Via Peter M. DeLorenzo

Detroit. Each and every time this trade appears to be lulling itself right into a tedious protecting trend of looking ahead to “The Grand Transition” (or is it Looking ahead to Godot?) to EVs – with the mind-numbing cadence, predictability and years this will likely entail – blundering controversy all the time appears to be by no means a long way away. This week, it’s the ones rumbling, bumbling and stumbling executives from Volkswagen AG who’ve come to the entrance of the road, broadcasting their idea balloons out loud a lot to the consternation of everybody, particularly their long-suffering U.S. sellers.

What have the ones preening – “we’re geniuses, simply ask us” – VW executives unleashed on their unsuspecting U.S. sellers this time? VW dropped the scoop – utterly instantly, in fact – that the corporate would produce a pickup and off-road-oriented SUV for the U.S. marketplace underneath the Scout title, no longer VW, starting within the yr 2026. 

There was once little or no substance to the announcement past that, which made VW sellers loopy and extremely suspicious as to what VW’s CEO, Herbert Diess, was once actually as much as. Used to be Diess aiming to chop U.S. VW sellers out of the equation and promote without delay to shoppers? That could be a distinct chance, because it’s often identified that Diess is a big, unabashed fan of St. Elon. And the reality that there have been principally no different main points – as in 0 – in regards to the plan drawing close just about showed the ones suspicions. No plant main points, no preliminary business plan, no nothin’. Simply, “Ya, we’re gonna have them in-market by way of 2026.”

Do the U.S. VW sellers have just right reason why to be suspicious? Completely. The German-based VW executives have an extended historical past of abusing U.S. sellers. The abuses come with: 1. Failing to obtain even a modicum of figuring out of the U.S. marketplace, let by myself care. 2. Dim-bulb advertising and marketing and strategic choices in response to those identical executives’ “intestine really feel” for what the U.S. marketplace wanted, moderately than taking note of direct comments from the individuals who in reality knew the marketplace, aka the VW sellers. I may just upload a number of extra issues, like shoving unpronounceable (and nonsensical) names on VW automobiles sure for the U.S., in response to the elemental assumption made by way of those self same German VW executives that they knew what was once highest, and but even so, the sellers would make it paintings by some means. And the Germans’ steadfast refusal to hear their U.S. sellers in regards to the want for a bigger, aggressive SUV for this marketplace to the purpose that it was once virtually too past due by the point the Atlas arrived at the scene. (The Atlas has proved to be a successful lifesaver for the emblem right here.) 

You’re rattling proper VW sellers right here within the U.S. have each reason why to be cautious of Herbert Diess and his longing to be thought to be a futurist and an EV visionary relating to cementing VW’s long term standing within the “Grand Transition.” Diess’ delusional pondering isn’t any actual wonder, both, bearing in mind it’s been a hallmark of each German auto govt over the past 40 years, a minimum of (see Dieter Zetsche’s “Good automotive” folly, for only one evident instance). 

The teach of idea for those German auto executives is going one thing like this: 

“I’m a genius, and it’ll be higher for all people in case you simply settle for that reality.” (To be truthful, this is applicable to positive infamous U.S. auto executives too.)

“My intestine emotions are a long way higher and extra correct than any analysis, in-market broker enter or different reasoned recommendation, particularly from the denizens of our U.S. marketplace outposts.” (Ditto, see above.)

“Any person who questions my directives or orders might be exiled to an inconsequential place, by no means to be heard from once more.” 

However however, none of that is sudden to any German emblem broker right here within the U.S. It’s the entire identical chorus whether or not it’s Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz or Porsche. The horror tales from those sellers are eerily equivalent, they usually all revolve round the truth that there hasn’t ever been a extra depressing lot of so-called “executives” who’ve carried out much less with greater than your conventional German auto govt. Paraphrasing what Joe Pesci famously mentioned in On line casino“Those guys may just fuck-up a cup of espresso.”

I’ll come up with a few examples. Take note when BMW’s German executives followed the straightforward phrase “Pleasure” for an international redirect of its promoting? After which they proceeded to check out to shove it down the throats of its U.S. sellers? The similar sellers who were dwelling, respiring and nurturing “The Final Using Gadget” – one of the iconic auto promoting topics of all time – for over 30 years? Sure, BMW executives in Germany in reality attempted to get the U.S. sellers to undertake “Pleasure.” And remember that, it didn’t cross neatly. BMW’s German overlords subsidized down, and “Pleasure” was once by no means heard from or observed once more right here within the U.S., and “The Final Using Gadget” lives on.

After which there’s Mercedes-Benz. M-B executives are the stated Kings and Queens of doing much less with extra. They have got botched fashion launches, attempted to pawn-off pretend Mercedes as actual Mercedes, attempted to persuade the American client that the Good automotive was once in reality price bearing in mind, squandered many years of a once-glorious emblem historical past by way of unleashing innumerable advertising and marketing screwups, unloaded too many fashions on this marketplace by way of growing niches upon niches that most effective served to confuse consumers, whilst comfortably ignoring the truth that their sellers weren’t inquiring for them. I may just cross on, however you get the speculation.

That’s why this newest Diess-led VW initiative has the entire indicators of but any other German auto govt directive in response to “We all know what’s right for you, even supposing you’re too silly to determine it out for yourselves” more or less a play. With the exception of this initiative stinks to top heaven, and if I had been a VW broker, I wouldn’t let Diess and his minions break out with it. 

And that’s the Prime-Octane Reality for this week.


The Scout renderings launched by way of VW closing week.


Editor’s Notice: You’ll get right of entry to earlier problems with AE by way of clicking on “Subsequent 1 Entries” underneath. – WG



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