Automotive News Europe blogs

Did a leading VW exec perfect defeat device rather than stop it?

Posted 8:56 am U.S. ET, Jan. 13
blogs
Former VW brand development chief Heinz-Jakob Neusser was the highest ranking executive indicted this week in the U.S. in connection with the automaker's diesel-emissions cheating scandal.
CHRISTIAAN HETZNER :  While Volkswagen Group’s Richard Dorenkamp and Jens Hadler may have been the powertrain duo who first introduced the defeat device into the automaker’s 2.0 liter diesels nearly a decade ago, former VW brand development chief Heinz-Jakob Neusser appears to have perfected it, according to U.S. court documents. Roughly five years ago, VW detected that some of the cars equipped with the c ...
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Conti powertrain guru makes peace with 'different world'

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Jan. 13
blogs Douglas A. Bolduc is managing editor at Automotive News Europe.
 
Continental powertrain chief Jose Avila says it has taken some time to make peace with the fast move the industry and the world are making toward cars that are powered by batteries and that can drive themselves. He told me that he, like many people, has needed to get used to the shift. “Some days do I feel a bit like a dinosaur? Yes, because I do like to drive my own vehicle. I do sometimes ...
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The beautiful lives of Bugatti, Bentley buyers

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Jan. 12
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Bugatti unveiled the Chiron coupe in at the 2016 Geneva auto show. Bugatti buyers typically own 64 cars.
LUCA CIFERRI :  Bentley and Bugatti buyers are rich, but there is a pretty significant wealth gap between the two, according to a man who has direct contact with both. Bentley owners are usually successful executives who own their own businesses. They fly business class, stay in the best rooms at five-star hotels and if they attend a soccer game they will watch it from their own suite at the stadium. On average, ...
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The most important vehicles at the Detroit auto show

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Jan. 11
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Volkswagen's I.D. Buzz is a take on the classic VW Microbus of the '50s and '60s.
RICHARD TRUETT :  The 2017 edition of the Detroit auto show won't go into the books for blockbuster introductions and eye-popping concepts. In fact, so many brands either didn't show up or didn't have formal press events (Porsche, Tesla, Fiat Chrysler, Land Rover, Jaguar, Mini and Mitsubishi among them) that you might wonder about the future of this annual event. That said, a few vehicles in the show are important ...
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In taking the wraps off super-fast EV, Faraday redefines car unveiling

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Jan. 10
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Faraday says the FF 91 will be the world's fastest electric car and it showed footage of the model outracing rivals. (Bloomberg)
:  Faraday Future has struggled to find enough funding to meet its big ambitions but the Chinese start up certainly has aggressive communication. In unveiling the FF 91, its first production model, Faraday not only showed footage of how the electric SUV can go from 0 to 60 mph (97 kph) on a race track faster than selected competitors, but it also gave a live demonstration. Faraday had on stage a wh ...
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Hyundai's self-driving Ioniq calmed my safety fears

Posted 5:57 am U.S. ET, Jan. 5
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Hyundai's self-driving Ioniq, shown, uses lidar technology fitted behind the front bumper rather than on the roof, retaining the car's sleek design.
LUCA CIFERRI :  I’m a big fan of autonomous driving and am eager to buy a fully self-driving car as soon as I can, but many others are skeptical. One reason is they want to be sure that the artificial intelligence in control of their vehicle knows exactly what’s happening on the road around the car. To overcome those fears Hyundai made available autonomous Ioniq models to visitors of this week’ ...
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London's new taxi blends tradition and tech

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Jan. 4
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London Taxi Company's next-generation Black Cab will be based on the TX5 concept (shown). The vehicle will have room for 6 passengers and be wired for Wi-Fi, but a former London mayor made sure the iconic vehicle's look would remain the same.
:  The fifth generation of London's iconic Black Cab that will debut later this year will have 21st century upgrades that make it greener, roomier and more connected, but its design will stay firmly planted in the 1950s. Former London Mayor Boris Johnson, who is now Britain's foreign secretary, made sure of that. "He was adamant. He wanted it to look just like a London taxi and asked us not to chan ...
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VW's switch to English as its company language is a key reform

Posted 5:55 am U.S. ET, Dec. 15 2016
blogs
Some VW managers refer to the automaker's Wolfsburg home as "the navel of the world," only half-sarcastically.
CHRISTIAAN HETZNER :  The first time I heard it spoken at a Volkswagen event was ironically in Hanover of all places – where the purest form of German is spoken. Andreas Renschler, head of the VW Group's newly created commercial vehicles holding, began addressing guests in a foreign language: English. This was strange because senior executives at VW, that most German of all companies, never hosted a big event at ...
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Land Rover sets sail on epic quest

