The latest issue of the Automotive News Europe monthly magazine goes live on Monday. The new edition examines why light commercial vehicles are pure gold for automakers.
Vans have high profit margins -- up to 10 percent or even more, analysts say, comparable to a well-equipped SUV. Their development costs are lower and less technology-intensive. And the European market for the sector -- forecast to grow by double digits by 2021 -- is relatively stable and predictable.
Our extensive coverage of Europe’s light commercial vehicles business begins with our cover story and includes key sales data. In addition, we share insights gained from speaking with five top LCV executives.
Ashwani Gupta, head of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance’s new cross-company LCV business unit, told us he is working to find synergies through common platforms and technologies.
With the addition of Opel/Vauxhall, Philippe Narbeburu, head of PSA Group’s LCV business, is poised to increase the size of the French-German company’s share of the European vans sector to more than 20 percent.
Ford has a new challenge. Division boss Hans Schep needs to balance rising demand for vans with investment in capacity without becoming too reliant on the subdued UK market.
Eckhard Scholz, who is responsible for roughly a half million global LCV sales as Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles CEO, discussed his plans to launch a battery-powered van.
Volker Mornhinweg, head of Mercedes-Benz Vans, explains why his division still achieved its operating margin target despite big investments to debut the new-generation Sprinter.
From vans to small cars. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ decision to shrink its Fiat brand in Europe and electrify its 500 model family may help to reduce emissions, but the move raises questions about the brand’s long-term ability to grow and remain profitable.
Our Latest Launches section reviews the C5 Aircross compact crossover, which Citroen is counting on to match the success of its smaller sibling, the C3 Aircross, and the Mahindra KUV 100, which is part of the India automaker’s bid to get a larger slice of the European car market.
In the first round of our 2018 Supplier Talk from the Top series, we will hear from three top executives.
- Wolf-Henning Scheider, who in January was named CEO of ZF Friedrichshafen, the world’s fifth-largest automotive supplier. He told us what tops his priority list during this time of industry transformation.
- Liam Butterworth, named CEO of Delphi Technologies in December after the company’s former parent spun off the powertrain specialist, explains how the new company will leverage its new-found speed and agility.
- Jan Carlson, as CEO of Autoliv, spearheaded the spinoff of the Swedish supplier’s active-safety business into a new publicly traded company. As Veoneer’s first CEO, Carlson explains why he thinks the new company is ideally positioned to take advantage of the technology-heavy trends driving the automotive industry.
To many, the diesel is nearly dead in Europe. However, our Final World column examines a new technology – measured during an extensive drive – that promises to lower smog-causing NOx to a fraction of the future legal limit.
Enjoy the issue!
Luca Ciferri, Associated Publisher and Editor