Automotive News Europe blogs

Bentley Bentayga's autonomous tech tops Audi's

Posted 9:46 am U.S. ET, Nov. 16
blogs

NICK GIBBS :  Driving the Bentley Bentayga shows just how sophisticated self-driving technology has become. It also reveals how much further autonomous driving features have to go before automakers and lawmakers will confidently allow drivers to remove their hands from the wheel. The Bentayga SUV's self-driving features are not as advanced as the Level 3 Traffic Jam Pilot hands-free system on the new A8 sedan ...
     Continue reading "Bentley Bentayga's autonomous tech tops Audi's" »

Post Comment  |  Permalink



French tech company NAWA sees ultracapacitor battery breakthrough

Posted 5:53 am U.S. ET, Nov. 14
blogs
Lamborghini's Terzo Millennio (third millennium) concept uses supercapacitors to deliver high peak power and regenerate kinetic energy.
NICK GIBBS :  Those looking for the next big thing in automotive battery technology would do well to follow the career of Ulrik Grape. The Norway-born executive has just been made CEO of French tech company NAWA Technologies, which wants to sell automakers ultracapacitor batteries. Given Grape's CV, the industry should be paying attention. Grape started out in the 1990s promoting lithium ion, first for use in ...
     Continue reading "French tech company NAWA sees ultracapacitor battery breakthrough" »

Post Comment  |  Permalink



Why Vauxhall is likely to survive despite a steep sales slump

Posted 4:56 am U.S. ET, Nov. 13
blogs
Vauxhall has started selling the Crossland X, pictured, the first of two new SUVs based on PSA technology.
NICK GIBBS :  PSA Group's strategy to reduce non-profitable new-car sales is having a significant effect on the automaker's Vauxhall brand in the UK. Vauxhall's sales slide was illustrated most starkly in October, when the brand finished sixth after its registrations fell 35 percent in a market down 12 percent. In the first 10 months, Vauxhall sales are down 21 percent. For many years, Vauxhall has been the U ...
     Continue reading "Why Vauxhall is likely to survive despite a steep sales slump" »

Post Comment  |  Permalink



Volvo's subscription plan could be a boon for dealers too

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Nov. 12
blogs
Volvo says that buying an XC40 (shown) with the Care by Volvo subscription service will make having a car as easy and hassle free as having a phone.
LUCA CIFERRI :  Volvo seems to have found a new way to get its vehicles into the hands of customers that is digital, transparent and hassle free. It's also not likely to cause a dealer rebellion. The automaker's new Care by Volvo is described as a subscription service. The offer mirrors what mobile phone companies do to win customers in a highly competitive market. Some of the perks of Care by Volvo are a monthl ...
     Continue reading "Volvo's subscription plan could be a boon for dealers too " »

Post Comment  |  Permalink



Without PSA tech, Opel could have been killed by EU CO2 fines

Posted 6:08 am U.S. ET, Nov. 10
blogs Luca Ciferri is associate publisher and editor of Automotive News Europe.
 
The European Union's target to reduce CO2 emissions from Europe's new-car fleet to a 95 gram per km average by 2020-2021 must be keeping car company executives awake because it will tough to achieve. But Opel CEO Michael Lohscheller probably can sleep a little easier. PSA Group will be providing Opel with enough turn-key electrification technology to enable Opel to reach its emissions reduction g ...
     Continue reading "Without PSA tech, Opel could have been killed by EU CO2 fines" »

Post Comment  |  Permalink



Europe's automakers score a win with new CO2 targets

Posted 4:36 am U.S. ET, Nov. 9
blogs
Christiaan Hetzner is Automotive News Europe's Germany correspondent.
CHRISTIAAN HETZNER :  Outwardly Europe's carmakers are complaining stridently about the EU Commission's proposed fleet emission targets through the next decade. Behind closed doors however it's a good bet that they are breaking out the champagne. They shouldn't, since it would be short sighted mistake to view this as a victory. As the EU Single Markets Commissioner Elzbieta Bienkowska, the most vociferous practitioner ...
     Continue reading "Europe's automakers score a win with new CO2 targets" »

