PSA's Opel purchase leaves Citroen odd man out
Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Nov. 1
Citroen is simplifying its lineup. For example, it is replacing the C4 hatchback with the face-lifted C4 Cactus, shown.
PSA Group's purchase of Opel means that the French automaker now has three mass-market European brands (four if you count Vauxhall). Could that be one too many?
One path of speculation has focused on Citroen being the odd man out.
Excluding Opel, Peugeot accounts for 61 percent of PSA's European sales, while Citroen has 36 percent with the shrinking upscale DS brand accounting for the rest. Afte ...
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VW brand's profit margin goal is too easy
Posted 6:28 am U.S. ET, Oct. 30
Christiaan Hetzner is Automotive News Europe's Germany correspondent.
Volkswagen brand's turnaround plan “Transform 2025+” is not even a year old and yet next month the brand’s CEO, Herbert Diess, will likely find himself forced to revise already his targets – upwards.
Diess, a restructuring expert from his time at BMW, has so far over-delivered on his plans to boost profitability at VW Group's chronically low-margin core marque. However, in ...
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Toyota is not seeking No. 1 status; still cautious on EVs
Posted 4:03 am U.S. ET, Oct. 26
Leroy says Tesla doesn't have a sound business model. He is pictured on stage in Tokyo with CEO Akio Toyoda on the background screen. (REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon)
Toyota traditionally has been overly politically correct, never making a bold statement or saying something that could displease a competitor.
Executive Vice President Didier Leroy showed the new face of a much more adventurous Toyota at the Tokyo auto show this week.
Below are edited remarks the French executive, who is the right arm of Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda, made at a dinner on the sidelines ...
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Land Rover design chief dangles more clues on next Defender
Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Oct. 20
A Defender navigates a test course at Jaguar Land Rover's plant in Solihull, UK. (BLOOMBERG)
PALM SPRINGS, California -- Gerry McGovern, Land Rover's chief design officer, can't go anywhere these days without the subject of the next Defender coming up almost instantly.
And so it was moments after sitting down to dinner with journalists last week during a press preview here for the new Range Rover Velar. A reporter asked McGovern if he felt pressure about the Defender as its public debut ...
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Why PSA is axing jobs at Vauxhall's Astra plant
Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Oct. 19
Vauxhall's Ellesmere Port builds the Astra Sports Tourer, the second-best selling compact wagon in Europe.
Both Vauxhall and PSA cited declining sales in the compact segment as a reason for cutting 400 jobs at the UK factory that builds Astra cars.
That would make sense if customers were turning away from the cars built in the plant at Ellesmere Port, northwest England -- but they're not.
Seven out of 10 cars built there are Astra Sports Tourer wagons and sales of those grew 17 percent to 66,199 acro ...
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Auto industry cold on UK joining NAFTA post-Brexit
Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Oct. 18
Nick Gibbs is a UK correspondent for Automotive News Europe.
The UK joining the North American Free Trade Agreement zone is an idea reportedly being floated as an alternative if Britain crashes out of the European Union in 2019 without a trade deal with its European neighbors.
Leaving aside the fact that NAFTA itself is under threat, the idea has some merit for the car industry, at least on paper. The U.S. imports more British-built cars than any other cou ...
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Volvo's Polestar could become a credible BMW, Tesla rival
Posted 4:24 am U.S. ET, Oct. 18
The Polestar 1 has a double electric motor system that powers both rear wheels. (REUTERS)
Volvo Cars' Polestar brand claimed some world firsts while unveiling its debut model, the Polestar 1 high-performance plug-in hybrid coupe, in Shanghai this week.
With a combined 600 hp, the Polestar 1 will be the most powerful car ever built in China, the company's CEO, Thomas Ingenlath, said. Production will begin in mid-2019 at a new dedicated plant in Chengdu.
With a range of up to 150 km (9 ...
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No steering wheel? Not so fast, ZF CEO says
Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Oct. 11
Sommer: “If you would ask me to drive in Paris traffic, passing the Place de la Concorde in a car without a steering wheel, I would feel rather uncomfortable.”
DOUGLAS A. BOLDUC
If you’re not ready to trust a computer-driven vehicle that has no steering wheel you’re not alone. Stefan Sommer, CEO of self-driving technology maker ZF Friedrichshafen, is also reluctant -- in certain situations.
“If you would ask me to drive in Paris traffic, passing the Place de la Concorde in a car without a steering wheel, I would feel rather uncomfortable,” Sommer ...
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A little more than 20 years ago, the Mercedes-Benz W163, dubbed "Job1," rolled off the assembly line at the company's U.S. plant in Vance, Alabama, launching the M class.
It was a risky experiment for what was known then as Daimler-Benz: its first manufacturing plant outside Germany, building an entirely new product and its first wholly manufactured SUV.
Mercedes production boss Markus Schaefer ...