Automotive News Europe blogs

Can autonomous vehicles be developed without risking lives?

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, May 14
blogs
Many suppliers and automakers, such as BMW, are developing autonomous systems.
DAVE GUILFORD :  Back on March 18, 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg was walking her bicycle across a street in Tempe, Arizona, when she was struck and killed by an Uber autonomous vehicle. Her death is the greatest tragedy in the incident. But it also has sent shock waves across the global community of autonomous-vehicle developers, researchers and regulators, even consumers. Those waves rippled through the Canadian ...
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Porsche wants Chinese buyers to love the 911

Posted 4:31 am U.S. ET, May 11
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Porsche has opened its first Experience Center in Asia based outside Shanghai's Formula One circuit.
CHRISTIAAN HETZNER :  China may be Porsche's biggest market but there is one core weakness that executives say is a concern: poor 911 sales. The sports coupe is coveted by fans across the world, except China where it is brand's least popular model by far. Porsche sold 1,674 units of the 911 in China last year, just 2.3 percent of its Chinese volume. In its German home market Porsche sold 7,500 examples of the 911 for ...
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Lessons learned from DaimlerChrysler

Posted 8:50 am U.S. ET, May 9
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Every merger or acquisition is a learning opportunity for the auto industry, but no deal serves up as many lessons as DaimlerChrysler. That's why the 20th anniversary of the unveiling of the now defunct and debunked "merger of equals" is an occasion worth noting. Conventional wisdom is that the combining of Daimler-Benz with Chrysler Corp. failed because of a clash of cultures. But that's an over ...
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VW hopes marketing overhaul will banish diesel stain

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, May 1
blogs
The I.D. hatchback, shown here as a concept, wil be the first vehicle from VW's I.D. electric family.
CHRISTIAAN HETZNER :  Volkswagen doesn't want to rely on product advertising alone for its game-changing I.D. battery-powered hatchback, the first in a family of I.D. models that the brand hopes will make it the world’s No. 1 seller of full-electric vehicles. VW will support the I.D. launch with a marketing overhaul symbolic of what it calls "New Volkswagen," hoping to wipe away the shame associated with its die ...
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Renault's push to grow outside Europe is off to a mixed start

Posted 8:50 am U.S. ET, April 27
blogs Peter Sigal is a France-based correspondent with Automotive News Europe.
 
Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn is betting that growth outside of Europe will drive revenues over the next six years. But, following flat growth in the first full quarter since Ghosn unveiled Renault’s Drive the Future midterm plan, it's not yet clear whether that strategy will pay off. Ghosn says Renault will double its sales outside Europe and triple revenues by 2022. The company has invested bi ...
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Why it won't be easy for global automakers to part with Chinese partners

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, April 23
blogs
Yang Jian is managing editor of Automotive News China.
YANG JIAN :  The Chinese government has announced that it will phase out restrictions on foreign ownership of joint ventures with domestic automakers by 2020. The move bodes well for foreign automakers' future in China as it will allow them to part from joint venture partners and gain full control of local operations. But a complete separation will be hard for nearly all global brands that manufacture in Chin ...
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Schaeffler looks beyond ball-bearings with future urban mobility ideas

Posted 4:52 am U.S. ET, April 19
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The Schaeffler Mover concept is an electric chassis that can take different bodies such as a robotaxi, shown, or a small cargo van. (Schaeffler)
PETER SIGAL:  Schaeffler is looking toward the future with new products and projects that might be considered unconventional for a company whose roots lie in ball bearing production. The German supplier's four focus areas in its 2020 strategic plan are urban mobility; environmentally friendly drivetrains; interurban transportation (trains and airplanes); and the energy chain (sustainable and conventional). Sc ...
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Key takeaways from VW's wild week

Posted 7:13 am U.S. ET, April 13
blogs
Christiaan Hetzner is Automotive News Europe's Germany correspondent.
CHRISTIAAN HETZNER :  If Volkswagen wanted to explain why it just reorganized itself into brand groups that supposedly will better drive forward the company's transformation process, then they did a poor job of it. But there were some key takeaways from Friday’s press conference that answered other open questions including why Matthias Mueller was dismissed from his post as CEO. Chairman Hans Dieter Poetsch went ...
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Pininfarina preps H500 concept as Tesla fighter

