You’ve woken up this morning thinking, “There’s not enough bad news around, where can I go to read more?”
Well, you’ve come to the right place.
First up, Mazda Australia have recalled about 3200 of their 2019 Mazda 3s because the wheels might fall off. Readers and friends, I don’t want to alarm you but Product Safety Australia put it quite well when they said: “During manufacture, wheel studs may not have been fully seated.
“A small gap may exist between the wheel studs and the hub assembly” and you may hear “a knocking or clunking noise” and then one or more of the four wheels may fall off (my words).
I know there are some of you, at certain times in your lives, who wouldn’t have known if one or more of the wheels had fallen off your car, but those days are well behind us. Interestingly enough, you won’t find this info on the Mazda website. Under the recall section, you have to enter your VIN number to see if you are this week’s lucky loser.
And you won’t see any information on a recent US Consumer Reports story that tells us that “Mazda is recalling more than 260,000 cars and SUVs because a software problem could cause them to stall while driving.
The recall includes the 2018 and 2019 CX-5 SUV, 2018 and 2019 Mazda 6 sedan, and 2019 Mazda 3 sedan and hatchback.
The software controls how the engine runs and, if a problem arises, the engine may not run as smoothly as it normally does, or it could stall while driving. This could lead the driver to lose control of the vehicle and may cause a crash, the NHTSA says.
Gee. Doesn’t that sound like the issue many of our readers have had with their CX-5s? No recall here, though.
Over in Munich, bad news for BMW chief executive Harald Kruger, who won’t run for a second term after five years in the top job. If you are looking for a CEO position, can I give you a couple of quiet hints? First up, don’t come in when your new company is pumping out record results. Things can only go downhill. Second, if you do take over at the top, spend a few days wandering around, say things are not as good as they looked, and take heaps of big provisions.
Remember the golden rule: blame the old CEO for all the problems.
Finally, never blame or criticise the board for anything: no matter how incompetent they are. My bet is that BMW production heavy Ollie Zipse will take over the reins and other cliches from Harry.
To prove my point, when Harry took over, the BMW share price was around €120. Yesterday it was about half that. In the first quarter this year, BMW lost money on making cars (but bikes were very profitable and financing was a gold mine). To make matters worse, the EU hit Beemer with a $2.2 billion speeding ticket for colluding with VW and Daimler to block the rollout of clean emissions technology.
Still, it could be worse. VW have set aside $44bn to cover the cost of its part in Dieselgate. BMW does claim there was no illegal collusion and says it will appeal against any potential penalties.
In a piece of serious investigative journalism, UK private number plates company Click4reg.co.uk has discovered that many of the F1 drivers’ Twitter followers are fake! Holy Moscowgate Daniil! Russian driver Daniil Kvyat has the most fake followers on Twitter, with a staggering 62.5 per cent of his 166,000 followers being as fake as an exhaust note from a Tesla.
Lou Hamilton has the most followers on Twitter with 5.54 million people with nothing better to do than spend their lives looking at screens.
Wait for it: a shocking 34.3 per cent of his followers are frauds. But even Robert Kubica with 48.6 per cent fakes, Sergio Perez 40 per cent, Romain Grosjean 40 per cent and Dano Ricciardo 33.1 per cent don’t hold a candle to the Trumpster, who has 61 per cent fake followers. Anyway, back to Sunday. I’d look for the podium to be filled with Hamo, Val and Chuck.
Now despite interest rates being at record lows, the number crunchers at Historic Automobile Group International (HAGI™) tell us classic car prices are down 6 per cent this year. Rare Fezzas and Porkers have fared better than other brands. But bear in mind classic car prices have been on a 10-year run, so if you bought over the last few years you would still be way ahead.
Now there are exceptional vehicles that are still outperforming the market, but as US ABC News’s Morgan Korn writes: “Ferrari stock, however, is even hotter than the cars. Shares have spiked more than 65 per cent since the start of the year. For investors who bought stock at Ferrari’s IPO in October 2015, the return has exceeded 221 per cent.” Ferrari shares went from $74 at listing to $239 yesterday. The shares sell on a PE of 37 compared to most of the German carmakers at around six.
If you’re too busy to shop around to start a Fezzer collection, then head to the Monterey Conference Centre next month when RM Sotheby’s are selling seven, one-owner, low-mileage Fezzers from the one collection for about $10m for a job lot. If you had to choose a single car, I’d go for the one of 30, red with a dash of white, track use-only 2006 Ferrari FXX. Delivered to the owner at the Ferrari test track in Fiorano Modenese and not driven since, yours for about $3.5m.