Wed Snippets – Spyker, Diesels, Honda, Citroen, Bruno And The Bandit

Spyker Files For Financial Restructuring

Most of the people who visit this site would have been awake when this news came out but I was sleeping.

Spyker N.V., together with its wholly owned subsidiary Spyker Automobielen B.V. today filed a voluntary petition for financial restructuring in an effort to address certain short-term operational and liquidity challenges. The District Court of Midden-Nederland in Lelystad, the Netherlands granted Spyker’s voluntary petition for temporary moratorium of payment, the Dutch equivalent of the American Chapter 11 proceedings, and has appointed an administrator who, together with the Board of Management, bears final responsibility for management of the company as long as the moratorium of payment status is in force.

It’s not totally unexpected given Spyker’s recent challenges, but sad nonetheless. I hope Vic can find his way out of this OK but it’s hard when your business is all about selling cars and you’re not doing any of that.

Nulla Tenaci Invia Est Via

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Honda Getting Its Groove Back?

Honda was on fire back in the 90’s and early 00’s with high-revving V-Tec engines that set a lot of people’s pulses racing. They had a super-successful record dating back to the 1980’s in Formula 1 as an engine supplier, too.

Something happened about 10 years ago, though. It’s like we all took a nap and when we woke up, Honda had stopped racing, Hondas had stopped being racy and were only being bought by sensible people in woolly cardigans.

PoweredByHondaNow, it seems Honda might just be getting its groove back.

Honda will be back supplying engines to the McLaren Formula 1 team in 2015. They have a new NSX being tested around the Nurburgring and in news that’ll mean more to grassroots enthusiasts, there’s going to be a new Civic Type R coming to Australian roads next year, too.

From CarAdvice:

The Honda Civic Type R will absolutely return to Australia, though precise launch timing is still being worked out.

After repeatedly saying it was dead keen to import the reborn hot hatch after a five-year absence, Honda Australia director Stephen Collins confirmed to CarAdvice today that it’s now locked-in.

….Once a performance leader with a string of sports cars such as the Civic Type R, Integra, Prelude and NSX, the company once colloquially known as “Japan’s BMW’ has focused elsewhere of late, and has, to many people, lost some of its lustre….

….The Type R’s turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine will produce in excess of 206kW of power, will redline at 7000rpm, and will be paired exclusively with a six-speed manual transmission, bucking a recent industry trend to dual-clutch autos.

HondaCivicTypeR

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1980’s Citroen Concept

Spotted on Classic Driver this week….

This is why I love the French automotive sector. Where would we be without them?

This concept was called the Karin and was shown at the 1980 Paris Motor Show. It had a central driving position with a single seat on either side, said to be one for the wife and one for the girlfriend.

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Is Europe Turning On Diesel?

The rattle you hear coming from Western Europe isn’t the rattle of a diesel Peugeot coming down the street. It might just be the beginnings of death rattle for all diesels in France. From Reuters:

Next year, the government will launch a car identification system that will rank vehicles by the amount of pollution they emit, Valls said in a speech. This will make it possible for local authorities to limit city access for the dirtiest cars.

“In France, we have long favoured the diesel engine. This was a mistake, and we will progressively undo that, intelligently and pragmatically,” Valls said.

The French government plans to raise taxes on diesel fuel and also provide a rather large rebate to any French customers trading in their diesel for an electric car.

I hope Karin isn’t a diesel…..

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East Bound And Down….

My all-time favourite childhood movie car is up for sale: The Bandit.

OK, this isn’t the car from Smoky And The Bandit. This is a car that was used for promotional purposes and then given to Burt Reynolds as a birthday gift.

That’s close enough for me!

Bidding is currently at $70K 🙁

Bandit

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Uptown Funk

I heard this song this morning and it’s been with me all day. It’s Bruno Mars meets James Brown meets Prince meets The Time. I love it.

Too hot.

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6 Comments

  1. The plans from Mr Valls don’t seem to be much different from what is reality over here in Germany since a couple of years.

    Yes, most of the older diesels will have problems,the same is here. But to be honest, most of the European cities have problems with NOx pollution, and diesels are the big NOx producers, so it is not wrong to ban them from the city centres, imho.

  2. A couple of blogs (jalopnik, saab spyker blog) are reporting that muller claims he is ‘pursuing a merger with an American electric aircraft manufacturer’.

    Not knowing that there was even such a thing as an electric aircraft, I googled ….

    About the only one I can find is an electric trike / kite kind of thing, called the electraflyer, founded by Randall Fishman.

    From Wikipedia

    : The late 2000s recession caused development of the company products to be delayed. In 2011 Fishman said, “The recession has made this not a great business right now. I have done okay because I have kept it small, selling a few complete trikes and many propulsion kits, meters and electronic controllers for people to modify their own ultralights.”

    ‘Merger with American electric aircraft manufacturer’. Nice sound bite though.

  3. “The sports-car market is roughly half of what it used to be […] Post-2008, it just collapsed. I’m not so sure it’ll ever fully recover.”

    Word from the head of sales at BMW in November. Maybe even the rich people are changing their habits? Can’t see how Spyker will be able to make a profitable business. And I can’t stop think about Alfa. There was something about that brand in Swedish auto-press recently that got my attention (can’t remember exactly what). But it was about lack of commitment in the Alfa community. A brand I find as iconic in my world as Saab, and that too is starting to seriously fade away in the collective minds of the new generations of buyers. Either we are in a unique time and place in the auto history, or this is what happens every now and then and my reaction to it is just because I’m getting old…

    Your description of Honda is spot on.

    1. ctm,
      from how I understand the society around me, the iconic brands for the young ones are Samsung, Apple and others. Alfa, Saab and other iconic brands from the past without a big visualization in media will fade away, no matter what, simply because people are not interested in cars as (our) generation was.

      At least Alfa has more chances than Saab to offer a car line-up in the near future.

      1. You may be right. I was a at a tech conference last year and one of the speakers who either worked in the Ford IT department or consulted with Ford said that over the next 10 years, Ford will transform itself from a “car company” to an “infotainment company”. As odd as that sounds, Ford is realizing that the coming generation is not as interested in buying cars as previous generations, so Ford will have to completely change how it markets its vehicles, as well as branch out into other businesses. As more companies are looking at self-driving vehicles, I wonder if Ford expects is that a “car” will eventually be a mobile entertainment center where the car gets you to your destination while you stay online or watch entertainment during the trip.