Automotive industry company news
Executives' pride in Vauxhall's Ellesmere Port plant having secured the contract to be the lead factory for the new generation Astra was pal...
In the second and final part of this month's management briefing, we take a look at the stand out concepts, production cars and trends seen...
Frankfurt. Lots of new cars to read about. Lots of industry news to be told. So what did you ghouls read most? Natch, the report about the poor old BMW chief keeling over at their press conference, of course.
GM Europe's Mokka is one of the most successful B-SUVs in the region, but does that mean that few people are interested in a pricey Corsa? Not at all, with orders for Opel's new OPC and Vauxhall's just-launched VXR soon to cross the 1,500 cars mark.
Big News this week was the incredible confirmation - from NHTSA - of a 5.1m recall of Honda/Acura cars with airbags with Takata inflators. It had been flagged up earlier by the automaker but then came the report that neither supplier or US regulator are quite sure of the safety of up to 3m replacement parts.
In advance of the media launch of a 'revived' or 'retro' model line I usually coat myself liberally with sweetened cynicism based on what has gone before. Ford Mustang (which never really went away but went smaller for a while), Fiat 500, Volkswagen Beetle - they've all worked, more or less. But Pontiac Le Mans, oh dear, oh dear.
General Motors Europe boss has told just-auto that the company is off to a strong sales start as it looks to hit breakeven in 2016. In a wide-ranging interview in Geneva, he also said that Opel is looking to address its weakness in SUVs, is concerned about the UK’s currency movements and believes that Opel should focus on efficiency gains for combustion engines - rather than go for hybrids - in meeting tighter CO2 emission rules.
General Motors' UK operations' chief is Vauxhall MD Tim Tozer. He tells just-auto about the brand's high hopes for the new Astra and the resurgence of the UK manufacturing plant that makes it (one of two in Europe).
Opel/Vauxhall CEO Karl-Thomas Neumann has told just-auto that the brands are planning to increase diesel mix in Europe, in spite of the uncertainties caused for diesel’s outlook due to the ramifications of VW’s so-called ‘dieselgate’ scandal and its wider fallout.
General Motors' UK operation Vauxhall is firmly behind Britain remaining in the European Union.
Opel/Vauxhall CEO Karl-Thomas Neumann will expand his social communication activities to LinkedIn as a member of the "influencer" programme limited to 500 participants worldwide.
General Motors' European unit Opel said it would launch "a revolutionary" new battery electric car next year as part of its plan to launch 29 new models between 2016 and 2020.
In 2015 the European car market totalled 14.2m new registrations, an increase of 9.3% over 2014 full year results; the highest since 2009. The market benefited from the last two months of double-digit growth with December setting the highest positive monthly change of the last three years at 1.16m units. Therefore, the last quarter volume increase was the highest of the year, standing at 10.2% more than in Q4 2014, representing 3.42m cars sold in total. The Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate, SAAR, came in at 16.52m units.
General Motors' global sales reached 9.8m vehicles in 2015, up 0.2% year on year, for the company's third consecutive year of record sales.
Tata Motors' Jaguar Land Rover is now Britain's biggest vehicle producer with its 489,923 units built in 2015 (up from 449,507 in 2014) nudging ahead of Nissan's 476,589 (500,238).
Last year, 2015, new car registrations in Europe's Big Five markets passed the 10m units mark, increasing by 8.8% compared to 2014. All five markets posted positive growth with Germany leading the way with 3.2m units, up by 5.6%, although this was the lowest annual increase among the five countries.
Renault said its Batilly plant, which makes the large Renault-badged Master van plus variants for GM Europe's Opel and Vauxhall brands, and Nissan Motor Europe, has broken a production record in 2015.
European new car sales experienced a 27th consecutive month of growth during November 2015 with volume up 13.5% year on year, the second largest rise this year, according to analysts at JATO Dynamics. This followed a significant slowing of growth during October as a consequence of smaller increases in the 'Big Five' EU markets.
General Motors' UK unit Vauxhall has agreed to recall previous generation Zafira MPVs even though the fault, which has caused a number of vehicle fires, has been acknowledged by regulatory body The Driver Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) as an "improper repair of the thermal fuse of the resistor in the heating and ventilation system, undertaken outside of the automaker's authorised service and maintenance processes and schedule".
Data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) showed UK new car registrations dropped for the first time in more than three and a half years as market growth levelled off in October 2015. 177,664 new cars were registered in the month, a dip of 1.1% on last year’s figure and following a record 43 consecutive months of growth. Year to date data showed the new car market is up 6.4% to 2,274,550 cars - the best YTS result on record.
The sudden departure this week of Vauxhall managing director Tim Tozer follows a disagreement within GM's European organisation on volume targets according to a Vauxhall retail network source speaking exclusively to just-auto.
Tim Tozer, the head of Vauxhall Motors and Opel Ireland, has left General Motors. His replacement is Rory Harvey, a British national, most recently employed as the head of sales for Opel Europe, based in Ruesselsheim.
Opel/Vauxhall claims it is leading the field with the seats that will be fitted to the new Astra.
Car sales data released by JATO shows the European car market ending the first half of the year hit a high with sales up 14.6% in June and 8.4% during the first half versus the same period last year.
General Motors' OnStar 'personal connectivity and service assistant', currently being launched by Vauxhall in the UK and Opel in Europe, has received an award from a top consumer magazine.
Vauxhall says it is bringing OnStar to the UK this summer with a package, which includes a high-speed 4G LTE mobile network for up to seven devices, emergency response notification and stolen vehicle recovery technology. The European headquarters for OnStar will be in Luton, UK, creating some 120 new jobs.
Data released by JATO Dynamics shows that Europe's car market slowed to growth of just 0.8% in May. However, the underlying picture remains one of national markets in recovery.
A UK used car valuation specialist has warned that 'cosmetically compromised', built to order, new cars could be tricky for dealers to value at trade in time.
Millbrook, the former Vauxhall Proving Ground now an independent vehicle test, validation and engineering service provider, has named a former Renault Sport Technologies motor sport director as a COO.
Vauxhall did indeed release teaser photos of the new Astra (shared with European unit Opel) due to make its public debut at Frankfurt next September.
What to do with an old vehicle plant site once last units have been shipped and the buildings bowled?
What appear to be official media-release shots of the next Opel Astra have appeared on the web. The five-door will have its official public debut at September's IAA in Frankfurt.
Global light vehicle safety systems market- forecasts to 203
This QUBE report from just-auto provides a comprehensive overview of the global automotive safety systems sector, major suppliers, top 14 markets, technology trends and market size forecasts. Use this...
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