Google Glass brings a form of closure to the age-old question: I did lock the car, didn't I?
Well, it's been a very short working week - just two days in fact - but the new year has already given us auto industry talking points. As expected, the game of poker being played out between Fiat boss Sergio Marchionne and the UAW over the valuation of the UAW healthcare trust's remaining stake in Chrysler has come to an amicable conclusion. Compromise has been reached with no need for an IPO now. The deal was apparently signed near a beach in Florida. I hope all concerned managed at least a little bit of holidays downtime.
For Mr Marchionne, it's another piece in place for his grand plan to create a globally competitive carmaking group. The hard work can now proceed in earnest. I wonder where the global HQ will eventually be...Auburn Hills or Turin?
Another couple of talking points involved some major corporate restructurings not quite going according to plan. Bankrupt Fisker - maker of the Karma hybrid - was supposed to be on a fast-track sale to an Asian outfit. Now, a Chinese rival - the guys who bought battery maker A123 last year - has waded in, with some support from creditors. There was supposed to be a court ruling today on whether this late intervention justifies another auction for the assets. Heavy snow in the US has, however, put that off until next week...so watch that space.
And do you remember that big Cooper Tires sale to India's Apollo Tyres? The one that was going to create a US-India tyres giant? Well, it was supposed to be completed at the end of last year, but things got a bit acrimonious on the financial front and it's now well and truly off.
Next week, Monday 6th is media day at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. It's a show that is becoming much more significant in automotive terms, as the worlds of consumer electronics and automotive increasingly converge. There's been no shortage of companies wanting to put info out ahead of the press day. Ford's latest take on how to make solar panels on the vehicle roof work more efficiently is well worth a look.
And over at Hyundai they're getting a little excited about wearable tech, Google Glass and the like. If you have slight OCD tendencies, as I do (did I really lock the car? Shut the windows? Better just go back and check) it could be a boon. I suppose.
Over in Shanghai, Qoros has delivered its first car, the first of many, no doubt. It will be interesting to see how Qoros gets on around the world.
Finally, our congratulations to Nissan's Andy Palmer on getting a New Year Honour for services to the UK auto industry. Nissan's UK manufacturing base in Sunderland is certainly a big manufacturing success story for the UK. I have interviewed him before and he comes across as a seriously hard-working (a lot of time on planes), extremely knowledgeable and decent fellow.
That's it from me for now.
Have a good weekend!