The Week That Was

The Week That Was

By: Graeme Roberts

Deputy/news editor Graeme Roberts' Friday wrap on the important automotive news from the week just ending.


Land Rover Defender mini-me planned - the week

8 Dec 2017 | Graeme Roberts

A story about an upcoming new model for a much loved brand drew a lot of readership this week. Such interest in the Home Team (just up the road from us) was no surprise, of course.


NAFTA, diesels, Los Angeles - the week

1 Dec 2017 | Graeme Roberts

The renegotiation of the NAFTA free trade deal between the US, Canada and Mexico is attracting some automaker attention and they're not too happy, it seems.


Why indeed Norway is an EV case study - the week

24 Nov 2017 | Graeme Roberts

Go to Oslo, which I did once with Nissan, purveyor of an electrified vehicle named after tree foliage, and, if you don't get killed (a) because you, British tourist from a country that drives on the right side of the road, forgot to look left instead of right when stepping off the kerb and (b) because you didn't hear one coming, you'll notice that electric vehicles (henceforth EVs) are rather common thereabouts.


Struggling Chery calls in local help in Brazil - the week

17 Nov 2017 | Graeme Roberts

Our Man in Brazil, Fernando Calmon, reported this week on an interesting development that sees seasoned local importer, assembler and distributor CAOA Group join with Chery to manage Chery's factory in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The deal is valued at around US$60m for CAOA to acquire 50% of the Chinese brand's Brazilian operations including the Jacarei plant, in the Greater Sao Paulo area; importation and sales are included.


PSA reveals Opel-Vauxhall plans - the week

10 Nov 2017 | Graeme Roberts

The big question this week was what would PSA do with its newly acquired Opel/Vauxhall unit? Came 9 November, came the answer: a business plan that avoids plant closures and aims to put the company on a path to profitability by 2020.


Meet Ford's Robutt, view your truck from on high - the week

3 Nov 2017 | Graeme Roberts

Ever parked a truck? Me neither. But I have enormous respect for those who daily thread huge delivery trailers, hauled by prime movers bearing such names as Scania, DAF and Mercedes-Benz, through the chaos that is most European city roads and jammed motorways. And then line the business end up against a loading dock with the same sort of precision I can just about manage parking a small Kia at the supermarket. As with cars, numerous electronic aids now make truck driving a little easier (but no less skilled) and I was intrigued to see that 3D surround multi view camera systems for trucks are now on offer. Nissan Birdview scaled up, if you will.


Tokyo, financial results and reshuffles - THE WEEK

27 Oct 2017 | Dave Leggett

It has been another a busy week in the auto biz.


Looking at Lexus - the week

20 Oct 2017 | Graeme Roberts

Our second feature in a series looking at future models of brands under the Toyota Motor Corporation umbrella was all about Lexus and went down a treat with readers.


Daimler's Kallenius electrifies the week

13 Oct 2017 | Graeme Roberts

Our report on Ola Kallenius, Daimler's group research chief, outlining the major elements of the group's powertrain and electrification strategy drew an extraordinary number of your eyeballs this week.


EVs, EVs and more EVs - the week

6 Oct 2017 | Graeme Roberts

Our analysis of competition heating up in the global EV battery market was, unsurprisingly, the most popular item on just-auto this past week. Governments in Europe and Asia this year have announced ambitious medium- and long-term sales targets and quotas for zero-emission vehicles, as they look to move away from polluting, fossil-fuel burning vehicles. Electric vehicles (EVs) are seen as the main solution, at least for the next twenty years, and vehicle manufacturers worldwide have been busy adjusting their global production plans as they look to position themselves for the anticipated "electrification" revolution.


Will JLR acquire more brands? The week

29 Sep 2017 | Graeme Roberts

Another quiet post-Frankfurt news week? Nope, this is just-auto with our global reach, after all. Top read story came, more or less, from just up the road, though, as the question was asked: Could JLR acquire another brand? I was quite amused, and a little saddened, to see on various social media classic car pages, the optimism of those still mourning the death of MG Rover, the Nanjing Longbridge factory 'lift and shift' of equipment to China, the eventual takeover and launch of Roewe brand by SAIC, and the optimistic 'Would JLR bring back Rover?' discussions. Never say never, as I've learned after 50 years observation of the autobiz, but I'd think it unlikely. Baggage and not premium enough after years of dilution.


Ford shutdowns and a much awaited new Volvo - the week

22 Sep 2017 | Graeme Roberts

It's not unusual for things to go a bit quiet the week after the week of a major motor show's press days - Frankfurt's were the 12th and 13th and the public days continue. You knew that. Cue Geely's Volvo Cars, one of several notable absentees from the Messe, announcing its much-awaited XC40 SUV, first Volvo product on the new CMA architecture which will be shared with the new Lynk and Co brand and the Chinese parent's Geely, with little risk (that a showtime launch runs) of getting lost amongst all the buzz emanating from Germany last week. Not the first time the Swedes' PR has been a little bit clever, enjoying, as we used to say in the print days, "a lot of ink".


Frankfurt (mostly) - the week

15 Sep 2017 | Graeme Roberts

Of course, many eyes were either at or on the bi-annual Frankfurt show this week. Including ours.


The autonomous car gets closer - the week

8 Sep 2017 | Graeme Roberts

'Twas the week before Frankfurt and nothing was stirring... Not quite, with quite a few absentees from the Messe this year, new model announcements (or plans for same) this week included the long-awaited redesigned Nissan Leaf, some blue-sky thinking from Jaguar and another step towards the fully autonomous car from Audi.


Getting a pizza the autonomous action - the week

1 Sep 2017 | Dave Leggett

The word autonomous seems to have cropped up even more than usual this week. It began on Monday when Ford and Domino's announced that they would trial pizza delivery vehicles without drivers. Interesting concept, of course, though I must admit that I would kind of miss the kids on mopeds and the small slice of human interaction that comes with the all-important delivery currently.



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