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.
29 Mar 2017 | Dave Leggett
The UK prime minister, Theresa May, has invoked the EU constitution's 'Article 50' which formally begins the two-year process by which the UK exits the EU. Although trade arrangements are not formally included in the UK's exit terms, they are sure to be the subject of intense discussions.
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.
21 Mar 2017 | Dave Leggett
The outlook for the UK's automotive sector after Brexit - the now omnipresent term for the UK's exit from the EU - remains somewhat uncertain.
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.
7 Mar 2017 | Dave Leggett
The deal is all but done, scheduled to complete this year. Opel/Vauxhall is to become part of the PSA Group. When the news broke last month that the two were in talks for a sale, my thoughts could be summed up in a simple question: Why would PSA want to take that on?
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.
1 Mar 2017 | Calum MacRae
A confluence of factors, many of them rooted in history, are behind the expected decline in output at Ford’s Bridgend plant which will lead to the loss of 1,100 jobs over the next five years.
1 Mar 2017 | Ray Hutton
Euro NCAP changed consumer attitudes to car safety but is in danger of getting lost in its own complexity, writes Ray Hutton.
28 Feb 2017 | Calum MacRae
There’s been a lot of talk recently about globalisation and the race to the bottom it engenders. Once costs have been ratcheted down so much through process improvement or a shift to the newest low-cost country, where do you go next? The whole globalisation rationale had been questioned recently, not least by the populist protectionism that helped get Donald Trump elected as US president.
27 Feb 2017 | Fernando Calmon
There was once euphoria in the Brazilian automotive market. Following the 2008/2009 financial crisis, the Lehman Brothers bank bankruptcy and the chain reaction that spread worldwide, auto companies settled here coincidentally commenced to profit enormously. And the order of the day became rescuing indebted parent companies, especially General Motors (at the time in Chapter 11 proceedings), Ford and Fiat.
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.
21 Feb 2017 | Dave Leggett
We could see a framework deal for Peugeot's acquisition of GM's Opel/Vauxhall operations by the end of this week. The two are clearly at an advanced stage in the discussions and are reportedly at the point of putting a value on the deal.
17 Feb 2017 | Graeme Roberts
It would be fair to say la merde a frappé le ventilateur when news broke - on Valentines Day, no less, that Opel was on the block. Again. With the French automaker PSA in the frame this time. We have been here before.
16 Feb 2017 | Bill Cawthon
Since before the bailouts of 2009, industry and financial mavens have been calling for the merger of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and General Motors or, failing that, the acquisition of FCA by GM.
14 Feb 2017 | Dave Leggett
PSA Peugeot Citroen has confirmed that it is in talks over the possible acquisition of General Motors' European business unit that operates under the Opel and Vauxhall brand names. Why might GM want to offload and why might PSA be interested?
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.
7 Feb 2017 | Guest
As new business models and new entrants to the personal mobility space gather momentum, automakers are increasingly collaborating with firms outside of the auto industry's established participants. Legal adviser Russell Edson cautions that they should be wary of changing power relationships amid the rising importance of intellectual property (IP) in a dynamic new business landscape.
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.
27 Jan 2017 | Simon Warburton
A whirling dervish of supposed Kremlin spies, honeytraps, MI6 agents and double bluffs defined a week eerily reminiscent of Cold War days, before President Donald Trump's inauguration last Friday (20 January), while the new American Commander-in-Chief has started his tenure in a similar blizzard of activity, with an automotive border tax rearing its head once more and the big US car three rapidly invited to the White House.
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.
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?