
China FAW Group Corp. began taking orders for the tailor-made Red Flag L5, the nation’s most expensive vehicle, with the first one sold to a customer in Nanjing, the automaker said in a statement today at the Beijing auto show. Delivery will take three months, said the buyer, Wang Zhonghua, who runs a company that operates a chain of furniture malls in China.
H/t reader M.G.:
“GM now wants bankruptcy protection from any of their vehicles from before 2009…….pay nothing, dump it all on the people. The courts will probably go along with it, they are corporate owned and corrupt.”
Car giant wants court to shield ‘new GM’ from legal claims for problems with its cars that occurred before its 2009 bankruptcy
– GM asks bankruptcy judge for special protection to head off lawsuits (Guardian, April 16, 2014):
General Motors revealed in court filings late Tuesday that it will soon ask a federal bankruptcy judge to shield the company from legal claims for conduct that occurred before its 2009 bankruptcy.
The automaker’s strategy is in a motion filed in a Corpus Christi, Texas, federal court case, and in other cases across the nation that involve the defective ignition switches that have led GM to recall 2.6 million small cars.
– GM Recalls Another 1.5 Million Cars; Halts Sales Until “Solution” Completed (ZeroHedge, March 17, 2014):
General Motors is in trouble. On the heels of a 1.3 million car recall over fault ignition switches (that allegedly caused 12 deaths and could have been fixed with a $1 part), the bailed-out car maker has announced it will take a $300 million charge in Q1 to cover costs associated with this and 3 new recalls covering an additional 1.5 million cars. As Reuters reports, unsold vehicles will be placed on a stop-delivery until development of a solution has been completed. Why is this such a problem? Because GM’s channel-stuffed dealer inventory is already at all-time record highs as the entire industry projected the sales to continue ad infinitum and inventory-to-sales surged to near-record highs. Continue reading »
A six-month-long investigation in Central California culminated this week with the arrests of five members of the King City Police Department, the former police chief and the owner of a local towing company.
According to the Monterey County district attorney, for at least three-and-a-half years the city’s top police officers participated in a scheme that took advantage of poor area Hispanics by essentially stealing their cars for profit.
Investigators say King City police ordered hundreds of vehicles to be impounded — most often those driven by Hispanic immigrants — and then either kept the cars for themselves or re-sold them for profit.
– The 1% Don’t Feel The Weather: Ferrari Posts Record Sales In US; Doubled In Jan (ZeroHedge, Feb 18, 2014):
First Mercedes, then Porsche, and now Ferrari and Maserati post record US sales in January…
- *FERRARI POSTS RECORD SALES IN U.S. AND U.K. IN 2013
- *FERRARI AND MASERATI GLOBAL MORE THAN DOUBLE IN JAN TO 2,400
…a month where the non-1%-auto-makers struggled mightily. Of course, the latter missed expectations are blamed on weather (as opposed to dealer inventories stuffed at record levels, a replacement cycle that has run its course, or a consumer that is once again credit-tapped out). So, the clear findings from this is that the 1% – who are buying more luxury cars than ever before in January – clearly don’t feel the weather…
– Porsche Sales Surge To Record – 3 Years Ahead Of Plan (ZeroHedge, Feb 12, 2014):
It seems yet another (luxury) car maker did not get the “but it’s the weather” memo. Following Mercedes record sales in January, Porsche has announced today that expects to hit a target of selling more than 200,000 sports cars next year, three years earlier than originally scheduled. As Reuters reports, Volkswagen-owned Porsche is entering the lucrative segment of compact SUVs with its new Macan model, which has already sold out about eight months of production ahead of its arrival at German dealerships on April 4. Wealth effect, of course, is all that matters… and the promise of higher minimum wages and a Maserati in every garage.
Porsche expects to hit a target of selling more than 200,000 sports cars next year, three years earlier than originally scheduled, as the brand keeps pushing into sport-utility vehicles, Chief Executive Matthias Mueller said.
– This iPhone-Sized Device Can Hack A Car, Researchers Plan To Demonstrate (Forbes, Feb 5, 2014):
Auto makers have long downplayed the threat of hacker attacks on their cars and trucks, arguing that their vehicles’ increasingly-networked systems are protected from rogue wireless intrusion. Now two researchers plan to show that a few minutes alone with a car and a tiny, cheap device can give digital saboteurs all the wireless control they need.
