The News for January 3rd, 2020

Welcome to the Hooniverse News! As always, this is a weekly recap of the biggest stories in the automotive industry without the fluff or bull. This week, ex-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn pulls a sneak and flees to Lebanon to escape persecution, Genesis reveals first images and some early info on the GV80, their first SUV, Ford announces Mach-E First Edition reservations are full, and your automotive news!

Ex-Nissan CEO is Ghosn, Ghosn, Gone

Source: Autoweek

So this is how we’re starting the year, eh? Alrighty then.

Carlos Ghosn, the former CEO of Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance who has been facing high profile financial misconduct charges in Japan, announced completely out of the blue that he has fled to Lebanon. He was arrested in November 2018 for allegedly under reporting his income and improperly using company assets. Up until this week, Ghosn was on house arrest in Japan after being released on bail. He wasn’t allowed outside of the country and each automaker he was heading voted to remove him from the board. He didn’t even have his passport – that was held by his legal team, who was just as stunned at this as we all are. Yet somehow Ghosn was snuck out of a heavily secured house and onto a private jet and gleefully told the world “lol I’m in Lebanon now”.

As for how, a leading theory suggests he escaped while hidden in a large musical instrument case and called on his numerous connections to ensure nobody asked questions along the way. But there are a few other crazy theories that are being speculated as well. To tell the truth, we just don’t know for sure. Ghosn reportedly didn’t even have internet access while on house arrest, so someone certainly helped.

To answer the pressing question of “why”, Ghosn said in a statement obtained by that he fled to “no longer be held hostage by a rigged Japanese justice system where guilt is presumed”, adding that he escaped “injustice and personal persecution”. He will also be able to “finally communicate freely with the media, and look forward to starting next week”. The choice of Lebanon is not random either. He and his wife have citizenship and a home in Lebanon, and most importantly, there is no extradition treaty between Lebanon and Japan. That doesn’t mean he’s completely safe there however, as Interpol just issued a Red Notice for the decade’s first new international fugitive. An Interpol Red Notice is not an arrest warrant, rather a request for law enforcement agencies to arrest on behalf of a member country – Japan. This development just broke as of writing so it’s not known if Lebanese authorities will cooperate.

Anyway, there you have it, the most bizarre start to the new year I think this site has ever seen. We’ll stay on this story because we’re all just as curious about it as you are.

[Sources: AutoweekLA TimesReuters]

Genesis Releases First Images of GV80


Now for normal car news from a company whose ex-CEO isn’t an international fugitive, Genesis has released some images of their first SUV, the GV80. The upcoming fourth model in the family is set to launch globally throughout the year and will focus on versatility, the best tech Genesis has to offer, and living up to the “Athletic Elegance” motto that Genesis lives by.


Genesis styling cues like the quad LED headlamps and the crest grille will help it fit right in with the rest of the lineup and stand out from the millions of other luxury SUVs clogging up our parking lots. The interior focuses on “the beauty of open space” with minimalist details and a commanding driving position surrounded by high mounted control surfaces. Early details they’re willing to reveal include confirmation of a new rear-wheel-drive architecture (with AWD available) and an available third row. We’ll know more when it’s revealed in full soon enough.

[Source: Genesis]

Not-a-Mustang Mach-E First Edition Reservations are Full

All-New Mustang Mach-E

Ford’s Not-a-Mustang Mach-E has gotten popular long before it even hits the road. The First Edition Mach-Es that were open for reservations immediately after its reveal a few months ago has sold out. No numbers have been released which confirm exactly how many units that equals, but Ford wouldn’t have stopped at a low number for something like this. Those who missed the bandwagon can still reserve a Premium or Not-a-GT Mach-E though, probably until they finally start building them later this year. Fun fact: more than a quarter of all reservations are coming from California.

[Source: Ford]

What’s your automotive news?


That’s all I’ve got for you this week, so now it’s your turn. If you saw anything, fixed something, broke everything, or otherwise did anything even remotely car related that you want to share with your fellow hoon, sound off in the comments.

