Nedcar on the Block

undertheradar's picture


As we all wait with baited breath for certain events to play out in Greece, I thought it would be fun to have a look at some developments in the manufacturing sector in the Netherlands. I also got a kick out of all the stuff posted yesterday on the Chevy Volt.


Mitsubishi is pulling out of Colt and Smart Forfour manufacturing in Born, Limburg, and is looking to sell its assets there. Wikipedia gives some background on Nedcar for those who are interested.


There is a proud tradition of vehicle manufacturing in the Netherlands which is a bit difficult to sum up briefly here. But I would like to mention the fact that it all began back in the late 1920's in Eindhoven by a couple of enterprising brothers, Hub and Wim Van Doorne. The brand it is mostly associated with is DAF, which stood for Van Doorne's Aanhangwagen Fabriek. The quirky Daffodil passenger cars are still remembered fondly by a few here in the Netherlands. They included innovative technology such as the unique Variomatic transmission in the sixties. DAF trucks are still produced by parent PACCAR just outside the city. Parts such as axles are shipped in from Belgium and so on.


The plant in Born was initially set up, among other things, to absorb laid off mine workers in the declining coal industry in Limburg. A variety of cars have been produced there, with Volvo playing a big role from the early seventies until Mitsubishi took over fully by 2001. We are looking at a plant that at one time could assemble at least 200 000 vehicles a year.




Nissan is interested in some of the pieces and says it could build parts in Born. Final assembly would happen elsewhere. A Swiss company, Q-PM, is reportedly also interested and says all 1500 workers would be able to keep their jobs. They would produce Wankel engines in Born which would be shipped as far away as the US. There are other parties interested, including one in China and one in Europe, that have also shown interest but not much is known about any plans there yet.

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winter2012's picture

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winter2012's picture

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Treason Season's picture

Here's a poster and a reply re: Wilder from the Daily Telegraph. Hope it's not too long.

  • JaneDoeNL

    Yesterday 09:32 AM

    Just a comment on what, imo, Wilders represents - this is partly in reply to an earlier post of Brabander.

    Brabander said I must be a eurosceptic, posting on the DT. He has misread/misunderstood my posts. I have said frequently enough I have no problem with the concept of the euro or with that of European integration in a general sense. What I, and I believe many other Dutch people and probably most other Europeans, object to is being completely sidelined and ignored by the political elite. There has been no debate on what type of European cooperation we want, there has been no debate on whether northern Europe wishes to form a transfer union with southern Europe. The political elite just pushed these things through without a thought as to how it will work out. When things go wrong, they tell the people they have no choice but to suck on it. The people who make the decisions walk off scott free, no responsibility, no accountability, always with a golden handshake, leaving those of us who were not consulted with no voice and a big mess.

    This regent style politics is the staple of Dutch politics, although it is finally, slowly, changing. Wilders is merely a representation of that. Wilders is, in my own opinion, a populist and an opportunist. It is not that I don't believe he holds the convictions he does, but I believe he is an astute power-player first and foremost, a conviction politician second. I have no problem with that, as he has shaken Dutch politics up considerably, something that was very much needed. Our politicians have become sloppy and complacent and are not doing right by the country.

    Brabander says that people talk badly about Wilders. The hypocrysy of political correctness could have been invented in NL. Many people agree with a lot of what Wilders says - not necessarily the way he says it, but as no one else would speak out and if you put it too softly, no one would listen, Wilders' sometimes OTT statements have been the only option. People do not dare say out loud that they think Wilders is right, because you are immediately vilified, called a racist and a moron. The self-annointed intellectuals of NL have decreed that anyone who has a good word to say about Wilders is a neanderthal, so people who consider themselves intelligent and moderate dare not speak out for fear of being tarred with the "moron and irrelevant" brush.

    The CDA was decimated in the last election, most of its votes went straight to Wilders. Wilders made promises in the social-economic area that he could not keep, so naturally the people still stuck in the 70s looking for a free ride from the nanny state are now switching their votes to the SP, who has taken a leaf out of Wilders' book on how to win votes. The next government will probably be even more left-wing than this one, but thanks to the deficit and the cop-out of Brussels dictats, will backtrack on its election promises of increased benefits so fast the voters' heads will spin. At which point Wilders will be on the rise again, because the fundamental problems remain and the main parties are still refusing to deal with them, being too busy trying to blame everything on Wilders.

