We use cookies to help improve and maintain our site. More information.
close

July 28, 2017

German government bans Porsche Cayenne

The German car cartel story is hugely significant because it connects the dots between various scandals that have recently hit the headlines. The car cartel has turned the VW emissions scandal into a Germany-wide scandal. Yesterday, the German government took the extreme measure of forcing a recall, and ordering a stop of sales, of the Diesel version of the Porsche Cayenne, the company’s four-wheel drive car. This model uses the same cheating software that VW has used elsewhere. The German government has been the guardian angel of the car industry, lobbying endlessly for the softening of EU emissions rules and in favour of low-budget emissions testing, but public opinion towards the car industry has shifted so dramatically that a CSU-run transport ministry can now impose a ban of one of the most prestigious German cars a few weeks before an election. 

The cheating software was discovered by the federal motor transport authority and the transport ministry. All existing cars face a forced recall. 7500 cars in Germany are affected, and 22,000 in Europe, according to FAZ. The software works by detecting whether a car is driving on the street, or whether it is in a test situation. In the latter case the emissions and the power of the vehicle are reduced.

It is an astonishing sign of the criminal will of German companies that they continued to use the software even after the VW scandal broke two years ago. FAZ reports that the forced recall may affect other models as well. The VW Touareg shows similar behaviour to the Cayenne, and will now be subject to detailed tests. 

Süddeutsche reports that Audi engineers had already warned in 2013 about the emissions cheating, according to internal documents. The importance of that story is that it debunks the lie told by the management of the German industry that the cheating was the work of a small group of rogue employees, and that senior management had no knowledge of what had happened. The document warns about the possibility that the cheating software is discovered, and recommends getting rid of it before this happens. But the warning was ignored by the management of the company. The memo contained all the arguments why the software would be extremely damaging to the company - very high penalties, plus an irreparable reputational loss.

The criminal will of the German car industry is now changing political attitudes. The German industry has enjoyed a special status in Germany politics. FAZ has a separate article explaining the German government’s position on diesel and petrol engines. While Germany will not legislate a specific end date for the sale of these engines, the policies they will be pursuing will ultimate amount to the same thing. We think this is an exaggeration, but the point is that people will stop buying a technology that is not future-proof, and that they associate with environmental damage and criminal activity. The German government will not be able to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 80 to 95 per cent below the 1990 levels without a change in the diesel technology. The government’s immediate goal is a sharp fall in car emissions by 2030, which will require a significant proportion of electric cars for the target to be met.

Show Comments Write a Comment

July 28, 2017

More troubles for the AfD

The polling for the AfD in Germany is low but stable - polls consistently put the party’s share at between 7 and 9%, which would be just enough to attain parliamentary representation. But there is new trouble from another direction. An anonymous letter written to the state election official in North-Rhine Westphalia, and to a local newspaper, alleges that there have been irregularities in the drawing up of the AfD’s electoral lists, according to Die Welt. The details are scarce, so we have as yet no way of ascertaining whether there is any chance of the AfD being disqualified in the state, or whether this is just a matter a journalist going off on a tangent. But the point is that, without North-Rhine Westphalia, the AfD could well fall below 5% nationally. We will keep an eye on this.

Show Comments Write a Comment

July 28, 2017

Of course there will be a soft transitional period for the UK

We have been saying for some time Brexit will happen, and it will happen with a transitional period inside the single market and the customs union. This was now confirmed by the chancellor Phillip Hammond, who said there would be no point in trying to negotiate a bespoke deal for the transitional period. He wants a quick deal on this - full budget contributions, and full participation in all EU programmes for that period. One important aspect of such a solution, not mentioned in this particular story, is that it would also go a long way to solving the biggest issue in the Article 50 negotiations - the Brexit bill. If the UK pays into the EU budget until the end of the budget period in 2020, the biggest source of controversy - also among the EU27 - is removed. 

The Guardian, meanwhile, reports that the two senior Labour politicians, shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer and shadow chancellor John McDonnell, have dropped their insistence that the UK should remain a member of the single market post-Brexit. This has been a point of controversy within the Labour Party. Jeremy Corbyn’s recent statement that Brexit is not consistent with single-market membership seems to have had an impact on the discussion. Starmer and McDonnell are now only talking about tariff-free market access, which is another misclassification, just as the access to the single market policy has been all along. Once the UK leaves the EU in 2019, it is a third country. The present arrangement can be maintained in a transitional period until an FTA is agreed. The FTA will, of course, impose zero tariffs on traded goods and may contain chapters on services. But this will be a third-country trade relationship, nothing to do with the single market which the UK will no longer be part of after March 2019.