– Mandatory “Vehicle-to-Vehicle” Communications Coming To U.S. Cars (Liberty Blitzkrieg, Feb 4, 2014):
“The vision of ‘talking’ cars that avoid crashes is well on the way to becoming a reality. And we’re not just talking about cars talking to cars, but about cars talking to bikes, trucks talking to motorcycles, and even buses talking to pedestrians. This promises to significantly reduce the number of deaths and injuries on our nation’s roads while unleashing a new wave of innovation from advanced traffic management systems and smart mobility apps to real-time traffic, transit and parking information.”
– Scott Belcher, President and CEO of the Intelligent Transportation Society of America
Worried about “pre-crime?” What about “pre-crash?”
The geniuses at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTS) are so concerned about your “safety,” they have decided to take it into their own hands and make it mandatory that your car wirelessly communicate with other vehicles on the road. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx went so far as to say the technology could save “thousands of lives and even prevent accidents in the first place.” The concept of “pre-crash” has been born.
As in so many other aspects of life, there is a top down push to remove all control from the individual to the collective (recall the MSNBC host who proclaimed children don’t belong to their parents), typically justified within the content of the “war on terror,” and always justified with “it’s for your own good.” Apparently, we aren’t capable of making our own choices in anything any more, including something as simple as driving a car.
This push to exert control within individual vehicles is nothing new and appears to be a global phenomenon. For instance, just last week I posted an article titled: The EU May Mandate a “Remote Stopping Device” in All Cars for Police Use.
Now we learn from The Detroit News that:
Washington— The U.S. Transportation Department said Monday it plans to propose requiring all new cars and trucks to eventually communicate with one another, which could one day help reduce up to 80 percent of crash deaths.
– The EU May Mandate a “Remote Stopping Device” in All Cars for Police Use (Liberty Blitzkrieg, Jan 31, 2014):
Well this sounds like one of the worst ideas I have heard of in a long time. Naturally, it would emerge from the EU, the sorriest excuse for a fake government the world has ever seen.
While I have reported previously on regulatory efforts to put all sorts of invasive mandatory devices in U.S. automobiles (see my piece from October of last year Big Brother is Coming to Your Car), this idea from the EU take things to a whole other level of insanity.
From the BBC:
A device that would enable police to stop vehicles remotely is being considered by an EU-wide official working group, it has emerged.
– Porsche’s 1898 e-car returns after a century in storage (CNET, Jan 28, 2014):
The very first Porsche, an electric carriage, sat untouched in a warehouse for 111 years, but now it’s come home.
On June 26, 1898, Ferdinand Porsche’s “Egger-Lohner C.2 electric vehicle,” better known as the “P-1,” rolled on to the streets of Vienna for the first time. In 1899, the P-1 took the gold medal (by a full 18 minutes!) against a field of other electric vehicles in Berlin. Then in 1902, as Porsche put the first all-wheel drive passenger car into production, the P-1 was parked in a warehouse…where it sat untouched for the next 111 years.
After missing two world wars, the entire Berlin Wall era, and six “Fast and Furious” flicks during the intervening 11 decades, Porsche says in a release (PDF) the P-1 has now been recovered and is on permanent display, unrestored, at the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart, Germany.
– Fukushima harms commerce as Russia rejects radioactive Japanese cars (Natural News, Jan 12, 2014):
While officials in the United States astoundingly continue to deny that radiation levels originating from Fukushima pose a significant threat to American lives, despite many troubling pieces of evidence, Russia has shown its willingness to refuse radiation-tainted goods by turning away 130 used cars originating from Japan.
– BMW Builds a Self-Driving Car — That Drifts (Wired, Jan 7, 2014):
BMW makes the Ultimate Driving Machine, and now it’s made the Ultimate Drifting Machine. Except it’s the code that’s in control.
At CES, BMW is showing off a modified 2-Series Coupe and 6-Series Gran Coupe that can race around a track at the limits of adhesion, and slide around corners like a throttle-happy Formula Drift ace.
Both cars are outfitted with a LIDAR system, 360-degree radar, ultrasonic sensors, and cameras that track the environment. Partnered with the electronic braking, throttle, and steering control that’s standard on all new BMWs, the prototypes can run through a high-speed slalom, perform precise lane changes, and slide around corners, without any driver intervention.