Episode 649 – “Easy Oil” Drying Up, Renault Heirs Sue France, Mercedes-Benz Vito for U.S.?

May 24th, 2011 at 11:40am

Runtime 9:14

For more than 50 years the Arabian Peninsula has fueled the modern world, but the easy pickens are rapidly becoming slim pickens as supplies of high-quality light-crude oil dwindle.  Louis Renault’s heirs are suing the French government for seizing the company back in 1944 and not providing them with any compensation.  Mercedes-Benz is seriously considering bringing its Vito utility van to the U.S. as a compliment to the larger Sprinter. All that and more, plus we attempt a bit of a cannonball run in Kia’s new SX vehicles.


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This is Autoline Daily for May 24, 2011. And now, the news.

For more than 50 years the Arabian Peninsula has fueled the modern world, but the easy pickens are rapidly becoming slim pickens.  According to The Wall Street Journal, supplies of high-quality light-oil that’s easy to drill are starting to dry up.  So Saudi Arabia and Kuwait are turning to the billions of barrels of heavy petroleum still trapped beneath the desert.  This stuff can be as thick as molasses, which makes it harder – and more expensive – to access and refine.  The fact that Gulf countries are even thinking about tapping these reserves shows just how much demand there is for petro these days.  To be fair, heavy oil is still an abundant resource in the Middle East.  Experts estimate there are nearly 80 BILLION recoverable barrels of this stuff laying around.  For more on this fascinating story hit the link in today’s show notes on our website, AutolineDetroit.tv.

Back when Toyota was getting pounded in the media over quality problems, recalls and the unintended acceleration issues, it formed an independent panel of outside experts in the United States to advise it what to do. First off, they recommended the company form a Chief Safety Officer. They also said Toyota followed a top-down management style with too many decisions made in Japan. That prevented its managers in North America from taking the initiative to solve quality and safety issues. They also suggested that Toyota allot more time to developing new products in order to do more testing for safety. Toyota thanked the panel for its input and said it would start implementing its suggestions.

Louis Renault built his first car in 1898 and went on to build one of the greatest car companies in the world. During World War I his company built the FT tank, which influenced tank design ever since, since it was the first tank with a rotating turret. But in World War II he collaborated with the Nazis, and upon his death in 1944 the French government nationalized the car company. Fast forward to today and Louis Renault’s heirs are suing the French government for seizing the company and not providing any compensation. Bloomberg reports that they could get up to $140 million, which would have been the value of Louis’ holdings in the company in 1944.

MANAGEMENT MASHUP (subscription required)
And in related news, sort of, Carlos Tavares, who currently runs Nissan’s operations in the Americas, will likely go to Renault as the No. 2 executive there, reporting to Carlos Ghosn. That position had been held by Patrick Pelata until he resigned after the botched espionage case which accused the Chinese of stealing electric-car technology from Renault, but which turned out not to be true.

The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is a great workhorse.  To build on its success, Autoblog reports the company is seriously considering bringing its smaller Vito van to the U.S.  For a little perspective, this thing is a bit bigger than a Transit Connect but smaller than an E-Series.  Sounds like a great option to me.

CHEVY CRUZE5 (subscription required)
GM just hosted a media event in South Korea for the Chevy Cruze5.  According to Ward’s, this hatchback should be available in the country soon.  It will be exported to Europe later this year.  Base price is 17 million won, less than $16,000.  As you’d expect, a 1.8-liter gasoline engine and a 2.0-liter turbodiesel are available.  No word if it will ever be offered in North America, so all you hatchback lovers out there . . . don’t hold your breath.

Uh, oh! Perhaps Warren Buffett needs to pay attention to this next story. Chinese automaker BYD, a company Buffett invested in, is boasting about how well its electric vehicle, the E6, performed as a taxi cab during a one-year trial run. However, according to China Auto Web, the Kunpeng Electric Taxi Company which operates the fleet is telling a different story. The general manager of Kunpeng says the company has lost a lot of money using BYD’s EV as a taxi. Even though it does save a lot on fuel costs, the E6 is three times more expensive than a regular taxi cab, and parts and service cost twice as much. And because it needs to recharged throughout the day it can’t earn as much as a regular taxi. During the one-year trial period Kunpeng has lost 7 million yuan, just over a million dollars, using BYD’s E6.

