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By Peter M. DeLorenzo

Detroit. Every time this organization looks to be lulling alone into a tiresome keeping sample of ready for “The Grand Transition” (or is it Waiting for Godot?) to EVs – with the mind-numbing cadence, predictability and decades this will entail – blundering controversy always looks to be in no way significantly absent. This 7 days, it’s those people rumbling, bumbling and stumbling executives from Volkswagen AG who have arrive to the front of the line, broadcasting their believed balloons out loud significantly to the consternation of absolutely everyone, in particular their extended-suffering U.S. sellers.

What have all those preening – “we’re geniuses, just ask us” – VW executives unleashed on their unsuspecting U.S. sellers this time? VW dropped the news – thoroughly out of the blue, of class – that the business would deliver a pickup and off-highway-oriented SUV for the U.S. current market beneath the Scout name, not VW, beginning in the year 2026. 

There was quite little compound to the announcement over and above that, which produced VW sellers insane and really suspicious as to what VW’s CEO, Herbert Diess, was actually up to. Was Diess aiming to slash U.S. VW sellers out of the equation and offer immediately to consumers? That is a unique likelihood, as it is commonly acknowledged that Diess is a substantial, unabashed lover of St. Elon. And the actuality that there were basically no other details – as in zero – about the strategy forthcoming fairly a lot verified those people suspicions. No plant details, no preliminary advertising tactic, no nothin’. Just, “Ya, we’re gonna have them in-sector by 2026.”

Do the U.S. VW sellers have very good motive to be suspicious? Unquestionably. The German-based mostly VW executives have a long history of abusing U.S. sellers. The abuses include things like: 1. Failing to get even a modicum of comprehension of the U.S. sector, allow alone care. 2. Dim-bulb promoting and strategic conclusions based on these same executives’ “gut feel” for what the U.S. sector desired, instead than listening to immediate opinions from the people today who in fact knew the industry, aka the VW dealers. I could insert many a lot more details, like shoving unpronounceable (and nonsensical) names on VW vehicles bound for the U.S., based mostly on the essential assumption manufactured by people exact same German VW executives that they realized what was ideal, and besides, the dealers would make it get the job done by some means. And the Germans’ steadfast refusal to hear to their U.S. sellers about the need to have for a greater, aggressive SUV for this industry to the stage that it was virtually far too late by the time the Atlas arrived on the scene. (The Atlas has proved to be a successful lifesaver for the manufacturer listed here.) 

You’re damn appropriate VW sellers right here in the U.S. have each explanation to be wary of Herbert Diess and his longing to be regarded as a futurist and an EV visionary when it will come to cementing VW’s foreseeable future standing in the “Grand Changeover.” Diess’ delusional pondering is no authentic shock, either, contemplating it has been a trademark of every single German vehicle executive about the last 40 several years, at least (see Dieter Zetsche’s “Smart car” folly, for just one particular glaring example). 

The teach of imagined for these German vehicle executives goes some thing like this: 

“I am a genius, and it will be better for all of us if you just accept that truth.” (To be reasonable, this applies to particular notorious U.S. car executives much too.)

“My intestine feelings are considerably much better and far more accurate than any investigation, in-marketplace supplier enter or other reasoned information, in particular from the denizens of our U.S. current market outposts.” (Ditto, see above.)

“Anyone who queries my directives or orders will be exiled to an inconsequential position, hardly ever to be heard from all over again.” 

But then again, none of this is surprising to any German brand dealer in this article in the U.S. It is all the identical chorus whether or not it is Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz or Porsche. The horror tales from these sellers are eerily equivalent, and they all revolve about the fact that there has hardly ever been a extra miserable good deal of so-known as “executives” who have performed considerably less with extra than your normal German auto executive. Paraphrasing what Joe Pesci famously reported in On line casino“These guys could fuck-up a cup of espresso.”

I’ll give you a few of illustrations. Recall when BMW’s German executives adopted the simple phrase “Joy” for a worldwide redirect of its promoting? And then they proceeded to try to shove it down the throats of its U.S. dealers? The very same dealers who had been residing, breathing and nurturing “The Top Driving Machine” – 1 of the most iconic car promotion themes of all time – for around 30 a long time? Yes, BMW executives in Germany really tried to get the U.S. sellers to undertake “Joy.” And needless to say, it did not go properly. BMW’s German overlords backed down, and “Joy” was under no circumstances heard from or observed all over again in this article in the U.S., and “The Final Driving Machine” life on.

And then there’s Mercedes-Benz. M-B executives are the acknowledged Kings and Queens of doing considerably less with far more. They have botched product launches, attempted to pawn-off faux Mercedes as authentic Mercedes, tried to encourage the American customer that the Smart car was really really worth considering, squandered a long time of a the moment-superb model record by unleashing innumerable marketing and advertising screwups, unloaded also a lot of styles in this current market by creating niches on niches that only served to confuse buyers, although conveniently disregarding the truth that their dealers weren’t asking for them. I could go on, but you get the notion.

Which is why this most up-to-date Diess-led VW initiative has all the indicators of nonetheless a different German vehicle executive directive based on “We know what’s finest for you, even although you are as well silly to determine it out for yourselves” kind of a participate in. Except this initiative stinks to high heaven, and if I were being a VW vendor, I wouldn’t allow Diess and his minions get absent with it. 

And that’s the Higher-Octane Fact for this week.


The Scout renderings produced by VW final 7 days.


Editor’s Notice: You can accessibility earlier problems of AE by clicking on “Upcoming 1 Entries” below. – WG


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