Famous Cars from British Films and Television

This entry was posted on 5:32 pm
Friday October 4th, 2013

Infographic via Jennings Motor Group Click Image to Enlarge.

Keep Calm And Drive On

IAA in Frankfurt…

This entry was posted on 5:40 pm
Thursday September 19th, 2013

Usually the IAA Frankfurt auto show shows off the latest and greatest technology, like the Porsche 918 Spyder and the new 911 Turbo S, but sometimes these very public events showcase the down side of the European auto industry.

Case in point is this gentleman from Italy whose BMW M6 turned out to be a lemon. Apparently, no one at BMW took ownership of the various chronic problems that this particular vehicle has, and as the European lemon laws are quite weak (think lemon-flavored water instead of lemonade!), the owner felt his only recourse was to stage a very public demonstration outside of the IAA grounds, where he and a friend took a sledgehammer and axe to the M6. Normally, I am loathe to to see a good sportscar go to waste, but apparently, this was anything but a good sportscar. It is a shame it came to this, however…

Protestaktion vor der IAA Frankfurt am 14.9.13 : BMW M6 wird demoliert! – YouTube.

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Star saleswoman only sold 11 cars

This entry was posted on 6:11 pm
Tuesday March 12th, 2013

How does selling 11 cars in a year make you a start sales woman? Well, imagine if the cars sold for in excess of $1.5 million each. At the Bugatti dealership of HR Owen in London, you can order one from Anita Krizsan.

Star saleswoman only sold 11 cars.

Accenture Automotive Survey 2013

This entry was posted on 6:17 pm
Thursday January 24th, 2013

Accenture just published their yearly survey of automobile drivers the world over. A few of the findings are noted in the photo above. The key takeaway seems to be that better digital marketing efforts are needed in the worldwide automotive interesting. Also key was there relative equality toward which consumers turn for assistance in buying an automobile. It’s not all simple reading of car review magazines and tv show like Top Gear.


Accenture Automotive Survey 2013.

2012 European Automotive Recap

This entry was posted on 12:18 am
Monday January 14th, 2013

The "all-new" MINI for 2014?

Well, it’s mid-January 2013, and partly because automakers have just announced 2012 whole year sales figures, and those at the bottom of the pile will no doubt be slashing prices to make up for a lackluster year of sales. That means it is a pretty good month to buy a car.

So how good/bad were those sales figures?

Let’s start with Lotus. Thanks to Dany Bahar, the company has set its sights on selling 4000-5000 cars annually by 2015. That is a drop in the bucket for a giant like German Volkswagen or even sports car maker Porsche, but Lotus has a long way to go, and will need to expand their sales five-fold over the 1043 cars sold in 2012. Incidentally, the company sold significantly more cars previously, 1457 in 2011, but the company had a delay on the Exige S production, forcing a huge drop. No doubt some Exige customers are a bit miffed about the extra wait, though they will rest easier knowing that it was reportedly a delay due to a quality overhaul.

Autocar is reporting that the generation-three MINI is about 12 months away, and that figure couldn’t come sooner. Apparently, the car will feature serious improvements from the ground up. As a driver of the 2009 MINI Cooper S, all I can say is that they ought to focus on the interior or I won’t be buying a second one. The third generation is the perfect opportunity to go through the cabin, and reduce the number of plastic pieces which cause the excessive rumbling and rattling and squeaking that my and many other MINIs suffer from. The solution is a combination of more leather, fewer hard plastic pieces, and fewer number of parts overall on the interior. The attached photo seems to indicate some serious design changes as well, but let’s hope we see less black plastic trim outside, rather than MORE, as the picture would indicate. Incidentally, MINI and BMW combined hope to sell near 1,000,000 per year by 2020. Currently MINI is selling about 300,000 cars per year, but they do hope to increase that figure by 50% in the not-so-distant future.

BMW Group as a whole did record business. 1,845,186 BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce vehicles were delivered worldwide. This was an increase of 10.6% over the previous record year in 2011 (1,668,982). BMW brand sales rose 11.6% in 2012 to reach 1,540,085 vehicles, again, a record (2011 totals reached 1,380,384).

  • BMW Group member Rolls-Royce saw another record (the third straight year!). 3,575 cars were delivered to customers in 2012, the highest annual sales in the 108-year history of the marque and the third consecutive record year.
  • Expansion into new markets – Rolls-Royce motor cars are now sold in more than 40 countries worldwide.
  • United States overtakes China to regain number one regional position.