Lancia unveiled the Ypsilon earlier this year at the Geneva Auto Show and is now getting ready for its release next month in Europe. The B-segment vehicle is designed to look like a three-door but it’s actually a five-door and can seat up to five people. The Ypsilon is available with three different engines, a gasoline, a turbodiesel and a bi-fuel one that can run on gasoline or LPG. Start/stop technology is also available. Fuel economy for the gasoline engines range from 48 to 62 MPG and the diesel gets a combined 56 MPG. The bi-fuel model doesn’t have numbers yet. Last month we reported that Chrysler WON’T bring a rebadged version of the Ypsilon to the North American market, but in Great Britain and Ireland it WILL be sold as a Chrysler.

Coming up next, we hit the road in Kia’s brand-new Sportage SX.

Kia is pushing into new market segments.  Its SX lineup is designed to offer buyers a premium, sporty driving experience.  Autoline Daily correspondent Craig Cole takes to Florida’s Freeways to try and test them all out.

Thanks for that feature, Craig.

And that’s today’s report on the top news in the global automotive industry, thanks for watching , we’ll see you tomorrow.

Thanks to our Partners for embedding Autoline Daily on their websites: Autoblog and WardsAuto.com

63 Comments to “Episode 649 – “Easy Oil” Drying Up, Renault Heirs Sue France, Mercedes-Benz Vito for U.S.?”

  1. Martin Says:

    I hope MB comes through and brings the Vito over here. I’ve driven and ridden in many in Europe and its is a terrific van.

  2. jesse Says:

    If all the tree huggers out there ever came to their senses,THE U.S. wouldn’t need to worry about oil in the MID EAST!We could produce what we have and sell it like they do!Cheap gas here,and we make a bunch of money for the home land!!

  3. tj Martin Says:

    Lancia Ypsilon – Just saw the photos elsewhere . God what an ugly little mess . And that Snout ! Eeesh !

    M-B VITO – Bring it on over Mercedes . Tuck a diesel in it and offer a passenger conversion ( with lots of Active Outdoor add ons like interior Bike holders etc ) Do it at a reasonable price and you’ll have a winner . Oh and make it just a bit comfortable in passenger format .

    E/V’s – Oh look ! Again the Chinese are the First to come to their senses , realizing E/V’s are neither cost effective or environmentally advantageous .

    @ jesse – Heck if the Ultra Tree Huggers would bugger off and let the sensible environmental scientists and engineers take over we’d have Diesels galore , be working on Hydrogen for the long term as well as digging up our own petrol supplies in a responsible method .

  4. Phoenix Mark Says:

    Hey tj, after that report on the Kia Sportage SX I know that is now on the top of your list…..NOT.

    I would definitely like to see MB bring the Vito here, with a diesel of course.

  5. tj Martin Says:

    Renault ;

    This story is taking on a life of its own , both in the US and EU press .

  6. HtG Says:

    What I’d like to know is how does VW sell TDI engines, but the other car makers can’t make it work. Is it really California’s air laws that are keeping diesels out?

    tj, last guess. NSS. Don’t dare answer.

  7. tj Martin Says:

    Phoenix Mark ;

    I am surprised though that no one has suggested the Subaru Forester in XT guise . Seems the Turbo gets a much higher quality seat .

    Oh that KIA . Every Highway expansion joint made the car lurch from side to side ( at legal speed ) The interior appeared to be made of Cheap Vinyl , Elmers Glue and a lot of Wishful Thinking . The so called Electronic devices were less than a joke and the thing got worse mpg than the GLK , SRX or the FX35 !

    Inexpensive ? Maybe . CHEAP ? Definitely !

  8. tj Martin Says:

    @ HtG

    I’d like to see John or someone else answer the same question about Diesels . Can’t see for the life of me why M-B etc doesn’t bring more over as well as the US Manufactures jumping on the Diesel bandwagon .


    As to the question . I won’t . To put your mind at rest though I said no . Something even back then didn’t seem right . As well as not wanting to lose my recently acquired anonymity to the paparrazi bunch . Though the summer in ________ offer was awfully tempting .

  9. tj Martin Says:

    F1 ; Is They Is or Is They Aint ?

    So yesterday the FIA was saying all DRS usage would be banned in Monaco , as per the recommendations of the drivers .

    Now today the FIA is saying DRS will only be banned in the Tunnel at Monaco .

    And …… Ferrari just whacked their Technical Director ( they are calling it a demotion .. but I get the feeling we all know better )

  10. Phoenix Mark Says:

    Cheap always cost more in the long run.

  11. dcars Says:

    I think that 140 Million payoff is a pretty good deal. If they count lost earnings over 60 years it could get to be a pretty expensive. I would also guess that the heirs would like to clear Louis Renault’s name of any collaboration with the Nazi’s.