    Sorry for the long post, but people have such extreme opinions of Wilders one way or the other, I though some nuance might be useful.

  • Brabander

    Yesterday 01:02 PM

    Thank you for your thoughtful comments.
    As Wilders is a successful populist politician his frequent comments strike a note with many people, that is a fact.
    However his solutions are usually very facile and this has, inevitably, come back to bite him in the rear so to speak.

    I disagree vehemently with his extreme views on Islam and Muslims in general. This is quite ironic since Wilders is partly Indonesian, ie from a country with the world's largest Muslim population.
    He is obviously trying to prove something which includes peroxiding his hair as he is naturally dark haired!

    I know quite a few Muslims in different countries both educated and "uneducated" and do not share his views.
    However I do believe that unrestrained immigration by people with a fundamentally different outlook on life is short sighted and wrong.

    I also disagree with Wilders' attitude towards Israel as he gives priority to the interests of Israel over those of NL even if this harms NL.
    However the media in NL appear to be afraid of raising this issue for fear of appearing anti semitic.

    Politically Wilders is probably slightly right of centre but by his actions he has moved a lot of disaffected people left of centre.
    NL always has had co-alition governments including at least one centre party.
    By embracing Wilders that centre party has now almost killed itself as a political force.
    Remember that Wilders is a MINORITY politician.

undertheradar's picture

Thanks for digging up and posting that particular exchange right here TS. The recent past has proved to me there are mostly kowtowing careerists in politics where it matters most. I'm reading up on the platforms of the PvdA candidates, which I've never trusted to have an iota of understanding of basic cause and effect in financial markets. I know what happened when they were in power and I know which of them held positions of power. They're the first ones I don't trust because they never did anything as a collective that meant a damn thing. There was a real sense of, you know, we're all administrators, you get back to your own office and work, make an impression for your next move up the hierarchy.

And I may not know all the nitty gritty either, but I will debate the points. I'm waiting for a politician with a real vision on what matters and is not afraid to speak his or her mind and make the odd slip up. No further comment at this point.

bank guy in Brussels's picture

It's not very wise to refer people to the CIA's Wikipedia site, where CIA and Mossad agents, or corporate criminals connected to the US regime can change information instantly ...

So your reference to Wiki ends up helping to spread lies and hoaxes.

Did you not know Wikipedia was a CIA-run website? Or that Google is a CIA company as well?

You should know the case of the political refugee from the US, mostly in Belgium now, but who has also lived in the Netherlands where he first went after barely escaping alive out of America. He is under the personal protection now of the King of the Belgians, whose household helped stop the Americans from murdering him. US agents continually plant hoaxes about this victim on Wiki, with links to media articles by 'reporters' taking bribes from  friends of the Bush family. Google censors and erases all of this victim's websites, so he cannot respond to the Wiki hoaxes.

In short, Google and Wikipedia are both CIA companies, originally funded by the CIA, erasing the truth from today's internet, trying to falsify history itself.

Google censors and manipulates search results to hide crimes of the US regime, and Google's CIA sister, Wikipedia, fills the internet with lies for the sheeple, on the 5% or 10% of topics important to CIA and Mossad. The game is to fool people with the 90% of material that is semi-legitimate or semi-neutral, so they are tricked by lies and hoaxes on topics important to US-Israel.

Here's where I took my avatar from ... a photo collection also showing Google at work censoring the global internet:

Live Photo: Google Inc. Caught Censoring EU Search Results about US court corruption
Google Internet Censorship - Censure d'Internet par Google - Internet censuur door Google

'Ex-Agent: CIA Seed Money Helped Launch Google', retired intelligence agent Robert David Steele interviewed by Paul Joseph Watson, and speaking of the CIA's Dr Rick Steinheiser and his connections with Google:

Re Wiki -

Jimmy Wales of Wikipedia is a mafia former porn king involved in harming children, today honoured by his close friend the President of Israel, for the Wales - Wikipedia efforts to slander and kill Muslims, and to destroy the minority of Jews who remain non-Zionist.

