The big question in septic land right now isn’t: “Will the Trumpster be the Pres?”
Now many of you think his election (in the USA only men can lead the country) would be a tragedy for the known world and even some parts that are unknown, but the reality is that he is a lot less weird than some of the 46 who have preceded him into the job.
On being told he would be leaving office, Pres 14, Frank Pierce, uttered the immortal words: “There is nothing left to do but get drunk.” Number 30, Cal Coolidge, had a valet rub Vaseline on his head while he ate breakfast in bed. Number 36, Lyn Johnson, often did media interviews sitting on the toilet naked with his genitals out there for all to admire. (Not on his Pat Malone there.) Then, there’s 21, Chester Arthur. Ches realised that as a man of fashion (he owned 80 pairs of pants), the White House needed a makeover. Lacking the readies, he held the first ever White House yard sale. “Arthur practically sold anything in the White House that wasn’t nailed down (24 wagon loads worth of stuff) to raise money for new furniture.” Of course, he used the cash to hire Lou Tiffany to do a Dream Home reno.
Last year, as part of his Bidenomics plan, Pres 46, Joe Biden, mandated that two-thirds of cars sold in the US by 2032 had to be electric. So, the carmakers immediately started pumping them out and flooding dealers with lithium bombs cleverly disguised as silent aluminium assassins.
Unsold EVs are taking over new car lots like immobilised SsangYong Musso Rextons and Korandos in their owners’ garages around the Western world. So, the big question the geniuses running the show in Washington have been pondering is: “Why aren’t EVs selling?”
In November, 3000 dealers sent Joe a letter saying “slow down already on all electric”. Joe didn’t reply. So, this week 5000 dealers sent a second letter. “On behalf of our customers, we ask that you pause on the electric vehicle mandate. Wait for the battery supply chain to develop outside the control of China. Wait for the charging infrastructure to support a significant increase in electric vehicles. And wait for the American consumer to make the choice to buy an electric vehicle, confident that they are affordable and won’t strand them because of a lack of charging stations. Mr President, we share your belief in an electric vehicle future. We only ask that you not accelerate into that future before the road is ready.”
It’s not like the automakers have a choice. If they don’t make EVs they get punished. The solution is to buy. Now this gets weirder than Cal Coolidge and his Vaso, compliance credits from Tesla.
Now are you ready for this. No need for AI. In fact, as with most governments there’s not a shortage of AI, there’s a critical shortage of I. The answer to why EVs aren’t selling is because people don’t want them!
But wait septics love Teslas, don’t they? Well, on Thursday, the Musky-owned Tesla stock price plummeted like a schooner of Coopers at the Cudlee Creek Restaurant and Tavern and Caravan Park (“We offer affordable dining priding ourselves on serving large meals at realistic prices”) on a 40C day. Last year Musky’s sales were up 38 per cent, a poor showing from a company aiming for 50 per cent a year. But releasing his fourth-quarter results Musky showed Tesla’s auto business is just another car company. The bet on the Cybertruck left Tesla with no new car models, Chinese competition is very tough (Musky told me via the psychic internet that “If there are not trade barriers established, they [the Chinese] will pretty much demolish most other car companies in the world”), China’s BYD is now the world’s biggest EV maker, Hertz is selling off a third of its EV fleet because no one wants to rent them, Hertz CEO Stephen Scherr says that: “Collision and damage repairs on an EV can often run about twice that associated with a comparable combustion engine vehicle.” And the prices of used Teslas are now about the same as used Alfa Romeos. Margins have dropped and Musky would not bet on where sales would be this year.
OK readers, we’re enjoying all things Arizonian particularly the 3000 classic cars being auctioned off at working person’s prices. RM is selling the incredibly beautiful 2020 McLaren Speedtail for $3.5m, lots of old Fezzers for about $2m and, for the fishos out there, a 1962 Amphicar770 for $100k. Friends and readers, dump the tinny and the tow bar. You simply drive up to the ramp, lock the special watertight seals into place, lock the front luggage lid and drive into the water. You steer the Lagoon Blue Amphicar using the front wheels and simply throw the lines out from the back seat.
Keeping on the water theme, over at Bonhams a 1971 Honda N600 “Woodie” Wagon. Good for 140km/h (without surfboards), this beauty came with a cigarette lighter, a heater, and a radio and loudspeaker as standard. A steal at $14k. My favourite car is at WorldWide Auctioneers. It’s the 1997 Toyota Supra Twin-Turbo Targa. These are one of the great Japanese performance cars of all time. It came from the Celica. Toyota shaved all the weight off, made it handle but unfortunately limited top speed to 250km/h. Supras were raced all over the world from Pikes Peak to Le Mans. Best part is an utterly reliable and tuneable engine that you can get 500KW from super easily and double that with a bit of effort.