Latest automotive comment
The best views and opinions in automotive industry publishing, all in one place, from just-auto's monthly columnists and in-house experts.
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.
9 Jan 2017 | Chris Wright
As the Detroit International Auto Show opens its doors this week you could argue that the year’s most significant industry event has already taken place around 1,700 miles south west - in Las Vegas.
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.
2 Dec 2016 | Graeme Roberts
A busy week for the just-auto team, with editor Dave Leggett and business editor Simon Warburton both out at events while yours truly minded the shop. We heard, in fact, there were no fewer than eight new model launches for UK media this week, including an Audi event in New Mexico.
25 Nov 2016 | Dave Leggett
Quite naturally, fully electric cars are seen as a green choice. If we put aside the thorny question of how the electricity has actually been generated for the zero emission vehicle, it's a rather marvellous thing: A car being propelled by a propulsion system that isn't reliant on burning fossil fuels at the point of use.
22 Nov 2016 | Dave Leggett
Samsung Electronics is currently embroiled in a crisis over a range of its cell-phones that can catch fire. However, it has also announced an audacious US$8bn planned purchase of Harman. What's driving the strategy?
18 Nov 2016 | Graeme Roberts
A certain president-elect Trump remained in the news this week, as you'd expect. First up, a couple of possible scenarios from LMC Automotive, one of which foresees the sales loss of a million units a year for the US. LMC's 'Adverse Trump' scenario assumes that many, though still not all, of the stated Trump policies are implemented. The resulting slowdown in the US economy, and declining trade flows between several of the world's largest economies, has far-reaching consequences around the globe, it says. It would also include more punitive tariffs on Mexican and Chinese goods, which is ultimately extended to other countries. A 'strong retaliatory response' would be expected.
11 Nov 2016 | Graeme Roberts
Big news on Wednesday as the US woke up to the news it wasn't going to be Good Morning, Madame President as the polls had confidently predicted. Instead, like it or not, it's Trump for president-elect. So we dived in early with a look at what the Trump victory could mean for the automotive industry? The end of NAFTA? Thirty-five percent duty on anything from Mexico. A million percent tariff on autos and steel from the much-maligned, job-hoovering China?
9 Nov 2016 | Dave Leggett
The Western political establishment has had another rude shock after the summer's Brexit referendum vote in the UK. The US has voted Donald Trump as president-elect, confounding the opinion polls that had pointed to a narrow win for Hillary Clinton. The question on many minds today is an obvious one: What could this mean?
4 Nov 2016 | Graeme Roberts
Unusual story of the week - 'fire at Ford HQ' slows sales data reporting'. Conjured up visions of people throwing computers out the window of Dearborn HQ and jumping out after them. No, nothing as dramatic, merely a fire in a substation cutting the electricity for a bit and slowing dealer reporting and HQ collation. Hence our Man in the US sending a two-part report on (still slowing) US sales. Instalment one here; two here.
28 Oct 2016 | Dave Leggett
Brexit has been in the news again this week, its implications stretching far and wide, sometimes confounding expectations. On the plus side, the UK economy is performing relatively well according to the latest data. In the auto sector, there was also the welcome announcement from Nissan that it will invest in future new models at Sunderland.
24 Oct 2016 | Dave Leggett
Industry consolidation is much talked about in automotive circles. Just the other day, I heard the prediction - one that I first heard in the 1990s - that the global auto industry will eventually collapse to around six big players. Don't hold your breath though. It is probably true to say though that the process of consolidation or restructuring at the industry level is a pretty slow one and takes a number of forms. It is coming, but it will take time. Maybe though, we're seeing signs of acceleration.
21 Oct 2016 | Graeme Roberts
I doubt things are at the Panic Button stage but, as automakers and suppliers continue to pile into 'low cost' eastern Europe - this announcement of expanded output from Toyota just today is just one example - a question of labour availability and/or retention is beginning to surface.
