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
One of the aspects that genuinely surprised me about the recent visit to Russia organised by Renault and AvtoVAZ was the almost complete absence of trade union antagonism to restructuring.
Last week Simon Warburton visited the Moscow Motor Show with Renault Russia and had the opportunity to talk with senior executives, as well as travel to alliance partner, AvtoVAZ, at its Togliatti plant in Samara. Here are some of the quotes from that trip..
Eating a stone's throw from Moscow's notorious Lubyanka was an unusual experience last week, but then as so much of Russia is unexpected, it pays to keep an open mind.
There was no escaping it - the proverbial elephant in the room formed the backdrop to this week's Moscow Motor Show just as it had in St Petersburg earlier this year at the International Economic Forum.
After weeks of what has seemed a phoney war of words between both sides, the stakes are starting to ramp up considerably between Russia and its newly-minted adversaries in the West.
As sticking points go, South Africa's so-called 'peace clause' has proved exceptionally tricky to shift.
Much like supporting a football team, just when you think it's all going swimmingly and your club's in for a period of stability - and hopefully success - bang - the rug is pulled from underneath.
Is the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) interested in promoting its members' conditions and working with employers in a country where union rights for all are still a relatively fledging concept, or is it more concerned with establishing some sort of Marxist State?
Is ZF Friedrichshafen's mooted takeover of TRW Automotive a ploy to smooth the peaks and troughs of any future recession?
Michelin's quite fond of using the phrase "track to street" - it's a nifty way to neatly encapsulate what the tyre manufacturer is trying to do with its move into, well, if not quite Formula 1, then its electric cousin, Formula E.
In the - presumably now smoke-free - corridors of the European Commission (EC) last week - Britain's Prime Minister - with his Hungarian counterpart - raged against the leviathan machine of Brussels - and lost.
Britain's Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders (SMMT) Meet the Buyer event in London's rejuvenated docklands area this week was an apt choice of venue given the topics up for discussion.
It's all starting to sound eerily reminiscent of two and a half years ago up in the stretches of northern Europe.
Only a few years ago, the vast, sprawling factory that is home to AvtoVAZ in Togliatti, apparently accounted for a staggering one in seven of the population in this central western city in Russia.
This year's St Petersburg International Economic Forum provided a boost for Russia's beleaguered image, but The Kremlin didn't have it all its own way. Here is a snapshot of some of last week's more memorable quotes.
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