VW’s U.S. numbers were really quite good for 2012, 438,000 units, and worldwide deliveries in 2012 rose 11 percent to 9.07 million vehicles, the Wolfsburg, Germany-based company said in a statement today. With last year’s gains, the maker of VW, Audi and Porsche vehicles has increased annual deliveries 44 percent since 2009.


Model Line Dec. ’12 Actual Dec. ’11 Actual Yr/Yr % change Dec. ’12 YTD Actual Dec. ’11 YTD Actual Yr/Yr % change
Golf 1,477 1,411 4.7% 20,677 17,839 15.9%
GTI 1,085 1,332 -18.5% 16,314 16,867 -3.3%
Golf R 292 N/A N/A 3,894 N/A N/A
Total Golf/GTI 2,854 2,743 4.0% 40,885 34,706 17.8%
Jetta 13,102 12,422 5.5% 146,478 150,515 -2.7%
SportWagen 2,559 2,000 28% 23,946 26,845 -10.8%
Total Jetta 15,661 14,422 8.6% 170,424 177,360 -3.9%
Beetle 2,666 1,530 74.2 28,654 5,626 409.3%
NBC 516 1 51,5000.0% 520 842 -38.2%
Total New Beetle 3,182 1,531 107.8% 29,174 6,468 351.1%
Eos 372 419 -11.2% 6,214 7,533 -17.5%
Passat 14,462 6,884 110.1% 117,023 22,779 413.7%
Passat Wagon N/A N/A N/A N/A 56 -100.0%
Total Passat 14,462 6,884 110.1% 117,023 22,835 412.5%
CC 2,196 2,450 -10.4% 21,646 29,502 -26.6%
Tiguan 3,310 2,403 37.7% 31,731 25,990 22.1%
Touareg 1,408 1,117 26.1% 10,553 7,535 40.1%
Routan 560 533 5.1% 10,483 12,473 -16.0%
Total Sales 44,005 32,502 35.4% 438,133 324,402 35.1%

Sister company Audi reached U.S. sales of 140,000 for 2012. Interestingly highline imports to the U.S. market accounted for approximately 1.4million cars out of 14.4 million sold overall. Worldwide, however, Audi did quite well with 1.455m units shifted in 2012.

Porsche had a stellar 2012. We’ve seen conflicting reports from Porsche, first saying they were hiring, then saying they were putting a halt, so it’s not quite clear what the internal dynamics of the company are at this time, but the 918 supercar remains on track and Porsche reports it added 30 percent staff in the last year (bringing the total to 17,000). Record worldwide sales of 141,075 were an 18.7% increase over the 2011 record year of 118,868 vehicles. No doubt, China is fueling a large percentage of these records as it sold a record 31,205. Somewhat surprisingly, the largest Porsche market remains the U.S. with 35,043 sales. Due to the new 911 seeing the showroom, 911 series model sales shot up 31.4% and the Boxster, which also received a refresh, saw sales up 29.1%. On the downside, the father of the 911, the Ferdinand Porsche died in 2012, and Dr. Wolfgang Porsche took over as Chairman of the Supervisory board.

Porsche Deliveries December Fiscal year
2012 2011 Variance (%) 2012 2011 Variance (%)
World 12,097 9,159 32.1 141,075 118,868 18.7
Europe 4,674 4,149 12.7 49,639 43,748 13.5
Germany 1,387 1,102 25.9 17,487 14,959 16.9
America 3,479 2,061 68.8 41,060 34,350 19.5
USA 2,952 1,834 61.0 35,043 29,023 20.7
Asia-Pacific 3,944 2,949 33.7 50,376 40,770 23.6
China 1,937 1,867 3.7 31,205 24,340 28.2

Bentley saw worldwide growth of 22% in 2012 to 8,510. 2011 saw 7,003 sales.


The Americas finished 2012 as Bentley’s largest global market, with 2,457 cars delivered to customers in the region, a 22% increase on 2011 (2,021 cars). China followed closely with 2,253 cars delivered, Bentley’s largest ever volume in the region and a 23% increase on 2011 (1,839 cars).

In Europe, deliveries grew by 12% with 1,333 cars delivered to customers (1,187 in 2011). The increasing popularity of the Bentley brand in growing markets like Russia, where deliveries were up 37%, contributed to the strong performance of the region. In the UK, 1,104 cars were delivered to customers, a 7% increase on the previous year (1,031 cars).