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Dec. 9 2016
blogs
New America's Cup sailboats have less than 1 percent of their surface in the water and are powered by a big wing rather than by a mainsail. Like in car racing, success is based on aerodynamics, which is why Land Rover's engineering team is involved.
LUCA CIFERRI :  Land Rover is teaming up with the UK's most successful sailor and with a former McLaren Formula One team principal in a 110-million-pound (126 million euro) bid to win the world’s most prestigious sailing trophy: the America's Cup. The race, originally known as the 100 Pound Cup, was first held in 1851. The intention of the competition, a race around the Isle of Wight, was to show Queen Vict ...
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Volvo and Microsoft make the unreal real

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Dec. 8 2016
blogs
Using Microsoft's HoloLens augmented-reality goggles allows Volvo engineers to see a component in 3-D detail. They can twist and turn the part and even go inside it to see how it is constructed (inset).
DOUGLAS A. BOLDUC :  Volvo, with a big assist from Microsoft, is creating physical objects that are not physical. Confused? So was I until I strapped a $5,000 computer on my head and entered into the world of augmented reality (AR). Volvo's initial step using Microsoft's HoloLens, the world's first fully untethered holographic computer, was at dealerships and auto shows to give customers a 3-D experience with its end ...
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Why Brexit could be bad news for self-driving cars

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Dec. 7 2016
blogs Douglas A. Bolduc is managing editor at Automotive News Europe.
 
Brexit and U.S. president-elect Donald Trump's rise to power should be wake up calls to proponents of autonomous driving, said a top researcher from a London-based think tank that has analyzed the potential effects of self-driving cars on the European economy. "If I was a politician looking at the recent election results in the U.S. and UK, it would be clear that it is very important to reach out ...
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Why Porsche, Toyota love endurance racing even as Audi quits

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Dec. 5 2016
blogs
Porsche won the 24 Hours of Le Mans last year with its 919 Hybrid.
CHRISTIAAN HETZNER :  By capturing first and second place in Bahrain during the final competition of the World Endurance Championship (WEC) season, Audi's works team celebrated a bittersweet victory to end 18 years of Le Mans Prototype endurance racing on a high note. Audi said last month that it will no longer race in WEC events, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans to focus on the all-electric Formula E racing series. ...
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Nissan exec remembers when EVs were 'doomed to fail'

Posted 8:21 am U.S. ET, Dec. 1 2016
blogs Douglas A. Bolduc is managing editor at Automotive News Europe.
 
Nissan Europe Chairman Paul Willcox smiles when he thinks about the verbal beatings the automaker took after making its multi-billion-euro commitment to electric vehicles. Willcox shared one rival's scathing comments when we met this week in Barcelona. "Seven or eight years ago I attended a conference in the UK and an engineer from a very well-known German group was pouring a huge amount of scorn ...
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BMW said to plan performance version of its i3 electric car

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Nov. 30 2016
blogs
(BLOOMBERG)
GRAHAM KOZAK:  The BMW i subbrand has been around since 2011, yet it still offers just two unique vehicles: the i3 and the i8. That will change with the arrival of the i5 (previewed in these patent filing renderings) and, according to a report by the UK’s Autocar, an incoming performance variant of the i3. It's expected to be called the i3S.   With its electric motor producing 168 hp and a 7.2-second ...
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Stadler was right to pick outsider for top Audi r&d post

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Nov. 25 2016
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Christiaan Hetzner is Automotive News Europe's Germany correspondent.
CHRISTIAAN HETZNER :  Audi's decision to make Volvo's Peter Mertens its next r&d boss was the smart move after having two longtime VW Group executives forced out of the job because of their potential involvement in the automaker's emissions-cheating scandal. With Mertens, Audi adds a senior executive from a premium carmaker who has never worked for any of the VW Group's brands. The downside for Audi is that Merte ...
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Why VW's job cuts were always going to happen

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Nov. 23 2016
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Christiaan Hetzner is Automotive News Europe's Germany correspondent.
CHRISTIAAN HETZNER :  Volkswagen Group's decision to save 3.7 billion euros in costs at its core VW brand by cutting 30,000 jobs around the world would seem like a logical and necessary measure given the enormous losses stemming from its diesel-emissions scandal. But in truth, this landmark restructuring pact has nothing to do with emissions cheating and everything to do with past excess. As Group CEO Matthias Muelle ...
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Mopar's Gorlier has the makings of FCA's next CEO

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Nov. 18 2016
blogs Larry P. Vellequette covers Fiat Chrysler for Automotive News.
 
