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Autos

GM to repair, possibly auction Woods’ Escalade/Dutch driving tax from Amsterdam

In the wake of Tiger Woods’ notorious early morning crash, GM took pity.. On the Escalade. GM now plans to repair and possibly auction off the battered SUV, as it was one of several vehicles Woods agreed to be seen in after his promotional deal with Buick ended last year. Cadillac spokesman David Caldwell explained:

“The vehicle will be repaired, firstly. This is a promotional/marketing vehicle -- the kinds of cars used for advertising, public displays, photography, etc. That makes this a little different than a garden-variety car repair - given its special usage.”

Caldwell said the repaired Escalade could go back into service as a promotional vehicle, be repurposed for other internal duties or be sold off, most likely through an auction. USA Today believes that if the SUV does go before the gavel, it might be best to sell it as is: 

“Ironically, we expect the car -- with its bashed-in front end and windows broken where Woods' wife took a golf club to it, is worth more in damaged condition than repaired. A lot more.” (1) 

I would agree. Repairing Tiger’s Escalade makes about as much sense as patching up Abraham Lincoln’s top hat. And now to Amsterdam:

The Dutch government will soon tax drivers by the mile in hopes of clearing up traffic jams and reducing carbon emissions. Average size passenger cars will pay 0.03 Euro per kilometer ($0.07 per mile) with higher charges during rush hour and for traveling on congested roads. Bigger cars, trucks and commercial vehicles will be charged more for being dirtier. Tiger Woods' doomed excursion would have been taxed approximately $0.18. The AP reports: 

“When the plan takes effect in 2012, new car prices will drop as much as 25 percent with the abolition of a purchase tax and the road tax, which now totals more than euro600 ($900) per year for a mid-sized car.” 

Passage of the “kilometer tax” comes after 20 years of debate surrounding the touchy issue of privacy; the GPS devices installed in the vehicles will track the time, hour and place each car travels and the information will be sent to a billing agency. 

The Traffic Ministry said that the GPS information would be "legally and technically protected," and the data would not be accessible to the government for other purposes. "The privacy of road users is protected," it said. (2)


Sources: 

(1) http://content.usatoday.com/communities/driveon/post/2009/12/gm-tiger-woods-cadillac-escalade-to-be-repaired-eventually-auctioned/1
(2) http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5ggzUbQMWph8GplMdWzjDEnKD7ZJQD9BVD87O1
Picture: USA Today



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