Automotive News Europe blogs

Summer of success for ANE's Rising Stars

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Aug. 30
blogs Douglas A. Bolduc is managing editor at Automotive News Europe.
 
It has been a summer of success for executives identified by as Rising Stars by Automotive News Europe. Past winners Olivier Rabiller, Thomas Mueller and Bernard Bradley have made big career moves within the last six weeks. Rabiller has been named president and CEO of Honeywell's Transportation Systems division, which means he becomes arguably the most important executive in the industry's turboc ...
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Delphi, Mobileye deal may hasten decline of car brands

Posted 7:58 am U.S. ET, Aug. 29
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Christiaan Hetzner is Automotive News Europe's Germany correspondent.
CHRISTIAAN HETZNER :  Can automakers design a satisfying brand experience for a fully autonomous vehicle? How can competitors better differentiate themselves from one another when getting into a car could be like boarding a train in the future? As long as you know how long it takes to travel somewhere in driverless mode, would you still care about horsepower, torque or other performance metrics – after all how m ...
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Ghosn's life-changing post-Christmas offer

Posted 5:37 am U.S. ET, Aug. 22
blogs Douglas A. Bolduc is Managing Editor at Automotive News Europe.
 
Carlos Ghosn's powers of persuasion are very hard to resist, Nissan Brazil's current boss learned on Dec. 26. 2011. Francois Dossa remembers the exact day of the meeting because it changed his life, he told me during an interview in Rio de Janeiro last week. Ghosn, who is CEO of Nissan and alliance partner, was in Brazil to visit his mother during the holidays. While in town he asked Dossa to co ...
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Automakers face uncertainty over key Chinese government policies

Posted 6:24 am U.S. ET, Aug. 19
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Yang Jian is managing editor of Automotive News China.
YANG JIAN :  Auto executives in China are worried these days. They are not concerned about consumer demand, which has remained strong -- in the first seven months of the year, light-vehicle sales advanced 11 percent to top 12.6 million cars and light trucks. What has executives nervous is the uncertainty surrounding key industry policies set by the Chinese government. One such policy is the tax incentive for ...
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Confessions of a diesel junkie

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Aug. 3
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My addiction to diesels began in 1980 with an Opel Rekord 2.0 D (left). It had just 58.5 hp, barely reached 130kph and used 10 liters of diesel per 100km. The most recent diesel I have tested is the Renault Talisman (right), which delivers 160hp – from a smaller engine – has a top speed of 215kph and burns a third less fuel.
:  My plan to someday drive off into the sunset in a diesel-powered car at the conclusion of my career as a motoring journalist may no longer be realistic. Why? Because by 2030 diesels are forecast to account for just 9 percent of new-car sales in Europe, according to a recent study by AlixPartners, compared with about 50 percent today. The cause of the massive shift is the expectation that automake ...
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PSA bravely reveals industry's dirty secret

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, July 7
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PSA recently had 30 Citroen, DS and Peugeot models undergo real world driving test to determine the true fuel consumption of those models.
LUCA CIFERRI :  Give credit to PSA Group for being bold enough to reveal in great detail something none of its rivals would publicly admit: That the CO2 numbers on the cars sold in Europe are bogus. How bad? On average the emission produced during real world driving are more than 40 percent worse than promised. That was the result of tests PSA did on 30 Citroen, DS and Peugeot models together with non-government ...
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How to push self-driving tech to the limits without the risks

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, July 6
blogs
The 3xD Simulator is equipped with 8 high-resolution projectors that can throw images around the 360-degree screen to try and trick a car's autonomous driving sensors.
NICK GIBBS :  Last week Tesla revealed it was being investigated following a fatal accident in which the firm’s so-called Autopilot system failed to spot a truck pulling across a highway in bright sunshine. CEO Elon Musk called the circumstances of the crash “extremely rare.” But how do you test for extremely rare scenarios? One answer is to use computer simulation. The day before Musk&rsquo ...
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Volvo defies gravity

Posted 8:33 am U.S. ET, July 5
blogs
The 8-year-old XC60 was Volvo's global best-seller last year. It accounted for more than 30% of the Swedish brand's record-breaking 2015 sales.
LUCA CIFERRI :  When Automotive News Europe began its by-segment analysis 15 years ago we decided to divide the world into volume and premium brands. The problem was that five automakers fit neither category so internally we deemed them as near premium. Those automakers were Volvo, Saab, Rover, Alfa Romeo and Lancia. All five had an average transaction price that exceeded the volume brands but that gap didn't mat ...
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BMW CEO scores first big win with Intel, Mobileye deal

