From 2013, some radical changes will be taking place in Singapore’s highly-regulated automotive scene.
A new Carbon Emissions-based Vehicle Scheme (CEVS) will take effect from 1 January 2013, which is a rebate or surcharge that would be levied on a car depending on its CO2 emissions. According to government studies, most cars sold in Singapore will fall in the ‘neutral’ band of 161-210 CO2 g/km, where neither a rebate nor surcharge will be implemented. This appears to be a step in the right direction, penalising cars that emit more carbon emissions while rewarding cars that are less polluting.
Last weekend I had a chance to join a group of Audi enthusiasts on a short spurt up to Malaysia for a quarterly drive event. I thought that being a passenger meant that I had to take a passive role, but even then I learnt a little bit more about the cars I was travelling with.
Finally, here’s some good news for the beleaguered three diamond company. Mitsubishi announced that it has commenced production of the 2013 Outlander Sport at the Normal, Ill. plant. Prior to the 2013 model year, the Outlander sport was built in Japan, where the strong yen has made the export of new vehicles (and in particular, low-cost ones) a money-losing venture. What’s more, Mitsubishi will be devoting about half of the plant’s production to overseas export markets. The weak dollar makes it more effective to build things in America than in most other places.
Remember when plasma TVs were $10,000? Well, now they’re less than $400 – and that’s for a , not even a Chinese knockoff unknown brand.
Well, if a report from McKinsey released today () is to be believed, we may see a similar price reduction in lithium ion battery technology, used in the newest hybrids and EVs. And just as a $10,000 price tag on a plasma TV is a huge barrier to mainstream adoption and a $398 price tag invites it, falling EV/hybrid battery prices could spur EV adoption fairly rapidly, as long as manufacturers’ product plans, battery availability and costs, and consumer demand all stay in sync.
GM has an enormous problem in Europe. Namely, GM Europe is losing money, has been losing money, and will continue to lose money for years. Over the past three years since GM emerged from bankruptcy, GM Europe has lost $3.8 billion (with-a-b) USD. With Europe teetering on the edge of recession (if not already in one), a shrinking auto market, overcapacity, and government austerity, it’s a perfect storm of bad news for GM.
It’s time again for automakers to brace themselves for the release of the J.D. Power and Associates 2012 Intial Quality Scores. These rankings, which document customer-reported problems (either real or perceived) during the first 90 days of new car ownership, are closely watched by buyers, advertisers, and industry observers. This year’s report, released last week, showed a few surprises, and a few perpetual laggards seem to be only treading water rather than improving.