Some things in life are very random.
For example, there I was sitting at my computer when up popped a notification that Milford on Sea had appeared in the New York Times.
As you will have heard, the USA has exposed Volkswagen for fixing their emission test results. The whole debacle is full of irony, - the European Green lobby set emission levels to save the planet, the UK government set tax thresholds based on those emission levels, and then someone at Volkswagen thought it would be a good idea to fix the results so that they can continue to sell their cars.
The net result is that the planet has not been saved, and now Germany (who has around one on seven workers dependant on the car industry) faces a potential economic meltdown. A great example of 'The Law of Unexpected Consequences'!
Furthermore, the Germanic engineering of the Volkswagen family of cars is actually still as good as ever, but, thanks to one bright spark, the company will now be spending several years dishing out vast wheelbarrows of dosh to cover fines, prosecutions and no doubt individual claims for the 'emotional distress' suffered by individuals who can't live with themselves knowing that their emissions have been higher than they thought.
As a result, the money that Volkswagen may have been investing on scientific research to genuinely reduce emissions will evaporate into the ether along with their understated diesel fumes. The whole disaster might even be slightly amusing, if it wasn't so tragic.
Anyway, back to the New York Time article, which you may have guessed was about Volkswagen.
It was ironic to read about London planning to penalise, or even ban, older diesels by 2020. These are the same diesel cars that the government encouraged us all to buy only a few years ago with tax breaks, cheaper fuel and miles per gallon to delight!
In the United States however, with much lower 'gasoline' prices, there is no point buying a diesel, and the article explains why the Europeans’ embrace of diesels made perfect sense. “Essentially, growth came because consumers are economically rational individuals.”
So, it is likely that American car makers are revelling in Volkswagen's current self inflicted pain.
As I approached the end of the article, Jon (of Harvest House B&B) was featured, quite how the Volkswagen crisis made it way to Milford on Sea I am not sure, however, this is how Jon was quoted:
"Jon Devereux, who drives a diesel-engine Volkswagen Touareg, manages a hotel in Milford on Sea, in southern England. Each winter, he takes the four-wheel-drive vehicle to his winter home in the French Alps. The Touareg, he said, has “been brilliant for 10 years.”
But when it comes time to replace it, his next diesel will not be a Volkswagen. The emissions scandal has soured Mr. Devereux on the carmaker. “Would you buy a VW car or any car in the VW group?’’ he asked."
I wonder if they know that Jon also has a magnificent collection of historic classic cars - all of which run quite happily on good old fashion petrol!
To read the full New York Time article, please click here.
Harvest House B&B