The follow up to the tweet is, uh, well there’s not a ton going on, as Automotive News reports:

Trump gave no other details in his late-night tweet, which came shortly after he agreed with Xi to a truce in the trade war during a meeting at the Group of 20 summit in Argentina. In a briefing in Beijing a few hours later, China’s foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang declined to comment on any car tariff changes.


Cool. Glad this is all going smoothly.

If this is all true, the big winners would be German automakers with export-oriented plants in the U.S., and as such BMW shares are up this morning.


3rd Gear: No-one Is Tested Like A Fan Of A GM Nameplate

Please enjoy this story about possibly the most kicked and tormented die-hards in the car world, Chevy Impala fans, detailed in the Detroit News’ profile: “Impala enthusiasts sad legendary car slashed from GM lineup.”


I’ll pull a little excerpt:

His uncles, Richard and Robert Lisiecki, have worked at the Hamtramck plant for 42 years, alongside all of Robert’s children. Gersch said news of the impending plant shutdown devastated the family.

“Losing the Impala is heartbreaking and such a shame, but we’d rather lose that than lose GM,” Gersch said. “It’s breaking the family apart and they all have to look for work elsewhere.”


This is all just such a stark exhibition of the Stockholm Syndrome effect that GM has on people. We all believe in its inability to do anything but plow along and fail through the years.

4th Gear: Even Honda’s Sales Are Down

This past week, one of the big stories was that the faltering sales of sedans in the U.S. was hitting American brands much more than Japanese ones. My colleagues argued this was a brand perception issue: Americans just can’t stomach buying American sedans, having been burned from decades of poor quality. I myself believe it’s a problem of, say, the Cruze looking about as attractive as a broken window.


In any case, the point is getting a little moot, as even sales at the beloved sedan-er Honda are down, as Reuters reports:

Japan’s Honda Motor Co Ltd on Monday reported a 9.5 percent fall in U.S. auto sales in November, hurt by lower sales of passenger cars such as the Civic.


The new Accord, which is good, is also very down this year.

Maybe the age of the sedan really is coming to a close. Maybe that’s not a bad thing?


5th Gear: Bentley Claims EV Tech Just Isn’t Special Enough

Today we got a good reminder of how oblivious established carmakers can be when it comes to the world of EVs. Tesla is having no trouble coming up with ultra-desirable electric sedans and crossovers at the moment (where it’s having trouble is building and selling them at a profit), but luxury sedan and crossover marque Bentley isn’t convinced the tech is there. CEO Adrian Hallmark said as much in an Automotive News Europe report published today:

“The problem is when you get to our segment with the size of our vehicles and the frontal area we push through, current battery power density limits the size of the car you can offer with credible driving range,” Hallmark said.

Battery technology will not improve to a level that would be suitable for a pure electric Bentley until 2023 to 2025, said Hallmark, who joined Bentley six months ago from Jaguar Land Rover.

“There is nothing industrialized in the supply chain before then,” he told Automotive News Europe.


Wow, really, nothing huh. Wonder where all those Model X buyers are getting their stuff from.

Reverse: Speaking Of American Car Companies Having Trouble Taking On Imports


Neutral: Who Failed Whom In This GM Crisis?

Maybe it was the American people, for not loving the Cruze enough. Maybe it was the UAW for not pressuring GM to get its shit together. Maybe, and this is going to sound crazy, it was GM for, uh, making boring cars that didn’t make it money.


What’s your take?