The latest issue of the Automotive News Europe monthly magazine goes live on Monday. The new edition looks at why the traditional automotive merger is being replaced by a dizzying array of ecosystems, alliances and collaborations.
The reason is that companies are racing to stay on top of the latest technological trends. Many of these new combinations involve players from outside the automotive world. Automakers and big suppliers that fail to set up or join such alliances risk falling behind -- or worse, analysts say. We look at this fast-moving trend in our cover story.
Russia’s money-losing AvtoVAZ sparked optimism among customers of its Lada brand with the August unveiling of the 4x4 Vision -- a concept previewing a possible replacement for its long-running 4x4. British-born Steve Mattin, who has been Lada’s head of design since 2011, outlines the difficulties that come with replacing a 40-year icon.
Volkswagen says that the cost-efficient MEB platform it will use to underpin its I.D. electric vehicles will be even more scalable than the MQB architecture. The VW, Audi, Skoda and Seat brands will launch 27 models based on the MEB architecture.
This month’s start of the fifth season of the Formula E electric race series brings two more automakers onto the starting grid as BMW and Nissan will join Jaguar, DS, Audi, Mahindra and the Chinese electric brand NIO. The series’ growing popularity with some of the world’s biggest brands underlines the importance of electric cars to their future lineups. But is getting onto the starting grid purely a marketing exercise for these companies? We answer that question.
The future of plug-in hybrids in Europe is in doubt after the double blow of a harsh emissions reclassification and the removal of purchase subsidies in the UK, the region’s biggest market for such cars. Despite the challenges, automakers are persisting with plug-in hybrids. For many, they have no choice -- they need them to reach Europe’s fleet CO2 target of 95g/km by 2021. We provide an outlook for this key sector.
On the new-product side, this month we review two SUVs. The first is the T-Cross, which Volkswagen is aiming at young customers in urban areas who are looking to buy their first crossover. To get them to trade in their hatchbacks, VW is offering lots of interior room and functionality.
Audi, meanwhile, expects its new Q3 to appeal to women buyers despite its more “masculine” design compared with the soft look of its predecessor.
Few suppliers have been able to constantly grow their business like Brembo. Despite being one of the leaders in its field, however, Brembo is still relatively small compared with giants such as Robert Bosch or Continental. Brembo Executive Deputy Chairman Matteo Tiraboschi explains why this can be an advantage.
Our Connected Car section features an interview with the CEO of AstaZero, Peter Janevik, whose company is operating a first-of-its kind test track in Europe for autonomous vehicle technology.
In our Final Word column, we look at why European automakers are falling flat in one key measure -- share price -- and what they can do to reverse this.
Enjoy the issue!
Luca Ciferri, Associated Publisher and Editor