Why Jaguar Land Rover picked 'Detroit East'
Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Aug. 17
Jesse Snyder is opinion page editor at Automotive News, a sister publication of Automotive News Europe>/i>.
Jaguar Land Rover's selection of Nitra, Slovakia, for its next assembly plant dashed hopes in the U.S., Mexico and Poland. Was Slovakia's pick just another low-wage choice? Hardly. Sure, Slovak wages are lower than those in the U.S. or Mexico, maybe even Poland. But focusing on that misses a bigger point. The auto industry is on the cusp of global manufacturing parity. If you invest a billion-plus ...
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Turin auto show reboot provides hope
Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Aug. 14
BMW, Toyota and Audi were among the automakers that praised Turin's Parco Valentino auto show, which attracted 350,000 visitors over four days.
Many European cities have lost their auto shows in recent years. The big exhibitions once held in places such as Turin, London and Madrid are now part of history.
Others such as the Amsterdam, Barcelona, Bologna and Brussels shows have downsized because they cannot compete with Europe’s Big Three – Frankfurt, Paris and Geneva.
Automakers have focused their money and marketing on thes ...
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Skoda is poised to profit from protecting dogs in cars
Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Aug. 12
Skoda says its dog safety belt combines practicality and safety.
Skoda is one of the first automakers to offer a range of safety accessories to attract dog-loving motorists to the brand.
The move could become a worthwhile moneymaker for Skoda if European countries and insurance companies start making it mandatory for dogs to be restrained when traveling in vehicles.
Currently, the laws regulating dogs riding in cars differ from country to country, but the gen ...
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VW's Seat brand puts brakes on sportiness to lure family buyers
Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, July 12
Adding a wagon version of the Leon helped to boost Seat's appeal to families.
Volkswagen Group’s Spain-based Seat brand is no longer the “Spanish Alfa Romeo” after moving away from its sporty image, CEO Juergen Stackmann said.
“I’m glad we are far beyond Alfa in terms of volume and market relevance,” Stackmann told reporters at a press event in London
Seat was part of VW’s Audi division along with Lamborghini from 2002 to 2007 and ...
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Germany's EV drive gets a supermarket's help
Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, July 10
Customers at 50 Aldi stores in Germany can now charge their EVs for free. (Aldi Sued)
Despite a government vow to have 1 million electric cars on Germany’s roads by 2020, Europe’s biggest car market has been painfully slow to offer any significant incentives to push sales in the segment.
But now one popular discount supermarket chain, Aldi, has introduced something that could be a major step in helping to popularize EV take-up in Germany: free charging.
Aldi and energ ...
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Interiors sector will get smaller, but not too small
Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, July 9
| Douglas A. Bolduc is Managing Editor at Automotive News Europe.|
Grupo Antolin’s planned purchase of most of Magna International’s interiors operations and Johnson Controls Inc.’s possible sale of its seating business are just the beginning of the upheaval in the automotive interiors world. The sector, however, will remain competitive, said an expert with vast experience in mergers and acquisitions.
“I don’t see an end to the curr ...
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Alfa's last chance?
Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, July 8
The Alfa Romeo Giulia is the brand's first new volume model since 2010.
Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne hopes that his 5 billion-euro bet on Alfa Romeo will result in eight new models that boost global sales to 400,000 vehicles by 2018 and bring an end to more than a decade of financial losses at the 105-year-old brand.
If I were Marchionne, I would be very worried about not achieving those three ambitious goals – and I’m not alone.
Let’s start ...
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Did Piech's prodding revive Alfa?
Posted 4:56 am U.S. ET, July 7
Jason Stein is the publisher and editor of Automotive News.
So now that the Alfa Romeo plan is more fully hatched and the strategy is clear -- horsepower and hair-raising versions come first, and mainstream models follow -- here's a nagging question: Do we have Ferdinand Piech to thank for all of this?
Are the fingerprints of the former Volkswagen supervisory board chairman all over the Alfa bet?
Vielleicht, as the Germans say. Maybe.
This fall will mar ...
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Why Ford stumbled with the EcoSport
Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, July 3
The revised Ford EcoSport no longer has a rear-mounted spare tire.
Ford stumbled with the EcoSport and was forced to make rapid changes to address poor sales. So what went wrong? The simple answer is that Ford didn't get the design right. In response, the revised EcoSport no longer has a rear-mounted spare tire and Ford has made styling, comfort and equipment changes to the interior just a year after the small SUV went on sale.
Ford took immediate action because ...
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German carmakers are right: Grexit can save Europe
Posted 3:39 am U.S. ET, July 3
| Christiaan Hetzner is Automotive News Europe Germany correspondent.|
There is a big misconception that Germany's export-reliant carmakers favor another Greek bailout at any cost since a deal would serve their own narrow interests.
It is wrong to believe they want to prevent a so-called Grexit by keeping Athens on permanent life-support as a way to maintain the appearance of a stable eurozone economy, perpetuate demand for German goods, and ensure the euro remains ...
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The Volvo XC90 has become synonymous with the royal family of the company’s homeland.
Sweden’s royal court used 35 new-generation XC90s as courtesy cars to transport VIPs attending last month’s wedding of Prince Carl Philip and Sofia Hellqvist.
In addition, King Carl XVI Gustav of Sweden has added the premium SUV to his fleet, a Volvo source confirmed to Automotive News Eu ...