The Middle East region performed very well with deliveries up 44% to 815 cars (566 in 2011). Asia Pacific also increased its deliveries by 44% to 358 cars (249 in 2011). Finally Japan saw exceptional growth of 73% with 190 deliveries (110 in 2011).”

Following record sales in the previous year, Mercedes-Benz Cars has once again posted an annual record in 2012 as well as the highest December sales to date. Over the past twelve months, 1,423,835 customers chose a vehicle of the brands Mercedes-Benz, smart and Maybach. The previous year’s sales volumes were thus exceeded by 4.5% or 60,901 units. Also Mercedes-Benz achieved a new sales record in 2012. From January through December, a total of 1,320,097 vehicles of the core brand (Mercedes-Benz) were sold.

Overview of sales by Mercedes-Benz Cars

December 2012 Change in % as of December 2012 Change in %
Mercedes-Benz 125,234 +0.7 1,320,097 +4.7
smart 7,355 -4.0 103,738 +1.7
Mercedes-Benz Cars 132,589 +0.4 1,423,835 +4.5
Mercedes-Benz sales by market
Western Europe 47,195 -3.8 554,797 +0.6
- thereof Germany 22,691 -10.3 261,084 -0.4
NAFTA region 31,872 +10.1 311,547 +11.3
- thereof USA 28,145 +9.5 274,134 +11.8
Asia/Pacific region 33,805 -6.6 337,102 +5.1
- thereof Japan 5,234 +33.3 40,488 +24.9
- thereof China 18,910 -18.6 196,211 +1.5

In Europe, Renault had a tough year. It looked something like this:

Full year 2012 VOLUMES Var vs 2011

(in %)

MS %
RENAULT GROUP PC+LCV 551 334 -19,8% 24,2%
RENAULT GROUP PC 424 147 -22,1% 22,3%
RENAULT GROUP LCV 127 187 -10,8% 33,1%
RENAULT PC 343 355 -24,7% 18,1%
RENAULT LCV 123 455 -10,1% 32,1%
DACIA PC 80 792 -9,2% 4,3%
DACIA LCV 3 732 -29,6% 1,0%

Note, PC=Cars

LCV=Light Commercial Vehicles

Peugeot’s sales were down, as was their media web site. I did find out from Bloomberg that their sales were down 17% to 2.97 million car sales. Twelve-month sales slid 6.1 percent to 1.56 million vehicles at the Peugeot brand and 12 percent to 1.27 million autos at the Citroen marque.

Jaguar Land Rover saw a great year with sales up 30%. Jaguar Land Rover sales totaled 357,773 vehicles in 2012. It plans to add 800 jobs to support development of new models. The brands sold 71,940 vehicles in China last year, up 71 percent, surpassing sales in the U.K. at 68,333 and the U.S. at 55,675. Land Rover global deliveries rose 36 percent last year, while Jaguar sales increased 6 percent. In the U.S., Land Rover sales climbed 15 percent to 43,664 while Jaguar fell 2.2 percent to 12,011, the company said Jan. 3.


2012 looked good for many automakers. The French clearly need a kick in the pants, but everyone else seems to being playing the game well. Barring any economic issues like the Euro or dollar collapsing, we may continue to see sales increased in 2013 as consumers get more comfortable with the climate.







BMW Group





Weekend entertainment: Porsche Light Show

This entry was posted on 11:45 pm
Sunday December 30th, 2012

Not sure how to explain this. Think 911 meets art museum installation.

To the Batmobile!

This entry was posted on 6:54 pm
Sunday December 2nd, 2012

It’s been five years since the Batmobile crossed the block at Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale. I happened to be on hand in 2008 and got some cool video. See below:

No doubt, this auction will give some clue as to just how strongly the economy has come back, if at all. No doubt though that this car won’t fetch the insane price it fetched in 2008. People will pay just about any price for a piece of Americana. Ah, better times…

F1, just like a Sunday drive…

This entry was posted on 1:07 am
Wednesday November 28th, 2012

Kimi Raikkonen – Brazil Grand Prix 2012

It’s not everyone that gets paid millions of Euros to race a car around a track every fortnight. Finnish F1 driver, and ever talkative Kimi Räikkönen is one such lucky fellow. Or is he? At the 2012 Brazilian Grand Prix last weekend, the former F1 World Champion found himself off the track. Deciding to go for a pit stop, he seems to have taken an alternative exit into the Porsche Super Cup paddock, except the gate kept him out. Poor Kimi was taken aback because in previous races the gate had been unlocked and he proceeded through.