14 Oct 2016 | Graeme Roberts
Brexit and its possible effects - good or bad - continues to be very much in the news here in Britain. This week, we heard from the SMMT's chief executive Mike Hawes on the trade association's view of some of the latest developments and the UK auto industry's concerns. We are also conducting a quick survey on the subject of Brexit, looking to get feedback on how business confidence is being impacted and any other views that people may wish to share. If you would like to participate, please do, by following this link - and we thank you for your time.
7 Oct 2016 | Dave Leggett
The big motor shows tend to be remembered for the cars on display and there’s nothing wrong with that.
30 Sep 2016 | Graeme Roberts
Occasionally there are coincidences that brighten the day.
23 Sep 2016 | Graeme Roberts
The spat between Tesla and Mobileye resurfaced again this week and was the most-read news item. Mobileye reiterated it had expressed safety concerns to Tesla regarding the use of autopilot hands-free and Tesla had confirmed that activation of autopilot would be "hands on". Despite this confirmation, autopilot was rolled out in late 2015 with a "hands-free" activation mode. Mobileye had made substantial efforts since then to take more control on how this project could be steered to a proper functional safety system, it said in a statement. Subsequently, after some to-and-fro the relationship between the two ended. That was just one of several automated driving articles we had this week.
16 Sep 2016 | Graeme Roberts
A big event this week was Ford's Investor Day on Wednesday. I know when I'm beat so we called on our resident economist and just-auto chief Dave Leggett to do the preview followed by an interesting reports on profit forecast and exciting news of autonomous vehicle goals by 2021 which is only five years away. There's more to come, too.
9 Sep 2016 | Graeme Roberts
Psst - want to know all about Lexus future models and platforms? We've got you covered. Our well-researched article this week takes a very comprehensive look and proved as popular with readers as our earlier examination of parent company Toyota's models. Well worth a read if you have not reached either yet.
5 Sep 2016 | Dave Leggett
The subject of Brexit – the UK’s decision to leave the EU, following a referendum - is already proving somewhat tortuous for the UK government.
2 Sep 2016 | Graeme Roberts
Was Volkswagen's row with two of its suppliers for a week or so, though a relatively small dispute with minor component manufacturers, the giant automaker firing a warning shot across partsmakers' bows?
31 Aug 2016 | Dave Leggett
Do you recall the vision of the future that was presented in the movie ‘Total Recall’?
26 Aug 2016 | Graeme Roberts
Two of the world's largest automakers - Volkswagen and General Motors - have been in the news again this week, neither for entirely good reasons. Let's start with VW and its supplier row.
26 Aug 2016 | Simon Warburton
Volkswagen's major row with two of its suppliers for the past week or so concerned a relatively small dispute with component manufacturers, but was still deemed sufficiently serious to attract the attention of the Economics Ministry in Berlin.
24 Aug 2016 | Guest
As VW Group wrestles with the cost and other implications of ‘dieselgate’, attention this week was drawn to a dispute between the company and two of its suppliers. If it is looking at its supplier base for cost savings, it will need to act carefully. Richard Gane considers the strategic implications for OEM-supplier relationships.
22 Aug 2016 | Graeme Roberts
Is Opel/Vauxhall's announcement of production cuts in Germany affecting UK-bound cars the General Motors Europe's unit's way of warning us the sole remaining GM car plant in England is at risk? Or is this simply, as a Vauxhall spokesman told just-auto, a prudent automaker looking ahead, foreseeing an inevitable sales decline and making a measured plant output adjustment in full cooperation with all affected parties? I'll go with the latter. For now.
19 Aug 2016 | Graeme Roberts
I was rather intrigued to see our story about Audi introducing a new wireless charging case for the popular iPhone 6/6S (iPhone 7 will be announced 7 September and go on sale 23 September, the techie media reckon) was the 'most-read' on just-auto this week.
12 Aug 2016 | Dave Leggett
We live in an increasingly connected up society and the way things are going, we will not be escaping always-on personal connectivity when we get into our cars. We published a nice feature this week that considers some of the latest developments.