Automotive News Europe blogs

Volvo and Microsoft make the unreal real

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Dec. 8
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
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
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
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
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
blogs
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
blogs
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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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EU-Japan trade deal could hit post-Brexit UK car industry

Posted 8:44 am U.S. ET, Oct. 6
blogs Nick Gibbs is UK Correspondent at Automotive News Europe.
 
If the EU and Japan can agree on their proposed economic partnership, then the big loser could be UK car manufacturing post Brexit. The partnership would see the EU dropping the 10 percent import tariff on Japanese-built cars in return for better access to Japan's food market. Ongoing negotiations between the two could produce an agreement by the end of the year, Belgium's foreign minister Didier ...
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Formula One's last chance

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Oct. 5
blogs
Mercedes-Benz's Silver Arrow racecars driven by Lewis Hamilton (shown) and Nico Rosberg have dominated F1 for the last 3 seasons.
LUCA CIFERRI :  Formula One's new owner, Liberty Media, is facing a big challenge: Modernize the world's most watched, most technically sophisticated motor sports series or watch a multi-billion-dollar investment vanish. F1 gets little credit for achieving an engineering feat that makes automakers jealous. That breakthrough came three years ago when the series switched to downsized turbocharged engines with adva ...
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Nissan's self-driving tech in high demand

Posted 6:11 am U.S. ET, Sept. 30
blogs
Nissan's new Serena van equipped with ProPILOT (left) follows a Leaf leader vehicle at the company's test drive facility in Yokosuka. (REUTERS/Toru Hanai)
DOUGLAS A. BOLDUC :  The "vast majority" of customers for Nissan’s first car to offer semi-autonomous driving technology are spending the extra money to add the feature, Chief Planning Officer Philippe Klein said. Nissan debuted its ProPilot this summer in the Japan-only Serena. It costs about 2,000 euros to add the solution to the van. “The first take rate is quite high,” Klein told me at the Pari ...
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PSA's new mobility brand will rely on nimble partners rather than big investments

Posted 4:16 am U.S. ET, Sept. 29
blogs Bruce Gain is an Automotive News Europe correspondent in France.
 
PSA Group's new mobility services division will rely on inexpensive partnerships and investments in startups for the services it will bring to market, CEO Carlos Tavares said The automaker is creating a brand called Free2Move to group together its new transport offerings in areas such as car-sharing and peer-to-peer car rentals. It has set side just 100 million euros to invest in mobility servic ...
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Artificial intelligence will make cars very smart

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Sept. 29
blogs Douglas A. Bolduc is managing editor at Automotive News Europe.
 
The artificial intelligence revolution has begun, Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang says, and it will change the car – as well as countless other things – in ways we can’t imagine. Why? Because software can now write software and soon machines will build machines, Huang told the GPU Technology Conference in Amsterdam during his keynote speech on Wednesday. Nvidia, which hosted the even ...
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MG's Chinese owners fail to revive UK brand

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Sept. 28
blogs
A worker assembles an MG6 at the automaker's Longbridge plant in England.
NICK GIBBS :  MG Motor's decision to end production in the UK shows just how tough it's been for Chinese owners SAIC to revive the storied British brand in Europe. Last week MG said it would no longer carry out final assembly of cars it sells in the UK, its only European market, in the historic Longbridge plant in Birmingham, central England. In future all cars would come from China. MG restarted production i ...
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Bye-bye Bentley, hello Dyson?

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Sept. 27
blogs Douglas A. Bolduc is managing editor at Automotive News Europe.
 
The list of exhibitors for this week’s Paris auto show is the latest indication that the European industry – despite rising sales -- is changing fast. New players are arriving and electric powertrains are not going away. Case in point, UK-based vacuum maker Dyson will be at the biennial event but British automaker Bentley won’t. While Dyson is not showing a vehicle, it might not ...
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Mercedes takes another swing at EV van niche

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Sept. 22
blogs Douglas A. Bolduc is managing editor at Automotive News Europe.
 
Mercedes-Benz will jump back into the battery-powered delivery van niche in 2018 after failing with the Vito E-Cell. Mercedes’ re-entry shows that pressure is rising to reduce harmful emissions in Europe’s congested cities. The German automaker is confident that it will be more successful the second time around. "The future of urban deliveries will be electric. We at Mercedes-Benz Va ...
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For VW, it's not the crime, it's the coverup

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Sept. 22
blogs Larry P. Vellequette is a reporter at Automotive News.
 
I am not in the business of weighing sins, but I have noticed -- over the last year as the VW diesel emissions scandal has unfolded -- that all automotive sins are not created equal. Now I think I know why. Consider for a moment what are arguably the three largest automotive scandals in recent years: General Motors’ faulty ignition switches, Takata’s explosive airbag inflators and Vo ...
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