  12. tj Martin Says:

    @ dcars

    I’ve been following the Renault story with some interest and its a mixed bag as to whether the family has a legitimate claim or is just taking advantage of a change in French Legal Policies .

    On one hand , from the evidence it seems like Renault the Elder was pretty chummy chummy with Hitler and Co , but on the other , should the entire company been taken over by the State ?

    What is bugging the heck out of me though is the families recent attempts at Revising History as well as trying to eradicate all the evidence and photos that implicate the Old Man .

    As is typical in French Politics and Law though . Its a Mess !

  13. shan Says:

    Amazed that wind noise is still present cars like the Kia. I will never buy any $20k car with wind/road noise.

  14. Tony Gray Says:

    tj: I am only surprised they let Costa stick around THIS long. Ferrari has not usually been noted for tolerating substandard performance, and this run of “backmarkerhood” has GOT to be driving them insane.

    Of equal concern has to be their race strategy. It cost Alonso the championship last year, and didn’t help him any in Spain this past weekend. As for Massa…I like the guy, but he’s on thin ice me thinks.

  15. pedro fernandez Says:

    At this stage of the game if a new car has wind noise, it’s crap assembled PERIOD. Even a convertible like yesterday’s Camaro report, I saw a documentary on the building of the Camaro and the final thing they do before they leave the factory is a water and wind leaking test and if they fail they need to get fixed. So I don’t understand what happened there. Come on Smokey what excuse do you have for this??

  16. Tony Gray Says:

    My buddy has a new Camaro SS convertible and he does not seem to have a big issue with wind noise. It is a bit louder than some, but it allows you to hear the exhaust. He also doesn’t have a beef with turbulence with the top up and windows down. John’s problems may be just with that particular car.

  17. tj Martin Says:

    @ Tony Gray

    Ask HtG for the interview link with Montezemolo . Listen to Luca’s words ( first the massive amount about Alonso then almost nothing about Massa ) And watch his eyes when the interviewer asks about Massa .

    Me thinks its a whole lot more than we thinks ( you & I ) By all indications Massa is on his way .

  18. tj Martin Says:

    @ pedro

    There IS no excuse for the POS that the KIA is .

    Other than what I’ve been saying for years .

    You can’t offer multi $$$ extra features without cutting the cost somewhere .

    And in Hyundai/KIA’s case its cutting overall QUALITY plain and simple .

  19. tj Martin Says:

    I guess I assume with a convertible that a little extra noise and the occasional drop of water come with the territory .

    To add to yesterdays comments on the Camaro . Who needs power seats in an American Pony car for the love of Pete ?

    Its about the performance and image , not luxury . You want luxury , get an M3 ( convertible or otherwise ) You want to kick an M3′s posterior ? Get a BOSS 302 .

  20. SalvadorG. Says:

    That’s one smart idea, run Cannonball test drives for new vehicles is the perfect way of testing, short of actually going racing.

    HtG Says:
    What I’d like to know is how does VW sell TDI engines, but the other car makers can’t make it work. Is it really California’s air laws that are keeping diesels out?

    The U.S. government has a tax on diesels. (you can look this up) At last year Washington DC auto show, JohnMc interview a VW PR (lobbyist) person, who actually explain the U.S. tax on diesels.

    “…Bloomberg reports that they could get up to $140 million, which would have been the value of Louis’ holdings in the company in 1944.”

    - I suppose no one ask how much after inflation?

  21. pedro fernandez Says:

    So whatever happened to those other Kias from Orlando to Miami?? were they going too fast for this guy to catch up or were they jacked when they got to Miami? No wait, I forgot, no one is gonna jack a Kia

  22. tj Martin Says:


    re; Your Diesel answer ;

    That being the case , me thinks it be time Obama and the US government has themselves a major re-think on the issue of Diesels .

    Diesels are an immediately available , viable and workable short term solution to petrol consumption : unlike the long term , what are still just possibilities of E/V’s , Hydrogen as well as Hybrid technology .

    Having said that though : they probably won’t .

  23. Ed Duggan Says:

    I have witnessed firsthand the fall of Toyota, I have been a customer since 1990, just got a new 128i and love it, both the car and service, Toyota didn’t need me anyway, they had been showing me so the past 4 years, just time to move on. Glenn

  24. tj Martin Says:

    California Fools Gold ;

    Bear with me this is auto related ;

    California has in the last decade ;

    Succinctly buried itself into deeper debt than any other State in the US

    Become the most Energy ( & water ) dependent State in the US

    In spite of all CA’s so called Environmental and Transportation reform efforts still has some of the worst pollution and traffic problems of any State , despite having so little energy production of their own

    So why in the ( _____ ) are we still letting CA set the standard for US Auto Policies when in fact they have created more problems in their own State than they’ve ever solved .

