Automotive News Europe Blogs

PSA needs the Citroen DS 6WR in Europe

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, April 19
blogs
The stylish Citroen DS 6WR would help boost PSA sales in Europe where the automaker does not have a competitive SUV.
LUCA CIFERRI:  PSA/Peugeot-Citroen's decision not to sell the DS 6WR compact crossover in Europe is strange. The car debuts at the Beijing auto show and is the production version of the widely admired Wild Rubis SUV concept unveiled at the Shanghai show last year. The stylish vehicle will seek to capitalize on how Chinese consumers equate French cars and French goods with fashion and style. PSA needs the DS 6 ...
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French automakers are poised to grab market share in China

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, April 18
blogs
Citroen will unveil DS 6WR at the Beijing auto show on Sunday. The crossover will go on sale in China by year end as the flagship of Citroen's DS upscale subbrand.
YANG JIAN:  Peugeot, Citroen and Renault last year combined to sell fewer than 600,000 vehicles in China -- a tiny total in a market where Volkswagen Group and General Motors each sold more than 3 million units. But PSA/Peugeot-Citroen is racing to introduce new products while Renault prepares to start local production. Soon, the French automakers will become forces to be reckoned with in China. The French ...
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Renault uses Formula One to win Chinese buyers

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, April 18
blogs
The Renault name is written in Mandarin on this F1 race car.
LUCA CIFERRI:  Renault is using Formula One to promote its brand in China ahead of the French automaker opening its first car factory in the world's biggest auto market. Motor race fans watching the F1 race in Shanghai on Sunday will see the Renault logo prominently displayed in Mandarin on Lotus cars. Renault supplies engines to the Lotus team. The advertising will give Renault a much-needed boost in China, b ...
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PSA will survive for now, but long-term challenges remain

Posted 6:42 am U.S. ET, April 17
blogs Bruce Gain is an Automotive News Europe correspondent in France.
 
PSA/Peugeot-Citroen CEO Carlos Tavares' Back in the Race business plan and a cash injection from Chinese partner Dongfeng are almost certainly enough to ensure his company's short-term survival, but PSA's long-term prospects remain uncertain. To compete effectively against global players such as General Motors, Toyota, and Volkswagen, PSA must achieve significantly higher volumes of scale, which ...
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PSA's recovery will be boosted by the 'Tavares factor'

Posted 9:52 am U.S. ET, April 14
blogs Luca Ciferri is Editor of Automotive News Europe.
 
PSA/Peugeot-Citroen CEO Carlos Tavares is the first to admit that his turnaround strategy for the struggling automaker isn't a wonder cure. "I cannot make miracles," he said at Monday's presentation of his Back in the Race recovery strategy for the company. That blunt answer shows the essence of PSA's new CEO: a tough, no-nonsense executive who always tells the truth even when a lie would have ma ...
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Compact SUVs to shine at Beijing show

Posted 5:58 am U.S. ET, April 11
blogs Yang Jian is managing editor of Automotive News China.
 
SHANGHAI -- Ten years ago, many Chinese families could not afford a car. Today, not only can they afford one, but they're getting picky about which vehicle to buy. SUVs, with their high seating position and wide view of the road, have won the hearts of Chinese consumers. Within the segment, compact models are the big sellers because they are less expensive and easier to maneuver on China's conges ...
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More Mercedes records to fall in 2014

Posted 8:55 am U.S. ET, April 4
blogs Douglas A. Bolduc is Managing Editor at Automotive News Europe.
 
Mercedes' new record for global sales in a single month -- 158,523 cars and SUVs -- probably won't last long. With the new-generation C class, Mercedes' No. 1 seller globally, and the all-new GLA SUV starting to arrive at dealers now, the German automaker is poised to surpass the high-water mark set in March as early as this month. Continued strong demand for its other compacts -- the CLA, B cla ...
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Land Rover provides more clues to expanded Discovery family

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, April 3
blogs
A teaser photo of the concept's interior shows little detail but the new Discovery likely will use Land Rover's new lightweight aluminum architecture and feature a more appealing exterior. (LAND ROVER)
DIANA T. KURYLKO:  Land Rover is taking its largest vehicle, the Discovery, and making a family of it. In March at the Geneva auto show, Land Rover said an expanded Discovery range would debut in 2015. Part two of the Discovery story is coming this month to the New York auto show. Land Rover said on Wednesday it will reveal the Discovery Vision Concept SUV in New York. The use of only the Discovery name on the co ...
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With Tavares no longer involved, Renault divorces Alpine partner

