The battle over air conditioning refrigerant between Mercedes-Benz and France (more or less repping the EU) continued this week with neither side showing signs of backing down.

Latest news is here and we attempt to perceive some sense through the fog of war here. If you need a 101 on the whole thing from scratch (I'd pull up a coffee first), the whole saga is now handily packaged here.

Personally, I think Mercedes is flogging a dead horse and it's not getting much sympathy in some quarters if a blog in the Economist this week is any guide. It's not as if the change in chemical was notified last week and other automakers seem willing to comply without fuss. All sorts of alternatives have been looked at, one has been chosen, the risks considered and deemed low. Get over it and move on.

Still, this little turf war will keep industry watchers entertained a while yet by the look of things.

Second quarter/first half results continue to trickle through. Some nice figures just in from Magna while Visteon also wrote theirs with the black pen. And, with a bit of bad news at home, India's Tata must appreciate the odd cheque from Jaguar Land Rover's CFO.

Moth-eaten industry wallets also appear to be inching open again. Honda has revived a dormant test track project, is adding bits and pieces in Ohio and will build another plant in Brazil, Mazda's going to make engines alongside cars in Mexico and GM is spending large at Spring Hill, once Saturn Central. Oh, and Toyota's tiddlercar expert Daihatsu is adding engine capacity in Indonesia.

News like that we like.

Have a good weekend.

Graeme Roberts, Deputy Editor,