Product Eye

Product Eye

Our team bring you informed analysis of selected new vehicle models and put them in automotive industry perspective

Cupra convinces - how SEAT created a premium brand

7 Mar 2019 | Glenn Brooks

Cupra is off to a decent start. SEAT claims to have sold 3,600 Cupra Atecas so far this year. With the sole model in demand and due to be joined by others later in 2019, the experiment to evolve what had been a sports trim level into a brand is working.

Vitara - why Suzuki Europe outsells Honda two to one

5 Mar 2019 | Glenn Brooks

Europe's best selling Suzuki isn't a small car, it's an SUV. In 2018, the regional division delivered more than 70,000 units of the vehicle in question: not bad for a model which dates to 2015 and competes in a class where new rivals keep appearing. Now, fresh engines and a facelift should keep the Vitara popular throughout 2019.

JLR ruing L663 Defender delay as Jeep Wrangler lands?

25 Feb 2019 | Glenn Brooks

Fiat Chrysler UK finds itself in the fortuitous position of having a genuinely new model well ahead of Land Rover's L663 project, the next Defender. The arrival of the JL72 and JL74 Jeep Wranglers threatens JLR's hopes for future segment domination outside North America.

Is the Swift Sport the best Suzuki yet?

21 Feb 2019 | Glenn Brooks

Not all Suzukis are inexpensive or bought by people whose priorities are a no-fuss, no-frills small car. For those in the know, a certain Swift variant is doing great things for Suzuki's long term image that no 'influencer' or 'brand ambassador' ever could.

Stelvio Quadrifoglio silences Alfa sceptics

14 Feb 2019 | Glenn Brooks

Will Alfa ever reach the infamous 400,000 cars a year goal that FCA set for it? In 2018, it was less than a third of the way there. The end of the MiTo and the age of the Giulietta meant European retail sales dipped. By contrast, US deliveries almost doubled and exports to China finally rose above the 5,000 units mark. The most expensive model is doing well too. What may surprise many is that the Stelvio Quadrifoglio is as good as if not better than the Porsche Macan Turbo.

JF Kia Optima still strong as future JL3 model nears

13 Feb 2019 | Glenn Brooks

Some say non-premium makes tend not to be successful in Europe's D segment. Tell that to Volkswagen and Skoda: even with the WLTP crash, Passat sales were down by just 3.3% in Germany last year, while the Octavia and Superb sell in significant volume. To a lesser extent, Kia quietly chips away in this size class, the Optima having a far stronger following than the parent company's rival i40.

Why is mighty Subaru less so outside the USA?

30 Jan 2019 | Glenn Brooks

Subaru has been lovingly slaying giants in America for more than a decade. Hyundai is the latest to have been dispatched, the Korean brand finding itself pushed down to seventh place last year. The climb has seen Subaru muscling past Ram, Kia, GMC and Dodge too. Why then does it remain a small brand in the world's other major vehicle markets?

ANALYSIS - Audi A6 Avant 40 TDI

16 Jan 2019 | Glenn Brooks

Volvo's success with the V90 proves there is strong demand for premium-priced estates in certain mainly northern European countries. Which is why Audi sees a worthwhile opportunity for its latest A6 Avant in not only Sweden and Germany but Britain too.

Defiant Volkswagen gives Touareg a new diesel

3 Jan 2019 | Glenn Brooks

Unlike the previous Touareg, the new model won't ever be truly global, as Volkswagen will not offer it in North America. That means the major markets should be China, Russia and Europe. So is it the right size for Europeans and how will buyers respond to the brand's decision to boost rather than reduce the model's diesel engine choices?

I-Pace - a preview of Jaguar's electric future?

21 Dec 2018 | Glenn Brooks

Probably because of how far worldwide sales of the XE and XF have fallen, nowadays JLR rarely alerts the media to its brands' performance by model. Which makes some of us wonder just how strong demand for the Jaguar I-Pace may or may not be.

Will new 2HX CR-V give Honda Europe the boost it needs?

13 Dec 2018 | Glenn Brooks

What Honda claims is 'the world's best selling SUV' is newly available in European countries, some two years since the 2HX series model went on sale in the USA. Major changes over the former 2WS include the option of a seven-seat layout, the deletion of the diesel engine and the choice of turbocharged petrol powertrains, one of which is a hybrid.

Will Kia succeed with multi-model Ceed plans?

10 Dec 2018 | Glenn Brooks

Kia Motors Europe is just weeks away from an annual sales record by crossing the half-million mark. In Britain, KME's best market, the brand will get close to six figures, the year-to-date total being 91,954 cars, some 6,000 ahead of Hyundai. The increasingly sought-after third generation Ceed is the new growth driver, building on the strong performance of the Sportage.

ANALYSIS - Range Rover Sport SDV8

29 Nov 2018 | Glenn Brooks

Porsche has pulled the 4.0-litre engine out of the Cayenne, while Audi, BMW and Mercedes offer a maximum of six-cylinders in their new Q8, X5 and GLE SUVs respectively. Land Rover therefore suddenly finds itself in the fortuitous position of having no direct rivals for its latest Range Rover SDV8.

Skoda Octavia Scout - Europe's Outback conquerer

26 Nov 2018 | Glenn Brooks

Subaru, mighty in the US, has only a small following in Europe, so the rarity of the Outback crossover means an opportunity for others. The number one beneficiary is Skoda, the Octavia Scout dominating its segment.

ANALYSIS - Skoda drops diesel from updated Fabia

21 Nov 2018 | Glenn Brooks

A facelift and updated engines for the big-selling Fabia have arrived at just the right time for Skoda, helping the brand into ninth place in the European region, placing it ahead of Toyota for the year to the end of October.

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