Have a good weekend.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The maximum upload file size: 64 MB. You can upload: image, audio, video. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop files here

17 responses to “The News for January 3rd, 2020”

  1. wunno sev Avatar
    wunno sev

    after nearly a year of working on it (including months of not working on it, of course) I’ve finally started the engine on my project Volvo. of course it isn’t running right, but it’s mechanically ready. now it’s time to find it what i forgot to plug in, and then i get to spend obscene amounts of money on tuning and tires!

    1. dead_elvis, inc. Avatar
      dead_elvis, inc.

      I can’t say I recall what particular Volvo this is, but that last bit makes me think it may be of the R flavor.

      1. wunno sev Avatar
        wunno sev

        99 V70 T5. it’s got a manual gearbox and now a bigger snail and an LSD. turns out to have been a pretty expensive project.

  2. crank_case Avatar

    All he needs now is to create a ropey underdeveloped sports car with Gull-wing doors or some other gimmick and Carlos Ghosn would be the new John Z. Delorean.

    Shame the Nissan Bladeglider never worked out.

    1. outback_ute Avatar

      An interesting twist in the story, perhaps a few of the Times’ questions can be reasonably guessed at, e.g. doubtful he needs to work again, or would travel to the US due to the extradition treaty.

      There was a big escape here by a drug boss on bail over a decade ago, he used a yacht to flee the country before he was found in Greece and extradited and is in jail now.

  3. Jeff Glucker Avatar
    Jeff Glucker

    Montero is getting some off-road lighting this weekend. Nothing crazy. Just two fogs in the rectangular openings below the grille. Still waiting to setup a time for my suspension install. Then I need to take a look at my throttle body and cable… I think it needs some love.

    My clutch pedal cover fell off, so I replaced it with skateboard grip tape:

  4. danleym Avatar

    Its out! Engine and trans are pulled, engine is disassembled and ready for the machine shop. Collecting parts for a manual trans swap, goodbye 904 3 speed slushbox and hello T5! https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/4080ba41fb3f7b092708be1bf89b4135fa356ea5765cbccb906f9d5a98176778.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/2d00b3404efa8250e6c00f63e4a6a45c7d5688611e3cc5478b15a6960f8f059b.jpg

  5. William Byrd Avatar

    That Genesis looks great. My in-laws just got a G80 and it’s quite good. They should hopefully sell a metric ton of those GV80s. Ideally this will be the first step of people identifying the badge as a solid luxury marque, something that likely keeps people from buying Tellurides and Stingers (which is too bad, they’re both really good).

  6. Sjalabais Avatar

    A second attempt at starting a Turkish auto industry was in the news last week: TOGG, a fresh, local EV manufacturer, hoping to produce 5 different models over the next 15 years:

    They look like perfectly fine, generic, modern cars. I really like the idea of more diversity, but for Turkish strongman Erdogan to choose the car industry, of all things, as an industrial champion…there are countless ways to fail.

  7. 0A5599 Avatar

    For 11 years, my wife drove a GMT800. She loved it, except for the last year or so, when the interior started wearing out, and so did a few inconveniently-located parts.

    I had replaced it with a GMT900, which has some mystery problems that appear only for her, fix themselves, and do not leave any evidence for diagnosis. No codes, no repeatability, and no abnormal data. She won’t drive it anymore, for fear of being stranded, though I’m fine using it as a commuter/camping/towing vehicle. She tried swapping vehicles with me, but none of mine really resonated with her and were all too big/small/hard to drive/whatever. She went on and on about how the best vehicle she ever had was the GMT800.

    Yesterday we got another GMT800. Same color as the old one, but lots fewer miles; it should be at least another 6 years before it catches up to the mileage where the first one started having problems. It needs a few minor fixes (seat tilt motor, CD won’t eject, neither will DVD player), but so far she’s happy.

