From the Editor
By: Dave Leggett
just-auto editor Dave Leggett's overview of the auto industry, its companies, products and people.
Ford's former Chief Technical Officer Paul Mascarenas has told just-auto that he believes the challenges faced by the auto industry currently put it at a pivotal stage and those firms who fail to embrace the emerging mega-trends will lose out.
A trade deal involving the US, Japan and 10 other Pacific rim countries has been agreed. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will reduce trade barriers between the nations involved and the agreement follows years of wrangling over arrangements for specific industrial sectors, such as automotive.
The sudden departure this week of Vauxhall managing director Tim Tozer follows a disagreement within GM's European organisation on volume targets according to a Vauxhall retail network source speaking exclusively to just-auto.
General Motors' UK operations' chief is Vauxhall MD Tim Tozer. He tells just-auto about the brand's high hopes for the new Astra and the resurgence of the UK manufacturing plant that makes it (one of two in Europe).
China's economy is obviously causing concern right now. It has been such an engine of growth for the world economy that investors get spooked by signs that the slowdown is turning into a 'hard landing' or that Beijing is losing its (to be fair, considerably deft) touch with managing China's sprawling macroeconomy.
Apple is a very, very powerful brand. It is also a very, very big publicly listed company with a market capitalisation approaching $700bn (the biggest valuation of any company in the world). What Apple has done with its exquisitely designed personal devices is amazing.
The big news this week was that Jaguar Land Rover announced a plan to build a 300,000-unit capacity plant in Slovakia. We knew that a plant in Central/Eastern Europe was under consideration as part of the Tata-owned premium firm's fairly ambitious growth plans.
With two recently revised models launching on the European market, Toyota is upbeat over prospects for the plant that makes them at Burnaston, in the UK. Dave Leggett caught up with Toyota Motor Manufacturing UK Deputy Managing Director Tony Walker for an update on UK manufacturing operations.
The news on Greece's debt crisis (which is also Europe's currency crisis with potential economic spillover) appears positive this morning.
Toyota has added a 1.2-litre turbocharged petrol engine to its revised Auris model. The company says the new four-cylinder direct injection unit delivers performance similar to that of a 1.6-litre engine but with lower fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.
Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer has told an industry conference that the company is targeting a growing class of luxury consumers in emerging markets and that he believes it can reinvent itself as a sustainable luxury brand.
Europe's economy faces a number of risks, but there are signs the Greek crisis is now nearing a crunch point. Already low economic growth could be adversely effected, something that could endanger Europe's car market recovery, says Dave Leggett
Impetus Automotive works with OEMs to improve performance and grow business within retail dealerships. Their focus is developing aftersales strategies and improving margins in an area of automotive business that is increasingly important to delivering profitability around the world. Dave Leggett caught up with Impetus' sales and marketing director, Ashley Fernihough, to discuss automotive parts sales and associated issues across the world.
There is some very clever technology already being fitted to cars that can assist the driver, improve the driving experience and improve safety.
I was at the SMMT's annual test day yesterday. At this agreeable event, vehicle manufacturers make cars available for journalists to drive at a proving ground, so it's an opportunity to get an update on latest product and meet up with people - either arranged or because you happen to bump into them.
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