The car industry this week lost one of its true giants. Sergio Marcchione, the iconic, inspirational leader of Fiat Chrysler, suddenly died this week. His passing certainly came as a shock to many, though reports suggest that he had been suffering under a mystery serious illness for some time, possibly up to a year. At an absolutely crucial time for the manufacturer, not least because of Trump Trade Wars it is a difficult time for his successor, Michael Manley, to take over.

And he will need to be on his mettle, as a number of manufacturers are blaming the prospect of trade wars for falling performances, not least Ford and GM, as well as Daimler. The latter announced a massive restructuring at senior management level to recognise the rapidly changing pace of the motor industry, and of the economic landscape.

How the EU must be fed up with carmakers. Reports on Reuters today would suggest they are really quite agitated. Because having put down legislation to stop the understatement of vehicle emissions, they did not think to put in rules that stopped them overstating them.

Because they have already suggested that manufacturers will do just that to cheat the new WLTP regulations, there is a “clear risk” that carmakers will artificially increase emissions. From everything we’ve known so far, surely that does not make sense?

Well it does if you realise that the European Commission in November proposed a 30% reduction in CO2 levels by 2030, compared to 2021 levels. So guess what? They reckon manufacturers will actually increase their test results for 2020 and 2021 so that they don’t have to try so hard. Deeply suspicious, aren’t they?  Not if you listen to William Todts, who is the clean energy group Transport & Environment Executive Director “It’s a reminder the car industry cannot be trusted and that collusion and cheating remain widespread.” Don’t you think it would be nice if the industry could get on the front foot with all of this now?

Have a great weekend – if you think the EU are getting bored of carmakers, what do you think the French think of Team Sky and the Brits in the Tour de France?


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