Show Comments Write a Comment

This is the public section of the Eurointelligence Professional Briefing, which focuses on the geopolitical aspects of our news coverage. It appears daily at 2pm CET. The full briefing, which appears at 9am CET, is only available to subscribers. Please click here for a free trial, and here for the Eurointelligence home page.

 

Recent News

  • September 25, 2018
  • Be careful what you wish for - second referendum edition
  • July 10, 2017
  • EU in self-destruction mode
  • The EU's fault lines
  • Fake News and Fake views
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • August 20, 2018
  • ... and a subtle shift in EU policies towards both Russia and Turkey
  • Nothing to celebrate about the end of the bailout programme
  • Support for Brexit holding up
  • June 20, 2017
  • How to soften Brexit?
  • The deep roots of Brexit: Thatcher and the Germans
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • July 09, 2018
  • German panic about Target2
  • AfD level with SPD
  • How the EU could fail
  • May 31, 2017
  • Getting real in the debate on the euro's future
  • Russia's growing influence in Italy
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • May 28, 2018
  • A no-confidence motion that could backfire
  • The political repercussions of a historic referendum in Ireland
  • Why the lack of an international role for the euro matters
  • May 10, 2017
  • PSOE primary campaign in full swing
  • Czech government crisis escalates
  • Backroom dealing on electoral reform in Italy
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • April 13, 2018
  • German support for eurozone reform next to zero...
  • ... and no support for France on Syria either
  • A French sermon
  • Why the euro endures
  • April 19, 2017
  • Shadows of money
  • Breppe Grillo vs Eurointelligence
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • February 26, 2018
  • Angela Merkel's cabinet
  • March 27, 2017
  • Governing formation troubles - Northern Ireland edition
  • Did Trump present Merkel with a bill for Nato?
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • January 08, 2018
  • Getting real on Brexit
  • Macron in China
  • March 01, 2017
  • The threat of Frexit
  • Fear and loathing of a referendum in Spain
  • How to get around Theresa May’s little ECJ issue
  • Solve the problem
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • August 28, 2018
  • Urban politics and national crisis - the Irish case
  • How anti-semitism became one of the main issues in British politics
  • November 13, 2017
  • A pro-European list: Wauquiez' nightmare
  • Catalan separatism isn't going away
  • Why oh why does Germany behave the way it does?
  • Why the four freedoms matter
  • February 02, 2017
  • Will it come to the use of force in Catalonia?
  • The day Brexit became irreversible
  • Can Trump and May succeed?
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • June 01, 2018
  • Will France and Germany stick together in their response to US trade tariffs?
  • From a eurozone budget to a slush fund
  • September 18, 2017
  • Why Germany cannot lead Europe, let alone the free world
  • Will Macron help to build up Mélenchon?
  • Boris' Coup
  • January 05, 2017
  • French Socialist primaries - old wine in new bottles
  • Le Pen's hard ecu
  • Will Tusk get a second mandate?
  • Themes of 2017
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • September 27, 2018
  • Two ways out of the Brexit impasse
  • February 16, 2018
  • How big will the euro budget be?
  • July 10, 2017
  • EU in self-destruction mode
  • The EU's fault lines
  • Fake News and Fake views
  • November 30, 2016
  • Is Russia behind a massive cyber attack in Germany?
  • Will Fillon move to the centre?
  • The Dutch left field is getting crowded
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • October 15, 2018
  • Black Brexit smoke
  • Bettel can relax and stay in office
  • Solving the crime vs solving the problem
  • April 16, 2018
  • Italy's and Germany's pained response to the Syria attacks
  • On the end of the eurozone's economic honeymoon
  • Why Bulgaria should stay out of the euro
  • Where shall we meet after Brexit?
  • October 16, 2017
  • What‘s the deep meaning of the elections in Lower Saxony?
  • Can Brexit be revoked?
  • Macron's grand narrative
  • April 19, 2017
  • Shadows of money
  • Breppe Grillo vs Eurointelligence
  • October 20, 2016
  • No games please, we are Europeans
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • October 12, 2018
  • A deal so close, and yet so far
  • AfD leaves Germans speachless and helpless