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, April 13
blogs
The H500 features a fastback profile and a generous rear passenger compartment. The most unique aspect of this fairly conservative shape: fins on the front fenders that flow into the windowsills.
JAY RAMEY :  Pininfarina is giving the world an early peek at a sedan concept set for reveal this month at the Beijing auto show, one of two concepts that the design house will showcase there. The Mahindra-owned consultancy has joined with Hybrid Kinetic Group of Hong Kong with the goal of developing "clean energy vehicles," and if the H500 sedan concept looks like a hopeful Tesla competit ...
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Jaguar said to be planning Porsche Cayenne rival

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, April 12
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The J-Pace will slot above the F-Pace, shown, in Jaguar's lineup.
WESLEY WREN:  It looks like Jaguar’s got another street-minded crossover in the works, one with the Porsche Cayenne in its sights. According to Autocar, the bigger Jaguar crossover will be called J-Pace and will borrow parts and pieces from Land Rover's component bins. As for the sheet metal, designer Ian Callum will pen a new shell for Jaguar's fourth crossover in half a de ...
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Bangle's quest to ban banality

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, April 5
blogs
Chris Bangle stands in front of the REDS minicar. The tall, boxy model was created by the former BMW executive's Italy-based design consultancy. (Chris Bangle Associates)
DOUGLAS A. BOLDUC :  Former BMW chief designer Chris Bangle has strong feelings about the future of car design. He believes companies should be doing more to stand out from their rivals. This includes doing away with something he was once in charge of at his former employer: establishing a common design language for the entire brand. "I would say that was my main job, to maintain that phenomenon for my years at BMW. ...
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New ZF CEO is bullish about plug-in hybrid sector

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, March 22
blogs
Scheider wants to leverage ZF's deep and diverse product portfolio.
DOUGLAS A. BOLDUC :  New ZF Friedrichhafen CEO Wolf-Henning Scheider's biggest question after fewer than 40 workdays at the supplier is: "How do we push this forward?" He wants to leverage ZF's deep and diverse product portfolio. "No one else has what we have," Scheider said. ZF produces everything from driveline and chassis technology to active and passive safety solutions. Scheider, 55, became CEO on Feb. 1  ...
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BMW, Mercedes win with diesels in Korea

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, March 16
blogs
BMW opened a driving center in South Korea in 2014.
CHRISTIAAN HETZNER :  It's only been a couple of weeks since the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang concluded, but for two of Germany's major premium brands the hunt for gold in South Korea continues. BMW's and Mercedes-Benz's sales are booming and, unlike Europe, diesels have been a major driver of the success. Models such as the BMW 520d or Mercedes-Benz E 220d routinely rank as the best-selling imports. Typically ...
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Why Israel is winning with autonomous cars

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, March 14
blogs Douglas A. Bolduc is managing editor at Automotive News Europe.
 
Israel is establishing itself as a major automotive player because of a willingness to continually challenge ideas, a top executive said. "No one is offended when the newest engineer challenges the CEO on why we are doing something," said Hagai Zyss, CEO of chipset specialist Autotalks, a Tier 2 supplier working with giants such as Denso and Robert Bosch. Autotalks offers so-called vehicle-to-ev ...
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Alpine, Fiat, Volvo find subtle ways to show national pride

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, March 9
blogs
France's colors can be found inside the doors of the Alpine A110.
DOUGLAS A. BOLDUC :  The pride that Europe's automakers have for their homelands was on display this week at the Geneva auto show, but it appeared in very inconspicuous places. Renault's Alpine sports car brand has a French flag in both door panels of the recently revived A110. ...
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Jeep overshadows Fiat brand with bigger Geneva spotlight

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, March 7
blogs
Jeep Boss Mile Manley introduces the Wrangler Sahara Edition at the Geneva show. (Bloomberg)
ANDREA MALAN :  Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' display at this year's Geneva auto show highlights how diminished the once-dominant Fiat brand is these days. Jeep got the prime position on FCA's stand, ousting Fiat from its traditional spot. Jeep was given the big corner stand while Fiat moved to a much smaller center stand, close to Abarth and Alfa Romeo. Being center stage at an auto show means no big back billboa ...
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Trump's tariff threat could impact PSA's U.S. return

Posted 4:55 am U.S. ET, March 7
blogs Peter Sigal is a France-based correspondent with Automotive News Europe.
 