    I say we ( the rest of the US ) tell CA where to place it ( with explicit directions ) and get on with the Business of repairing our Nations ongoing Fuel Dependency and Transportation foibles .

    Thats my Sermon for the day .

    Donuts & Coffee in the Community Room . Amen !

  25. HtG Says:

    here’s the CNN video with The Well Dressed Man from Maranello


    On soft tops. If I drive in driving rain on the highway, some high energy drops do occasionally zing me. It feels like little pin pricks. They launch from the front seal I think. But it’s charming in a way noise in a KIA isn’t. Convertibles get a ‘pass’ with me.

  26. pedro fernandez Says:

    The old saying says: As Ca goes so does the rest of the country, if this is indeed true we’re in deep s—- trouble!!

  27. tj Martin Says:

    Oh ( cuss ) Toyota’s in hot water again !

    Seems a panel of ( urp ) experts has decided that Toyota was too slow in handling customer concerns and complaints and that they deserved the multi million $$$ fine .

    Could this possibly be the same Toyota that three years after the warranty had expired on my old 4Runner , replaced the entire rear suspension because of ” suspicions ” of a problem ?

    The same Toyota that when the alternator in the wifes old 92 Corollla went poof before its time , covered the cost of a new alternator again after the warranty had expired ?

    The same Toyota that when the radiator tank went out on her Corolla , again Toyota paid for 80% of the repair ?

    The same Toyota that before it hit the news sent us a warning about possible floor mat problems in the wifes Matrix and included the DIY fix , or the option of going to the dealer for the fix ?

    The same Toyota who’s dealers still treat us/me 100 times better than the Audi dealers ever did with my S4 ?

    Nope ! Doesn’t sound much like the Toyota we’ve been dealing with for the last 19 years .

  28. tj Martin Says:

    @ HtG

    Three guesses which TV series & movie ( cuss and goram ) I’ve been watching lately .

  29. HtG Says:

    sorry, tj. Don’t much about TV. (except Conan on the net)

    I couldn’t catch your tone on Toyota service. When I took my sister’s Matrix to change oil, I was shocked at how well I was treated. I wrote corporate a letter, too.

  30. tj Martin Says:

    @ HtG ;

    The ” Tone ” towards Toyota service was intended to be overwhelmingly positive .

    Audi treated me like dirt in spite of having a fairly expensive car, whereas even with the wife’s old Corolla , Toyota’s service has been excellent .

    FYI;” Firefly “( goram ) and ” The Fantastic Mr Fox ” ( cuss)

    Hopefully those two ‘replacements ‘ will help with the one who complained about my rhetoric here awhile ago .

  31. Tony Gray Says:

    Thanks for the link HtG!

    Wow. That piece says a lot. I had heard that they were having issues with correlating wind tunnel performance with on track results, but this is something where the boss admits it.

    Of all the constructors though, Ferrari MUST be competitive. While their road car sales exist only to finance their racing (or so they say) without on track success the majority of their cache is gone and the sales may spiral downward.

    That being said, I would LOVE to see a Ferrari at the Brickyard.

  32. tj Martin Says:

    @ HtG ( and any followers of Ferrari )

    Speaking of Well Dressed Dandy’s

    Have you been catching the recent interviews with Lapo Elkann ( Agnelli’s younger grandson ) lately ?

    Brother does he ever fit perfectly into the current theme of taking Ferrari from World Class Exotic Sports Car Manufacture to becoming nothing more than Pretentious 4 Wheeled Fashion Accessories .

    As well as , when you read between the lines a bit : it seems big brother is grooming Lapo to take over the reigns from Montezemolo when his contract runs out or Marchionne et all has had enough of him . Assuming Marchionne doesn’t follow thru on his threats to ” Sell Off ” Ferrari .

    I’ll tell you this kid ( Lapo ) is a scary little ( cuss ) Fashion isn’t just his Mantra , its his sole & entire raison d’etre .

  33. HtG Says:

    when I read Montez’ saying Ferrari didn’t sell cars, but rather fashion, a light went off. Now I see them doing Ferrari experience roadshows at Laguna Seca as well. So either they need to raise more money because the cars don’t cover costs, or they are trying to diversify their income streams in anticipation of an IPO. Maybe taking over F1 will also create an income stream from TV. I hope they pull it off.

