Automotive News Europe Blogs
Alfa's last chance?
Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, July 8
The Alfa Romeo Giulia is the brand's first new volume model since 2010.
Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne hopes that his 5 billion-euro bet on Alfa Romeo will result in eight new models that boost global sales to 400,000 vehicles by 2018 and bring an end to more than a decade of financial losses at the 105-year-old brand.
If I were Marchionne, I would be very worried about not achieving those three ambitious goals – and I’m not alone.
Let’s start ...
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Did Piech's prodding revive Alfa?
Posted 4:56 am U.S. ET, July 7
Jason Stein is the publisher and editor of Automotive News.
So now that the Alfa Romeo plan is more fully hatched and the strategy is clear -- horsepower and hair-raising versions come first, and mainstream models follow -- here's a nagging question: Do we have Ferdinand Piech to thank for all of this?
Are the fingerprints of the former Volkswagen supervisory board chairman all over the Alfa bet?
Vielleicht, as the Germans say. Maybe.
This fall will mar ...
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Why Ford stumbled with the EcoSport
Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, July 3
The revised Ford EcoSport no longer has a rear-mounted spare tire.
Ford stumbled with the EcoSport and was forced to make rapid changes to address poor sales. So what went wrong? The simple answer is that Ford didn't get the design right. In response, the revised EcoSport no longer has a rear-mounted spare tire and Ford has made styling, comfort and equipment changes to the interior just a year after the small SUV went on sale.
Ford took immediate action because ...
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German carmakers are right: Grexit can save Europe
Posted 3:39 am U.S. ET, July 3
| Christiaan Hetzner is Automotive News Europe Germany correspondent.|
There is a big misconception that Germany's export-reliant carmakers favor another Greek bailout at any cost since a deal would serve their own narrow interests.
It is wrong to believe they want to prevent a so-called Grexit by keeping Athens on permanent life-support as a way to maintain the appearance of a stable eurozone economy, perpetuate demand for German goods, and ensure the euro remains ...
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Swedish royalty and the XC90
Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, July 3
Volvo supplied 35 XC90s for last month's Swedish royal wedding.
DOUGLAS A. BOLDUC:
The Volvo XC90 has become synonymous with the royal family of the company’s homeland.
Sweden’s royal court used 35 new-generation XC90s as courtesy cars to transport VIPs attending last month’s wedding of Prince Carl Philip and Sofia Hellqvist.
In addition, King Carl XVI Gustav of Sweden has added the premium SUV to his fleet, a Volvo source confirmed to Automotive News Eu ...
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Citroen CEO sees positive changes for women in auto industry
Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, July 2
Citroen CEO Linda Jackson thinks China's car business is less macho than in other countries because its history isn't rooted in the male-driven world of racing.
One year into her role as Citroen CEO Linda Jackson says she hasn't encountered any prejudice as a woman working a man's world. In fact, she says it's an advantage.
“Being a women you can ask questions that men don't ask because they're supposed to know all these things,” she told me during a recent interview at the recent Automotive News Europe Congress.
One surprise to her has been ...
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Renault Espace's Tesla-like touchscreen could be a winner
Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, June 25
The Espace's touchscreen corresponds with the driver's view of the road, ensuring information is displayed clearly.
Renault’s large, vertically mounted touchscreen on its new Espace large minivan seems like a smart move as connectivity increasingly becomes a key selling point for new vehicles.
The Espace’s 8.7-inch touchscreen for controlling infotainment and driving aids has a similar layout to the signature 17-inch display on the Tesla Model S sedan.
The Espace touchscreen’s portrait mode, ...
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VW pays the price for failing to respond to evolving customer needs in China
Posted 5:00 am U.S. ET, June 19
| Yang Jian is managing editor of Automotive News China.|
After outperforming the market for almost a decade, Volkswagen, the top-selling brand in China, has begun to lose market share.
Through May, the brand's sales dipped 3.7 percent to 1.16 million vehicles. In that same period, industry sales of light vehicles in China rose 5 percent.
Why has VW started to lose ground? China's soft economy is one reason. Economic growth slowed to 7 percent in the f ...
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Marchionne's merger mania: Why now?
Posted 5:34 am U.S. ET, June 16
LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE:
Sergio Marchionne, CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and related companies, has a number of honorifics and titles on his resume.
But there is one important task that doesn't get talked about that much: Sherpa.
I refer to Marchionne's desperate quest to find a merger partner for FCA. He is shouldering the load for the billionaire Agnelli family that employs him.
Actually, Marchionne reminds me mo ...
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Life or death decisions
Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, June 12
This Audi A7 concept covered almost 900km largely on autopilot from Palo Alto, California, to the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January.
In the near future I could be writing this column from the driver’s seat of my car while the vehicle steers itself along the highway. This highlights just one of the possibilities that self-driving and increasingly connected cars open up to people like me who are fascinated by any new technology.
Audi’s sales and marketing chief, Luca de Meo, one of the brightest auto executives I hav ...
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The industry's up-and-coming executives require something their old-school bosses are often reluctant to give: praise. This deficiency can be the difference in losing or keeping a game-changing team member, said Gabi Whitefield, who along with being global public relations director at Land Rover is a member of the Automotive News Europe Rising Stars Club.
Whitfield was asked to speak last night d ...