He's run an innovative business unit at Fiat Chrysler that has expanded and made lots of money and touches every facet of the company around the world. And he wears a sweater most of the time and speaks with an Italian accent. So exactly why isn't Mopar brand head Pietro Gorlier the front-runner to become FCA's CEO when Sergio Marchionne steps down at age 65 in 2018, as Marchionne has said he will ...
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How Li Shufu will weave an empire around Volvo, Geely

Posted 5:04 am U.S. ET, Nov. 15 2016
blogs
Geely's first Lynk model, a compact crossover dubbed 01, will begin sales in China next year. (Geely)
YANG JIAN :  Shortly after Geely founder Li Shufu acquired Volvo Car Corp. in 2010, he pledged to maintain Volvo's independence so that the Swedish brand's image would not be tarnished. But in private, he soon started pushing Volvo and Geely to work together. Six years later, Li finally has revealed his plan to build a global business empire on the foundation of the two car companies. And the key to that pla ...
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Germany's auto industry says climate change targets too ambitious after Trump's election

Posted 12:11 pm U.S. ET, Nov. 11 2016
blogs
Christiaan Hetzner is Automotive News Europe's Germany correspondent.
CHRISTIAAN HETZNER :  It was probably inevitable that Donald Trump would serve as the justification for all kinds of flimsy excuses, so why shouldn’t Germany’s auto industry instrumentalize his election to President to argue in favor of watering down climate legislation? Trump has threatened to pull the United States out of the Paris Agreement, a landmark pact adopted by 195 countries including Germany las ...
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Renault's Zoe eclipses GM's EV claims for now

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Nov. 10 2016
blogs
Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn says the longer-range Zoe "removes the final psychological barrier" for customers to switch to an EV.
NICK GIBBS :  General Motors is touting the long-range and affordability of its Chevrolet Bolt electric car and its Opel Ampera-e sibling but for now Renault is ahead with its Zoe, which is Europe's best-selling EV. Renault has given the Zoe a more powerful battery that almost doubles its driving range on a single charge to 400km (249 miles), up from 240 km. Opel claims its Ampera-e can travel even further on ...
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Toyota, VW and Bosch lead Google in self-driving technology patents

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Nov. 3 2016
blogs Douglas A. Bolduc is managing editor at Automotive News Europe.
 
Based on the headlines you might think that Google single-handedly created the self-driving car, but when it comes to patents for autonomous driving technology, the IT giant is no match for Robert Bosch, Toyota and Volkswagen. Since 2010, Bosch has applied for 2,710 patents related to autonomous driving followed by Toyota’s 2,061. VW ranked third (1,173) with Japanese supplier Denso (1,022) ...
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Unlike Audi, Daimler focuses on Germany for EVs

Posted 7:28 am U.S. ET, Oct. 27 2016
blogs
Daimler unveiled a near-production EQ SUV concept at the Paris auto show.
:  Daimler's decision to build the EQ electric car and the car's lithium-ion battery in Germany underlines the importance of its domestic operations in the transformation to zero-emission electromobility. Daimler's Mercedes-Benz unit will the EQ in its C class factory in Bremen, northern Germany, starting at the end of the decade. Battery packs will come from the automaker's Kamenz plant, near Dresd ...
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Mini sees electric power as big plus for brand

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Oct. 19 2016
blogs
The Mini Countryman plug-in hybrid will offer "driving fun." A near-production test vehicle is shown. (BMW Group)
:  BMW's Mini brand sees the fast acceleration that electric motors give to electrified vehicles as helping it promote its upcoming hybrid and battery powered models as fun-to-drive, in keeping with the brand's image. Mini will offer its first plug-in hybrid with its new Countryman SUV, which is due early next year. An electric car will follow in 2019, using the architecture of a current model but w ...
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German brands ready to conquer China's EV market

Posted 6:46 am U.S. ET, Oct. 14 2016
blogs
Yang Jian is managing editor of Automotive News China.
YANG JIAN :  Which automakers are best placed to explore China's fast-growing market for electric vehicles? One would be tempted to say the Chinese brands, which sold more than 331,000 EVs and plug-in hybrids last year. But after attending the Paris auto show this year, I concluded that German automakers are preparing to dominate China's market for premium EVs. And they plan to do so in two major steps. The ...
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Former Ford exec blazing a new trail

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Oct. 14 2016
blogs Nick Gibbs is UK Correspondent at Automotive News Europe.
 
One of the first women recognized by Automotive News Europe for her achievements in the male-dominated industry is blazing forward again in the car industry. Former Ford Motor, BP and Boeing executive Rose Mary Farenden, who is now Rose Mary Stalker, runs a UK-based company called Catagen that builds an innovative piece of lab-based emissions equipment. But more on that in a minute. The 52-year- ...
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