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Marchionne Gets Mysterious

Sergio Marchionne is reported to have said that "The year 2007 will be the year of Fiat's heavy machinery unit CNH Global NV."What does he mean? And why are there no reports of a mention of Iveco at Wednesday's Fiat presentation in London?Is there a plot, and, if so, how thick is it?

China. Not Good.

And so it begins.Sitting here, I'm watching reports of stock markets hemorrhaging value just about everywhere. The reason is China, and, at the risk of sounding smug, we'll just say:Told you so.

Daimler and Chrysler

The Daimler-delete-as-applicable debacle develops apace.We now know that VW, Nissan, GAZ and Fiat aren't interested, and that DZ could - allegedly - be in the market for a bit of GM, were GM to take on a lot of Chrysler.

VW Buys More of MAN. Rest of World Shakes Head.

We trailed news of VW's decision to up its stake in MAN a few days ago, and here is confirmation of the same. VW has paid out €1.2 / $1.6 billion / £80 million in order to take its holding in MAN to 29.9 per cent.We still contend that this is a piece of abject lunacy.

Freightliner Refuses to Make Interim Award Payment to MAN

We receive the following email from Freightliner:"We have notified the UK judge that we will not pay the interim award."We'll say no more at this point, but merely hope that both sets of lawyers - Clifford Chance and Slaughter & May are strapped in tight. MAN vs Freightliner looks set to become a bumpy ride.

Fiat's Future. Discuss.

Is Fiat contemplating spinning off its auto business? Forbes says no, whilst UPI and the Washington Post says yes. If it isn't planning to something, then why did it recapitalize holding company Fiat Partecipazioni SpA? Was it bored?And if protestations are being made about the future of the car business, where are the same about the truck and agricultural equipment operations?

VW: Vans could go to MAN

We can't help but be intrigued by the latest salvo in the VW-MAN-Scania debacle. Speaking at a VW press conference today, VW CV boss Stephan Schaller indicated that simply divesting VW's heavy truck business might prove to be a more onerous task than previously thought, and hinted at the possibility of sticking the German OEM's van business into the pot as well.

Molly Ivins, RIP.

A tribute here for Molly Ivins.A few years ago, I was asked to write a column for Truck Magazine. The prospect scared the life out of me, and I began to take a serious look at what real journalists wrote.Molly Ivins was something that we in Europe tend not to believe exists; a liberal Texan with a serious sense of humour, and an ability to make her point whilst respecting that of those who disagreed with her. Did she write about trucks?

GAZ Eyes Chrysler - Report.

It had to happen sooner or later. Last week, just about every corporate entity on earth denied being interested in Chrysler.But now, courtesy of Marketwatch, comes the news that GAZ might be tempted. As we know, GAZ is a fast growing and well-financed Russian OEM with global aspirations, and also owns LDV.