The Week That Was
By: Graeme Roberts
Deputy/news editor Graeme Roberts' Friday wrap on the important automotive news from the week just ending.
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.
The Detroit show - in balmy -17C temperatures, I hear - dominated proceedings this week with those that went describing it as the most optimistic in a long time. Some nice new product appeared, not least the long-awaited Honda/Acura NSX and Ford GT.
One way or another, this first full working week after the festive break has been an eventful one.
As someone said to me this week: "The older you get, the faster the years go by." He's not wrong. Where DID 2014 go? The year may be winding down to the Christmas break but things have still been busy in the autobiz.
Back from two weeks' 'staycation', the words that stood out as I returned to the news desk last Monday were 'Takata' and 'Honda'. And, as the latest developments in this long-running saga occurred throughout the week, I started to think of two more words: 'Ford' and 'Firestone'. Remember all that back at the beginning of this decade? If not, this 2005 story from our archives neatly summarises it.
One thing that has always got everyone in the automotive business talking is safety. It's an interesting one. Cars have become much safer in recent decades, of course.
I've come off the bench this week, as just-auto news editor, Graeme Roberts, takes a well-earned sojorn in Shakespeare's home county, HQ also of global good news story, JLR, of which more later.
An intriguing yet realistic admission from the chief of Lexus Europe this week - the Germans can't be beat so the Toyota luxury brand will tussle for fourth place. Also some interesting comments on Lexus' lack of diesels - which is one reason why the Germans dominate.
We've just this afternoon had official confirmation of what became this week's biggest news - as broken this morning by just-auto, top Ford executives Stephen Odell and Jim Farley are to swap jobs.
Yes folks, there's a ghost in the house and the temptation is to say, it's the ghost of safety. Okay, that's a bit laboured in the week of Halloween, but safety was an underlying theme in some of this week's news.
If I had to think of one adjective to describe this week's autobiz news, 'interesting' is as good a fit as any. Bit of this, bit of that.
- COMMENT: Diesel not out in London and Paris
- Management briefing: 48V mild hybrids (2)
- Volvo UK specs up seven seat XC90 redesign
- ANALYSIS: Mercedes smart brand's last chance?
- ANALYSIS: Europe's fragile recovery continues
- Honda chief quits
- Geneva show list updated
- Land Rover updates Evoque
- UK: Aston Martin to reveal future models strategy
- Ricardo unveils new prototype electric motor
- Global light vehicle engine technologies market- forecasts to 2029
- Global vehicle lightweighting - technology, trends and the future
- LMC Automotive's European Passenger Car Production Estimates - Latest Monthly Update
- Global electrified light vehicles market- forecasts to 2018
- PLDB - vehicle cycle plan database (annual subscription)