Automotive News Europe blogs
Renault shows it's ready for autonomous future
Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Feb. 21
Unlike most self-driving test cars, the Renault Symbioz was designed from the ground up to integrate autonomous technology and an electric drivetrain.
Anyone connected to the automotive business will tell you that in the not-so-distant future cars will be autonomous, connected and electric. The open questions include: What shape will that future take? When will it get here?
Renault recently offered a look at where the company thinks we’ll be in 2023 when it invited journalists to test its Symbioz concept on a public highway in France. In ...
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Why rival designers are talking up the Jaguar I-Pace
Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Feb. 19
A production ready I-Pace will debut at the Geneva auto show in March. The concept model is shown.
You get that certain feeling about a new vehicle sometimes, just by the way people talk about it — a sense that it could occupy an important place in auto history.
Of course, that doesn't mean it'll break sales records. Think of the Chrysler Airstream, the Citroen DS21, the second-generation Nissan Pathfinder, the Honda Prelude and General Motors' EV1. But they were all ahead of their time. ...
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Renault follows Audi into the potentially lucrative e-sports world
Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Feb. 14
From left, Sandro Holzwarth (FreaKii), Philip Paschmeyer (Paschy90), and Victor Locquet (Fairy Peak!). (Renault)
PARIS -- Renault Sport's newest drivers, who will train at the team's Formula 1 facility in Enstone, England, go by the nicknames Paschy90, FairyPeak! and Freakii. If that seems a bit unusual, it may help to explain that the drivers are part of Renault Sport's new sponsorship in e-sports, otherwise known as professional video gaming.
Renault is following other major corporate sponsors, including ...
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VW has fixed its China operations and is now set to keep its lead
Posted 5:39 am U.S. ET, Feb. 9
Yang Jian is managing editor of Automotive News China.
The year began well for a slew of automakers operating in China. General Motors, Toyota, Honda, Geely and Great Wall have posted strong sales in January.
But the company best positioned for robust growth in the Chinese light-vehicle market is Volkswagen Group, the largest player in the market.
VW started assembling vehicles in China in the mid-1980s, long before its global peers. For many years, ...
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Polestar CEO's challenge: embracing change
Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Feb. 8
Embracing change isn't easy for Ingenlath, which is why he looks to a top Volvo executive for inspiration.
DOUGLAS A. BOLDUC
There is something that you probably don't know about Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath -- the man who has shaken up Volvo's styling as head of design is slow to embrace change.
"That certainly does not come naturally to me," Ingenlath told me during a roundtable interview this week. "I know it is funny to hear from somebody who has worked in design, but I think in our own personal and professional l ...
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For German automakers, an ugly past that won't go away
Posted 2:18 pm U.S. ET, Feb. 2
Before Dieter Zetsche began his presentation on Daimler's record full-year financial results on Wednesday, the CEO took a moment to first express regret about the latest ugliness to emerge from Germany's auto industry -- animal cruelty.
The fate of 10 monkeys has gripped the nation ever since it emerged primates had been locked inside steel cages and forced to inhale diesel fumes for up to four h ...
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Jaguar XJ could be reborn as electric Tesla fighter
Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Jan. 23
An XJ is polished on the production line at Jaguar's assembly plant in Castle Bromwich, England. (BLOOMBERG)
Autocar, a respected and usually accurate British magazine, reported this week that the Jaguar XJ flagship sedan is being rebuilt from the wheels up as a battery-powered Tesla fighter.
The move, if true, makes a lot of sense.
Jaguar has the cachet to take on Tesla, and starting this year, the British brand will do just that when the battery-powered I-Pace crossover becomes the first electric veh ...
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Peugeot's decision to give 3008 and 5008 SUV styling pays off
Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Jan. 19
Peugeot gave its latest 3008 an SUV makeover.
Peugeot's decision to replace its 3008 and 5008 minivans with more crossover-oriented versions has paid off handsomely. The two models easily outsold their predecessors in 2017, helping the brand's global sales to jump 10 percent to 2.12 million last year.