  34. tj Martin Says:

    Tony Gray ;

    re; Ferrari at the Indy 500 .

    Been there . Done that . 1952 . Failed miserably . Doubt they’ll ever go back .

  35. tj Martin Says:

    @ HtG

    If Ferrari takes over F1 ( actually its the Elkann Brothers and their investment company thats making the play )

    We may as well save everyone a ton of money . Hand over the Permanent World Championship and Drivers Championship to Ferrari and what ever driver the elect to receive it and be done with it all .

    You think Ferrari is shown extreme favoritism now ? Wait and see what it’ll look like with Agnelli’s heirs running the show .

  36. HtG Says:

    34. I was just thinking that, tj. How will F. convince the other teams to let them buy a stake? It’s already silly that F. gets a multi-million dollar subsidy; in return for sticking with F1. Though I can see why F. might want to prevent the FIA from making the series more relevant through a blown 4 cylinder(hypocrisy alert. Montez’ already complains the current rules aren’t meaningful for road cars).

  37. cwolf Says:

    John Mc, I sure look forward to your KIA reviews (LOL) because your sponsorship really brings out the piece of crap they really are. The only thing of value shown was that this models interior noise was as bad as all those previous. What a JOKE!

  38. pedro fernandez Says:

    You guys love to pick on H/K, for years Hondas have been criticized for having the noisiest cars in the market, whether it’s the Accord or the Civic or whichever, when compared to the competition, their cars are always the noisiest of the test group. But you don’t hear anything about that when people mention Honda products.

  39. pedro fernandez Says:

    I remember the first time I ever rode an Accord, it was an 06 I believe, and a group of 4 were driving in the expressway and it was noisy enough that we had to raise our voices to be heard, my cousin’s 99 Accord (used) when I got the chance to drive it, I could hear wind noise coming from the driver’s window, however I felt the Civic I rented was actually pretty serene.

  40. HtG Says:

    my Civic is quite loud, Pedro. But then I kind of wonder about people demanding their car be very quiet and have a cush ride, and have no vibration from the engine. OEs make very little money from the like of me.

  41. HtG Says:

    oil traders accused of manipulating prices in 2008.


  42. tj Martin Says:

    @ HtG


    It won’t be Ferrari directly purchasing F1 , its the Elkann’s Murdocks kid and a US Bank .

    Also remember the Teams have no say as to who purchases F1 . Never have . Never will .

    Their only recourse would be to start a breakaway series , which Ferrari would counter and therefore fail

  43. tj Martin Says:

    Wanna see the future of Ferrari ?

    Head over to ;


    Don’t say I didn’t warn you !

  44. HtG Says:

    as a practical matter, won’t the teams have to bless any new arrangement?

  45. cwolf Says:

    tj: ever since your mission to buy another vehicle I constantly find myself being more aware of the vehicles around me while traveling the Ohio pike. I noticed 2 Moronos, no EX’s and 3 X3″s. I now wonder if the number of X3′s is due to simplely brand or over-all pleasure to own? I’ll have to keep my eyes open, because I just don’t know! One thing for sure; there are an awful lot of Edges and Equinox’s. Subaru wagons seem to be rather populat,too! I kinda like them.

  46. HtG Says:

    tj@42. I have this feeling I’m not the cool kid anymore. Cosa, ‘smarketing?’

  47. tj Martin Says:


    # 43 Nope ! What the F1 Teams think or want ultimately doesn’t matter according to all the agreements in place . Its all in the hands of the current owner of which Bernie is only some 30% .

    Not sure I get # 45

  48. tj Martin Says:


    What about GLK’s ? Many of those ?

    More opinions on the Subaru Forester if you please .

  49. cwolf Says:

    tj,I take a hawks eye for the GLK, but I’ve only seen two in the past couple weeks. Gotta tell ya that they are really sweet from all angles. Lady in a white one must have thought I was either nuts or putting a move on her by encircling the car during the 10 miles along the pike. With my window down, I can say it was rather quiet.

    I do see a few Foresters, but a heck of a lot more Outbacks. Three folks at work have outbacks up to 6 yrs old. I have considered them for myself,but I was uncertain if 4wd was a need. Never rode in one. Asked Q’s to the co-workers and sat in one. Interior seemed full of plastic/cheap. One guy has leather seats, which meets more to my expectations. All of these owners like their cars, BUT state hearing a weird noise when cold and at initial starting. They also mensioned something about trans. and brake noises,yet were told it was a normal occurance. Piddly-shit repairs: like radio volume,a rear glass would’nt lift all the way up,and….. They did’nt seem too distraught! I’d like to drive one for myself. If my recollection serves me right, I don’t think the fit was what one would expect by todays standards. They do have the “look” that I could go for…….just like the GLK!

