Autonomous driving is the next frontier for personal mobility. John Krafcik, CEO of Waymo, formerly known as Google’s self-driving car project, explained that the company had to shut down a pilot program ahead of schedule because of growing unsafe behavior from drivers who put too much trust in the technology. At the opposite end of the spectrum, BMW offered a glimpse of what motorists could do with the extra time they get when the car is handling the driving.
For the first time sales of premium midsize models were higher than their volume rivals in Europe last year. Our monthly segment analysis explains why this game-changing shuffle happened and why premium carmakers will gain more ground in the future.
Our Latest Launches section looks why Hyundai believes the new i30 has the best range of active safety technology in Europe’s key compact class and what traditionally conservative Toyota did to make sure that its new C-HR compact crossover would “turn heads.”
Continental teamed up with Schaeffler to create a mild hybrid based on 48-volt technology. The result is an affordable, easy-to-adapt solution that improves fuel economy by 20 percent, Continental powertrain boss Jose Avila explained.
Last year ended on a positive note for Europe’s automotive companies. See all the winners as measured by the Automotive News Europe/PricewaterhouseCoopers Transaction Services Shareholder Value Indices.
The Volkswagen Golf remained Europe best-selling model last year despite a 7.9 percent sales decline to 490,299 units. While the Golf has a dominant lead in Europe as whole, with an advantage of more than 181,000 units over its closest rival, the Renault Clio, it is not the champion in 20 European markets. We know this because we have teamed up with JATO Dynamics to provide the top 10 sellers in Europe’s 26 largest markets. The additional data will become a regular feature in the ANE monthly magazine starting this month.
Enjoy the issue!
Luca Ciferri, Associate Publisher and Editor