Capitaine Évident

As is my wont I will state the obvious in that today is the last Saturday of 2018. As is also my wont I had to take a slight detour: Capitaine Évident is Captain Obvious in French.

One time while at the Winter Meetings with one of my clients I said that signing a certain player would be an upgrade at that position for this team. The General Manager said, “Thanks, Captain Obvious.” I said, “You’re welcome, but don’t assume what seems like the obvious.”

It is almost incomprehensible to me, though, that this is the last Saturday of the year. A famous saying states, “Time flies when you’re having fun.” I think time flies whether or not you’re having fun, certainly as one gets to my stage of life.

Although I may do this again (and again, I know I repeat myself on occasion but it’s almost always on purpose), I proffer hopes for a better 2019 for most of the planet. Why not all of the planet? I’m only human…

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This article in Automobile Magazine is primarily an interview with Carlos Tavares, the CEO of French auto company PSA. They manufacture Peugeot, Citroën, DS, Opel and Vauxhall. They purchased the latter two makes from General Motors. First, this picture from motoringresearch.com:

 

https://www.motoringresearch.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Peugeot_e-Legend_Concept_04.jpg

 

I have written about this car before; it is the Peugeot e-legend concept based on the Peugeot 504 coupe of the late 1960s. As I have stated many times before (for emphasis and so that readers will remember) the first thing that grabs me about a car is its looks. Electric car or not, I think the e-legend is stunning and if Groupe PSA actually produces the car I hope it looks very much like the concept.

I thought I would show some excerpts from the interview with Tavares including his thoughts on re-entering the US market from which the company has been absent for quite some time:

On why Groupe PSA wants to return to North America:

“Because it is one of the biggest markets in the world and being present in Europe, in China, we also need to be present in the United States, as we were a long time ago. So, we want to come back. We want to come back to stay. Perhaps that’s the most important fact.” In my opinion, that was a Capitaine Évident answer.

Supposedly Groupe PSA will decide by this spring what brand they are going to bring to the US.

On the future of sedans and coupes in an increasingly electrified vehicle world Tavares said:

“We estimate that sedans and coupes still have a future for the very simple reason that a boxy SUV has a frontal area which is much bigger and therefore is going to absorb much more energy. And if you are talking about the quantity of energy that you put in your batteries to ensure a certain range, the more energy you are going to use, the lower the range, which of course is one big expectation of our customers. We believe that sedans and coupes still have a future because their ability to use less energy through aerodynamics.”

I thought the following was an interesting remark by Tavares, which although seemingly obvious speaks to why this country is not simply going to have public transportation everywhere in the foreseeable future:

“We start from a very simple thought: We believe that human beings are eager to protect their spontaneous freedom of movement. You need to have an available mobility tool that is going to fulfill this need for your freedom to move anywhere and at any time. The U.S. market is unique because there are a lot of big distances, and there is a significant infrastructure for automobiles. We see that the need to be able to meet this expectation of spontaneous, convenient, and comfortable freedom of movement is still very strong.”

 

I believe that competition in a market or industry ultimately benefits the consumer. Again, that seems obvious but many seem unable to grasp that concept. I think it will be a good thing for US auto consumers if Groupe PSA re-enters the US in a meaningful way.

Europe Encore

For reasons unknown I have been thinking about our most recent trip to Europe. Maybe it’s because I want to make at least one more. In any event, we spent nine days based in Luxembourg City, Luxembourg. Of all of the places I’ve visited in Europe (I think I’ve been in six different countries there), Luxembourg is the one I enjoyed the most. This picture helps to explain why:

I took this picture in the Grund section of Luxembourg City. I mean, c’mon…what a beautiful scene. Luxembourg City is traversed by two rivers (the Alzette and Petrusse) that cut the city into “sections.” It is a very clean and beautiful city and the people were very polite.

The country of Luxembourg has three official languages (French, which is the de facto #1 language, German and Luxembourgish); English and Portuguese are also spoken widely. I understand written French a little bit, enough to interpret the menus for my companions, but one can get by with English.

From Luxembourg one can easily visit France, Germany and Belgium. I would not set foot in Germany although I could have taken 50 steps on a bridge over the Moselle River from Echternach and been in Germany. We did travel to Belgium and to France; one of our stops was the lovely town of Arlon, Belgium where we saw this in the town square:

We were there very near to the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Arlon by American troops. People who have never had their life or their freedom threatened, for no reason, by their own country or by an invading country can’t possibly understand the terror. (My parents felt that terror.) People who complain that they can’t afford to buy their child an expensive pair of sneakers should just shut up.

Maybe some day I/we will return to Luxembourg, but if that doesn’t happen the memories will never disappear.

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Obviously from autoevolution.com (that’s not a copyright mark next to the name; it’s a trademark symbol) a picture of the Peugeot e-Legend concept car shown at the Paris auto show. You know me, the first thing that grabs my attention about a car is its looks. I think this car looks amazing. Given the name it’s obviously a fully electric car. Peugeot claims the car will accelerate from 0-100 KM (62 MPH) in under 4 seconds, which is very quick.

Peugeot has not sold cars in the US or Canada since 1991 although it does sell cars in Mexico. It is not legal to bring Peugeot cars into the US from Mexico.

Peugeot is one of the oldest automobile companies in the world. The company was founded in 1810 as a manufacturer of bicycles and coffee mills (!). The company built their first car powered by an internal combustion engine in 1890. The Peugeot line is, in my opinion, one of the most varied in the world as they still build sports and luxury cars in addition to “everyday” cars and commercial vehicles. Here is another Peugeot that you couldn’t buy in the US although it was available in much of the rest of the world:

See the source image

From motorauthority.com a picture of a Peugeot RCZ. The RCZ and its performance version, the RCZ R, were built for six years (2009-2015) with nearly 70,000 sold worldwide, but not in the US. The RCZ R was powered by a small (1.6 liters, 97 cubic inches for Bill Stephens), turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that produced 270 HP and 243 LB-FT of torque. Yes, 270 HP from 97 cubic inches…

So many cars, just one life…