Posted 10:40 am U.S. ET, July 2
blogs
BMW CEO Krueger has made the boldest promise of any automotive brand about self-driving cars thus far.
CHRISTIAAN HETZNER :  Harald Krueger hasn’t had the easiest of starts as BMW CEO. When he inherited the post, the company had enjoyed 10 hugely successful years following the Strategy Number One plan created by his predecessor, Norbert Reithofer. Krueger arrived right as BMW and the overall industry found itself at a crossroads. First, the tremendous growth in sales and profits in China has disappeared so much s ...
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Why Europe's car buyer categories need a shake-up

Posted 4:49 am U.S. ET, July 1
blogs Douglas A. Bolduc is Managing Editor at Automotive News Europe.
 
What do Young Climbers, Beauty Enthusiasts, Connoisseurs of Cool and the Bobo Family have in common? No, they aren’t the names of new rock bands, they are the purposely provocative categories that Johnson Controls Automotive Seating has given to today’s car buyers in Europe. Why? Because it argues that the segment classifications aren’t telling the full story. Johnson Controls i ...
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Nissan struggles to make sense of Sunderland shocker

Posted 5:42 am U.S. ET, June 28
blogs Nick Gibbs is UK Correspondent at Automotive News Europe.
 
Nissan's team in the UK is “shell-shocked” by the politically and economically explosive decision by the country’s voters to leave the EU, a person close to the company told me. That could be one reason why the Japanese firm is the only major manufacturer building cars in the UK that has yet to comment on the effect of the so-called Brexit. The shock is understandable. Sunderla ...
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Goodbye to the Europe I knew

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, June 27
blogs

BRADFORD WERNLE :  I am deeply shocked and disappointed by the decision of British voters to leave the European Union. I had the privilege of living in London for six years, covering the auto industry for our sibling publication Automotive News Europe. To live in a city that seemed the center of the civilized world was thrilling for a guy from a small Indiana town.I had to pinch myself that I was getting paid to vis ...
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Recapping Toyota's traumatic loss at Le Mans

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, June 23
blogs
Toyota was about end its 0-for-18 streak at the 24 Hours of Le Mans last weekend, but a technical problem cost it the race in the last lap.
LUCA CIFERRI :  Motorsports can be cruel. Toyota was reminded of this when it lost the 24 Hours of Le Mans to Porsche during the final lap of the world’s most famous endurance race. I was with Toyota’s executive team members when their near elation was transformed into complete deflation last weekend. After 23 hours and 53 minutes of racing, Toyota had built a lead of about 80 seconds on the closest ...
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VW's long day as shareholders quiz management

Posted 6:40 am U.S. ET, June 22
blogs
Christiaan Hetzner is Automotive News Europe's Germany correspondent.
CHRISTIAAN HETZNER :  When Volkswagen's 56th annual meeting began today, there were long lines outside the Hanover trade fair grounds as 3,000 shareholders waited patiently to be ushered through the dozen metal detectors dotting the entrance. "They say it will be a long day," one of the numerous security guards said to his colleague as they watched investors stream through the gates on their way to the adjacent Hall 3 ...
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Probe overshadows VW's annual meeting

Posted 7:01 am U.S. ET, June 21
blogs
Christiaan Hetzner is Automotive News Europe's Germany correspondent.
CHRISTIAAN HETZNER :  When shareholders gather in Hanover on Wednesday for what is sure to be a turbulent annual meeting, one of the executives they see on the podium is the official target of an investigation into criminal misconduct. The charge levied by Germany's securities regulator is effectively lying to investors by omission about the existence of the U.S. probe into its diesel emissions – or “manip ...
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How Ford's European arm became a money maker again

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, June 10
blogs
Ford of Europe President Jim Farley has overseen a dramatic turnaround.
LUCA CIFERRI :  When Ford of Europe President Jim Farley told Automotive News Europe in January that he wanted the U.S. automaker to achieve an operating margin of 6 percent to 8 percent in the region within the next five years I was skeptical. At best, European volume automakers reach a 4 percent operating margin – globally – and that is only during years when market conditions are favorable. That i ...
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Peugeot offers a two-wheel solution for congested cities

Posted 9:46 am U.S. ET, June 1
blogs Bruce Gain is an Automotive News Europe correspondent in France.
 