Post Comment  |  Permalink



Car rejection claims 'totally false,' Seat CEO says

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Nov. 9
blogs
"No one rejects the car," Seat CEO Luca de Meo told the Automobilwoche Congress in Berlin.
DOUGLAS A. BOLDUC :  Seat CEO Luca de Meo says claims that a growing number of people are rejecting car ownership are "totally false." Seat's research has found that by 2025 the car will be the primary mode of transportation for 60 percent of people and that just one out of 10 people are contemplating giving up their car in the near future. "No one rejects the car," he told the Automobilwoche Congress in Berlin on W ...
     Continue reading "Car rejection claims 'totally false,' Seat CEO says" »

Post Comment  |  Permalink



PSA's Opel purchase leaves Citroen odd man out

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Nov. 1
blogs
Citroen is simplifying its lineup. For example, it is replacing the C4 hatchback with the face-lifted C4 Cactus, shown.
PETER SIGAL:  PSA Group's purchase of Opel means that the French automaker now has three mass-market European brands (four if you count Vauxhall). Could that be one too many? One path of speculation has focused on Citroen being the odd man out. Excluding Opel, Peugeot accounts for 61 percent of PSA's European sales, while Citroen has 36 percent with the shrinking upscale DS brand accounting for the rest. Afte ...
     Continue reading "PSA's Opel purchase leaves Citroen odd man out" »

Post Comment  |  Permalink



VW brand's profit margin goal is too easy

Posted 6:28 am U.S. ET, Oct. 30
blogs
Christiaan Hetzner is Automotive News Europe's Germany correspondent.
CHRISTIAAN HETZNER :  Volkswagen brand's turnaround plan “Transform 2025+” is not even a year old and yet next month the brand’s CEO, Herbert Diess, will likely find himself forced to revise already his targets – upwards. Diess, a restructuring expert from his time at BMW, has so far over-delivered on his plans to boost profitability at VW Group's chronically low-margin core marque. However, in ...
     Continue reading "VW brand's profit margin goal is too easy" »

Post Comment  |  Permalink



Toyota is not seeking No. 1 status; still cautious on EVs

Posted 4:03 am U.S. ET, Oct. 26
blogs
Leroy says Tesla doesn't have a sound business model. He is pictured on stage in Tokyo with CEO Akio Toyoda on the background screen. (REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon)
LUCA CIFERRI :  Toyota traditionally has been overly politically correct, never making a bold statement or saying something that could displease a competitor. Executive Vice President Didier Leroy showed the new face of a much more adventurous Toyota at the Tokyo auto show this week. Below are edited remarks the French executive, who is the right arm of Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda, made at a dinner on the sidelines ...
     Continue reading "Toyota is not seeking No. 1 status; still cautious on EVs" »

Post Comment  |  Permalink



Land Rover design chief dangles more clues on next Defender

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Oct. 20
blogs
A Defender navigates a test course at Jaguar Land Rover's plant in Solihull, UK. (BLOOMBERG)
RICHARD TRUETT :  PALM SPRINGS, California -- Gerry McGovern, Land Rover's chief design officer, can't go anywhere these days without the subject of the next Defender coming up almost instantly. And so it was moments after sitting down to dinner with journalists last week during a press preview here for the new Range Rover Velar. A reporter asked McGovern if he felt pressure about the Defender as its public debut ...
     Continue reading "Land Rover design chief dangles more clues on next Defender" »

Post Comment  |  Permalink



Why PSA is axing jobs at Vauxhall's Astra plant

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Oct. 19
blogs
Vauxhall's Ellesmere Port builds the Astra Sports Tourer, the second-best selling compact wagon in Europe.
NICK GIBBS :  Both Vauxhall and PSA cited declining sales in the compact segment as a reason for cutting 400 jobs at the UK factory that builds Astra cars. That would make sense if customers were turning away from the cars built in the plant at Ellesmere Port, northwest England -- but they're not. Seven out of 10 cars built there are Astra Sports Tourer wagons and sales of those grew 17 percent to 66,199 acro ...
     Continue reading "Why PSA is axing jobs at Vauxhall's Astra plant" »