A visit to Morgan

This entry was posted on 1:10 pm
Monday October 22nd, 2012
Morgan Motorcars Factory floor

Morgan will forever hold a special place in this editor’s heart. It was during a supply chain management class in 2002 at the University of Warwick that the professor showed a video featuring the late Sir John Harvey Jones on his popular show, Troubleshooter. In it, Harvey Jones acted as consultant to a wide variety of organizations, including Morgan Motor Cars. His suggestion that they make modest improvements to their production process was met with stiff opposition both from management and workers, alike. Read the rest of this entry »

Off-topic: 2012 Elections Analysis

This entry was posted on 12:38 pm
Saturday September 29th, 2012

Note to my regular readers, if you are not interested in U.S. politics, you may consider ignoring this insightful and interesting article. I will be posting more automotive industry analysis soon, rest assured!


CNN's Electoral Predictions Map

It is 2012, and we are nearing the end of the election season.

Admittedly, I am sick of hearing about largely irrelevant issues like taxation and federal deficits. Both parties have had ample opportunity to reduce the federal deficit and failed to do so, even under complete control of Congress and the Presidency.

Anyway, I thought I would take the quadrennial opportunity to put my Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science to good use. I will thank Nebraska Wesleyan University professor and elections scholar Dr. Jan Vermeer for getting me started on this whole interest in U.S. Elections analysis.

CNN’s latest polling reveals some interesting results, Read the rest of this entry »

An Irish Reformation

This entry was posted on 10:42 pm
Friday August 31st, 2012

In my most recent trip abroad, I had the opportunity to tour Ireland and Scotland, a trip that shall live long in the memory, but which was marred driving, and in a car that was far too poorly made for the rough roads of the island of St. Patrick. Throughout Ireland, I drove the Peugeot 5008, and experience I would sooner forget, and one that I described here: http://beyondthekm.com/2012/08/26/how-i-ended-up-at-the-chiropractor-the-peugeot-5008/

So poor was my experience with the roads of Ireland that I have created a Top 10 list for road improvements for the country. It is list of priorities for the government, if you will.

1)   Better signage – Need to know which road I’m on and how far away the next town is and wherever else the road will take me. Markers to denote each kilometer or mile would also be of great use. Read the rest of this entry »

NOT reviewed: Porsche 911

This entry was posted on 3:55 pm
Monday August 27th, 2012
Porsche 991

Porsche 991

I had hoped to be delivering a much overdue review of the new 2013 Porsche. Unfortunately, when I went into Porsche of North Scottsdale, the salesperson was far more interested in making a sale and dealing with other customers than he was handing me the keys for a test drive. Nice of him to make me feel like a teenager.

Read the rest of this entry »

How I ended up at the chiropractor: The Peugeot 5008

This entry was posted on 9:17 pm
Sunday August 26th, 2012
The Peugeot 5008 in Ireland

Ah, Ireland!

The French do many things well. Most of them go without saying, and include wine, food, and fashion, but also lesser-known things such as architectural engineering and aerospace. On the opposite end, there are a number of things that the French do poorly, including war, sanitation, and worst of all, automobiles. Of all the countries I have visited in my 31+ years of life, it does seem to me that the one country most hostile toward the automobile is France.
Read the rest of this entry »

We really hope Porsche brings back the targa

This entry was posted on 8:10 pm
Saturday June 23rd, 2012

At the height of insecurity about American automobile regulations back in the 70s, Porsche decided they needed to develop a car that had some convertible characteristics without the rollover risk that all convertibles shared at that time. That is, if you rolled your convertible, you also smashed your skull. Porsche’s answer was the beautiful 911 Targa. It was a car that featured full A and C-pillars, with a removable center roof section. The end result was that you got the sun on your head, but without the risk of a deadly rollover. To top it, it meant that the back window no longer had to be made of plastic, but rather could be made of curved glass.

Now, rumor has it that Porsche is developing a new Targa to replace the 997 Targa, a car which had a huge glass roof, but wasn’t really removable. In fact, from a distance, you couldn’t tell it from a 911 Carrera Coupé.

Please Porsche, build this car!

Source: Thanks to LeftLane News for this tip http://www.leftlanenews.com/porsche-911-targa.html.

