The latest issue of the Automotive News Europe monthly e-magazine goes live on Monday, July 4. This month's edition looks at how Volvo has turned itself into a legitimate rival to Germany's top premium brands.
After Ford sold Volvo to a little-known Chinese automaker six years ago, many obituaries were prepared for the Swedish automaker. Fast forward to today and Volvo is thriving. It is on pace to have its third consecutive year of record sales and its first-quarter operating margin was on par with Germany’s top premium automakers. Our cover story analyses Volvo’s turnaround and outlines its next big steps.
One person who is not letting Volvo’s recent success go to his head is CEO Hakan Samuelsson. He told us that there is still “a lot to do” for Volvo to reach its goals.
Our issue concludes with a Final Word commentary that looks back at the changes Volvo made to rise up from being a near premium brand 15 years ago to a legitimate rival to Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz.
Renault Chief Competitive Officer Thierry Bollore shared his view on what the French automaker plans to do to remain competitive as it seeks to recoup its multibillion-euro investment in EVs, develops next-generation connectivity and autonomous driving solutions and copes with tougher emissions regulations.
The minicar segment has experience roller-coaster sales in the recent years. The segment’s volume rose to more than 1.6 million in 2009, helped by government incentives that were offered to support automakers during the height of the global financial downturn. Sales dipped sharply following the subsidy-driven surge but industry watchers say the segment has leveled off at about 1.2 million annually. Despite this high volume a number of automakers are leaving the segment. Find out why.
Alfa Romeo says its new Giulia has better driving dynamics than rivals such as the BMW 3 series because the standard models were derived from the car’s Quadrifoglio performance version rather than the other way around. We review Alfa’s first volume rear-wheel-drive car in more than two decades.
The Renault-Nissan alliance’s investments in autonomous driving and connected services are key to helping the partners remain competitive as all the world’s leading automakers shift their emphasis toward becoming mobility providers. To help with this transition, Renault-Nissan recently hired former Nokia and Motorola executive Ogi Redzic, who explained how the alliance is getting ready for when customers spend less time driving and more time doing other tasks while in the car.
Volkswagen Group subsidiary Italdesign wants to expand its customer base after becoming too reliant on work from Europe’s largest automaker. The top targets include well-known technology companies such as Apple and Google, as well as a fast-growing U.S.-based electric-car maker: Tesla.
At the same time, to help increase brand awareness, the company is talking with various companies about doing something that Italian coachbuilders used to be famous for: producing one-off vehicles that carry the Italdesign name.
Enjoy the issue!
Luca Ciferri, Editor