THE WEEK THAT WAS: New Kia, new era Ford factory
Zilina-built cee'd Sportswagon, sampled in sunny Slovakia, impressed this week
Highlight of my week was a visit to the Kia cee'd's native Slovakia - the car, not the company - to try the new Zilina-built wagon variant in warm, sunny mid-20s weather. Sadly, due to logistics, a look at the plant will have to wait for another time.
Rather more important to Ford workers in Flat Rock, Michigan, was news of the plans for their plant, once home to both Ford and Mazda models, and coinciding with some Mazda production moves of its own in Malaysia.
Kia UK remains bullish as it numbers inch up; it's still a relatively small player here in the UK but if the ongoing new product is as good as the Sportage and the cee'd - the wagon is a fine match for the stylish Astra and Focus - that should not be too hard for the team headed by MD Cole. And we had our first look at the new three-door hatchback due out in January.
Just who might replace One Ford guru Alan Mulally atop the blue oval totem pole has been the subject of some speculation this week - new Fields appear to be beckoning a rising younger star. Meanwhile, the management musical chairs at GM continued with news Aussie Kevin Wale is to "retire" from the top slot in China. And, while we're on that topic, if you'd been wondering whatever happened to Renault's Patrick Pelata, we had news for you.
The fact that the rich are still buying cars was supported by a healthy Ferrari half year and anyone hoping the VW group might trip up will be discouraged by a nice set of August sales reports with even beleagured SEAT making gains in a few markets.
Have a nice weekend.
Graeme Roberts, Deputy Editor, just-auto.com