In wake of the news that the Tories swaggered back into Downing Street last week, leftists might not be too pleased to read that the people benefiting from record Toyota profits are those at the very top.
The actual increase of pay for the Directors will be 20%, which, to show how well the automotive industry is doing in comparison to, say, the TV industry, is some 18% more than the pay hike offered to the lowest paid staff at ITV (who are on strike).
This means that 14 Directors will see their bank accounts swell by some $458,000 by the end of the fiscal year.
Meanwhile, the average bonus will rise by some 45%, with the bonuses combining to create a total of a whopping 73.8 million yen. I don’t know anything about yen, but that’s a heck of a lot of yen.
The eye-popping pay rises are a result of the jump in net income, which rose 19% to top 2.17 trillion yen last year.
Scarily, the company reckons profits will continue to rise and rise and rise.
Last week I saw a battered old Toyota Yaris dumped down an alley. It’s mad to think how that piece of scrap has contributed to 2.17 trillion worth of yen.
For anyone hoping to get their hands on a BMW pickup truck, we’re here to smash your dreams with the news that BMW will NEVER market a pickup truck. Boo. Hiss!
Senior vice-president for BMW Group Asia, Pacific and South Africa, Hendrik von Kuenheim, said: “There is huge potential in pick-ups. In North America you look at the Ford F-150 pick-up – it is the best-selling car. You can do it but then you cannot be BMW. You have to be a different company, but this company is not ready to change from the ultimate driving machine and the ultimate successful company in luxury to a mass manufacturer who goes after the volume of pick-up trucks.”
So there you have it, straight from the German horses mouth: You cannot be the Ultimate Driving Machine and a pickup truck at the same time. You just can’t. It would be like being a man and a woman at the same time, or a cat and a dog. That’s just the way it is.
It does sound a whole lot like BMW are taking some sort of high ground by stating that they don’t wish to soil their luxurious hands with some dirty, agricultural pickup truck fit for farmers, and it could well be a statement that comes to bite them in the backside in later years.
After all, BMW have now dipped their toes in the crossover/SUV market, and once Mercedes release their first pickup, it will only be a matter of time before BMW follows suit. Watch this space.
Nissan & Toyota Recall 6.5 Million Vehicles
The reason for the massive recall from the Japanese heavyweights is due to exploding airbags, which have been linked to a number of deaths.
An unnamed source at Nissan said: “1.65 million is really nothing compared to Toyota’s 5 million.”
Hmm. We’re not quite buying that, particularly when people have actually died from an exploding airbag. After all, aren’t airbags supposed to save your life, and not end it? Or is that just me and my Ford Fiesta?
A Nissan spokesman said: “This will affect many of our markets, including Japan, Europe and North America.”
But why are their airbags exploding spontaneously?
A mystic we spoke to said it was something to do with The Second Coming and believed that the Antichrist is behind it all, but Nissan had another explanation:
“There might be many factors. But we have seen risks that the metal casing for inflators can malfunction.”
Many factors? How many things exactly can cause an exploding airbag, and why wasn’t this revolved before these cars hit the road?
It almost makes you want to buy a car without any airbags.
Or seat belts. I mean, what next? Proton seat belts that strangle you to death?
Porsche 911 Hybrid A Possibility
No doubt this is the type of news to get race car enthusiasts covered in their morning coffee, as they wake up to the news that their beloved Porsche 911, the creme de la creme of all racers, the purest of the pure, might be the next Porsche to feature a hybrid power train.
Porsche CEO Matthias Mueller said: “Why not? That is a technique which we at Porsche are very familiar with, so we can suppose that we could have plug-ins all over the model range, not only to save fuel but also boost the performance of these cars.”
But the Porsche 911 is the archetypal racer loved by purists all around the world, and defacing it with a hybrid would be akin to trying to give a Ferrari a 1.2-litre petrol unit and selling it to the punters in LA.
Porsche firmly believe that hybrid power is the future, though, so any resistance from 911 fanatics might have to be met head on.
Moreover, an electric motor gives you instant power, and when you throw in the improved fuel figures and reduced CO2 emissions, is a 911 hybrid really a bad thing?
According to one Porsche buyer from Grimsby: “Bollocks to that!”
Russian Car Sales Hit New Low
Cars are just not selling in Russia at the moment. In April 2015, car sales in the former Stalin state sunk 42% to hit a “new low point.”
To put it into some sort of context, that’s even worse than the median 41% forecast by ‘5 economists’ (all unnamed) who were asked about this by Bloomberg.
The slump in March was 43%.
Automakers have started to look at government programs as a means of supporting the market, as well as a stronger rouble, but mother Russia is now on the brink of its first recession in 6 years, following the collapse of the rouble last year.
To help the markets, the government have started to allow consumers to lease their cars, as opposed to buying them outright. The problem buyers will have is that rates on car loans soared earlier this year after the central bank turned the screw and increased the benchmark interest rate.
So the next time you think you’re being given a bum finance deal by your dealer as you weigh up the options of buying an Alfa Romeo, spare a thought for your Russian buddies who have, quite literally, never had it so bad.
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