U.S. President Donald Trump’s threat to impose tariffs on European cars exported to the U.S. has worried PSA Group, which doesn’t (yet) sell vehicles in North America. PSA CEO Carlos Tavares said that if Trump imposes tariffs were imposed it might negatively affect his 10-year plan to re-enter the U.S. market. "If the overall framework of tariffs change, it may have an impact on our ...
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Volvo ends long European Car of the Year losing streak

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, March 6
blogs
The XC40 was a resounding winner of the 2018 European Car of the Year. The compact SUV earned 325 points compared with 242 points for its closest competitor, the Seat Ibiza.
DOUGLAS A. BOLDUC :  Volvo CEO Hakan Samuelsson had a good feeling that the automaker would end its European Car of the Year losing streak two years ago. In 2016, the XC90 finished just 18 points shy of taking home the 2016 European Car of the Year. Samuelsson told me back then that he didn't expect the XC90 to win because the judges deciding on the prestigious annual award have long shown a preference for picking ve ...
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VW still bullish on U.S. shows; Ratan Tata shows up in Geneva

Posted 7:57 am U.S. ET, March 6
blogs
Woebcken: "We had a very positive media feedback in Detroit." (GLENN TRIEST)
RICHARD JOHNSON :  Editor’s note: An earlier version of this blog misspelled Hinrich Woebcken’s given name. Volkswagen remains bullish on U.S. auto shows, including the one in Detroit. Mercedes-Benz may be pulling out of the Motor City, but‎ VW of America chief Hinrich Woebcken says he was pleased with the way things turned out at the North American International Auto Show in January. "We ha ...
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Opel's void stirs ghosts of Genevas past

Posted 6:04 am U.S. ET, March 6
blogs
Opel's old space at the show now is occupied by Aston Martin, Dacia and W Motors' Ioniq brand. (Richard Johnson)
RICHARD JOHNSON :  GENEVA -- Back in Detroit, they can't stop talking about Mercedes-Benz's decision to skip the auto show next January, vacating its pride-of-place and always spectacular stand at a key entrance to the Cobo Hall show floor. But even stranger for me was walking into the Palexpo this morning and not seeing Opel at its accustomed spot at the top of the escalator to the second level, just above the mai ...
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Aston Martin takes over Opel stand in its biggest Geneva presence to date

Posted 8:07 am U.S. ET, March 5
blogs
Aston Martin's Vantage coupe will have its show debut in Geneva.
NICK GIBBS :  When Opel said in January that it would skip the Geneva auto show this year, regular showgoers wondered: Which brand would claim the former General Motors subsidiary's prominent spot in Hall 2 at the Palexpo convention center? The surprising answer was Aston Martin. Geneva has always been an important show for ultraluxury brands such as Aston Martin, but this year the UK sports car maker has a st ...
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Audi seeks social media buzz with e-tron Geneva tour

Posted 10:04 am U.S. ET, March 5
blogs
Audi showed an e-tron prototype at its Geneva auto show press conference. (Reuters)
CHRISTIAAN HETZNER :  Audi is seeking to cause a stir by driving 250 of its camouflaged e-tron full-electric SUVs through Geneva while the city hosts the annual auto show here. Audi is asking residents to take snapshots of the pre-production car and post them on social media to generate some buzz ahead of the car's launch later this year. The move is unconventional because companies normally try to hide their new mod ...
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Ghosn, Zetsche, Marchionne - who will go down as the most successful?

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, March 2
blogs
Richard Johnson is print editor of Automotive News.
RICHARD JOHNSON :  Born within 21 months of one another, Carlos Ghosn, Dieter Zetsche and Sergio Marchionne are all running up against retirement age now. Ghosn, the youngest, turns 64 next week but has signed on for another four years as Renault's CEO. Marchionne and Zetsche have contracts that expire next year when each will be 66. It's been a remarkable run for the Great Triumvirate — three of the longest ...
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Geely's 'hostile' move on Daimler is a watershed

Posted 8:30 am U.S. ET, Feb. 28
blogs
Christiaan Hetzner is Automotive News Europe's Germany correspondent.
CHRISTIAAN HETZNER :  Geely Chairman Li Shufu sounded almost fawning in his admiration for Daimler, the German industrial icon in which he had just spent 7.3 billion euros to acquire a tenth of the shares. Phrases such as "outstanding company," "first-class management" and an "honor to support this unique team" were used to flatter, as well as a pledge to abide by Daimler's charter and governance structure and respect ...
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Germany's diesel disaster

Posted 11:20 am U.S. ET, Feb. 27
blogs
Christiaan Hetzner is Automotive News Europe's Germany correspondent.
CHRISTIAAN HETZNER :  Diesel owners across Germany are facing a disaster. Roughly a year after Stuttgart triggered a nationwide panic by warning it might have to start driving bans to meet clean air legislation, the country's highest administrative court ruled in favor of "reasonable" restrictions for diesels. The ruling is expect to cause the resale value of diesel models to plummet. Repeated assurances from the coun ...
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