The latest issue of the Automotive News Europe monthly magazine goes live on Monday. The new edition looks at why automakers in Europe are betting big on plug-in hybrids.
Despite adding a battery and electric motor, a plug-in hybrid preserves most of the usability that consumers know while also allowing the manufacturer to reduce CO2 output by between 50 percent and 80 percent. There are also huge risks for manufacturers relying on plug-in hybrids, especially the potential backlash from environmental groups, city mayors and ruling governments if they decide the cars are not as green as their stated CO2 figures claim. Our cover story looks at the key role plug-in hybrids will play in the coming years.
Audi CEO Bram Schot says one of his biggest challenges is determining the right investment balance for the automaker. “How do we split our investments in full-electric cars and plug-in hybrids?” he asked in an interview. We provide that answer and more.
Ali Kassai, who is Renault’s executive vice president of product planning and programs, spoke with us about the French automaker’s current and future lineups as well as the next steps in its relationship with Daimler.
Frustration is rising over restrictive autonomous driving regulations in Europe, where automakers are still waiting for basic levels of the technology to be approved for sale. Safety, paradoxically, is both hindering and helping the discussion. On the one hand, 1.35 million people around the world die in traffic crashes every year. On the other hand, executives acknowledge that an autonomous car needs to be nearly flawless.
The station wagon -- a staple on European roads since the 1950s -- is facing a steady decline as automakers abandon the segment in favor of vehicles with more global appeal such as SUVs and crossovers. Wagons, however, have a strong following in three key markets and that is expected to ensure they avoid the same fate as the quickly disappearing minivan.
Europe’s largest dealer groups are expanding to the point where the leaders are annually selling new cars at volumes that nearly equal or surpass brands such as Seat, Volvo, Mini, Jeep, Land Rover and Jaguar. We rank the top 50 and provide an outlook for Europe’s retail sector.
The Kia XCeed compact crossover completes the Ceed range by adding a model in one of Europe’s most competitive segments. Despite the growing number of players in the sector, Kia expects the XCeed to be “among the best performers within the Ceed range” in terms of sales. Find out more about the XCeed.
Continental CEO Elmar Degenhart embarked on his biggest project yet last year when the supplier announced it would split itself into three units. We discuss the supplier’s future with Degenhart.
When French automakers jumped into China they thought Chinese consumers’ appetite for French design and luxury goods would translate into booming car sales. That hasn’t been the case. We explain why in our Final Word.
Enjoy the issue!
Associate Publisher and Editor