The Week That Was
By: Graeme Roberts
Deputy/news editor Graeme Roberts' Friday wrap on the important automotive news from the week just ending.
We heard this week that Toyota and Mazda are interested in working together in the future. Toyota is obviously the bigger player, but Mazda has some interesting plus points, not least its Skyactiv powertrain technology that improves ICE efficiency.
We put Tata Motors' Land Rover's Range Rover Evoque under the microscope this past week, asking how long the model, just mid-life facelifted, can continue to be the automaker's golden goose.
Dunno 'bout you but 2015 seems to be flying by waaaay too fast - where did yet another week go?
There was quite a bit of good news on just-auto.com this week, mostly concerning March and first quarter sales plus various announcements of new plants or production starts.
There was some good news for UK Auto Manufacturing Plc this week as Honda announced that its under-used European car plant in Swindon would become the global production hub for the next generation Civic five door hatchback.
We started the week with a bit of a surprise - famous Italian tyremaker was nabbed by a Chinese chemical company with big plans for its tyre making unit. Mama mia!
Two major automakers respectively wielded the axe this week. General Motors all but shut down its Russian production and dumped Opel there while FCA admitted, finally, that pretending Lancias were Chryslers was a Silly Idea, and that actual Chrysler Chryslers no longer sell well in the UK, and all but axed the lot.
Post-Geneva, there was no shortage of auto industry happenings this week.
So, did anything interesting happen this week? I seem to recall the odd vague mention of a motor show Somewhere in Europe. Geneva? That's it. We had a full team on the ground while Muggins here managed the mother ship back in Blightly. Which, after hearing reports of the wifi standard at the show, suited me just fine.
A highlight for the Z-list 'trade site' peasant this week was - courtesy of right place, right time - to sup down at the A-listers' table on the international first drive event for Volvo's superb new XC90.
ACEA's monthly reports on European car sales are always interesting and this week we decided to drill down a bit and see if there was anything interesting in the January data - and that for 2014 - worth keeping an eye on during the rest of 2015. There was.
Analysis-r-us so let's start there this week, shall we?
'Car sales in Europe off to a strong start' is not a headline we've been accustomed to writing much in the last few years but we did, finally, manage it today.
We must all be ghouls at heart - the most-read story on just-auto this week: what got bent on the Heogh Osaka, the ship that recently enjoyed an unscheduled port of call on a Southampton sandbank.
Just back from what was my first ever Honda launch event to bring you news of the 2015 CR-V update for Europe, majoring, of course on a new diesel engine and ZF's new(ish) nine-speed automatic.
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- Nissan's Ghosn relaxed on R-N Alliance structure