  8. ptschett Avatar

    “the beauty of open space”
    [has a massive center console]
    I doubt their commitment to SparkleMotion open space

    In my news, it’s been snowy here, so the Challenger has been mostly parked since the end of November & I’m daily driving the Ram. I’ve been quite pleased with the winter traction I’m getting with the Ram’s new Falken Wildpeak A/T3W tires (which are a winter-rated tire with the snowflake/mountain symbol.) The only time I’ve found them in any way short on traction was on an Interstate that stayed open through a snowstorm, allowing continual traffic to roll the snow into smooth hard ice that maybe only studded tires or steel caterpillar tracks could really grip.

    Less positively: it’s possibly the end of my mom’s time as a licensed driver, and I have mixed feelings on that. I grant that medical professionals & law enforcement personnel have the right to request a driver evaluation when an older person with some health issues has had what are now two car accidents (though in very different circumstances from each other) in the span of 3 months. I don’t like that the timing of that request meant that the letter from SD DPS was mailed to my mom dated December 20th, with the forms for the physician and optometrist due back January 4th or else license cancellation, as if there weren’t major holidays within that time frame & potential absences & office closures of the needed medical personnel due to the holidays. (But, computers don’t take holidays. Any two week period is equivalent beep beep bloop.)

    I’m halfway of the opinion the more recent incident had a root cause in that car’s newfangled automatic engine start-stop fuel-saver function being still unfamiliar to my technologically-challenged mom, possibly giving a false assurance the car was in a safely stationary state when it wasn’t (and/or a false assurance it was closer to a safe state than it was), but I’m not sure The System is interested in that kind of nuance or how it would affect the vital pursuit of things that are Good For General Motors’ CAFE Compliance and therefore Good For The NationEconomic Zone / GDP / shareholders.

    aaaaand I’m gonna stop typing as the last bit there was getting doomer-ish.

    1. Manic_King Avatar

      My mom will be 80 soon and there’s discussion if or when she should stop. No recent accidents and all clear from the doctor, tho. And she has dead simple manual Renault Clio (no power steering!) which she refuses to change to anything newer probably correctly thinking it could confuse her with things like that start-stop or with something else.

    2. outback_ute Avatar

      I imagine a dealership would be able to disable the system permanently, but it would also be worth doing your own evaluation of your Mom’s driving without creating a pressure/observation situation which may be tricky, eg by following her (both having to drive to the same destination).

      I know my grandfather was doing some unpredictable things due to his dementia which stopped him, at least I don’t think there were any accidents involved partly due to his being in a small town.

  9. Smaglik Avatar

    Ordered a condensation sensor to fix the issue of the touring HVAC automatically turning in defrost mode. Should be in this coming week.

    Took a road trip the last two days, staying at La Posada in Winslow, an old Fred Harvey hotel right in the RR that’s been renovated back to its glory days, and wandering around the petrified forest. One thing I’ve always found interesting about the park is that the souvenir shops on the south end always have these old crap cans parked outside, just so that it looks like someone is shopping there. They even update them over the years. I snapped photos of several of them yesterday.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c5f42b3330b13c9b3e82ff8547922bf2c590b8a26cdbbee69f35feb6a8aac559.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7842aaedfd8d4439b0a06fdcf7de4aa2596316ef4ff7336b812752578176cc41.jpg

    1. Sjalabais Avatar

      That’s a weird trick, but I’m sure it works! Some of these “shoppers” seem to have been spending their money for at least 20 years though!?

      1. Smaglik Avatar

        Yeah. The old Ford has been there for years, but that Saturn is a relatively new arrival. They don’t have tags on them, which gives them away to those of us who have been to that area more than once, but at least now most of them have air in the tires.

        Honestly though, those stores suck. Ungodly expensive, and full of those angry signs…much better off going to the one on park property on the north end. Cool rocks though.

      2. Scoutdude Avatar

        Yeah I’ve used that trick before. In college I worked at a gas station, doing the sunday shift. If I parked my car at the pump it would bring in customers.