Interesting reports just today with news that Ford may let president and CEO Alan Mulally loose ahead of schedule and that health issues may see VW supervisory board chairman Ferdinand Piech step down. Both denied, of course.

Former Boeing chief Mulally will go down as a legend for his work turning a very broke Ford around and guiding it through the post-credit crisis wreckage without a government bailout. I was intrigued to see two possibilities for his future. A move to the Obama administration would follow, sort of, in the steps of another Ford president, Robert McNamara, one of the 10 former United States Army Air Forces World War II veteran 'whiz kids', who then became the US Secretary of Defense under presidents Kennedy and Johnson during the Vietnam war era from 1961 to 1968 and then headed the World Bank for 13 years.

There has also been talk of Mulally perhaps replacing founder Steve Ballmer at Microsoft. The Windows maker, facing the decline of the PC and the rise of the smart device epitomised by Samsung and Apple, could probably use the same sort of new direction the former plane maker brought to a car company so, let's see if this eventuates. Interesting times.

Toyota's Corolla passed 40m sales but the automaker didn't nominate the exact milestone unit. A snarky aside to Toyota GB about the Auris - the newer name for the line here in Europe - produced a clever riposte: "It's the Lorna Luft to Corolla's Liza." As I did, you may need to Google that.

August sales in the US whet appetites for a 16m year, FBT changes took a bite out of Australian volume, and Russia eclipsed Germany. And we started to hear about up and comers like Myanmar.

Frankfurt show (for some of us but not moi) next week - previews and coverage are here.

Have a nice weekend.

Graeme Roberts, Deputy Editor,

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