Automotive News Europe blogs
Risk rises for in-car buttons as gestures take control
Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, May 15
Continental's solution puts the gesture-detection zone on the steering wheel. This works with the help of a so-called "time-of-flight sensor" that is integrated into the instrument cluster.
DOUGLAS A. BOLDUC
The future of in-car switches and buttons looks even more uncertain as the move to offer gesture-based controls accelerates. Continental has developed a solution that puts the detection zone for gestures on the steering wheel instead of the center console.
That is where it is located on the new-generation BMW 7 series that debuted last year with a solution from Delphi that reads hand movements us ...
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In Paris, a feast of urban mobility options
Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, May 13
Pedicabs on the Ile de St. Louis in Paris. (BRADFORD WERNLE)
PARIS -- If you want to see how a future city without cars is beginning to take shape, take a quick trip to Paris, a laboratory for 21st century urban mobility.
To borrow the title of Ernest Hemingway’s memoir of 1920s bohemian life in Paris, the City of Light is truly “a movable feast.” Oh, there are still plenty of cars here, but increasingly, the automobile is being forced to ...
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VW is wrong to seek to clear its leadership over its diesel scandal
Posted 4:41 am U.S. ET, May 12
Christiaan Hetzner is Automotive News Europe's Germany correspondent.
Volkswagen Group continues to amaze me. The outrage over automaker's plan to pay its top management 35 million euros ($40 million) in bonuses for 2015 should give its supervisory board cause to reflect.
VW is asking shareholders at its June 22 annual meeting to ratify the actions of both the management board and supervisory board for last year – effectively giving them all a passin ...
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Radio's surprising role in race to reduce CO2
Posted 7:39 am U.S. ET, May 12
| Douglas A. Bolduc is Managing Editor at Automotive News Europe.|
Audi disagrees with radio broadcasters in Europe that FM, digital and internet audio services need to be offered side by side in future cars because the move would hamper automakers' efforts to reduce CO2 emissions.
"Let’s focus on two instead of three," said Holger Hees, Audi's head of development for broadcast radio, TV and optical media drivers. The options Hees supports are digital and ...
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Audi could be mulling a Maybach rival
Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, May 11
Audi could use the A8L to create a personal luxury limousine, as shown in this rendering, to challenge Mercedes-Benz in markets where there is demand for such models. (AUTOWEEK)
Audi may be thinking about taking on Mercedes-Benz at the very top of the luxury market.
Auto Express reports the automaker is considering fielding a Maybach rival, extra-long-wheelbase sedan as well as an upmarket new coupe to take on the latest flagship from Mercedes.
The current A8L could serve as the basis for an even longer sedan, given the rapid success of the relaunched Mercedes-Maybach S ...
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Why convertible SUVs could have a bright future
Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, May 6
Land Rover worked with Webasto to develop the Evoque convertible's sophisticated, five-layered folding fabric roof, which the automaker says is the longest and widest fitted on any open-top model currently on sale.
DOUGLAS A. BOLDUC
Convertible roof specialist Webasto says automakers are keeping a very close eye on the new Range Rover Evoque cabriolet.
“If it generates strong interest with customers there are a number of automakers that a ready to jump into the market,” said Holger Engelmann, CEO of Webasto, which supplies the Evoque’s folding softtop. “It is possible that we will see a few more model ...
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Why a PSA-FCA merger should happen - but won't
Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, May 4
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has been actively seeking a merger partner since September 2014. PSA/Peugeot-Citroen, which last month renamed itself PSA Group, is financially sound again, a pre-condition CEO Carlos Tavares said needed to be met before he would even dream about starting a conversation about a merger, alliance, cross sharing or any other such combination with another automaker.
Now the ...
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Lightweighting push puts pressure on leather
Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, April 29
| Nick Gibbs is UK Correspondent at Automotive News Europe.|
Automakers’ growing desire to cut weight from cars wherever they can is significantly boosting sales of an upmarket leather alternative, says the boss of the company that makes the substitute.
“We have noticed an increased interest in the lightness of the material,” Alcantara CEO Andrea Boragno told me.
Demand for Alcantara (which is the name of the product and the company) ros ...
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VW's other headache: workers' demand for a 5% pay hike
Posted 4:06 am U.S. ET, April 20
Volkswagen Group will be able to come up with enough money to cover the costs of its emissions-rigging scandal, which is estimated to be as high as 40 billion euros by some analysts. That's the good news.
The bad news is that VW brand workers in Germany are now asking for a 5 percent pay increase in the middle of the company's biggest ever business crisis.
The upcoming start of collective bargai ...
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VW's tone-deaf management
Posted 8:56 am U.S. ET, April 13
Christiaan Hetzner is Automotive News Europe's Germany correspondent.
In view of Volkswagen's emissions-rigging scandal, it's amazingly tone-deaf and irresponsible that the automaker's top management had to be prodded by unions into accepting a major cut in their bonuses.
People complain that the German unions constantly block company efforts to restructure by protecting uncompetitive jobs and instead forcing management to do splits to find a way to lower costs.
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Google and Apple can be good for industry, Renault-Nissan connectivity chief says
Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, April 13
| Bruce Gain is an Automotive News Europe correspondent in France.|
Are Google and Apple enablers or disruptors? A little of both, says Ogi Redzic, Renault-Nissan’s head of connected vehicles and mobility services.
Automakers worry that moves by Google and Apple into self-driving and electric cars may result in car companies becoming low-margin hardware providers to the tech giants who will cash in from developing the "brains" of future cars.
But while the ...
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Will the Mercedes pickup truck be called X class?
Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, April 8
The upcoming Mercedes pickup, possibly called the X-Class, will use the Nissan Navara platform, as shown in this rendering. (AUTOWEEK)
Mercedes-Benz will preview its upcoming pickup truck at the Paris auto show this autumn, Auto Express reports. The pickup, which will likely be badged the X class, is expected to go on sale in the late 2017.
Mercedes' first midsize pickup, which will be sold in Europe, South Africa, Latin America and Australia, will share most of its mechanicals with the Nissan Navara, although the powerplants ar ...
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Bo Andersson shares lessons learned at Lada
Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, April 7
Bo Andersson, the first non-Russian to lead the country's largest automaker, AvtoVAZ, faced an almost constant battle while trying to reform the money-losing, partly state-owned company.
In a farewell email written on his last day, Bo Andersson, the departing CEO of Lada maker AvtoVAZ, said he was “proud” of what he and staff achieved at the troubled Russian company during his short tenure.
The Swede was the first non-Russian to lead the country's largest automaker but faced an almost constant battle to reform the partly state-owned company in his two years as head.
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Rinaldo Rinolfi, who is one of the fathers of the common-rail diesel, and a true powertrain guru, is someone I trust wholeheartedly when it comes to providing feedback on the future of vehicle propulsion. I recently asked the former Fiat engineer which powertrain he believes is the greenest, most affordable option available today. His rather surprising response was: compressed natural gas.
"CNG s ...