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The best views and opinions in automotive industry publishing, all in one place, from just-auto's monthly columnists and in-house experts.


The week - retrenchment at Global Motors

19 May 2017 | Graeme Roberts

Signs are that GM, sometimes referred to as 'Global Motors', is having a strategic rethink and tactically withdrawing from markets where the chances of making a decent buck, and consequent return to investors, are slim. Only recently, The General finally threw in the European towel: after years of good effort but continuing losses, it announced in March - eve of the Geneva show, no less, it would sell the loss-making European Opel operations to PSA Group in an EUR2.2bn deal expected to close by the end of this year. This week, GM announced cuts to its international operations which it said would save it around US$100m a year.


Detroit has investors on its mind - COMMENT

18 May 2017 | Dave Leggett

The automotive business, like others, is subject to economic cycles. It is now ten years since the global economic slowdown - the 'credit crunch' of 2007 - that eventually brought us a much more serious banking crisis in late 2008 and the a pretty severe global recession in 2009.


The week - the time saving autonomous car

12 May 2017 | Graeme Roberts

If a self-driving car could give you back an hour each day, how would you use it?


The week - 48V on the rise?

5 May 2017 | Graeme Roberts

Quarterly results, first or fiscal, continued to trickle in this week with Autoliv (which recently announced an interesting joint venture called Zenuity with Volvo Cars) beating its forecasts. This supplier recently announced some new business with Daimler's Mercedes for the S-Class update. Volkswagen, despite ongoing diesel crisis costs, also pulled off a spectacular Q1 result.


UK-EU Brexit discord to be expected - COMMENT

2 May 2017 | Dave Leggett

The UK's exit from the European Union (so-called 'Brexit') is going to be a drawn out and complex business.


The week - Results season is upon us, again

28 Apr 2017 | Graeme Roberts

That came around again quickly - results season again is upon as, depending on whether automakers and parts suppliers work on calendar year or, commonly in Japan, India and, coincidentally, in our very own parent company Aroq's head office, fiscal year, first quarter or fourth quarter/full year financials spill out all over.


Tomorrow's winners prepare for change today - COMMENT

25 Apr 2017 | Dave Leggett

How much disruption will the auto industry experience over the next ten years or so? It's a question that many are asking as attempts to sketch out the future of mobility - or, more accurately, urban mobility - gather pace.


Autonomous tech creeping in - the week

21 Apr 2017 | Graeme Roberts

Autonomous driving will, of course, arrive in stages; there are already defined levels of autonomy and quite a bit of the tech needed is already in cars as standard or optional equipment. I was reminded of this just this week when key tier one supplier Bosch popped up with its finding one in four newly registered cars has an automatic emergency braking system on board to prevent accidents and, if necessary, bring the vehicle to a stop in the event of an emergency.


Daimler suggests a good Q1 result - the week

13 Apr 2017 | Graeme Roberts

'Early doors' - to borrow a phrase from our editor - for me ahead of the Easter break hence an earlier than usual look back at an already shortened week.


Rethinking the interior of autonomous vehicles - COMMENT

11 Apr 2017 | Guest

Dr Detlef Jürss, Chief Technical Officer of Adient, describes how life on board will change in the vehicle of the future – turning today’s functional interior into a place for work, relaxation, communication, entertainment or even sleep.


Travel reports-r-us - the week

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.


Automotive market is 'polarising' - Anand Mahindra

3 Apr 2017 | Dave Leggett

The world's automotive market is drifting towards two separate poles according to Anand Mahindra, the chairman and managing director of Mahindra Group.


Government pulls trigger on Brexit - the week

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.


UK triggers Brexit countdown - COMMENT

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.


The week - new and future products galore

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.


BREXIT - UK-EU trade uncertainties cloud outlook

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.


THE WEEK - More Chinese Volvos are a-coming

17 Mar 2017 | Graeme Roberts

The Chinese are coming - certainly some of the Volvo models they make over there.


THE WEEK - PSA, GM Europe, Geneva

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.


Scale drives PSA's Opel ambitions - COMMENT

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?


Nervous European auto workers await fate - the week

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.


Ford's Bridgend engine plant – the anatomy of its decline

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.


Is Euro NCAP losing its way? - Comment

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.


COMMENT - Europe’s race to the bottom and the squeezed middle

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.


How long will global automakers prop up loss-making Brazil subsidiaries?

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.


Windy weather and waves - The Week

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.


PSA-Opel/Vauxhall deal raises Brexit concerns - COMMENT

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.


PSA eyes Opel - the week

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.


With PSA in frame, FCA-GM merger still makes no sense

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.


Has GM finally lost patience with Europe?

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?


The week - some engines go walkies, good results and a Toyota tech fest

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.



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