From the Editor
By: Dave Leggett
just-auto editor Dave Leggett's overview of the auto industry, its companies, products and people.
The focus in Beijing's auto show this year is firmly on green technologies. That's perhaps not too surprising when you bear in mind the problems that China is experiencing with air quality in its major cities.
New product is a big driver of performance in the automotive business, as we are all very well aware.
There are more hopeful signs lately of gathering monentum for recovery in the European car market. Car sales in Western Europe were up by 10% in March.
Nissan's UK MD Jim Wright has told just-auto that he sees its Barcelona built e-NV200 electric van as a model introduction that will boost Nissan EV sales in the UK fleet marketplace.
There's a reminder in the news today of the importance of product in the automotive industry. Yes, market geography accounts for a lot in this business. Being present in markets that are booming is vital, but just being present is not enough on its own.
India has seen plenty of automotive sector interest in recent years. It's a market with huge potential for growth, but a China-style market surge is not in prospect. Indeed, the economic crisis of last year and subsequent slowdown has reinforced a market pause, writes Dave Leggett. The big question is, how long will it last?
Ford has launched a revamped version of its Focus model in Geneva as part of a five-year product offensive promised under the 'Go Further' banner. Dave Leggett caught up with Ford of Europe's chief to hear more about the strategy to return the company's European operations to profitability by 2015.
Ford's UK fleet director Phil Hollins is responsible for UK market leader Ford's fleet sales. Dave Leggett recently caught up with him at a launch event for the new Transit Connect.
Dave Leggett considers some of the big strategic drivers for the global automotive industry. In particular, he believes that the the shift of global demand to emerging markets and the growth of "mega-platforms" will reinforce auto industry scale economies - favouring the bigger groups.
The latest data from ACEA shows that the EU's car market grew by 5.5% in January. Positive territory will be welcome across the region, but analysts note that the market remains far from 'fixed'.
The roadmap and timeline to the fully autonomous vehicle remains far from clear. Renault has, helpfully, provided a little clarity on its strategy to introduce vehicles with some autonomous control capability by 2020.
The Renault-Nissan Alliance has undoubtedly been an automotive industry success story. In its fifteen years of existence, the alliance of the two has brought big benefits for both participants in terms of components procurement, scale economies and shared engineering costs.
Current emerging market jitters are a little bit reminiscent of the financial crisis and loss of confidence that hit Asia in the late 1990s.
For January's management briefing, we review developments and prospects for vehicle demand in the major regions of the world. Dave Leggett considers the state of the global economy and world vehicle market.
BMW-owned luxury car brand Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has revealed record sales results for 2013 and is adding jobs at its UK manufacturing site. Dave Leggett spoke with CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös about the brand's performance and prospects.
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- THE WEEK THAT WAS: Carlos sharpens the knife
- Management briefing: UK engine manufacturing (1)
- COMMENT: Beijing wants a greener auto sector
- Golf off Ford CEO Mulally's next-move list
- 2014 BEIJING SHOW: Global debuts list
- Ford Mulally successor announcement expected
- BEIJING: First four-cylinder Porsche since 1995
- GM restructures global engineering