Automotive News Europe blogs
Dissecting Europe's automotive numbers
Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, July 12
| Luca Ciferri is associate publisher and editor of Automotive News Europe.|
Luxembourg has the youngest car parc in Europe while Poland has the oldest. Germany has the highest number of people directly employed in vehicle manufacturing in Europe but Spain has the highest output per worker. Turkey is the largest vehicle exporter to the EU in term of units, but Japan accounts for the highest import value of cars to the region. Europe's diesel penetration is down, but electr ...
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Renault design boss knows which line matters most
Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, July 11
Laurens van den Acker, pictured with the current Clio subcompact. He says the success of the car gave him "a bit of breathing room.”
PARIS -- When discussing automotive design, the word “line” gets used often. We talk about a vehicle’s beltline, roofline and the sightlines from the driver’s seat. Attractive cars have “nice lines.”
Renault design chief Laurens van den Acker has his own take on the word.
“There’s an expression, ‘The most beautiful line is the line of a risin ...
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Volvo sends message to suppliers
Posted 8:40 am U.S. ET, July 5
| Douglas A. Bolduc is managing editor at Automotive News Europe|
Volvo CEO Hakan Samuelsson says that the automaker's decision to electrify all its future powertrains provides a clear message to suppliers.
"They can count on Volvo as a customer," he said, adding that he hopes the Swedish automaker's commitment to electrified powertrains will lure more suppliers to the sector.
"I think we need new players. We need more competition," he said during a press conf ...
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Ghosn knows what it means to be No. 1
Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, July 5
Carlos Ghosn recently told Nissan's shareholders that the alliance of auto companies and brands he has forged — Nissan, Renault, Mitsubishi, Samsung, AvtoVAZ — expects this year to become the world's biggest-volume auto group.
That would be an amazing feat, but if it happens, it might warrant a cautionary observation: Beware of being the king.
Consider what General Motors, Toyota and ...
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Continental's speaker-less solution slashes weight, satisfies the ear
Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, June 30
Continental's solution replaces conventional loudspeakers with actuators that create sound by vibrating certain surfaces in the vehicle. The A-pillar is suited for high frequencies, the door panels for medium frequencies and the roof lining for low frequencies, Conti said.
DOUGLAS A. BOLDUC
Continental's speaker-less in-car audio solution reduces weight by up to 90 percent compared with today's sound systems. However, even the head of advanced development at the supplier's interiors division says he was “extremely skeptical” about going speaker-less.
“I didn't even want to hear it,” said Karsten Michels, who was reluctant because the quality of the soun ...
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Britain's unofficial auto show is a classy affair
Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, June 28
Goodwood stands are becoming more elaborate. Pictured is Ford's stand in 2014.
Forget auto shows held in huge trade fair grounds in cities such as Frankfurt, Paris and Beijing, the UK's must-attend automotive event is a much more refined event.
The Goodwood Festival of Speed, held in the grounds of a sprawling aristocratic estate in southern England, has now grown in importance to the point it’s become the unofficial replacement for the British International Motor Sho ...
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Porsche and Toyota patriarchs cement friendship at Le Mans
Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, June 28
Friendly rivals: Porsche Le Mans chief Fritz Enzinger (fourth from left) with Toyota executives (from left) Pascal Vasselon, Shigeki Tomoyama, Rob Leupen, Takeshi Uchiyamada and Toshio Sato. (Christiaan Hetzner)
In Porsche's hospitality suite not far from the race track, Toyota executives gathered around the meter-high trophy handed to the victor of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Porsche had won the race for the third year in a row on Sunday after early favorites Toyota, who had set a new lap record in qualifying, suffered one disaster after the other. In an attempt to stack the deck, the Japanese carmaker sen ...
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Volvo's Ingenlath achieves rare feat
Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, June 21
New Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath.
DOUGLAS A. BOLDUC
Volvo's Thomas Ingenlath is among few designers who have been tapped to lead a brand.
Ingenlath is the new CEO of Volvo's Polestar unit, which the automaker is turning into a global stand-alone for electrified cars to challenge Tesla Motors and BMW's i subbrand.
Other designers that rose to become brand bosses have had mixed results.
Bryan Nesbitt's appointment as head of Cadillac was unprecede ...
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Chinese carmakers declare war on foreign rivals
Posted 7:59 am U.S. ET, June 19
Yang Jian is managing editor of Automotive News China.
Until recently, Chinese automakers were widely considered to be cheap, low-quality marques that were too weak to compete with global giants.
But in the past two years, several Chinese brands have snatched market share from foreign rivals.
Chinese brands accounted for 44.4 percent of light-vehicle sales in China in the first five months of the year, up 6 percentage points from 2014.
Leading the ...
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Why VW will not sell Polo in the U.S.
Posted 10:36 am U.S. ET, June 16
The new Polo, shown, is wider and longer than the current model.
Volkswagen brand's global sales boss, Juergen Stackmann, says the automaker has no plans to add its new Polo subcompact hatchback to a U.S. lineup dominated by SUVs and sedans.
The price level of the segment in America is "ridiculously low," Stackmann told me on the sidelines of the Polo's unveiling in Berlin on Friday.
"It doesn't make too much sense for us to bring a car like this, which has t ...
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How should foreign automakers enter China's fast-growing EV market -- with pricey luxury cars, or no-frills models for the mass market?
The answer appears to be both.
To meet Beijing's tough fuel economy targets, Volkswagen Group and Daimler each has adopted a twofold strategy, and other foreign automakers are likely to follow suit.
The two German automakers recently signed agreements with Chin ...