Post Comment  |  Permalink



Auto industry cold on UK joining NAFTA post-Brexit

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Oct. 18
blogs
Nick Gibbs is a UK correspondent for Automotive News Europe.
NICK GIBBS :  The UK joining the North American Free Trade Agreement zone is an idea reportedly being floated as an alternative if Britain crashes out of the European Union in 2019 without a trade deal with its European neighbors. Leaving aside the fact that NAFTA itself is under threat, the idea has some merit for the car industry, at least on paper. The U.S. imports more British-built cars than any other cou ...
     Continue reading "Auto industry cold on UK joining NAFTA post-Brexit" »

Post Comment  |  Permalink



Volvo's Polestar could become a credible BMW, Tesla rival

Posted 4:24 am U.S. ET, Oct. 18
blogs
The Polestar 1 has a double electric motor system that powers both rear wheels. (REUTERS)
LUCA CIFERRI :  Volvo Cars' Polestar brand claimed some world firsts while unveiling its debut model, the Polestar 1 high-performance plug-in hybrid coupe, in Shanghai this week. With a combined 600 hp, the Polestar 1 will be the most powerful car ever built in China, the company's CEO, Thomas Ingenlath, said. Production will begin in mid-2019 at a new dedicated plant in Chengdu. With a range of up to 150 km (9 ...
     Continue reading "Volvo's Polestar could become a credible BMW, Tesla rival" »

Post Comment  |  Permalink



No steering wheel? Not so fast, ZF CEO says

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Oct. 11
blogs
Sommer: “If you would ask me to drive in Paris traffic, passing the Place de la Concorde in a car without a steering wheel, I would feel rather uncomfortable.”
DOUGLAS A. BOLDUC :  If you’re not ready to trust a computer-driven vehicle that has no steering wheel you’re not alone. Stefan Sommer, CEO of self-driving technology maker ZF Friedrichshafen, is also reluctant -- in certain situations. “If you would ask me to drive in Paris traffic, passing the Place de la Concorde in a car without a steering wheel, I would feel rather uncomfortable,” Sommer ...
     Continue reading "No steering wheel? Not so fast, ZF CEO says" »

Post Comment  |  Permalink



How Mercedes turned a 'crazy' idea into gold

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Oct. 6
blogs
Christiaan Hetzner is Automotive News Europe's Germany correspondent.
CHRISTIAAN HETZNER :  A little more than 20 years ago, the Mercedes-Benz W163, dubbed "Job1," rolled off the assembly line at the company's U.S. plant in Vance, Alabama, launching the M class. It was a risky experiment for what was known then as Daimler-Benz: its first manufacturing plant outside Germany, building an entirely new product and its first wholly manufactured SUV. Mercedes production boss Markus Schaefer ...
     Continue reading "How Mercedes turned a 'crazy' idea into gold" »

Post Comment  |  Permalink



Why Renault predicts big profits from EVs

Posted 6:38 am U.S. ET, Oct. 6
blogs Luca Ciferri is associate publisher and editor of Automotive News Europe.
 
Renault’s investment in electric vehicles is already paying dividends and the automaker said today that its profits from EVs will rise significantly in the next five years, which is in big contrast to rivals. Renault EV boss Gilles Normand today showed a slide that detailed the company’s progress toward EV profitability (see below). Since starting its Drive the Change plan in 2011, th ...
     Continue reading "Why Renault predicts big profits from EVs" »

Post Comment  |  Permalink



Why Marchionne thinks EVs threaten the planet

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Oct. 3
blogs
Marchionne says that most EVs are no better than gasoline-powered cars when it comes to environment impact because two-thirds of electricity is produced using fossil fuels today.
ANDREA MALAN:  Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne believes that a widespread move to electric vehicles could be catastrophic because it has the potential to increase CO2 emissions and worsen global warming. “A forced introduction of BEVs [battery-electric vehicles] on a global scale, without solving the problem of how to get clean energy, would endanger our planet's existence," the longtime E ...
     Continue reading "Why Marchionne thinks EVs threaten the planet" »

Post Comment  |  Permalink



Industry shifts blame, again, for diesel woes

Posted 4:37 am U.S. ET, Oct. 3
blogs
Christiaan Hetzner is Automotive News Europe's Germany correspondent.
CHRISTIAAN HETZNER :  What does the German auto industry do if it has skirted the spirit of emission laws for years only to see this ethically questionable – and in Volkswagen Group’s case outright criminal – behavior come back to haunt them? Shift the debate. The ongoing legal fight over whether to ban diesels from entering cities on polluted days is a direct result of manufacturers building cars th ...
     Continue reading "Industry shifts blame, again, for diesel woes" »

