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The latest issue of the Automotive News Europe monthly magazine is ready to view. The new edition looks at why car executives are seeing signs of something new in Russia: slow, steady -- nearly predictable -- economic growth.

This is great news for all automakers doing business in Russia, but it’s particularly positive for brands such as Renault and its Russian subsidiary, Lada maker AvtoVAZ, as well as Hyundai and sister brand Kia. These three dominant players are poised to profit most from the upswing. Our cover story looks at how high Russia’s car market is expected to rise.

Renault’s Mark Suss oversees the French automaker’s line of low-cost cars sold in Europe as Dacias and elsewhere as Renaults. Russia is one of the key markets for his part of the company’s business. He spoke about how Renault has turned selling budget cars into a highly profitable part of its business.

When asked about his outlook for Russia this year, Nissan Europe sales boss Philippe Saillard told us that the Japanese automaker expects the market to rise 7 percent to 1.8 million units. He is also predicting a 1 percent rise for Europe to 18.4 million.

Saillard’s conservative forecast for European sales has a lot to do with growing fears that the UK’s forthcoming departure from the European Union will cause havoc in the region’s second-largest market. Vehicle demand in Britain is expected to decline by 8 percent in 2018. We look at what other factors will weigh on the European market this year.

One of biggest concerns automakers face this year is how to handle the recent decline in diesel sales in markets such as Germany and France. The good news is that experts predict demand for the powertrain will fall less sharply in 2018. We look at what will cause this change.

Trouble for the diesel has caused some people to take a fresh look at alternatives, such as cars that don’t burn any fossil fuels. That is expected to help boost European sales of full-electric cars to 200,000 this year. Demand for battery-powered vehicles is forecast triple by 2020. We look at the brands that are expected to gain from this surge.

ANE monthly magazine

As China’s personal transport options evolve at a tremendous rate, BMW is researching how the latest mobility innovations can be adapted and made premium to keep the brand relevant in its biggest market.

On the new-product side, this month we review a pair of new small crossovers, which will join one of Europe’s fastest-growing sectors. Hyundai hopes a sharp design and off-road capability will help win customers for its Kona. Citroen says the C3 Aircross will stand out from rivals in the segment with its expressive looks, minivan-like practicality and extensive personalization possibilities.

On the supplier side, Yanfeng Automotive Interiors CEO Johannes Roters tells us why he sees the shift to self-driving cars as a “huge opportunity” for his company, and Magna Chief Technology Officer Swamy Kotagiri explains how the company is getting ready for the move to electric cars.

In our Final Word column, we introduce you to BMW’s Markus Seidel, a China-based executive who proves that disruptors do exist within German automotive companies.

Enjoy the issue!

Luca Ciferri, Associate Publisher and Editor

You can reach Luca Ciferri at

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