The latest issue of the Automotive News Europe monthly e-magazine goes live on Monday, May 5.
This edition examines a potential reboot of car design. Diversity in form language is at an all-time high as each automaker defines its own expression. There is, however, an increasing trend toward consistency across brands and segments that has some styling bosses worried.
Volkswagen Group Design Director Walter de Silva blames the design trend on the pursuit of perfect aerodynamics. He says designers are under pressure to reduce drag coefficient to make cars as fuel efficient as possible and this will lead to complex-looking vehicles cluttered with unnecessary exterior graphics. “A wind tunnel does not care about brand image,” de Silva told Automotive News Europe.
Continuing with our design theme, Mercedes-Benz Vice President of Design Gorden Wagener says that his company is “not doing wedge-shaped cars anymore.” Find out what is inspiring Mercedes’ new look.
And Citroen C1 chief designer Carlo Bonzanigo explains the steps he and his team took to make sure the second-generation C1’s look didn’t match that of its siblings, the Peugeot 108 and Toyota Aygo.
Audi CEO Rupert Stadler says his automaker will remain the world’s second-largest premium brand after BMW this year despite a product trough and a strong challenge from fast-growing Mercedes-Benz. He explains how Audi will do this in an interview.
Sales of Renault’s electric cars are off to a slow start, but Beatrice Foucher, head of the automaker’s EV program, remains bullish.
European sales of premium SUVs were down 5 percent to about 585,000 last year, but that is probably the last dip for a while. Find out which new models are coming and why analysts predict that the segment will top 1 million sales annually by 2020.
On the product side, this month’s Latest Launches section looks at models for different tastes and budgets. The coverage opens with a review of the new-generation of Mercedes’ global top-seller, the C class, which has a much wider range of powertrains. Next comes Porsche’s latest addition, the Macan compact SUV, which the automaker hopes matches the magic of its No. 1 selling Cayenne mid-sized SUV. Peugeot expects the station wagon version of its 308 to get a lift from its hatchback sibling, which is the reigning European car of the Year, the Peugeot 308. The section concludes with a look at McLaren’s newest supercar, the 650S.
Europe’s recovering car market should boost the 2014 outlook for the world’s biggest auto parts suppliers, but slow economic growth has caused partsmakers to refrain from raising their forecasts. We examine why Robert Bosch, TRW, Autoliv, Continental and Faurecia remain cautious about Europe’s future.
German supplier Schaeffler has a new customer for its fuel-saving UniAir electrohydraulic variable valve lift system. Jaguar Land Rover will become the second automaker after Fiat Chrysler to add the system to its vehicles, ANE was told.
European suppliers Continental, Hella and Valeo earned PACE Awards for innovations that make vehicles safer. Find out which other companies took home the coveted prize given out annually by ANE sister publication Automotive News.
Enjoy this issue
Luca Ciferri, Editor