Automotive News Europe blogs
New refuge for abandoned minivan fans?
Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, July 10
The Berlingo offers many of the same driving assistance features as Citroen's new-generation cars.
Loyal minivan buyers who aren't willing to join the shift to SUVs appear to have found refuge in one of Europe's least glamorous segments: compact cargo vans.
There are positive signs that boxy, multipurpose models such as the Citroen Berlingo and Peugeot Partner, which are a staple product with tradespeople and delivery services, are benefiting from the slow death of the minivan, once one of Eur ...
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Opel's labor boss is ready for a fight
Posted 12:14 pm U.S. ET, July 5
Opel labor boss Wolfgang Schaefer-Klug: "We plan to defend ourselves with all measures at our disposal."
PSA's honeymoon with the work force at its German subsidiary Opel appears to be over, and the timing couldn’t be worse.
Just as PSA, which took control of Opel roughly a year ago, aims this week to put its signature on a new labor deal that would eliminate 3,700 German jobs in exchange for guarantees until 2023, news reports surfaced that management plans to sell large chunks of the carmake ...
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Why PSA is OK that its new compact vans are so alike
Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, July 3
Like its two siblings, the Peugeot Partner (shown) has an indicator that lights up when 80 percent and 100 percent of the payload is reached.
PSA Group is about to introduce a new compact commercial van for its Peugeot, Citroen and Opel/Vauxhall brands. The vans will be made in the same factories in Spain and Portugal and have the same dimensions. They have many of the same features and options. How to keep them straight in buyers’ minds?
The differences are subtle, and in many cases are a matter of wording.
The Peugeot Partner, ...
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VW could benefit most in U.S. from Ford alliance
Posted 7:59 am U.S. ET, June 25
Nick Gibbs is a UK correspondent for Automotive News Europe.
Volkswagen Group and Ford have said they are exploring a development and production alliance for commercial vehicles, and possibly other projects.
Where would it make sense for the two auto giants to join forces?
Ford doesn't break out commercial vehicle sales but claims to be the world's biggest van manufacturer thanks to its Transit range. The company also has a stranglehold on the U.S. pickup ...
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VW board was weak and indecisive over Audi CEO crisis
Posted 5:30 am U.S. ET, June 20
Christiaan Hetzner is Automotive News Europe's Germany correspondent.
Corporate governance is relatively straightforward when you boil it down to the essentials: safeguard the company’s future, protect its reputation and at all times abide by the law. When crisis strikes, a board must spring into action and take charge to quickly restore confidence.
So when Audi's Rupert Stadler made history as the first German chief executive to be arrested, denied bail and ...
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Stadler's words return to haunt him
Posted 9:23 am U.S. ET, June 18
Christiaan Hetzner Automotive News Europe's Germany correspondent.
Audi CEO Rupert Stadler could not have been more prophetic when he said last month: "The diesel crisis is not yet over for us."
Seven days after being named a suspect in an ongoing investigation for the first time, he was taken into custody on Monday by Munich prosecutors and ordered by a judge to remain behind bars until his trial for fraud and false testimony on the suspicion he could destroy e ...
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70 years later, appreciating the genius of Ferry Porsche
Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, June 15
The Porsche 356 pictured in a 1952 review by the U.S. magazine "Mechanix Illustrated."
Even the well-versed in automotive history sometimes fail to grasp that Porsche, the sports car manufacturer, was not the handiwork of VW Beetle creator Ferdinand Porsche but rather his son, Ferry.
The son, who died in 1998, was quiet and unassuming (at least on the one occasion I met him) and brilliant and unwavering. He is perhaps the least appreciated of the industry's all-time stalwarts.
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Why VW should share its skateboard and change the world
Posted 3:34 pm U.S. ET, June 13
VW will launch its first three I.D. electric models starting in 2020. Shown, from left, are the I.D. Buzz minivan, I.D. hatchback and I.D. Crozz crossover.
LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE
Herbert Diess, Volkswagen Group's new CEO, has a lot on his plate -- especially for a guy who's new in the job and has been at VW for less than three years.
But with that caveat, I'd like to suggest to Professor Doctor Diess a potential industry-altering -- maybe world-altering -- strategy that, if implemented, might go a long way toward restoring Volkswagen's good name in the wake of sweeping di ...
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Land Rover sets course for Defender to come home
Posted 11:42 am U.S. ET, June 12
A door on a Land Rover Defender is inspected on the line at Jaguar Land Rover's assembly plant in Solihull, UK, in Nov. 2015. (BLOOMBERG)
The stars are starting to align for the upcoming Land Rover Defender.
Absent from Monday's news about Jaguar Land Rover transferring production of the Discovery to the company's new plant in Slovakia early next year is any mention of the Defender.
Land Rover has not said where it will build the next-generation Defender or if the body will be made of aluminum, like the original 1948-2016 model. B ...
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Volvo's Polestar commits to guiding light feature
Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, June 9
The Polestar 1's panoramic roof has the company's guiding light logo projected onto the glass.
DOUGLAS A. BOLDUC
Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath says that the new Volvo-controlled brand will extend a unique design feature found in its debut model to at least the next two cars in its lineup.
“We definitely think that we will able to do so,” Ingenlath told me when asked about giving the Polestar 2 and Polestar 3 the star-shaped logo that is projected onto the Polestar 1’s panoramic glass roof. ...
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The Elkann style: Sustainability … at Ferrari speed
Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, June 8
Lapo Elkann with KC Crain, Automotive News Europe Group Publisher.
Lapo Elkann, scion of the Agnelli family and still part owner of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Ferrari, showed at the Automotive News Europe Congress on Wednesday that he has not lost his knack for provocation.
“Let’s be sincere. Everybody now speaks about sustainability because it’s good for marketing,” Elkann told Automotive News Europe Group Publisher KC Crain.
As evid ...
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Why BMW's new 3 series needs to up its game
Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, June 6
A spy shot of the next-generation BMW 3-series sedan.
BMW's new 3 series needs to restore the model's appeal to driving enthusiasts after the current model strayed from its sporty roots.
The seventh-generation of BMW's brand shaper is expected to debut at the Paris auto show on Oct. 2 ahead of its market launch in Europe and the U.S. early next year with China following later. Internally referred to as G20, it will be based on BMW's flexible, lightw ...
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A day spent at a test track near Beijing driving 10 vehicles from local brands convinced me that European volume automakers should be aware of some passenger cars and compact crossovers that could be coming soon from China’s automakers.
Models such as the Geely X1 small car, the Luxgen U5 and Northeast DX3 compact crossovers and the Changan Eado midsize sedan are on par with products from E ...