Volkswagen is gradually increasing assembly in Malaysia, where the stitching together is actually done by Proton parent company DRB-Hicom.

So eyebrows have shot up a bit at this report of Proton's ambitions. Looks like there might have to be a lot more VW kits crossing the ocean. The 10-fold export ambition caught my eye - Proton's UK sales are off 90% so far this year - to 20 units.

Mitsubishi's new three year plan announced this week looked a lot more realistic - stick to the knitting with the stuff you do well, tweak up those looking a bit long in the tooth now and form an alliance or two to help with niche market product and to share technology.

Pundits are forecasting 6m cars in varying degrees of autonomy on European and US roads by 2025. I saw a great GM presentation on this back in 2010 - arrive at airport departure entrance, hop out and leave car to go and park itself and recharge; summon it back to the door from the arrivals hall by smartphone when you get back. And climb up the side of your apartment building and dock outside your balcony when you get home. I'll settle for climb in back after pub, home James, and the car safely on the drive in the morning...

Three Tesla fires - following accidents - in six weeks is starting to attract attention in the US. Amidst the growing hysteria, wise counsel prevails amongst those who know their EVs but it's something the automaker needs to look at. A bit more under body protection from the odd stray tow hitch might be needed.

Some passable sales reports in this week. Western Europe is creaking upwards at last, forecasts have been hiked here in the UK and the government shutdown didn't quash US sales.

And AvtoVAZ appointed its first non-Russian chief while his current employer has not yet named a replacement.

Have a nice weekend.

Graeme Roberts, Deputy Editor,