The latest issue of the Automotive News Europe monthly e-magazine goes live on Monday, March 3.
This edition looks at the vehicles poised to shake up the key minicar segment. We access the potential impact key new debuts such as the third-generation Renault Twingo and the second-generation Citroen C1, Peugeot 108 and Toyota Aygo will have on the segment, which is Europe's third largest after subcompacts and compacts.
Minicars won't be the only stars of the Geneva show. We highlight crucial debuts from BMW, Mercedes, Lamborghini, Ferrari, McLaren and more.
Another car that will get a lot of attention in Geneva is the Citroen C4 Cactus. Along with its unique exterior that is partially covered in a bubblewrap-like material know as Airbumps to reduce costly dents, the compact is expected to be used as a test case for a pay-per-use leasing scheme that resembles those offered by mobile phones operators.
Separately, the boss of the C4 Cactus design team, Mark Lloyd, explains how the car got its name and shares details on the thinking behind the Airbumps.
A number of leading automotive executives we interviewed for this month's magazine shared ambitious objectives for their companies or for a particular niche of models.
Toyota Motor Chairman Takeshi Uchiyamada, who is also known as the father of the Prius, predicts that hybrids will soon command 20 percent of global sales, up from about 13 percent now.
For Uchiyamada's prediction to come true there will need to be stronger sales of hybrids in Europe, where total volume rose 40 percent last year to 214,237 units, but that was just 2 percent of the total market. Find out why analysts remain bearish on the niche in Europe.
Nissan Europe Chairman Trevor Mann is bullish on his automaker's future. He is counting on the recently launched new Qashqai and the automaker's forthcoming compact hatchback to help Nissan reclaim the title of top-selling Asian brand in Europe by 2016. Toyota surpassed Nissan for that crown in 1998.
Another bold statement came from Ulrich Hackenberg, one of Volkswagen Group's top-ranking engineers as well as Audi's board member for technical development. He says "the electric car is the future," which is a big shift for VW Group after years of being critical of battery-assisted vehicles such as hybrids.
This month's issue provides details on the larger, more ergonomic third-generation Mini and Mercedes's first compact crossover, the GLA.
Luca Ciferri, Editor