Chris Evans’ car auction is a flop

chris_evansAfter passionately saying he would never take the Top Gear job in public, he took the Top Gear job, which was supposed to be the making of him after nearly forgetting his toothbrush before presenting lame-duck light entertainment travesty The One Show.

But in a plot twist, the guys he was taking over from signed a new deal with Amazon that will actually see them make more money than him, and work within a much heftier budget for what is probably going to be an even better car magazine show.

To make matters worse, a pilot was killed at an air show created by our Chris last month.

And now his much-anticipated classic car auction at Goodwood has failed spectacularly.

Evans wanted to sell 12 of his rarest cars, raising £8mill for charity in the process.

Unfortunately, nobody was interested enough in his more expensive models to meet the asking price.

A £2.6mill Ferrari 275 GTB/C attracted a few cursory glances and nods, as did his £2.3mill Ferrari 365 Daytona Spyder. Glances, derisory bids, but no sales.

It was the same story for his Chitty Chitty Bang Bang replica, which also went unsold.

“F****** Dick Van Dyke. I never did like that ******,” said a potential buyer.

Calm down mate, it was only a sweet children’s film.

Potential buyers did make a few bids, but they failed to meet the asking price, and as such 6 out of the 12 rare cars went back home with Chris.

Still, Evans did raise £1.3mill from the auction, which puts him just £6.7mill shy of his target.

He must have ran over a black cat with his Ferrari 275 GTB/C.

Janis Joplin’s Porsche Up For Sale

Where Chris Evans failed, perhaps the late Janis Joplin can triumph.

Later this year, her psychedelic Porsche 365 will go up for auction, and is expected to sell for £260,000.

Joplin, raspy singer of iconic sixties rock and roll band Big Brother And The Holding Company, bought the white Porsche in 1968 but found the original paint job too dull.

In keeping with the colourful, flamboyant and liberal ways of her era, she ordered that it was painted in all the colours that had ever existed.

Dave Richards, Joplin’s roadie and pal who painted the car, described the paint job as “The History of the Universe.”

Better than my mint green Corsa.

But perhaps we’re doing the paint job a disservice; roadie Richards actually created a classy psychedelic mural that includes an array of imagery, such as butterflies, jellyfish, and Joplin herself.

The car was well-used by Joplin, despite her short life that ended in 1970, and was driven all around the USA at the end of a decade of excess and prolonged partying.

Joplin was just 27 when she died of a heroin overdose, yet is still admired and revered by rock and roll fans all around the world.

Performing during such a revolutionary time for rock music has sealed her place in music’s hall of fame, and there will be no shortage of takers for a car that harks back to an era of free-love, hedonism and a sort-of healthy Keith Richards.

In-Yer-Face Salesmen Are Putting The Punters Off

According to research carried out by CarWow, new car buyers are put off from purchasing a car by pushy salesmen.

The survey found that 77% of women buyers would refrain from buying if they were antagonised by an overbearing salesperson, while 60% of men agreed.

“Come on, buy a car! Please!”

“No.”

“Aww, you’re no fun!”

Another issue that was raised as a result of the survey was that 33% of potential buyers said that dealers who didn’t have the car they wanted to test-drive available led them to take their business elsewhere.

“So, you have to test drive a Proton instead of a Fiat; is that really such a big deal?! It’s still got a steering wheel and stuff!”

30% of buyers also said that salespeople who don’t know enough about cars is off-putting.

“I think this is the brake here, but does it look a bit weird to you?”

James Hind of CarWow hinted that the results suggest punters are looking at new ways of buying their cars:

“More than ever before, consumers are looking for the quickest and most stress-free way of buying a cars, and many still feel let down by the car-buying experience.”

Porsche Electric Car Set To Rival Tesla

So far, Tesla has largely been out on its own when it comes to premium electric cars.

Backed by PayPal co-founder Elon Musk, they’ve been setting the pace without any real competition.

But there is nothing wrong with a bit of healthy competition, as it encourages a market leader to up their own game. The end result is a series of tip-top products for the consumer to choose from.

And it looks as though Porsche are about give Telsa their toughest (and quickest) run for their money yet.

Earlier this week, the German monolith unveiled plans for an electric car that rockets from 0 to 60mph in just 3.5 seconds.

Named the Porsche Mission E Concept, it charges in just 15 minutes, leaving Tesla models trailing in its wake.

The 15 min charge will get you 80% battery life, which equates to approximately 250 miles. Porsche are claiming that their Mission E Concept has a range of 310 miles when fully charged.

Of course, it’s early days and speculated charge times and range are not always accurate. Sometimes, you’ve got to take them with a pinch of salt, and Elon Musk probably isn’t quaking in his boots just yet.

Moreover, the plans still aren’t fully approved, and no one expects to see the Mission E Concept on roads until 2019 at the earliest.

Between now and then, Tesla have Nissan and BMW to worry about, who are both outselling the American company in the electric car business.

Tesla currently has a market value of $33billion.

Kia Unionists Go On Strike

In a week when Labour announced their first left-wing leader for more than two decades, the row over the role played by trade unions in intervening with employees rights has exploded.

As though taking their cue from the UK, Kia motor unionists in Seoul, South Korea, have voted in favour of striking over pay.

Kia is South Korea’s second largest automaker, and as of 2013 had sold 500,000 cars in the UK.

But unionists in their home nation are not happy about pay, and are about to embark on their fourth strike of the year.

The unionists are asking for a US$135 hike in their members’ base salary.

Management are hoping to resolve the problem as soon as possible to avoid further embarrassing headlines, though it’s understood that negotiations are continually breaking down.

As well as wages, unionists are also striking against various working conditions.

Kia is already struggling to meet their annual sales target for this year, with market conditions slowing down both at home and abroad.

Combined with Hyundai, sales are down 3% for the first eight months of this year.

Will Titterington
  • 18th September 2015

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