The Week That Was
By: Graeme Roberts
Deputy/news editor Graeme Roberts' Friday wrap on the important automotive news from the week just ending.
The big news this week was the long-expected announcement ZF would swallow TRW whole, re-establishing the respected chassis systems and safety equipment maker as a separate business division in a US$13.5bn deal.
After last week's news concerning top Nissan/Infiniti executive Andy Palmer's move to Aston Martin, came another shift - a BMW German region head to replace Palmer at the helm of Infiniti.
I reckon this week's autobiz surprise out of left field was the almost simultaneous announcements that Nissan Motor chief planning officer Andy Palmer would leave the automaker and return to his homeland as the new CEO of Aston Martin.
I submit, yeronner, brain fade, the leap straight from summer holiday to Swedish presser and an exceptionally busy week for the delay in this column arriving in an inbox near you.
There was an interesting development in the area of active safety and emerging advanced driver assistance technologies last week.
The news this week was a mixed bag with some positives and negatives.
Political instability and shaky industrial relations were among the issues that bubbled up on just-auto.com this week.
While the Next Problem seems to be South America, judging by the number of times it's mentioned in the results statements for the last quarter, there are signs that, after the pain, there's some gain in Europe, at last.
We are now in the midst of what I like to call slash-your-wrists or lose-the-will-to-live season and it can apply equally to whether you are issuing or writing up a sometimes seemingly interminable series of quarterly results.
Memo to self - be a little less facetious. Put 'off on a desert safari' in my Skype status to explain my absence and was greeted on return with 'how was your vacation?' from several who had apparently envisaged Sheikh Roberts wafting gently across the Sahara on a camel. Nope, I was in the Mojave, being (willingly) baked alive by Kia.
The boffins at Jaguar Land Rover revealed this week that they have come up with something akin to an on-board assistant built into your car.
General Motors started this week by continuing to honour CEO Mary Barra's oft-repeated promise - which is essentially to make good any car not good - so back to US dealers will go another 400,000-odd locally (and even Australian)-made cars for fixes various.
We've been hearing from several key auto industry chiefs this week.
Being more or less permanently welded to the just-auto newsdesk, I don't get out much though, after this week's experience of overcrowded trains, airports and Dutch motorways, that's probably not a bad idea. But I was briefly cut free again, this time to go try Toyota's new tiddler.
I have been indulging my fetish for electrified vehicles this week, heading for sunny Barcelona to see what happens when the powertrain and various other bits of Nissan's Leaf, a personal favourite, are stuffed into the NV200 van.
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