The Week That Was

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 WEEK THAT WAS: Roasting in Kia's Mojave oven 18 Jul 2014

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 WEEK THAT WAS: Advanced technologies in the news and behind it 11 Jul 2014

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.


THE WEEK THAT WAS: More GM recalls 4 Jul 2014

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.


THE WEEK THAT WAS: Interview time 27 Jun 2014

We've been hearing from several key auto industry chiefs this week.


THE WEEK THAT WAS: Similar superminis 20 Jun 2014

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.


THE WEEK THAT WAS: An electrifying experience in a Nissan van 13 Jun 2014

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.


THE WEEK THAT WAS: Recall axe falls at GM 6 Jun 2014

There are 15 vacant desks at General Motors in the US today - the latest development in the debacle that saw a faulty ignition switch design cleared for production and installation in around 2.6m cars.


THE WEEK THAT WAS: Eyes on Russia 30 May 2014

In a bit of a change from my usual weekly epistle, may I first draw your attention to some articles from Our (occasional) Man in Russia, Simon Warburton, fresh back from (deep breath) the St Petersburg International Economic Forum 2014. We've bundled up his articles, including the odd travelogue blog, here in one handy all-inclusive take-home pack. Well worth a read.


THE WEEK THAT WAS: JCI's Chinese interiors joint venture 23 May 2014

Johnson Controls' announcement of a global joint venture with a Chinese interiors supplier attracted much interest from just-auto readers this week as you'd expect. Yanfeng Automotive Trim Systems is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Huayu Automotive Systems, the component group of Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation, Chinese JV partners of General Motors and Volkswagen, so this is a partnership of two real auto industry biggies.


THE WEEK THAT WAS: VW gets bigger 16 May 2014

News of VW's first EV for the US drew plenty of interest from just-auto readers this week. For good measure, the automaker also took full control of truckmaker Scania. Plus Japanese automakers enjoyed good ratings in a survey of OEMs' relationships with suppliers.


THE WEEK THAT WAS: The Fiat Chrysler Automobiles marathon 9 May 2014

I guess the biggest news of the week would have to be newly merged Fiat Chrysler Automobile's announcement - mostly to investors - of plans for world domination. Which only took, oh, about 12 hours. And, perhaps due to main target audience, it didn't apparently occur to anyone in either company's media department to knock out a quick summary of What We Hope. So we did.


THE WEEK THAT WAS: If it's Thursday, it's Ford day? 2 May 2014

Readers of just-auto could be forgiven for thinking we'd become PRs for Ford on Thursday due to the number of times the blue oval automaker got a mention. Just one of those coincidences that happen from time to time in the news biz.


THE WEEK THAT WAS: Economies on the up? 25 Apr 2014

Are post financial crash economies finally on the up? Financial results (first quarter for many; full fiscal year for Japan and India) have started rolling in and the ink is mainly black.


THE WEEK THAT WAS: Carlos sharpens the pruning knife 17 Apr 2014

PSA's Carlos Tavares wasted little time getting his feet under the CEO's table before announcing he was getting the pruning knife out to hack away at the fiendishly complicated global Citroen and Peugeot product lines, all in pursuit of a 2% operating margin by 2018 with a longer-term target of 5%.


THE WEEK THAT WAS: The bubble car returns 11 Apr 2014

There's a tale told that Leonard Lord, head of British Motor Corporation (the merged Austin and Morris post-war), eyed Isetta bubble cars and their ilk - result of the 1956 Suez Oil Crisis and general postwar austerity - and ordered Alec Issigonis to design something to get 'em (stronger words were used) off the roads.


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