Slice Of Warburton

Slice Of Warburton

By: Simon Warburton

just-auto business editor Simon Warburton offers up a wide range of views in his distinctive style, informed by daily contact with the global auto industry



Gloves off as UK poised to decide EU future 6 May 2016

"Independence Day" is how Boris Johnson – recent Mayor of London – and star turn of the UK's so-called Brexit wing looking for an amicable divorce from Brussels - is describing the day after next month's British referendum on European Union membership.


Moscow voices - from the Russian Automotive Forum shop floor 1 Apr 2016

Is there light at the end of a long, dark tunnel for Russia? After more than a year of catastrophically plummeting light vehicle sales, last month saw a real brake on the runaway falling numbers. Oil prices – on which Russia is so heavily dependent - are at last showing some real depth to their rise and have now surged 50% since January. The recent Russian Automotive Forum in Moscow provided a barometer of where the industry is – and where it might go. Here are some of the quotes which resonated.


Is Moscow about to turn down subsidy taps? 24 Mar 2016

It was a politician's remark delivered mid-speech at last week's Russian Automotive Forum (RAF) in Moscow, which struck me as indicative of just how parlous a state are The Kremlin's finances.


COMMENT - Iran on sanctions end brink as suppliers prepare 15 Jan 2016

As I write this, the world could be just hours away from witnessing the end to one of its most extraordinary and long-running geopolitical sagas – the enduring conundrum that is Iran.


COMMENT: President defies economic winter with Lada endorsement 30 Oct 2015

As winter starts to really take hold in Russia – both climatically through the advent of the first real cold of this time of year – and equally with the country finding itself in a state of political deep freeze – this vast territory finds itself beleaguered on almost all fronts.


COMMENT: Suppliers defensive in teeth of VW storm 25 Sep 2015

If not exactly a stampede, there is certainly an orderly queue of suppliers beating a retreat to distance themselves from one of the greatest business scandals to rock Germany in decades.


COMMENT: Russia toughs it out at US$40 a barrel 4 Sep 2015

As sharply falling oil prices which went below US$40 last week, continue to feed through to Russian exchange rates, with a plunging currency in turn putting pressure on disposable income available for automotive purchases, is there a silver lining in the depreciation cloud?


COMMENT: TPP legacy as Obama's Grand Projet? 28 Aug 2015

It's only natural to want to leave something behind, something tangible which indicates you've made a difference and which will endure for decades, perhaps even lifetimes.


COMMENT: Iran coiled spring bursting to unwind 17 Jul 2015

It's been glacially slow in evolving, but could one of the longest-running sanctions sagas in modern times be about to draw to a close?


COMMENT: Russian masquerade born of frustration 10 Jul 2015

Sitting here in the West and listening to the litany of critics lined up against Russia, all aiming their formidable firepower firmly at Moscow, their collective hammering against the Kremlin walls is as persuasive as it is articulate.


COMMENT: No wizards needed at US$100 a barrel 2 Jul 2015

It's been variously labelled as President Vladimir Putin's 'vanity summit' and those attending it as 'Kremlin lackeys,' but for the thousands throngingh this year's St Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) on the shores of the Gulf of Finland, it was a chance to offer some defiance to a disappoving Western world.


COMMENT: Tsipras steals the show in St Petersburg 23 Jun 2015

Arguably Europe's most powerful politician made a surprise appearance at last week's St Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) - and it wasn't Angela Merkel.


COMMENT: Bosch takes societal bull by horns 5 Jun 2015

For all the chatter surrounding the brave new world of autonomous driving, there is one supplier at least which is broadening the debate beyond the physics and the chemistry.


COMMENT: Russia plays political football but is there light ahead? 29 May 2015

Just when you thought things couldn't be any worse for the auto sector in Russia, up popped the AEB recently with its latest monthly instalment of doom that sets the situation in stark clarity, but will a stabilising rouble ride to the rescue?


COMMENT: UK election sets cat among Brussels pigeons 15 May 2015

UK satirical magazine, Private Eye's cover this week has the strapline: "New poll shows Miliband ahead" and its ironic micky-take of just how wrong British forecasting services were will have been noted with some alarm across the English Channel in Brussels.


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