By Peter M. DeLorenzo

Detroit. Every time this small business seems to be lulling itself into a tedious holding sample of ready for “The Grand Transition” (or is it Ready for Godot?) to EVs – with the mind-numbing cadence, predictability and yrs this will entail – blundering controversy constantly appears to be never considerably away. This week, it’s individuals rumbling, bumbling and stumbling executives from Volkswagen AG who have occur to the entrance of the line, broadcasting their imagined balloons out loud significantly to the consternation of everybody, specially their prolonged-suffering U.S. sellers.

What have all those preening – “we’re geniuses, just inquire us” – VW executives unleashed on their unsuspecting U.S. dealers this time? VW dropped the news – totally out of the blue, of course – that the organization would produce a pickup and off-highway-oriented SUV for the U.S. market underneath the Scout identify, not VW, starting in the yr 2026. 

There was extremely tiny substance to the announcement outside of that, which designed VW sellers outrageous and remarkably suspicious as to what VW’s CEO, Herbert Diess, was genuinely up to. Was Diess aiming to minimize U.S. VW dealers out of the equation and market directly to customers? That is a distinctive possibility, as it’s frequently known that Diess is a large, unabashed fan of St. Elon. And the fact that there have been essentially no other information – as in zero – about the system forthcoming fairly a great deal confirmed those people suspicions. No plant details, no first promoting approach, no nothin’. Just, “Ya, we’re gonna have them in-industry by 2026.”

Do the U.S. VW dealers have great rationale to be suspicious? Completely. The German-based VW executives have a prolonged history of abusing U.S. sellers. The abuses incorporate: 1. Failing to purchase even a modicum of knowing of the U.S. market place, enable by itself treatment. 2. Dim-bulb marketing and strategic choices based mostly on these similar executives’ “gut feel” for what the U.S. market wanted, fairly than listening to direct feed-back from the individuals who actually understood the sector, aka the VW sellers. I could increase numerous additional factors, like shoving unpronounceable (and nonsensical) names on VW cars bound for the U.S., dependent on the fundamental assumption designed by individuals same German VW executives that they understood what was greatest, and apart from, the dealers would make it do the job in some way. And the Germans’ steadfast refusal to hear to their U.S. dealers about the want for a bigger, aggressive SUV for this industry to the stage that it was just about as well late by the time the Atlas arrived on the scene. (The Atlas has proved to be a rewarding lifesaver for the manufacturer below.) 

You are damn appropriate VW dealers below in the U.S. have just about every motive to be wary of Herbert Diess and his longing to be considered a futurist and an EV visionary when it arrives to cementing VW’s upcoming position in the “Grand Transition.” Diess’ delusional considering is no serious shock, both, considering it has been a trademark of each and every German automobile government about the previous 40 decades, at the very least (see Dieter Zetsche’s “Smart car” folly, for just a single glaring instance). 

The prepare of assumed for these German car executives goes anything like this: 

“I am a genius, and it will be superior for all of us if you just take that fact.” (To be truthful, this applies to specified notorious U.S. car executives as well.)

“My gut feelings are far better and a lot more accurate than any investigate, in-industry dealer input or other reasoned tips, primarily from the denizens of our U.S. market outposts.” (Ditto, see previously mentioned.)

“Anyone who questions my directives or orders will be exiled to an inconsequential placement, hardly ever to be listened to from once again.” 

But then again, none of this is surprising to any German manufacturer vendor here in the U.S. It’s all the identical refrain irrespective of whether it is Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz or Porsche. The horror stories from these dealers are eerily identical, and they all revolve all-around the simple fact that there has never ever been a far more miserable lot of so-called “executives” who have accomplished fewer with more than your regular German automobile executive. Paraphrasing what Joe Pesci famously claimed in Casino“These guys could fuck-up a cup of coffee.”

I’ll give you a few of examples. Remember when BMW’s German executives adopted the straightforward term “Joy” for a international redirect of its advertising and marketing? And then they proceeded to try out to shove it down the throats of its U.S. dealers? The identical dealers who experienced been dwelling, breathing and nurturing “The Supreme Driving Machine” – one particular of the most iconic vehicle advertising themes of all time – for about 30 decades? Sure, BMW executives in Germany truly experimented with to get the U.S. sellers to undertake “Joy.” And pointless to say, it did not go properly. BMW’s German overlords backed down, and “Joy” was under no circumstances listened to from or noticed once more 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 performing a lot less with more. They have botched model launches, tried to pawn-off fake Mercedes as genuine Mercedes, tried to influence the American purchaser that the Sensible car was really well worth looking at, squandered many years of a the moment-glorious manufacturer historical past by unleashing countless marketing screwups, unloaded way too lots of types in this market place by building niches on niches that only served to confuse prospective buyers, when conveniently disregarding the point that their dealers weren’t inquiring for them. I could go on, but you get the plan.

That’s why this hottest Diess-led VW initiative has all the signs of but an additional German car govt directive dependent on “We know what’s finest for you, even nevertheless you are as well stupid to figure it out for yourselves” sort of a engage in. Except this initiative stinks to higher heaven, and if I have been a VW vendor, I wouldn’t let Diess and his minions get absent with it. 

And that is the High-Octane Real truth for this week.


The Scout renderings launched by VW very last 7 days.


Editor’s Be aware: You can accessibility past challenges of AE by clicking on “Subsequent 1 Entries” under. – WG

Supply backlink