  • June 04, 2018
  • German discourse out of control
  • Wait for European disunity on US tariffs
  • January 24, 2018
  • AfD europhobe to chair of Bundestag's budget committee
  • Watch out for the Labour Party debate on the single market
  • On the productivity puzzle
  • September 18, 2017
  • Why Germany cannot lead Europe, let alone the free world
  • Will Macron help to build up Mélenchon?
  • Boris' Coup
  • May 12, 2017
  • What to do with Germany’s tax windfall
  • How Macron counts on building a majority
  • Options for the eurozone
  • January 05, 2017
  • French Socialist primaries - old wine in new bottles
  • Le Pen's hard ecu
  • Will Tusk get a second mandate?
  • Themes of 2017
  • August 30, 2016
  • Brexit facts on the ground
  • Burkinis and Republican primaries
  • The SPD and TTIP
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • October 15, 2018
  • Black Brexit smoke
  • Bettel can relax and stay in office
  • Solving the crime vs solving the problem
  • September 17, 2018
  • About the new partnership between Russia and China
  • EU ponders Irish backstop protocol to help May
  • August 20, 2018
  • ... and a subtle shift in EU policies towards both Russia and Turkey
  • Nothing to celebrate about the end of the bailout programme
  • Support for Brexit holding up
  • July 13, 2018
  • Can Spain's PP turn eurosceptic over Catalonia?
  • June 18, 2018
  • Some thoughts on the future of Europe
  • The end of Spanish income moderation?
  • May 23, 2018
  • Mattarella’s limited options
  • April 30, 2018
  • Looming May protests against Macron
  • France has discovered the Laffer curve
  • An important resignation in the UK
  • April 09, 2018
  • Orbán gets his supermajority
  • Riding the wave of resistance
  • The EU’s self-defeating strategy
  • March 19, 2018
  • Waiting for Germany
  • Russia’s friends
  • Can the Commons force an extension of the Art 50 period?
  • February 27, 2018
  • Irish transport prepares for Brexit scenarios
  • One last Dutch referendum
  • Is the CDU a conservative party?
  • February 09, 2018
  • Is the Labour Party shifting towards a customs union?
  • January 22, 2018
  • Carles Puigdemont's flying circus
  • Macedonia and the insurrection of Greek patriotism
  • On the real hurdles for Brexit revocation
  • And the satellites, too
  • January 05, 2018
  • Catalonia's government by Skype
  • The case for EEA membership
  • December 12, 2017
  • Unconventional ideas as a metric of the SPD's despair
  • Rodrik on why a fiscal union is necessary
  • November 27, 2017
  • Will Northern Ireland scupper a Brexit deal?
  • Last-ditch effort to prevent Irish elections
  • Pressure on Wauquiez
  • November 13, 2017
  • A pro-European list: Wauquiez' nightmare
  • Catalan separatism isn't going away
  • Why oh why does Germany behave the way it does?
  • Why the four freedoms matter
  • October 30, 2017
  • Italy's electoral reform seems to backfire already
  • Bregretometer hits another peak
  • October 16, 2017
  • What‘s the deep meaning of the elections in Lower Saxony?
  • Can Brexit be revoked?
  • Macron's grand narrative
  • October 06, 2017
  • Catalan parliament session suspended
  • Can Jamaica fail? (not the country)
  • Portugal to give tax relief to the lower middle class
  • Stagnant wages and Central European populism
  • September 26, 2017
  • Brexit is a binary choice between EEA or third-country status
  • September 18, 2017
  • Why Germany cannot lead Europe, let alone the free world
  • Will Macron help to build up Mélenchon?
  • Boris' Coup
  • September 11, 2017
  • Turkey issues travel warning for visitors to Germany
  • How nasty is the AfD?
  • September 04, 2017
  • Dutch referendum: never again?
  • Why trade unions stay quiet on French labour reform
  • August 29, 2017
  • The deep significance of Labour's Brexit U-turn
  • The day after the SPD loses
  • August 25, 2017
  • Whatever happened to red-red-green?
  • Reshuffle - Greek edition
  • Is the Norway option really dead?
  • August 21, 2017
  • Soft, getting softer
  • Tsipras' chances of a boost
  • On the fallacy of a middle-ground option for the eurozone
  • August 02, 2017
  • On the importance of a Brexit transition
  • To kill a referendum, starve it
  • How to spot a moron?
  • July 31, 2017
  • Russia sanctions bill becomes US law
  • Spain's Guardia Civil in the eye of the Catalan storm
  • A grand bargain between France and Germany
  • July 28, 2017
  • German government bans Porsche Cayenne
  • More troubles for the AfD
  • Of course there will be a soft transitional period for the UK