  50. cwolf Says:

    Has anyone noticed that most Outbacks and Foresters usually have a bike mounted on a rear rack? I wonder if its a Subaru law or something.

  51. HtG Says:

    Romney wants some credit for auto bailout. I have no trouble understanding why conservatives hate this guy.


  52. shan Says:

    @cwolf I guess those folks are “living” life and not sitting behind a pc monitor. :)

  53. tj Martin Says:

    @ shan


    Either that or they’re posing to try and emulate the Subaru ads . I’ll guess a 50/50 split . Personally I stuff my Bike inside . ( its a Moulton therefore yes it fits in the MINI ) I don’t like getting all the road grime on it ( that I haven’t put there by riding it ) have no desire to ” Prove ” that I’m active , nor feel any need to show off the brand of bike I ride . Not that anyone would recognize it if I did :o

    Plus I hate Bike racks for the wind noise as well as the expense and hassle of putting them on and off the car .

  54. tj Martin Says:

    Oh HTG !

    Is you about this morning ?

    If so you never answered my Jonny Greenwood question yesterday .

    Or maybe I should shut up and let you work !

  55. HtG Says:

    @Jonny Underwood. ‘Open Spaces’ is the track I’ve been hearing on Pandora, and not knowing what it was; maybe on my Arvo Part or Adams station. Have you heard Q2 on WQXR, tj? Newish music 24/7. KUSC at iTunes also has more than the standards.

  56. HtG Says:

    oop, the Q2 link

  57. tj Martin Says:

    @ HtG

    No I’m in KC so no WQXR ! Fact is no full time classical station except for the AM one that plays all the most tired of the classics

    Funny I ran into Greenwood’s work via Pandora as well . I created a Kronos Quartet station ( I’m a sucker for string 4tets ) and one day there’s this sublime music with …. who ……… Jonny Greenwood ………. THAT Jonny Greenwood ? Seriously I had no idea . I’ve purchased both his soundtracks that are available here .

    Arvo Part and John Adams ! ( his instrumental music ) Two of my favs . Was invited to participate in a composers forum with Adams a few years ago . Quite the mensch !

    Part almost had me quit music all together . First time i heard him do so much with so very little , my first thought was ” What can I possibly do in light of that ? ” Luckily Mrs Tj knocked that thought down .

  58. HtG Says:

    tj,you can listen to Q2 via internet at WQXR.org. Look at the menu to the right. John Adams,’Dharma at Big Sur’ -stunning.

    Your experience of wanting to give up in the face of big talent is common. When Heifitz heard Oistrakh play the Brahms, he couldn’t play for a few weeks. But the world is a better place for Heifetz. It’s the same story in painting and literature; see the Anxiety of Influence by Harold Bloom.

  59. tj Martin Says:

    @ HtG

    I’d figured out the online listening of WQXR as well as downloaded the KUSC app ( we’re AppleHeads from the third Mac commercially available )

    Heading to Amazon to have a look at Bloom’s ( I’m a fan ) book as well and most likely will order it from the local bookseller ( I like keeping my $ local when I can )

    Molto grazzi on both counts

    So what is the explanation of your # 45 ?

    That site ( Elkann’s ) gives me a migraine just trying to navigate it . A Dyslexic Hummingbirds paradise .

  60. HtG Says:

    I mean that he’s way too hip and indulgent. I found that word ‘smarketing’ under one of the buttons. I think he means smart marketing. Funny thing is, in a slang, smark means snot.

  61. tj Martin Says:

    @ HtG

    # 60 – Agreed – 100% – The thought of him running Ferrari leaves me cold .

    Also me thinks that smark=snot is quite apposite for Lapo !

    Time for me to do some work .

    See ya tomorrow !

  62. pedro fernandez Says:

    If I did not own a Toyota, or if Toyota did not exist or if I lived in the snow belt, I would own a Subaru. Back in the 80′s they were Kings of the North East

  63. Andrew Charles Says:

    I’d always read that the collaboration charges against Renault were based on allegations by “les informateurs”, trumped up to allow the postwar government to begin its nationalization of big french companies starting with Renault. No rewriting history by the heirs is required.