The Wales - Wikipedia 'hive' team have known criminal backgrounds and involvements, like Wikipedia lawyer and molester of women Fred Bauder ... their willingness to spread lies to murder is why the US-CIA hired them as the Wikipedia 'team' ... Wikipedia is designed so the CIA and Mossad agents and corporate criminals can be 'anonymous' while planting bullsh*t there.

Current EU case re Wikipedia and Google in the attack on Europe, trying to murder European citizens criticising the USA:

Report to the EU Parliament and the Commission of the European Union
Anti-Competition Crimes of EU Internet Monopoly Google Inc. (with CIA) and Wikipedia (with CIA), to Erase EU Journalism, to Slander and Murder EU - Polish Citizen, Writer, Journalist,  Non-Zionist Jew, and Harvard graduate
Original in pdf format:


One good thing from the Netherlands, in contrast to the CIA's Google which tracks and record every usage of Google for the US government -

This is a Netherlands-based company, Ixquick, which indeed does not track your search results, and protects the privacy of all web searchers.

It indeed has happened that what people has searched for on the internet via Google, is obtained by hostile parties and used against them ...

American judges gladly accept bribes to 'order' Google to turn over this information, and Google Inc. is always happy to help bribed American judges, because Google Inc. is trading favours with American judges that are of good use to help Google Inc destroy and rob other companies in US courtrooms, making the Google Inc. monopoly even bigger.

The Ixquick search engine is available in a number of languages. Click on 'Language' in the upper-right corner for more language choices, here is the main Ixquick page in standard (UK) English:

undertheradar's picture

Thanks for the tip bank guy. The info on wikipedia wasn't terribly insightful either, but somebody made an effort. And I'm still not sure if I'm an independent agent or working for the CIA by parsing and spreading the info I get from wherever I happen to find it...

I have driven past a factory in Born, and spoken to a few old retirees who claim to have worked there so trust me it looks like it might be a car plant.

Treason Season's picture


Hey UTR I got a questionfor you. You wrote in the last thread,

"There is no will to thoroughly clean up the banking sector, in fact, the politicians look to the banks, the BIS, the ECB to receive their marching orders"

Are you talking about Europe in general and/or the Netherlands in particular? I am going to assume it's either both or the latter but excuse me if I go on a bit about your country but that sure doesn't sound like the place I knew and loved. Notice I write in the past tense as I've been priced out and won't be able to return unless my gold ship ever comes into port. Are you saying the Dutch have no political will to organize and fight back against this bankster monolith? I really have to shake my head in disbelief. Man, if anybody knows the price of salt it's the Dutch and if they are rolling over, if they are begging the banksters for more, I mean wtf. I thought the Greeks were delusional and masochistic with their continued love of the Euro that's strangling them but the Dutch! With their merchant and trading background, their high levels of education, their internet connectivity... 

Neem me niet kwalijk. I'll stop now. I've talked myself into a depression.

Ghordius's picture

TS, are you really sure about this "bankster monolith"? What I see is a quite new party (about 10% of the electorate) in the NL with a proto-fascist leading that goes the populist way of bashing the EUR.

Fine by me, if the NLs want to get out of the euro then of course they should.

Would this solve the problem of the big public funds for social housing that bought idiotic derivatives? No. Is the Party for Freedom against derivatives? Don't see it.

Would this solve the problem of the Global Reserve Currency lowering rates to zero? No. And no, the ECB tried to keep'em up, it's a losing proposition - the USD rates set the pace of the world. Does the PVV even hint to this? No.

Could a new/old Guilder set lending rates back to sanity levels between 4% and 8%? No bloody way, José. See the CHF and the Norvegian.

The populist easy-for-the-common-man-to-understand way is the EuroBashing way, this makes sure that the British Press jumps on the bandwagon, with the Telegraph writing nice articles about the plight of the Freedom Fighters in the Netherlands (no mention at all to the travel ban the UK and Germany put on Wilders for his racist propaganda that is against their laws).