The 3008 compact SUV was introduced in Europe late 2016. It has quickly become a key model for Peugeot, even outselling the 308 hatchback and ...
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BMW exec combines Silicon Valley innovation with corporate rigor
Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Jan. 17
Seidel says BMW has always given him outside-the-box challenges. When colleagues call him "exotic" he replies, "This is what I trained for."
German automotive companies began to publicly admit last year they needed to foster a work culture closer in spirit to Silicon Valley's. Robert Bosch Chairman Volkmar Denner spoke of a “lack of audacity” within Germany and declared: “We must learn that failure is not shameful.”
They might be rare, but disruptors do exist within German automotive companies. Markus Seidel, h ...
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Will Mercedes' G class get juiced?
Posted 9:35 pm U.S. ET, Jan. 14
Arnold Schwarzenegger, right, with Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche in Detroit on Sunday. (REUTERS)
DETROIT -- Arnold Schwarzenegger put Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche on the spot Sunday night: Would the venerable Mercedes-Benz G class -- the hefty SUV that is certainly no sipper of gasoline -- ditch fossil fuels and eventually go electric?
Zetsche answered by referencing the automaker's pledge last year that it would eventually electrify its entire lineup.
"That clearly says, 'Stay tuned,'" Zetsc ...
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PSA develops possible Renault Twizy rival
Posted 4:55 am U.S. ET, Jan. 12
PSA's plug-in hybrid three-wheeled scooter can travel on public roads at speeds up to 130 kph.
PARIS -- As automakers have been reminding us over the past few years, mobility comes in many shapes and sizes. The simplest description of PSA's latest effort in the field of mobility services is that it's a plug-in hybrid three-wheeled scooter.
The prototype "efficient light urban vehicle" -- it doesn't have a catchy name yet -- was developed with EU-LIVE, a consortium of research groups, suppl ...
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PSA should sell UK Vauxhall plant to Jaguar Land Rover
Posted 3:39 am U.S. ET, Jan. 11
JLR already has Halewood, a former Ford plant, just across the Mersey river from Ellesmere Port.
A second round of job cuts shows PSA is struggling with the viability of its newly acquired Ellesmere Port factory in the UK. There is an obvious solution: sell it to Jaguar Land Rover.
The reason? PSA has excess capacity and JLR the opposite.
The factory near Liverpool predominantly makes the Vauxhall//Opel Sport Tourer station wagon, but weak sales and the high cost of producing them compared ...
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Qoros' new owner plans to be China's Tesla
Posted 5:13 am U.S. ET, Jan. 5
Yang Jian is managing editor of Automotive News China.
In recent years, dozens of electric vehicle startups have emerged in China striving to become the Chinese Tesla.
Who will prevail? Keep your eye on Baoneng Investment Group, a Chinese conglomerate that has acquired Qoros Automotive, a company that once had big plans to enter Europe.
Baoneng has humble roots. Incorporated in Shenzhen in 1992, the privately held company started as a vegetable reta ...
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How Nissan, NASA will help you park in the future
Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Jan. 3
Nissan's remote human operator would take action if one of the automaker's driverless cars encountered a problem.
DOUGLAS A. BOLDUC
Nissan has turned to NASA to help it with what could be a challenging task in the future: remotely parking an autonomous vehicle after the driver has exited the car.
After Nissan Deputy General Manager for R&D Toshiro Muramatsu described the scenario to a group of journalists visiting the automaker’s technology center in Atsugi, Japan, I jokingly asked him why we would need rocket scien ...
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Yanfeng Automotive Interiors CEO Johannes Roters is energized by the megatrends that are changing the industry because he remembers a time when things were a bit stagnant.
“For a long time, this industry was very consistent. A model came, then a new model came. Perhaps there were more safety features or other new extras,” Roters told me. "Now, we need e-cars, we need even more connect ...