Slice Of Warburton

Slice Of Warburton

By: Simon Warburton

just-auto business editor Simon Warburton offers up a wide range of views in his distinctive style, informed by daily contact with the global auto industry

Trump and Putin to trigger Russia deep freeze thaw?

27 Jan 2017 | Simon Warburton

A whirling dervish of supposed Kremlin spies, honeytraps, MI6 agents and double bluffs defined a week eerily reminiscent of Cold War days, before President Donald Trump's inauguration last Friday (20 January), while the new American Commander-in-Chief has started his tenure in a similar blizzard of activity, with an automotive border tax rearing its head once more and the big US car three rapidly invited to the White House.

FIEV outlines 14-strong wishlist to French Presidency hopefuls

6 Oct 2016 | Simon Warburton

French supplier association, FIEV says it has written to all candidates involved in the country's Presidential elections next year, urging a 14-point plant to rejuvenate domestic industrial policy.

Volkswagen fires warning shot across supplier bows?

26 Aug 2016 | Simon Warburton

Volkswagen's major row with two of its suppliers for the past week or so concerned a relatively small dispute with component manufacturers, but was still deemed sufficiently serious to attract the attention of the Economics Ministry in Berlin.

The Week That Was - August replenishes batteries

5 Aug 2016 | Simon Warburton

August's dog days are well and truly on us up here in the Northern hemisphere and in the soporific heat of a British summer – well OK – it's warmish – industry tends to take a well-earned break and recharge the batteries ready for an autumn which will rapidly see the Paris Motor Show loom large.

Gloves off as UK poised to decide EU future

6 May 2016 | Simon Warburton

"Independence Day" is how Boris Johnson – recent Mayor of London – and star turn of the UK's so-called Brexit wing looking for an amicable divorce from Brussels - is describing the day after next month's British referendum on European Union membership.

Moscow voices - from the Russian Automotive Forum shop floor

1 Apr 2016 | Simon Warburton

Is there light at the end of a long, dark tunnel for Russia? After more than a year of catastrophically plummeting light vehicle sales, last month saw a real brake on the runaway falling numbers. Oil prices – on which Russia is so heavily dependent - are at last showing some real depth to their rise and have now surged 50% since January. The recent Russian Automotive Forum in Moscow provided a barometer of where the industry is – and where it might go. Here are some of the quotes which resonated.

Is Moscow about to turn down subsidy taps?

24 Mar 2016 | Simon Warburton

It was a politician's remark delivered mid-speech at last week's Russian Automotive Forum (RAF) in Moscow, which struck me as indicative of just how parlous a state are The Kremlin's finances.

COMMENT - Iran on sanctions end brink as suppliers prepare

15 Jan 2016 | Simon Warburton

As I write this, the world could be just hours away from witnessing the end to one of its most extraordinary and long-running geopolitical sagas – the enduring conundrum that is Iran.

COMMENT: President defies economic winter with Lada endorsement

30 Oct 2015 | Simon Warburton

As winter starts to really take hold in Russia – both climatically through the advent of the first real cold of this time of year – and equally with the country finding itself in a state of political deep freeze – this vast territory finds itself beleaguered on almost all fronts.

COMMENT: Suppliers defensive in teeth of VW storm

25 Sep 2015 | Simon Warburton

If not exactly a stampede, there is certainly an orderly queue of suppliers beating a retreat to distance themselves from one of the greatest business scandals to rock Germany in decades.

COMMENT: Russia toughs it out at US$40 a barrel

4 Sep 2015 | Simon Warburton

As sharply falling oil prices which went below US$40 last week, continue to feed through to Russian exchange rates, with a plunging currency in turn putting pressure on disposable income available for automotive purchases, is there a silver lining in the depreciation cloud?

COMMENT: TPP legacy as Obama's Grand Projet?

28 Aug 2015 | Simon Warburton

It's only natural to want to leave something behind, something tangible which indicates you've made a difference and which will endure for decades, perhaps even lifetimes.

COMMENT: Iran coiled spring bursting to unwind

17 Jul 2015 | Simon Warburton

It's been glacially slow in evolving, but could one of the longest-running sanctions sagas in modern times be about to draw to a close?

COMMENT: Russian masquerade born of frustration

10 Jul 2015 | Simon Warburton

Sitting here in the West and listening to the litany of critics lined up against Russia, all aiming their formidable firepower firmly at Moscow, their collective hammering against the Kremlin walls is as persuasive as it is articulate.

COMMENT: No wizards needed at US$100 a barrel

2 Jul 2015 | Simon Warburton

It's been variously labelled as President Vladimir Putin's 'vanity summit' and those attending it as 'Kremlin lackeys,' but for the thousands throngingh this year's St Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) on the shores of the Gulf of Finland, it was a chance to offer some defiance to a disappoving Western world.

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