My point is that democracy in Europe still works. It's the real problems that are not understood. As long as the electorate does not understand the problems, the elected politicians will refrain from even touching them. Hell, most of them are also clueless.

ban derivatives - cut the megabanks to pieces with the good, old anti-trust laws

BigJim's picture

There's nothing wrong with derivatives, per se - futures / options have been used by farmers for thousands of years for hedging commodity prices, for instance.

The problem with them arises from TBTF banks buying huge, naked positions with money whisked up out of nothing via fractional reserve banking.

Get rid of the banks' cartel-granted right to create money, get rid of their TBTF status, and derivatives should shrink to their proper place - as an honest hedging vehicle.

undertheradar's picture

I fully agree. Options have been around forever and are an economic necessity. Too bad there's almost nothing left of those times when things were more honest and transparent.

Treason Season's picture

Problem Reaction Solution is how the world works. Democracy? Tell that to Pim Fortyn!

Left facsist Right fascist and the people get squeezed in the middle.

Ghordius you are beyond the limit of political gullibility which I will not entertain any further.

undertheradar's picture

I'm also worried they're going throw a spanner in the works, force an election, and capitalise on the issue no other party wants to look at objectively. All they want is that the study released yesterday is recalculated and by who? The CPB. And they don't have much in house to really look at financial markets. They give us GDP forecasts that are optimistic 95 percent of the time. I'd rather one of the other parties has the guts to put out a report. But they don't give a rats ass about these things really, they think they understand it sufficiently to get on the soapbox and get patriotic. And call those who know better freeky deeky nutters. At one time, Irrgang was pressuring government to be more open, debate the issues, but he has been strangely quiet the last half year.


Ghordius, I am mulling some future posts on the stuff you touch on such as megabanks. They just quoted De Jager today on that.

Ghordius's picture

"They"? Eh, we could start to talk about "They" including the Queen and her Bilderberg meetings, eh? Now, this would be some comment generator in ZH.... Fact is, even Bilderberg meeting partecipants don't come out with new solutions because it all depends of the path the US of A takes. We, Europe, follow. In political and monetary terms, and yes, thanks to the involvement of the UK, also in banking regulation matters.

Regarding new elections, most eurocountries are planning on elections end-of-2012 or 2013, so yes, this would fit the scenario... One can hope that until then there are issues leading to solutions that the parties can and will touch.

undertheradar's picture

There are issues that could decide things one way or another. But it rarely works that way, other 'important' issues are addressed and the problems get worse anyways. You said things have to get worse before they get better right? It's not that I am especially eurosceptical, it is that I see the eurozone imploding the way things are going so we have to wake up. You can't fight world inflation with this thing called the euro, sorry to upset you Germany. A little bit of a bad thing can be good sometimes. And if you're already obsessed about a bit of it, a lot of it may come back to bite you in the ass later.

Ghordius's picture

the sad truth is that in politics, as in many other human endevours, sometimes things have to become worse before they can get better.

An example: Did you notice how many pieces were released by the British Press about a possible crash in the NL housing market? Now, seriously, would you sell a good house at a good spot in the NL at the moment? I wouldn't. In doubt, I would rent it out.

Yes, house-ownership is high at 60% vs. the euro-average of 50%, but it's nowhere the levels that were pushed up in the UK and US. And 40% of rental market gives some comparison - this makes you aware of the housing consumption value versus the speculative add-on on the price.

currently, all you can hear is spin, spin, and talking your book

undertheradar's picture

There's still value in RE. And there are a lot of good neighbourhoods anybody would want to live. Great inflation hedge if thinks go haywire. I think rent is going up on balance too, and that will partly cancel some of the advantage for anyone smiling and sitting on the sidelines.

An interesting issue, RE, once again worth getting into in a bit of detail, I will see what the Brits are saying.

Ghordius's picture

RE, whenever a robust rental market can be used by comparison, is easy to understand. calculate with historic lending rates of 6%, though.