Weekend entertainment: Fast cars in Paris

This entry was posted on 8:08 pm
Friday June 22nd, 2012

Bored this weekend? Why not watch a video we caught of a Porsche racing a Lamborghini in the streets of Paris?

A tour of Porsche Classic

This entry was posted on 2:58 pm
Sunday June 3rd, 2012

Driven magazine is out with another interest tour of car manufacturing facilities. This time they take interest in the official Porsche restoration facility, called Porsche Classic. Basically, the business model for Porsche Classic is that they will take your beat up old Porsche (from any year), and will overhaul, respray, remachine, and even replace every part not up to specification with a Porsche Original Part. One of their favorite cars to overhaul? The fabled 959, of which several make an appearance in this video.


Driven Magazine takes a behind-the-scenes tour of Pagani

This entry was posted on 8:01 pm
Saturday April 28th, 2012

A big part of what drives Beyond the KM is the desire to better understand the companies that produce the finest cars in the world. Driven has taken a first-hand tour of the Pagani facility, which includes some great interview footage with Horatio Pagani, the founder.

FACT: A square meter of carbon fiber fabric is $300 or so. Now you know why some of these cars sell for $2million!

In Memoriam of Dr. FA Porsche

This entry was posted on 9:03 am
Friday April 27th, 2012

in memoriam: FA Porsche

Ferdinand Alexander Porsche dies

Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG, Stuttgart, is mourning Professor Ferdinand Alexander Porsche. The Honorary President of the Supervisory Board died on 5 April 2012 in Salzburg, aged 76. Matthias Müller, President and Chief Executive Officer of Porsche AG, paid tribute to Ferdinand Alexander Porsche’s services to the sports car manufacturer: “We mourn the death of our partner, Ferdinand Alexander Porsche. As the creator of the Porsche 911, he established a design culture in our company that has shaped our sports cars to this very day. His philosophy of good design is a legacy to us that we will honour for all time.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Porsche does “Take your daughter to the plant day”

This entry was posted on 11:46 pm
Wednesday April 25th, 2012

Thursday April 26, 2012 is “Take your daughter to work day in the USA”, and that usually entails making your daughter (or son in the USA) to the office to nag you every 15 minutes, but in Germany it means something a bit different. As an initiative that is government-sponsored, companies tend to take a more nurturing approach to the “holiday”. At Porsche this can involve a line worker teaching their daughter how to assemble turbo-charged engine, or adhere a Porsche badge to the bonnet. I’m guessing there is still some quality control though!

US Take Your Daughter to Work Day web site

From Porsche:
Stuttgart. Changing brake pads, painting vehicles, assembling engines – can girls make cars? At tomorrow’s nationwide Girls’ Day, secondary (modern) and grammar school girls will have the opportunity to get a taste of occupations that are typically a man’s domain. For more than ten years, Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG, Stuttgart, has been a partner in the “Girls’ Day” initiative, offering round about 70 girls a fascinating insight into vehicle development and production in Porsche’s training centres in Zuffenhausen, Weissach, Leipzig (VDI GaraGE) and at Porsche Engineering Services GmbH.

“The focus is on absolutely down-to-earth car-related work. We want to alert the girls to a wide range of occupations, arouse their interest in technical trades and of course fire their enthusiasm for the Porsche brand,” says Thomas Edig, Debuty Chairman of the Executive Board and Member of the Executive Board of Human Resources of
Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG: “While the proportion of female Porsche employees in industrial and technical occupations has increased slightly in recent years, we have to make an even greater effort for equality of opportunity between women and men.”

Airbrush instead of art lessons: guided by Porsche trainees, foremen and engineers, tomorrow at the Porsche Girls’ Day, the schoolgirls will be working in small groups in the vehicle painting, electronics and mechatronics areas, will be disassembling real combustion engines, finding out about CAD designs or developing car seats. At the Leipzig site, a guided tour through the production hall and customer centre has been laid on. At the end of the day, the important question for all those taking part is: how do I land a training place at Porsche?
“To work for Porsche is what many youngsters dream about. Anyone who can offer commitment, shows interest and has good grades at school has every chance – be they a boy or a girl. Because occupations are gender neutral,” explains Thomas Edig.

The Girls’ Day is a joint initiative by the Federal Ministry of Family Affairs, the Federal Education Ministry, the European Social Fund and the European Union and was set up in 2001.

Just say “NO” to Bentley’s SUV at Change.org

This entry was posted on 8:58 pm
Wednesday March 14th, 2012