Automotive News Europe blogs
How I became a diesel believer again
Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, July 14
A pedestrian pushes a baby stroller past stencil graffiti during a protest by Greenpeace in Hamburg, which is now restricting diesels from parts of the city to help improve air quality. (Bloomberg)
Like many proponents of the diesel, my faith in the fuel-efficient technology was undermined by revelations that the industry systematically abused regulatory loopholes governing harmful nitrogen oxide emissions. Current sales figures suggest I am not alone. The diesel appears to be in terminal decline.
Yet the supplier most linked to the industry’s deceit, Robert Bosch, which is alleged to ...
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Why Ford execs are lobbying for the Focus sedan
Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, July 13
Despite pride over design, Ford foresees slim demand for Focus sedan
The pride that two key Ford executives have in the Focus sedan is so strong that they petitioned journalists to persuade Ford country heads in Europe to include it their lineups.
They were only half-joking.
“We put a lot of effort into designing the sedan,” Ford of Europe design chief Amko Leenarts said at the launch of the Focus range in Europe. He and Helmut Reder, the car’s ...
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Goodwood turns up the heat on traditional auto shows
Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, July 11
Visitors to the Goodwood Festival of Speed will get to see and hear the new Aston Martin DBS Superleggera in action this week.
On the face of it, the Goodwood Festival of Speed is a small specialist show held in a rural corner of southern England. In reality, this motorsport-themed event is attracting global manufacturers by offering far more than traditional auto shows such as Paris or Geneva can ever do.
This year Aston Martin, McLaren, Ford and Tesla are among the brands staging public global or European debuts of new ...
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New refuge for abandoned minivan fans?
Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, July 10
The Berlingo offers many of the same driving assistance features as Citroen's new-generation cars.
Loyal minivan buyers who aren't willing to join the shift to SUVs appear to have found refuge in one of Europe's least glamorous segments: compact cargo vans.
There are positive signs that boxy, multipurpose models such as the Citroen Berlingo and Peugeot Partner, which are a staple product with tradespeople and delivery services, are benefiting from the slow death of the minivan, once one of Eur ...
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Opel's labor boss is ready for a fight
Posted 12:14 pm U.S. ET, July 5
Opel labor boss Wolfgang Schaefer-Klug: "We plan to defend ourselves with all measures at our disposal."
PSA's honeymoon with the work force at its German subsidiary Opel appears to be over, and the timing couldn’t be worse.
Just as PSA, which took control of Opel roughly a year ago, aims this week to put its signature on a new labor deal that would eliminate 3,700 German jobs in exchange for guarantees until 2023, news reports surfaced that management plans to sell large chunks of the carmake ...
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Why PSA is OK that its new compact vans are so alike
Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, July 3
Like its two siblings, the Peugeot Partner (shown) has an indicator that lights up when 80 percent and 100 percent of the payload is reached.
PSA Group is about to introduce a new compact commercial van for its Peugeot, Citroen and Opel/Vauxhall brands. The vans will be made in the same factories in Spain and Portugal and have the same dimensions. They have many of the same features and options. How to keep them straight in buyers’ minds?
The differences are subtle, and in many cases are a matter of wording.
The Peugeot Partner, ...
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VW could benefit most in U.S. from Ford alliance
Posted 7:59 am U.S. ET, June 25
Nick Gibbs is a UK correspondent for Automotive News Europe.
Volkswagen Group and Ford have said they are exploring a development and production alliance for commercial vehicles, and possibly other projects.
Where would it make sense for the two auto giants to join forces?
Ford doesn't break out commercial vehicle sales but claims to be the world's biggest van manufacturer thanks to its Transit range. The company also has a stranglehold on the U.S. pickup ...
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VW board was weak and indecisive over Audi CEO crisis
Posted 5:30 am U.S. ET, June 20
Christiaan Hetzner is Automotive News Europe's Germany correspondent.
Corporate governance is relatively straightforward when you boil it down to the essentials: safeguard the company’s future, protect its reputation and at all times abide by the law. When crisis strikes, a board must spring into action and take charge to quickly restore confidence.
So when Audi's Rupert Stadler made history as the first German chief executive to be arrested, denied bail and ...
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Stadler's words return to haunt him
Posted 9:23 am U.S. ET, June 18
Christiaan Hetzner Automotive News Europe's Germany correspondent.
Audi CEO Rupert Stadler could not have been more prophetic when he said last month: "The diesel crisis is not yet over for us."
Seven days after being named a suspect in an ongoing investigation for the first time, he was taken into custody on Monday by Munich prosecutors and ordered by a judge to remain behind bars until his trial for fraud and false testimony on the suspicion he could destroy e ...
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70 years later, appreciating the genius of Ferry Porsche
Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, June 15
The Porsche 356 pictured in a 1952 review by the U.S. magazine "Mechanix Illustrated."
Even the well-versed in automotive history sometimes fail to grasp that Porsche, the sports car manufacturer, was not the handiwork of VW Beetle creator Ferdinand Porsche but rather his son, Ferry.
The son, who died in 1998, was quiet and unassuming (at least on the one occasion I met him) and brilliant and unwavering. He is perhaps the least appreciated of the industry's all-time stalwarts.
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Why VW should share its skateboard and change the world
Posted 3:34 pm U.S. ET, June 13
VW will launch its first three I.D. electric models starting in 2020. Shown, from left, are the I.D. Buzz minivan, I.D. hatchback and I.D. Crozz crossover.
LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE
Herbert Diess, Volkswagen Group's new CEO, has a lot on his plate -- especially for a guy who's new in the job and has been at VW for less than three years.
But with that caveat, I'd like to suggest to Professor Doctor Diess a potential industry-altering -- maybe world-altering -- strategy that, if implemented, might go a long way toward restoring Volkswagen's good name in the wake of sweeping di ...
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The stars are starting to align for the upcoming Land Rover Defender.
Absent from Monday's news about Jaguar Land Rover transferring production of the Discovery to the company's new plant in Slovakia early next year is any mention of the Defender.
Land Rover has not said where it will build the next-generation Defender or if the body will be made of aluminum, like the original 1948-2016 model. B ...