Politics


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Five Months In…

VW lead

It is almost halfway through 2016 and – still – no (new) diesels for you. Not from VW, at any rate. Uncle has still not given his permission for the sale of any 2016 model year TDI (diesel) powered VW cars. The entire inventory sits and waits. Perhaps forever. But another couple of months will…

People as Poultry

poultry

We live in a lunatic asylum … the lunatics being us. For believing we ever lived in a “free” country. As long ago as the reign of His Rotundity – the second president of the United (at bayonet-point) States – people were being dragooned off the street and roughly thrown into cages for having annoyed…

And Now Mercedes…

BlueTec image

Looks like Mercedes is in Uncle’s gunsights now. With VW shot full of holes and sinking fast over the diesel emissions “cheating” scandal, the heavy artillery has been retrained, azimuth and altitude calculated, the breech closed. The next salvo’s ready to fire. At the three pointed star. At its line of BlueTec diesel engines. Which are…

A Tale Of Two Car Companies

hurray Cronyism!

Here’s a tale of two start-up car companies: Elio Motors and … Tesla. One execrable, the other admirable. Elio is developing a low-cost ($6,800 to start) very high mileage (80-plus MPG) commuter car. Tesla builds expensive toys. This – the building of toys – is not of itself an execrable activity. Lamborghinis and Porsches are…

The Tesla 3 … and “Shit Talkers” Like Me

rent seeker 2

It’s depressing when even Jalopnik – a car site that’s supposed to be into cars – throws a bukakke party for the new Tesla 3. Which is a car in the same way that this is an airplane: Elon Musk’s latest four-wheeled exercise in rent-seeking will reportedly be “sold” (fundamentally dishonest word; I’ll explain) for about $35,000 to…

VW Says: Thank You Sir! May I have Another?

VW badge

So why did VW “cheat”? Uncle? That question hasn’t been asked enough. It ought to be. Now we have the answer – confirmation of what I suspected and wrote about earlier when this “scandal” broke last year. VW “cheated” because it had to. Because “cheating” was the only way to keep on selling diesel engines that…

No Dividends For You!

VW badges

First, it was (cue the Soup Nazi voice) no affordable diesels for you! Now, it’s no dividends for you. If you’ve invested in VW stock, it looks like you’re out of luck. The stomping Uncle has been giving VW over the diesel emissions “cheating” scandal is having the not-surprising consequence that the company’s losing money.…

Uncles Great and Small

VW lead

The assault on VW for “cheating” Uncle is metastasizing. The little Uncles – state governments –  are piling on. Five of them (New Jersey, Texas, New Mexico, Kentucky and West Virginia) have formally filed civil lawsuits over the TDI diesel emissions “scandal,” seeking millions of dollars in fines. 48 state-level attorney generals are “investigating” VW.…

Another Bubble… On The Verge of Popping

debt lead

Termites start low and work their way up. By the time you notice them, it’s often already too late to save the place. All you can do is rebuild, start over. This analogy may be useful in terms of understanding what’s going on in the car business… on the lower end of that business. And…