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, April 2
blogs
Renault unveiled the Alpine A110-50 concept car on the sidelines of the 2012 Monaco F1 Grand Prix. The car is powered by a 400-hp, 3.5-liter V-6 engine mounted in a mid-rear position. (REUTERS/Olivier Anrigo)
BRUCE GAIN:  Renault appears to be scaling back its ambitions for the sporty Alpine subbrand but the project will still go ahead, a source familiar with the development work told me. Renault has ended its partnership with UK sports car maker Caterham, its Formula One racing partner, to revive Alpine but "it's an amicable divorce,” the source said. The termination will not affect the 300 workers tied to ...
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End of an era at Fiat

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, April 1
blogs Jennifer Clark is an Automotive News Europe Correspondent in Italy.
 
Fiat's last annual shareholder's meeting in its hometown of Turin, where it was founded 115 years ago, was surprisingly low key. Fiat's next shareholders meeting will be in the Netherlands, which is like Ford Motor holding its annual assembly in Canada. The furor from Italian unions and politicians about Fiat's decision in 2011 to slow the pace of its investments in Italy has died down, given tha ...
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An old Rover plant comes back -- and someday, maybe, the brand

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, March 31
blogs
The aluminum body of a Range Rover Sport in inspected as it moves along the assembly line at Jaguar Land Rover's plant in Solihull, United Kingdom, in July 2013. (BLOOMBERG)
RICHARD TRUETT:  SOLIHULL, ENGLAND -- The transformation of the old Rover plant here in the British Midlands, scene of so much labor strife, turmoil and heartbreak in the 1970s and ’80s, is breathtaking. No other factory on the planet makes more aluminum-bodied vehicles. That record will hold until next year when Land Rover’s former owner, Ford Motor Co., is cranking out aluminum F-150 pickups in its ...
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Honeywell's hot streak

Posted 7:21 am U.S. ET, March 24
blogs Douglas A. Bolduc is Managing Editor at Automotive News Europe.
 
Honeywell's turbo business is on a hot streak in Europe. Six of the last eight European Car of the Year winners have gotten a boost from Honeywell's best-known component, and Ferrari has hired the supplier to help power its Formula One racecars. F1 teams have switched to 1.6-liter turbocharged V-6 engines for the 2014 season from 2.4-liter naturally aspirated V-8s. Honeywell says the downsized V- ...
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Hollywood gives French brands a marketing boost

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, March 21
blogs
In the movie The Zero Theorem, the Renault Twizy is the preferred transport in a future London.
BRUCE GAIN:  PSA/Peugeot-Citroen and Renault are taking a battering in their slumping French domestic market, but globally the automakers are getting a big marketing boost from Hollywood's film industry. Both companies have cars starring in new movies screened in cinemas across the world. The spy thriller 3 Days to Kill has many scenes of the Peugeot RCZ R and 208 GTi cars racing through the streets of Paris ...
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Renault to gain most from closer ties with Nissan

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, March 20
blogs Bruce Gain is an Automotive News Europe correspondent in France.
 
Renault stands to benefit the most from deeper integration with alliance partner Nissan, industry watchers believe. Renault likely will reap 45 percent of the estimated 4.3 billion euros ($6 billion) in synergies the alliance aims to achieve by 2016, Deutsche Bank analyst Gaetan Toulemonde said. Renault’s 45 percent share is more significant since Nissan's revenues are about twice that of ...
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Ford of Europe CEO's new conversation with dealers

Posted 5:40 am U.S. ET, March 19
blogs Douglas A. Bolduc is Managing Editor at Automotive News Europe.
 
Ford of Europe CEO Stephen Odell is having a very different conversation with his car retailers. "Now dealers are asking us for cars," he said. In the past, dealers complained that they had too much product to move off their lots. The reason for the change is that Ford of Europe has trimmed its inventory to 38-day supply of unsold vehicles compared with a 48- to 50-day supply a couple years ago a ...
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Ferrari bets big on Europe's rebound

Posted 1:35 pm U.S. ET, March 14
blogs
Ferrari Land in Spain is scheduled to open in 2016.
JENNIFER CLARK:  Ferrari's decision to open a new theme park in Europe rather than China or another growing market is a big bet that the region's slump is really over. Demand for Ferrari's dream machines is so strong that it will hold back production through 2015 to protect brand exclusivity, Chairman Luca Cordero di Montezemolo says. Its recently spun off brand licensing business raked in more than 50 million e ...
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Fallout from Ukraine crisis weighs on VW

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, March 14
blogs Gabe Nelson is a reporter for Automotive News and is based in Washington, D.C.
 