Trouble finding a parking spot in a crowded city center? Peugeot will be offering a solution with its new 3008 – an electric bicycle or an electric scooter that can be folded up and stowed in the trunk. The bike or scooter will allow drivers to park outside congested urban centers and scoot or pedal into town. Another interesting novelty is that the two machines can be charged in the trunk ...
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Why Mercedes is overtaking German rivals in China

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, May 27
blogs
The GLA is seeing strong demand hot crossover market. Shown is the 250 AMG version.
:  Mercedes-Benz, which used to be far behind Audi and BMW in China's luxury market, is rapidly closing the gap. Last year, Mercedes sales soared 33 percent, while Audi deliveries dipped 1.4 percent and BMW sales edged up 1.7 percent. This year, Mercedes seems certain to catch BMW, while Audi -- still China's top luxury brand -- nervously eyes its rivals. Mercedes has enjoyed strong demand for the ...
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McLaren goes to new heights with the 570GT

Posted 2:45 am U.S. ET, May 26
blogs
This photo gives a perspective of the challenge McLaren had to overcome to get the 570GT on to the roof of the Ritz-Carlton Abama.
DOUGLAS A. BOLDUC :  McLaren went to new heights for the media launch of its latest model. The 570GT was hoisted 95 meters to the 10th floor patio area of the Ritz-Carlton Abama on the Spanish island of Tenerife. It took five hours to set up a 165-ton crane on the beach area below the hotel and about 5 to 10 minutes to get the 195,350 euro (which will start at $198,950 in the U.S.) supercar to its temporary perch. T ...
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Germany deserves rebuff from Italy and Fiat

Posted 10:20 am U.S. ET, May 25
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CHRISTIAAN HETZNER :  European Union governments have stubbornly refused to tighten oversight of the auto industry despite pleas from environmental advocacy groups. Now Germany is paying a humiliating price for this after being snubbed by Fiat, which was backed by the Italian government. No EU government looks good when it comes to how they oversee the industry, which is a key provider of jobs, but Germany appears to ...
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Entrusting my life to Audi's self-driving car

Posted 7:44 am U.S. ET, May 18
blogs
The A7-based prototype showcases how Audi's autonomous driving technology handles a German autobahn.
CHRISTIAAN HETZNER :  At the end of Audi's invitation came the request familiar to journalists attending press driving events. "Due to legal requirements, we ask that you bring your driver's license and present it at the event." For once the request was a formality. The car I was testing was Audi’s A7-based piloted driving concept, which steers itself. The prototype, which the company calls "Jack," is far more ...
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VW pays out high rewards for failure

Posted 6:15 am U.S. ET, May 17
blogs
Christiaan Hetzner is Automotive News Europe's Germany correspondent.
CHRISTIAAN HETZNER :  UK hedge fund TCI says Volkswagen Group's top management together will have been paid about 400 million euros ($455 million) in salary and bonuses since 2011, a sum it condemned as "corporate excess on an epic scale." That averages out to about 7.4 million euros per person per year despite what TCI estimates will be stagnant operating profits over the same six-year period. “Management has ...
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Risk rises for in-car buttons as gestures take control

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, May 15
blogs
Continental's solution puts the gesture-detection zone on the steering wheel. This works with the help of a so-called "time-of-flight sensor" that is integrated into the instrument cluster.
DOUGLAS A. BOLDUC :  The future of in-car switches and buttons looks even more uncertain as the move to offer gesture-based controls accelerates. Continental has developed a solution that puts the detection zone for gestures on the steering wheel instead of the center console. That is where it is located on the new-generation BMW 7 series that debuted last year with a solution from Delphi that reads hand movements us ...
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In Paris, a feast of urban mobility options

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, May 13
blogs
Pedicabs on the Ile de St. Louis in Paris. (BRADFORD WERNLE)
BRADFORD WERNLE :  PARIS -- If you want to see how a future city without cars is beginning to take shape, take a quick trip to Paris, a laboratory for 21st century urban mobility. To borrow the title of Ernest Hemingway’s memoir of 1920s bohemian life in Paris, the City of Light is truly “a movable feast.” Oh, there are still plenty of cars here, but increasingly, the automobile is being forced to ...
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VW is wrong to seek to clear its leadership over its diesel scandal

Posted 4:41 am U.S. ET, May 12
blogs
Christiaan Hetzner is Automotive News Europe's Germany correspondent.
:  Volkswagen Group continues to amaze me. The outrage over automaker's plan to pay its top management 35 million euros ($40 million) in bonuses for 2015 should give its supervisory board cause to reflect. Not so. VW is asking shareholders at its June 22 annual meeting to ratify the actions of both the management board and supervisory board for last year – effectively giving them all a passin ...
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