Opel styling boss
British designer Martin Smith, 52, was named Opel's new design director. He will be based in Rüsselsheim, Germany. He succeeds Hans Seer, who retired.
Smith (right) was vehicle line design director responsible for the Astra and its derivatives. He also led the design direction for the Opel Speedster/Vauxhall VX220 sports car and the G-90 and Snowtrekker concepts. Before joining Opel in 1997, Smith worked at Porsche and Audi.
ABT's new partners
Autobytel Europe, the European branch of the US online car seller, is resuming its activities with new partners. One of them is Pon Holdings, the leading vehicle importer in the Netherlands.
Autobytel Europe does not offer direct online sales, but acts as an intermediary between dealers and consumers.
'The German market has priority for Autobytel Europe,' said Managing Director Dries van der Vossen. 'We are talking with some interested partners.'
Autobytel Europe's original partners pulled out in June 2001. The company is currently only active in the UK, the Netherlands and Sweden. None of its portals are profitable so far.
- Wim Oude Weernink
PSA electric deal
PSA/Peugeot-Citroen and Electrité de France, France's state controlled electricity company, will jointly develop electric and hybrid vehicles and collaborate on battery research.
PSA claims to be the world's largest producer of electric vehicles, with a 60 percent market share. PSA produces electric versions of its Peugeot Partner and Citroen Berlingo utility vehicles.
- Sylviane de Saint-Seine