Volkswagen Group sold a record 9.7 million vehicles worldwide in 2013 and expects to top 10 million this year, four years ahead of CEO Martin Winterkorn's original 2018 goal. But now the company’s focus is shifting to profit margins. And because VW is one of the biggest players in eastern Europe’s car market, the political instability in Ukraine that led to the Russian occupation of C ...
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VW, Toyota poised to make history

Posted 9:47 am U.S. ET, March 13
blogs Douglas A. Bolduc is Managing Editor at Automotive News Europe.
 
No automaker has sold 10 million vehicles in a single year but it's very likely that both Toyota and Volkswagen will surpass that milestone in 2014. VW Group CEO Martin Winterkorn says there is a "good chance" his company will reach its goal of 10 million vehicle deliveries this year, which would be four years ahead of schedule. VW Group, which includes the VW, Audi and Lamborghini car brands as ...
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Porsche is Volkswagen's profit champion

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, March 13
blogs Paul McVeigh is Managing Editor at Automotive News Europe
 
The true worth of the Porsche sports car brand to Volkswagen Group became apparent today when VW released its 2013 financial results. Porsche's operating profit last year was 2.6 billion euros on revenue of 14.3 billion euros, giving the sports car brand an 18 percent return on sales. At 5.0 billion euros, Audi's operating profit was almost twice as much as Porsche's but Audi's result was on rev ...
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Hackenberg's next Audi R8 could rock the EV world

Posted 7:27 am U.S. ET, March 11
blogs
Audi says the R8 E-tron will be a "technology carrier" for the brand.
DOUGLAS A. BOLDUC:  Audi technology boss Ulrich Hackenberg believes the R8 E-tron supercar's 450km range could change the way people think of electric cars. During Audi's annual results press conference today Hackenberg said he and his team have developed a full-electric version of the R8 that has a range of 450km. By comparison, BMW says its i3 electric car has a maximum range of 190km. Hackenberg said Audi’ ...
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Audi TT scores double Web win at Geneva show

Posted 4:34 am U.S. ET, March 10
blogs
The third-generation Audi TT made its debut at the Geneva auto show.
DOUGLAS A. BOLDUC:  The new Audi TT scored a double victory at the Geneva auto show. The third-generation of Audi’s iconic coupe finished No. 1 in online stories and blogs and was the most mentioned vehicle in the social media realm, according to a study. The TT is the first double winner at a major European auto show since the Porsche 911 took both honors in 2011, which was the year that UK-based Kantar Media ...
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Apple's CarPlay is smart but simple

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, March 6
blogs
Ferrari FF owners can now link their iPhones to the car's entertainment system.
JENNIFER CLARK:  Apple’s new CarPlay system is as simple to use as you would expect from a company that has perfected the art of easy-to-use technology. Apple unveiled Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo as its first partners to use CarPlay in their vehicles at the Geneva auto show this week. I tried it out in a Ferrari FF at the Italian carmaker’s buzzing stand. The FF is Ferrari’s version of a &l ...
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Huracan poised to blow away Gallardo

Posted 6:45 am U.S. ET, March 5
blogs
European and U.S. deliveries of the Lamborghini Huracan start in the second half.
DOUGLAS A. BOLDUC:  Lamborghini CEO Stephan Winkelmann predicts that the supercar maker's newest model will start breaking records in 2015."Next year the Huracan will exceed the Gallardo's best sales year of 1,844," Winkelmann told me in an interview at the Geneva auto show.The Gallardo, the most successful Lamborghini model of all time, had its best sales year in 2008. That sales total is also the highest ever for a ...
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Renault Twingo: a new French revolution

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, March 5
blogs
Renault Twingos demonstrate their turning circle in Geneva.
PAUL MCVEIGH:  The Renault Twingo will stand out in Europe's crowded minicar segment because of its rear-engine layout and rear-wheel drive.The little hatchback, which uses Daimler's platform for the upcoming Smart ForTwo and ForFour, has cute looks and its engine setup helps make the car highly agile and maneuverable in crowded cities.To prove it, the company had four Twingos drive around in circles on its stan ...
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What BMW's Robertson looks for in a future leader

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, March 4
blogs Douglas A. Bolduc is Managing Editor at Automotive News Europe.
 
BMW sales chief Ian Robertson says that the auto industry's next-generation leaders will need to have open minds and international backgrounds.These characteristics will be crucial as automakers adapt to megatrends, he said.One example is the growing number of people in megacities such as London who want a mobility solution -- such as a car-sharing scheme -- rather than the responsibility of car o ...
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