Post Comment  |  Permalink



Renault Alaskan shows how Europe's pickup segment is going upscale

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Sept. 29
blogs
The Alaskan pickup will go on sale in Europe this fall.
PETER SIGAL:  In many parts of Europe, you're as likely to see a high-end sports car like a Porsche Carrera as a pickup truck. Now, Renault and a few other automakers are aiming to change that by offering pickups with creature comforts that Americans have long taken for granted. A test drive here in the Slovenian Alps of one new offering, the Renault Alaskan, shows that automakers offering pickups in Europe ar ...
     Continue reading "Renault Alaskan shows how Europe's pickup segment is going upscale" »

Post Comment  |  Permalink



Opel's loss of key executives makes turnaround much harder

Posted 11:02 am U.S. ET, Sept. 25
blogs
Mueller was considered a bright spot in Opel's management.
CHRISTIAAN HETZNER :  Opel faces a tough task replacing the automaker's award-winning marketing chief, Tina Mueller, who is joining German cosmetics retailer Douglas as CEO on Nov. 1. Mueller's departure comes soon after former CEO Karl-Thomas Neumann quit Opel following General Motors decision to sell the German automaker and its Vauxhall sister brand to PSA Group. The loss of Opel’s "dream team" is a severe b ...
     Continue reading "Opel's loss of key executives makes turnaround much harder" »

Post Comment  |  Permalink



Labor gain and strain loom from EV shift

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Sept. 24
blogs
It takes 50% more time to make a hybrid powertrain compared with a conventional engine while EVs take 40% less time. (Source: AlixPartners)
ANDREA MALAN:  When a staunch EV skeptic such as Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne becomes a believer in electrification it leaves little doubt that battery-powered cars will play a significant role in the industry's future sooner rather than later. "Electrification is here," Marchionne told analysts in late July. He said the switch to 48-volt mild hybrids, full hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and batte ...
     Continue reading "Labor gain and strain loom from EV shift" »

Post Comment  |  Permalink



Why Volvo picked XC40 to launch VIP service

Posted 5:30 am U.S. ET, Sept. 21
blogs Douglas A. Bolduc is managing editor at Automotive News Europe.
 
Volvo CEO Hakan Samuelsson knew long ago that he wanted to do something special with the XC40, which is the first expansion of the Swedish automaker’s portfolio since the arrival of the XC60 in 2008. “His vision was clear,” Volvo marketing expert Thomas Andersson told me when discussing Samuelsson's vision. “You enjoy the vehicle. We will take care of the rest.” To ...
     Continue reading "Why Volvo picked XC40 to launch VIP service " »

Post Comment  |  Permalink



Volvo designer achieves rare feat with XC40

Posted 7:30 am U.S. ET, Sept. 21
blogs
Kettle says his XC40 drawing succeeded because he didn't create a scaled-down version of Volvo's bigger SUVs.
DOUGLAS A. BOLDUC :  With the XC40 Volvo achieved a rare feat because the SUV's look is the same as the day it was first drawn. “We were convinced we had something in our hands with this car,” Volvo Chief Design Officer Thomas Ingenlath said of the day four years ago he saw that early image of the car. “We took it from a tiny sketch to this,” he added at a press event ahead of the compact SUV ...
     Continue reading "Volvo designer achieves rare feat with XC40" »

Post Comment  |  Permalink



Zetsche strikes a humble tone for German automakers

Posted 3:00 am U.S. ET, Sept. 19
blogs Peter Sigal is a France-based correspondent with Automotive News Europe.
 
FRANKFURT -- These have not been the happiest of times for the German auto industry. Fallout from the VW Group emissions scandal continues to weigh on consumer confidence, and has placed executives in the uncomfortable position of defendants. Antitrust regulators are investigating accusations that automakers secretly discussed parts, suppliers and standards and even Chancellor Angela Merkel, a s ...
     Continue reading "Zetsche strikes a humble tone for German automakers" »

Post Comment  |  Permalink



 
Newsletters & Alerts
  • Sample
  • Sample
  • Sample
  • Sample