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Disclaimer. After nearly 40 years managing money for some of the largest life offices and investment managers in the world, I think I have something to offer. These days I'm retired, and I can't by law give you advice. I do make mistakes, but I try hard to do my analysis thoroughly, and to make sure my data are correct. Remember: the unexpected sometimes happens. The expected does too, but all too often it takes longer than you thought it would.

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Monday, May 15, 2017

VW's epiphany and conversion

For a long time, car manufacturers said that diesel cars would achieve low emissions, clean air, and so on, without the need for those pesky electric cars that Tesla and Chinese manufacturers were building.  "Clean diesel" (how we laughed) was going to save the world.  Except --  VW had lied about actual emissions by its diesel cars and faked the tests.  This Wikipedia article is an excellent summary of the whole sorry debacle.

Well, in the way of those who sin, VW has had an epiphany ("Oh, wait!  What we did was wrong!) and a conversion ("We need to move towards electric cars, because .... you know ... image and stuff") Christian Senger, head of VW's electric car division, had this to say at the Shanghai motor show:

“Offering our electric cars for prices similar to combustion engine vehicles really is a game changer.”
“We’re using the need to step from combustion engine to electric cars to reinvent VW brand.” 

[Read more here]

So VW will offer at least 4 EVs costing the same as ICEs "in the next few years".   Maybe.  Actually I think of all the heritage car manufacturers, VW is the one closest to being born again.  Toyota is still il love with hydrogen-cell cars, and most of the other manufacturers produce only enough cars to comply with California clean air regulations (GM and its Bolt EV).  VW's concept cars look quite classy, don't they?  We shall see how much of this is airware.

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