THE WEEK THAT WAS: All quiet on the Stateside front
I wondered why things seemed a little quiet this week until the cent dropped: something to do with lots of travel, turkey and shopping in the US, for which many take the week off.
Closest we got to the States, if you discount my perambulation past the London embassy this morning (not a whiff of broiled poultry in the air), after enjoying an event hosted by a very bullish BMW, was to have a look at the automakers' side of the looming fiscal cliff issue, and what might happen to the economy if agreement is not reached. An economy back in recession would not be much grounds for the giving of thanks this time in 2013.
Meanwhile, we went to a UK industry 'meet the funder' day and heard from a heavy hitter at Tata Motors' Jaguar Land Rover and the energetic head of the SMMT which bats for British Motor Manufacturing plc.
I was intrigued to read of an Audi labour chief fretting there might be a bit of top end model production cutting next year which contrasted with the bullish VW Group statement today on the 2012-15 planned spend - one such project is this new press hall in Slovakia. There wasn't much to sob about in the October group sales results, either.
One of the number crunchers we monitor reckoned there was some sign in October the decline in Western Europe is, at least, slowing.
Another intriguing story was a suggestion the Saab 9-3 could arise from the ashes with petrol and diesel engines, as well as the planned EV drivetrain. One might scoff but Nanjing/SAIC did something like that with the MGF, albeit with the UK 'assembly' a bit later than planned. Only a few hundred units, but it was done, so let's see what NEVS manages.
Finally, a British supplier stepped in to sort the London taxi steering box mess. The maker is still in receivership but, at least, 400 grounded cabs can be out back on the road and 500 in stock can be sold. Receivers were apparently keen to stress that a UK supplier had sorted a problem originally caused by a Chinese supplier but we have yet to prise a name out of them.
Have a nice weekend.
Graeme Roberts, Deputy Editor, just-auto.com
Sectors: Vehicle manufacturers
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