The Week That Was
By: Graeme Roberts
Deputy/news editor Graeme Roberts' Friday wrap on the important automotive news from the week just ending.
7 Apr 2017 | Graeme Roberts
A busy week for us. Editor Dave Leggett returned from a few days in Korea with Ssangyong and filed this report after interviewing Anand Mahindra, the chairman and managing director of Mahindra Group which owns the Korean automaker. Yours truly had an interesting Monday in Germany, as Audi showed and told all about the new, upcoming A8 flagship's body shell and walked us through the new plant built specially to make it.
31 Mar 2017 | Graeme Roberts
Brexit, long a word used on just-auto, finally began this week with the UK's official triggering of the infamous Article 50; the first time a country has had the temerity to ask to leave the European Union. There sure were some rather surly Eurocrat faces being televised from Brussels but we took a balanced view.
24 Mar 2017 | Graeme Roberts
Our look at future Volvos was the most popular read on just-auto this week, a pleasing result, because I know how much work it takes to put one of those together. Hat tip, then, to our resident 'new and future products' editor/analyst (he'll answer to either) Glenn Brooks, also researcher/editor for our production life, factory source and platform basis research database PLDB. If you're not familiar with PLDB (or our OEM/supplier research database QUBE), follow the link for a preview; if you'd like to see more, click this link to get in touch.
17 Mar 2017 | Graeme Roberts
The Chinese are coming - certainly some of the Volvo models they make over there.
10 Mar 2017 | Graeme Roberts
Yes, of course, Geneva this week, with lots of shiny new metal to get the consumer media all a-Twitter (other social media platforms are available), but the big story, looking all but inevitable a week ago, was the first-thing-Monday announcement PSA would acquire GM Europe's Opel/Vauxhall operations. Or, as some pundits put it, GM (with some large pension liability support) will pay PSA to take it away.
3 Mar 2017 | Graeme Roberts
This was not a good week to be a worker in certain auto or engine making plants owned by GM, PSA or Ford in the UK and Spain. Especially for those of nervous disposition.
24 Feb 2017 | Dave Leggett
It has been a week of high winds and resultant waves. Extreme weather system Doris hit us here on the edge of the Atlantic and caused a little local disruption.
10 Feb 2017 | Graeme Roberts
The most-read story on just-auto this week is an embarrassing one for the automaker concerned - the theft of an unspecified number of engines from Tata Motors' Land Rover plant in Solihull, an event that was kept quiet about for several days until that pesky media got on the case. JLR did not value the engines but reports here in the UK suggested they could be worth in the region of GBP3m (US$3.7m) following their removal from the Damson site in Solihull near Birmingham at some point late at night between 31 January and 1 February. An articulated truck is believed to have entered the site twice, each time hooking up to trailers carrying the engines and then leaving again through the gate. Understandably, the automaker and the constabluary are tight-lipped but you'd have to think 'inside job' for the perps to know what to nab, and where from, and, reportedly, be able to show the right paperwork - twice - to get in and out. I would not want to be in charge of Solihull security right now.
3 Feb 2017 | Graeme Roberts
What must PSA Groupe do to turn the DS brand around? We asked. And answered this week with an in-depth exploration of future model strategy in the first in a series concerning the French automaker's passenger car brands. It's been a very popular read but it's lengthy so pull up a cup (or glass, it's Friday) of your favourite beverage and get comfortable first.
27 Jan 2017 | Graeme Roberts
This time last week, from a time zone five hours ahead of Washington, DC, I was writing last week's column, one eye on the tv, while awaiting the inauguration of US President Donald J Trump. As, no doubt, possibly in fear and trepidation, were many in the auto industry. What'll the new prez do? Will he really slap a 35% tariff on imports from Mexico. Will That Wall really go up? Will the shutters go down - big clampdown on immigration - at Fortress US? Etc.
20 Jan 2017 | Graeme Roberts
As the United States, or those that voted for him, prepared to say Hail to the New Chief at the inauguration today, an equally divisive issue got another airing this side of the Atlantic this week - Brexit. British prime minister Theresa May confirmed the UK would not remain a member of the EU trade bloc's single market but would seek access to it through a free trade agreement which she said could see the automotive sector trading using single market "arrangements." In a speech outlining 12 aspects of the intensely complex mechanism by which Britain would exit the European Union (EU), May also warned those opposed to the UK quitting the union: "This is not a game." London did want some form of customs agreement, however.
13 Jan 2017 | Graeme Roberts
The start of the year usually has a pleasant familiarity to it - CES and Detroit shows and, in my case just this morning, often the first taste of winter snow. Also, in my case, hopefully the last sprinkle (it melted by lunch o'clock) as neither I nor the UK does snow. I always watch with amazement as friends in the US north east and midwest dig themselves out from up to eight feet of the stuff and carry on. We'd come to a grinding halt till about March and I'd move to southern California.
6 Jan 2017 | Dave Leggett
The first week back after the holidays usually brings an interesting mix of news and this year was no exception.
16 Dec 2016 | Graeme Roberts
Our interview with Peter Moelgg, chief executive of GKN Driveline's eDrive and AWD business, attracted a lot of interest over the past week and I am not all surprised. There has been a steady flow of announcements from this supplier about its involvement in electrified vehicles such as the BMW i8 sportscar and Volvo's acclaimed new XC90 and there's clearly lots more to come.
9 Dec 2016 | Graeme Roberts
Our story about Renault's redesigned Scenic MPV (aka minivan, people carrier, etc, etc) with magic Faurecia seats drew a lot of just-auto readers' eyeballs this week. Having specialised for decades in trying to catch out PRs 'first in the auto world' claims, I was at first cynical.