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BLOG: Luca Ciferri
Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Aug. 29
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| Luca Ciferri is Editor of Automotive News Europe.|
General Motors never should have dumped Daewoo in favor of Chevrolet in Europe eight years ago. At that time, Daewoo mainly sold low-tech, cheap-but-not-so-cheerful cars in central and eastern Europe. Had GM stuck with that plan it could have gone head to head against Renault’s low-cost Dacia brand. Instead, Dacia has had the low end of the market nearly to itself -- ... Continue reading "GM's massive missed opportunity in Europe" » Dec 6, 2013 2:12 am U.S. ET Post Comment
There has always been bad chemistry between Fiat and Alfa. Fiat's mass-market focus simply does not sit well with Alfa's great history of technical innovation and extreme performance. The only reason Fiat bought Alfa in 1986 was to prevent Ford from becoming a rival car producer in Italy. It never actually wanted the brand.In the 25 years since then, Fiat has created only ... Continue reading "Fiat's loveless marriage to Alfa" » Dec 5, 2013 12:01 am U.S. ET Post Comment
It's not surprising that that Carlos Tavares relinquished his COO duties at Renault. When you publicly say you would like to be CEO of another automaker, it is pretty clear that your days at your current employer are numbered.In an Aug. 14 interview with Bloomberg, Tavares said he would like to have a chance to lead General Motors or Ford. Tavares is 55 and wants to be the ... Continue reading "What's next for Tavares, Ghosn and Renault?" » Aug 29, 2013 12:01 am U.S. ET Post Comment
Ferrari excels at overcoming enormous engineering challenges -- just look at the 963hp, 3,000-pound carbon fiber La Ferrari coupe -- but its next task might be its toughest. The company wants to change the way its employees e-mail.To encourage more talking and less e-mailing Ferrari this month set a rule that an e-mail can have no more than three internal recipients. The r ... Continue reading "Ferrari's next big challenge: Talk more, e-mail less" » Jul 9, 2013 12:01 am U.S. ET Post Comment
Global April sales for Fiat-Chrysler show how much the Americas, especially the United States and Brazil, are supporting the automaker.Fiat-Chrysler's global vehicle sales were 394,100 units last month, up 10.8 percent compared with the same month a year before, according to Fiat's investor relations Web site. These sales numbers are not widely reported by the media becaus ... Continue reading "U.S. and Brazil bright spots for Fiat-Chrysler as Europe declines" » May 21, 2013 12:01 am U.S. ET Post Comment
If I were an executive at a Chinese domestic automaker, I would be very worried. Why? It is difficult to find a Chinese-brand car on the streets of Shanghai, the country's largest city with more than 23 million inhabitants.I experienced this first hand visiting the city for the auto show. During a long bus ride from the Shanghai World Expo to the Pudong district, I didn't ... Continue reading "Looking for a Chinese car in Shanghai" » Apr 19, 2013 12:01 am U.S. ET Post Comment
The escalating rivalry among Germany's premium automakers was fully on show at the annual financial results conferences of Audi and BMW.Audi gave two strong messages to industry watchers and reporters at its event in Munich last month:Audi is not just a single brand. It now oversees Volkswagen Group's three Italian subsidiaries -- Lamborghini, Italdesign Giugiaro and Ducat ... Continue reading "BMW, Audi show off rival visions" » Apr 2, 2013 12:01 am U.S. ET Post Comment
The new LaFerrari supercar is the first model entirely designed by the company's internal styling center and it looks like more in-house products will follow, but Ferrari's boss says that is not a bad sign for longtime partner Pininfarina.Ferrari has relied on Italy's Pininfarina to design nearly all its production cars since 1951. The only exception was the Dino 308 GT4 d ... Continue reading "The LaFerrari is a Ferrari first" » Mar 6, 2013 12:01 am U.S. ET Post Comment
France will no longer have a domestically produced flagship when output of the Citroen C6 ends later this month. The C6's demise marks the end of an era in France that reached its pinnacle in the 1950s. That was when the first Citroen DS sedan arrived.
The iconic shark-shaped car proved that the French could compete with any automaker in Europe in making a truly premium l ... Continue reading "The end is near for the French flagship sedan" » Dec 12, 2012 6:00 am U.S. ET Post Comment
BMW is expanding the numbering system it uses to identify its models.
The company will introduce a coupe named the 4 series next year. In a few years, expect another new number -- the 2 series.
The role of the 2 series will be the same of the 4 series:
To boost BMW's brand image
To charge higher prices for coupe and cabriolet variants of the mainstream sedans, and to ... Continue reading "Expect another number surprise from BMW" » Dec 6, 2012 12:01 am U.S. ET Post Comment
At this year's Los Angeles auto show, it seems that BMW X1s are everywhere.A cute blue vehicle I passed looked just like an X1 SUV. Actually, it was a Mazda CX-5 that resembled an X1 from the side, but had a nose and tail different than the X1.On the Toyota stand, there was a concept for the new RAV4. I thought I was seeing things again. The side looked just like an X1 but ... Continue reading "In LA, SUVs take inspiration from BMW" » Nov 29, 2012 12:01 am U.S. ET Post Comment
The proverb "No man is a prophet in his own land" perfectly fits the Fiat 500L small minivan, which has its North American debut today at the Los Angeles auto show.
The 500L is built in Serbia in a factory that once produced Yugo cars. Only 1 percent of the production will be sold in the Balkan country. The rest will go to other parts of Europe and to global markets inclu ...