Even Bugatti is hopping on the certified pre-owned train, Pizza Hut goes three-wheeling, Toyota gives up on production in Russia. All this and more in today’s issue of The Morning Dump.
Welcome to The Morning Dump, bite-sized stories corralled into a single article for your morning perusal. If your morning coffee’s working a little too well, pull up a throne and have a gander at the best of the rest of yesterday.
I Woke Up In A Certified Pre-Owned Bugatti
If you’re like me, you can’t afford a new Bugatti. Hey, some of us have regular jobs and didn’t do something insanely lucrative like invent canned soup. But let’s say that owning a new Bugatti is just barely out of reach for you and not akin to becoming an astronaut. What do you do? Drop some serious cash on something that may have been totaled while the driver was allegedly distracted by a low-flying pelican? Absolutely not, Bugatti is here to help by launching a certified pre-owned program, even if the first paragraph of the press release is a little bit puzzling.
With the launch of the Certified Program, those who choose to purchase a pre-owned Veyron or Chiron through an authorized Bugatti Partner will be able to do so safe in the knowledge that the vehicle they are buying exhibits the incomparable quality expected of the Bugatti ‘macaron’.
While this statement largely succeeds in making people hungry, Bugatti’s using the “round badge” definition of macaron. Wait a second, didn’t Bugatti just kill its round badge? Anyway, Bugatti’s CPO program includes a one-year (lol) limited warranty and that’s about it other than prestige. Hey, maybe buying a flood-title Veyron isn’t such a bad idea after all.
No One Out Three-Wheels The Hut
I’m at the Pizza Hut. I’m in the three-wheeler. I’m in the combination Pizza Hut and three-wheeler. Yes, if you live in certain parts of California, your next pie might come in an Electrameccanica Solo three-wheeler. Electrameccanica has partnered with American West Restaurant Group, the biggest Pizza Hut franchisee in California, to fit these tiny little EVs with special pie-slinging gear.
While the three-wheeled Solo makes a puzzling commuter car, it almost seems born for pizza delivery. It can squeeze in tight gaps, park on a postage stamp, and doesn’t cost nearly as much as say, a Kia Rio. To prep the little things for your next office party, ElectraMeccanica replaced the standard car’s Smart Roadster Coupe-like hatch with a dedicated pizza holster. While only 14 of these nifty little delivery vehicles will be in service to start, here’s hoping that three-wheeled pizza delivery catches on. Who wouldn’t want their pizza delivered in a weird and joyous little car?
[Ed note: This is not the Deliverator we were promised! – MH]
Boeing Settles With SEC Over 737 MAX Claims
Reuters reports that Boeing will pay $200 million to settle Securities and Exchange Commission claims of misleading representation of the 737 MAX’s safety.
The SEC also said former Boeing Chief Executive Dennis Muilenburg had agreed to pay $1 million.
“In times of crisis and tragedy, it is especially important that public companies and executives provide full, fair, and truthful disclosures to the markets,” SEC Chair Gary Gensler said in a statement. He added that Boeing and Muilenburg “failed in this most basic obligation.”
The SEC said Boeing and Muilenburg did not admit or deny the SEC’s findings. The regulatory agency said a fund will be established for the benefit of harmed investors.
It turns out that Boeing’s claim that the 737 MAX “as safe as any that has ever flown the skies” simply wasn’t true. Shocking, I know. You’re probably thinking “gee, $200 million sounds like a slap on the wrist considering 737 MAX crashes killed 346 people,” and you’d be half-right. While $200 million doesn’t seem like a whole lot in the grand scheme of things, it comes on top of a $243.6 million criminal fine, $1.7 billion in restitution to airlines, and a $500 million victim fund. Looking at this breakdown, the victim fund should’ve been bigger, given how $500 million divided by 346 only works out to about $1.44 million per victim. You can do a lot of things with $1.44 million, but money can’t bring a family member back to life.
Toyota Finally Gives Up Hope On Russian Production
Some automakers take quite a while to change course. Case in point, Reuters reports that Toyota has finally given up hope on restarting Russian production.
The automaker suspended production in St Petersburg in March due to supply chain disruptions and stopped vehicle imports into Russia.
The factory, which has a capacity of 100,000 units a year and produced the Camry and RAV4 models, will be preserved and may be sold in the future, Kommersant’s sources said.
Toyota has not decided to quit the Russian market completely but sees no prospect of resuming car production there, the sources said.
It’s surprising to hear that Toyota held out hope for resuming Russian new car production in the face of sanctions against Russia, particularly since the company has a reputation for lean, flexible manufacturing, and since competitors like Renault threw in the towel fairly early on in the war with Ukraine. Perhaps just-in-time delivery and plant redundancies eased some of Toyota’s short-term pain. Regardless, the people of Russia need new cars, but they likely won’t be made by Toyota for quite some time.
Whelp, time to drop the lid on today’s edition of The Morning Dump. Happy Friday, everyone! The weekend is very nearly here. Today’s question is one about music. If your car had a theme song, what would it be? For my 325i, I’m going with Dropkick the Punks by The Faint. What can I say, infectious fuzz pairs beautifully with the induction noise of a partially-uncorked inline-six.
Lead photo credit: Bugatti