And if we follow the current path, real wages go down and so rental prices - in real terms - go also down.

undertheradar's picture

TS, I think you know more than you're letting on. But I will say this. Things are looking very wobbly here to me. It's something confidence has something to do with as always ;) But you can't live life on confidence alone now can you? And that seems to be the essence of politics here, look on the bright side, your house will stop dropping in value, make sure your neighbours hold the faith etc etc. Of course, these too are just observations. You have the Wilders crowd who have it hard in one way or another and have their solutions, which in economic terms I don't think amount to much except when they can bang on an isolated and loaded issue such as the guilder. And frankly I don't disagree with them on questioning our participation in the eurozone. I think one of the ulterior motives to set it up was actually to create more instruments to gamble er sorry invest in. I think the bond markets would be a fascinating world to be working in but I'm too lazy to follow the 2 week course and I probably couldn't handle the stress of trading millions at the push of a button. No offense intended to anyone on ZH, even bond traders, they have lots to look into these days. It really is a reflection of how I fit together.

The latest developments on the Greek situation are fascinating to follow. And where do find out the most first? Do I need to say it.

Treason Season's picture

No. it's not true that I know more tham I am letting on. I honestly do not have a feel for the Dutch zeitgeist. I've been away too long and as I said it's now much too expensive to visit so that's why I'm here in cyberspace.

If you have the time to read let me say something. When I first left the States many years ago and had the opportunity to meet the Netherlanders one thing I was struck by was how rounded people were. One could meet the most specialized individual, knowing the price of something in the Amazon rainforest or some souk in Arabia or the F.O.B. cost of cargo in Hong Kong and then turn around and be listening to the best music and smoking the best shit. I used to say they had the Germanic sense of effiicency and the Latin sense of humor. Dymanic and fatalistic at the same time. Now, I haven't a clue what's going on there. You write, "Things are looking wobbly here..." and I have no idea what you mean. Is there a significant percentage of people ready to act? What happened to the anti-EU constituton people? Did they just fold up tent when Brussels ignored them ? It just baffles me that people there have tolerated such nonsense. I think my problem is I idealized the Dutch too much, put them on a pedestal, didn't see the sell-outs and white trash and petite bourgeoise. Well I saw them but I thought they were outnumbered by the more enlightened ones. Guess not.

Rant over.

undertheradar's picture

I have gone from optimistic to pessimistic back to optimistic and so on. I can't speak for the entire nation either. I live in my small part of it, see a bit of it. I would say the young are carried away with their gadgets, getting by day to day in their insecure temp jobs and leaving the politicking to others. The efficiency and 'market' solutions to things like productivity have the upper hand. And why not? But it does make for a harder version of reality. That's what's it's going to be like for the masses anyways right? No different here. Things are catching up fast, fast. But there are still lots of interesting folks, good laughs etc.

Ghordius's picture

TS, I was expecting some comment from you at

Are you sure you are not looking at all those euro-matters with a biased angle? Let me put it this way (very theoretical):

- if the EUR was gold-backed, would your point of view on the european common currency change?

- if the current nations forming the EU would adopt the US Constitution and form the US of E, would your opinion change?

Fed_Printstone's picture

@ Nassim

The Swiss have a history of being "weird" towards car design and construction. Just google "Rinspeed".

Having said that, these Wankels are supposed to only be small, compact range-extenders (so they start up only to recharge batteries. At least that's what they said on the news.)

Both Switzerland and the Netherlands did however at one time build true old-fashioned American rolling steel. Both countries had a Chrysler assembly plant somewhere in the 1960s and '70s and the Swiss plant built honest-to-god big-block V8 goodness like the Chrysler New Yorker/Imperial.

It gets even better: while emissions regulations in the USA started to strangle the horsepower in the early 70s, the identical European models kept the full power throughout!

On the downside, only very few people could afford the exorbitant road and gasoline excise taxes that applied to using these cars so as you can imagine, they didn't sell all too well.


Nassim's picture

The Wankel engine has always been a disappointment - heavy on fuel. I am rather surprised someone is proposing to invest more in Wankel engines - at a time of high oil prices.

Non Passaran's picture

The Volt runs on a wanker engine which owes large part of its supreme horse-power to cheaply sourced beast of burden (US tax payer).

undertheradar's picture

I would agree that anyone considering purchasing a car do so carefully, especially regarding fuel consumption. And that bid is turning out not to have much credibility, it was thrown into the rumour mill by labour union FNV. Noone's been able to find out much about the bidder except that they have a few desks or a PO box somewhere in Switzerland.

undertheradar's picture

Funny how these industries evolve isn't it?