By Peter M. DeLorenzo

Detroit. Every time this business enterprise appears to be to be lulling alone into a laborous keeping pattern of waiting for “The Grand Transition” (or is it Waiting around for Godot?) to EVs – with the head-numbing cadence, predictability and decades this will entail – blundering controversy constantly looks to be never ever far absent. This week, it’s these rumbling, bumbling and stumbling executives from Volkswagen AG who have arrive to the entrance of the line, broadcasting their believed balloons out loud much to the consternation of all people, specially their extensive-struggling U.S. dealers.

What have those people preening – “we’re geniuses, just ask us” – VW executives unleashed on their unsuspecting U.S. sellers this time? VW dropped the information – thoroughly out of the blue, of program – that the company would deliver a pickup and off-street-oriented SUV for the U.S. sector beneath the Scout title, not VW, starting in the year 2026. 

There was very minor compound to the announcement beyond that, which created VW dealers nuts and extremely suspicious as to what VW’s CEO, Herbert Diess, was truly up to. Was Diess aiming to minimize U.S. VW sellers out of the equation and promote instantly to buyers? That is a unique probability, as it is frequently known that Diess is a enormous, unabashed fan of St. Elon. And the truth that there had been basically no other aspects – as in zero – about the prepare forthcoming really significantly verified those people suspicions. No plant specifics, no initial advertising and marketing strategy, no nothin’. Just, “Ya, we’re gonna have them in-marketplace by 2026.”

Do the U.S. VW dealers have good reason to be suspicious? Completely. The German-primarily based VW executives have a prolonged history of abusing U.S. sellers. The abuses consist of: 1. Failing to acquire even a modicum of comprehending of the U.S. marketplace, let on your own care. 2. Dim-bulb advertising and strategic decisions based on these exact same executives’ “gut feel” for what the U.S. marketplace needed, somewhat than listening to immediate comments from the men and women who essentially understood the current market, aka the VW dealers. I could include quite a few additional factors, like shoving unpronounceable (and nonsensical) names on VW vehicles bound for the U.S., centered on the elementary assumption designed by individuals same German VW executives that they realized what was most effective, and moreover, the sellers would make it get the job done somehow. And the Germans’ steadfast refusal to listen to their U.S. dealers about the will need for a larger, aggressive SUV for this market place to the level that it was almost also late by the time the Atlas arrived on the scene. (The Atlas has proved to be a worthwhile lifesaver for the manufacturer below.) 

You are damn appropriate VW dealers in this article in the U.S. have each individual explanation to be cautious of Herbert Diess and his longing to be regarded a futurist and an EV visionary when it will come to cementing VW’s potential position in the “Grand Transition.” Diess’ delusional imagining is no true shock, both, thinking about it has been a trademark of just about every German vehicle executive around the previous 40 decades, at least (see Dieter Zetsche’s “Smart car” folly, for just one particular obvious illustration). 

The practice of considered for these German car executives goes a thing like this: 

“I am a genius, and it will be superior for all of us if you just settle for that reality.” (To be fair, this applies to specified infamous U.S. automobile executives far too.)

“My gut inner thoughts are much far better and a lot more exact than any study, in-market supplier enter or other reasoned assistance, particularly from the denizens of our U.S. market place outposts.” (Ditto, see previously mentioned.)

“Anyone who thoughts my directives or orders will be exiled to an inconsequential position, under no circumstances to be listened to from again.” 

But then once more, none of this is astonishing to any German manufacturer vendor here in the U.S. It is all the identical chorus whether or not it’s Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz or Porsche. The horror stories from these sellers are eerily similar, and they all revolve all around the fact that there has in no way been a more miserable large amount of so-identified as “executives” who have carried out considerably less with more than your normal German vehicle executive. Paraphrasing what Joe Pesci famously explained in On line casino“These men could fuck-up a cup of coffee.”

I’ll give you a couple of illustrations. Don’t forget when BMW’s German executives adopted the straightforward phrase “Joy” for a world wide redirect of its promoting? And then they proceeded to test to shove it down the throats of its U.S. dealers? The exact same sellers who experienced been living, breathing and nurturing “The Best Driving Machine” – one particular of the most legendary car advertising and marketing themes of all time – for about 30 many years? Of course, BMW executives in Germany really tried to get the U.S. dealers to undertake “Joy.” And unnecessary to say, it did not go nicely. BMW’s German overlords backed down, and “Joy” was in no way read from or witnessed once again right here in the U.S., and “The Top Driving Machine” lives on.

And then there’s Mercedes-Benz. M-B executives are the acknowledged Kings and Queens of undertaking less with a lot more. They have botched design launches, tried to pawn-off faux Mercedes as authentic Mercedes, experimented with to convince the American customer that the Good motor vehicle was really well worth looking at, squandered a long time of a when-superb brand record by unleashing countless marketing and advertising screwups, unloaded much too numerous types in this market by developing niches on niches that only served to confuse prospective buyers, though conveniently ignoring the reality that their dealers weren’t asking for them. I could go on, but you get the notion.

That’s why this most current Diess-led VW initiative has all the signs of however yet another German vehicle govt directive based on “We know what is ideal for you, even while you’re much too silly to figure it out for yourselves” variety of a play. Except this initiative stinks to large heaven, and if I have been a VW seller, I wouldn’t allow Diess and his minions get away with it. 

And that’s the Substantial-Octane Real truth for this 7 days.


The Scout renderings introduced by VW final week.


Editor’s Notice: You can entry prior troubles of AE by clicking on “Future 1 Entries” beneath. – WG


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