Leggett At Large
By: Dave Leggett
just-auto editor Dave Leggett's overview of the auto industry, its companies, products and people.
6 December 2013
The month of December is generally one of the quieter ones in the automotive news reporting calendar, but there was plenty going on last week to keep our minds off the festive season.
5 December 2013
General Motors has recognised that the numbers don't add up and has finally bitten the bullet on Europe. Chevrolet is to exit the region, leaving Opel and Vauxhall to ply mainstream market segments.
4 December 2013
BMW board member Ian Robertson says that he is excited by the market reception to the i3 electric vehicle - the first product in BMW's 'sustainable mobility' electrified i-brand line-up.
28 November 2013
The world light vehicle market is forecast to hit a new record in 2013, driven higher by recovering demand in North America and still buoyant sales in China.
18 November 2013
Those who have been around a while and possess reasonable memories may recall the pickle that Korea's automotive industry got itself into in the late-1980s.
13 November 2013
Hyundai-Kia gets through quite a few vehicles at its Namyang R&D facility. Dave Leggett visited a purpose-built vehicle recycling facility where old workhorses are pulled apart for ‘regeneration'.
11 November 2013
Mark Ovenden, Ford's UK chief, tells Dave Leggett that he's happy with the gradual improvement to the UK economy, the state of the British car market and market leader Ford's position within it.
11 November 2013
There were some positive signs for Europe last week as well as a development on Europe's economy suggesting that the recovery track remains fragile. On the plus side, Western Europe's car market was up 3.8% in October. That gain followed a year-on-year gain of 5.3% in September. Europe's car market is inching up from its twenty-year low.
4 November 2013
How times change. Not so long ago, the giants of Detroit were in crisis. Since the dark days of 2009, they have enjoyed a gradual resurgence. In 2013, a US light vehicle market heading towards 16m units is giving all three slimmed down makers a big lift. Ford and General Motors still have their problems in Europe, but their footprints and profits elsewhere are big enough to keep things manageable.
30 October 2013
Flybrid Automotive Limited’s core product is a high-speed flywheel based Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS), which it claims is a superior alternative to electric hybrid systems for cars. Road car applications are coming, Flybrid says. Dave Leggett spoke to co-founder Jon Hilton about the company, its technology and the latest developments.
18 October 2013
China’s “one-child” policy has resulted in an overall decline in the share of working-age people in the population. As growth of the labour force slows, employers have to compete for workers and wages thus continue to rise, boosting household incomes and vehicle demand. The programme has also resulted in smaller households, a notable contraction in the size of the young workforce and an unnaturally high ratio of boys to girls. Neil King, analyst at Euromonitor, spoke to Dave Leggett about the implications for auto sales.
11 October 2013
The European car market may be bouncing along at the bottom, but it won't do that forever. It may be a weak recovery ahead, but cars will eventually be replaced.
11 October 2013
Analysts at CAP have suggested that the boom in the UK's car market is partly being driven by depressed demand on the European continent and that recovery to markets there would divert supply from the UK and end its manufacturer driven market growth.
8 October 2013
Turbocharger manufacturer Honeywell has forecast a big rise in global sales of turbochargers, a finding that is also consistent with just-auto's research.
30 September 2013
It's the IPO that no-one really wants. Fiat and Chrysler's UAW retiree healthcare trust are locked in a dispute over how much Fiat should pay for the healthcare trust's (VEBA) remaining stake in Chrysler.
27 September 2013
Car manufacturers need to design cars that allow a new generation of 'digital natives' to continue their digital lifestyles while driving, according to a senior Hyundai manager addressing a Vehicle Connectivity conference in London.
25 September 2013
Peugeot is a brand that is part of a group, PSA, being squeezed in Europe's depressed car market. However, Maxime Picat sees positives for the future based on the company's re-alignment to the needs of growing emerging markets, the Peugeot brand's repositioning based on revitalised products and understanding changing needs in mature markets.
25 September 2013
Nissan is preparing plans to begin the assembly of vehicles in Myanmar. It's been a politically troubled place with a small car market and plenty of used vehicles. However, recent political progress has ignited automotive market interest. Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn believes it has good growth potential and could grow to 300,000 new cars a year.
24 September 2013
Prospects for the UK car market remain bright, according to Peugeot UK's managing director, Tim Zimmerman, speaking to just-auto.
2 September 2013
How is the car evolving? Think of how the car behaved and looked thirty years ago, twenty, ten. The engineers and designers are constantly improving the product. Cars are becoming cleaner, more efficient, packed with safety features and gizmos that can deliver 'surprise and delight' to passengers and drivers. The technical improvements in areas like powertrain are little short of astounding.