The latest issue of the Automotive News Europe monthly magazine goes live on Monday, Nov. 2. This month's edition looks at the effect VW's Dieselgate scandal is having on the automaker, Made-in-Germany quality and the diesel engine.
While many key questions remain unanswered – the main one being: Who knew what and for how long – our cover story looks at how VW could use the biggest scandal in its 78-year history to improve its corporate culture, cut costs and energize profits.
We also outline the key challenges facing the VW, Audi, Seat and Skoda brands and identify the key new executives who will tackle the tasks.
Dieselgate, along with overall volatility in the global financial markets, had a big effect on the shareholder value at VW as well as at most of Europe’s publicly traded automakers and suppliers. The latest Automotive News Europe/PricewaterhouseCoopers Transaction Services Shareholder Value Indices show that in the third quarter European automakers as a whole lost 27.9 percent of their value and partsmakers lost 12.5 percent. While there were a lot of losers as a result of Dieselgate there were also quite a few winners. We reveal a few of them in our Final Word column.
From Germany to France, where PSA/Peugeot-Citroen reported stronger-than-expected first-half financial results. CEO Carlos Tavares is convinced that the good times at the once cash-strapped automaker have only just begun. He said the French automaker’s success comes from its focus on efficiency over volume, which helps it avoid selling vehicles at a loss. He explained why he thinks PSA’s competitors should follow the same strategy.
Johan van Zyl, the new CEO at Toyota Europe, told us he is working to boost the efficiency of the automaker’s dealer network in Germany, where Toyota’s sales were down 8 percent through September.
Design similarities between the new Alfa Romeo Giulia premium midsize sedan and its chief rival – the BMW 3 series – are evident, but the man responsible for the look of the Italian model defends the originality of his work.
Could new entrants such as the Alfa Giulia and the Jaguar XE steal market share from the established German players in Europe’s hotly contested premium midsize class? Audi CEO Rupert Stadler doesn’t think the additional players will be a problem because his company is convinced that the ninth-generation A4 has features that make it stand out in the sector.
This month we look at two other important models: the Toyota Mirai and the Opel Astra.
The Mirai is the world’s first mass-produced fuel cell car but its adoption will be slowed by Europe’s limited infrastructure of hydrogen fuel stations.
The new-generation Astra has been made lighter and more high tech to win sales from the Volkswagen Golf as well as compact premium rivals such as the BMW 1 series.
By doubling processor performance and using faster graphics, Audi has been able to create a three-dimensional user experience in its vehicles. Electronic development boss Ricky Hudi explained how Audi was able to do this much faster than its competitors.
Enjoy the issue!
Luca Ciferri, Editor