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.


Life after Sergio - the week

20 Jul 2018 | Graeme Roberts

Ray Hutton's insightful look at the likely future of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles after CEO Sergio Marchionne 'leaves' (it's complicated, as you shall see) was one of the most-read articles on just-auto.com this week and, if you haven't already pulled up a coffee and paused from the work of the day for a look, I recommend you do.


Future model analysis always goes down a treat - the week

13 Jul 2018 | Graeme Roberts

Geely's Volvo Cars has attracted a lot of coverage and attention recently - future electrification plan, acclaimed new models, new assembly plant in the US, etc - so it's no surprise our analysis of its future model plans attracted the largest number of eyeballs on just-auto this week. Not unrelated, our new model debut lists for motor shows and other launch event venues always go down a treat and we covered both the Goodwood Festival of Speed and Monterey.


Autobiz frets over Trump's tariffs - the week

6 Jul 2018 | Graeme Roberts

If there is one thing the autobiz - from suppliers to OEMs - likes, it's a bit of certainty. Helps with the planning. As this (very hot in the UK and US) week draws to a close, there's very little certainty as to what US president Trump's tariff war is going to achieve or how trade between the UK and Europe will pan out post-Brexit.


So what will BMW do, post-Brexit? - the week

29 Jun 2018 | Graeme Roberts

Brexit was in the news - as usual - this week and this comment piece by our in-house analyst Calum Macrae (he runs our QUBE and PLDB databases BTW) attracted a lot of eyeballs, suggesting sub-contracted complete vehicle assembly is enjoying something of a renaissance - not quite in the number of firms carrying out odd jobs but in the number and variety of models being built.


Not a very good Monday for one - the week

22 Jun 2018 | Graeme Roberts

Not a good week for Audi CEO Rupert Stadler whose plans for this week were interrupted somewhat in the early hours of Monday with a knock on his Ingolstadt door followed swiftly by arrest. With top ranking VW Group executives seemingly untouchable since the diesel emissions cheating scandal broke almost three years ago, Stadler's arrest was a bit of a surprise.


Ford eyes transmission plant sale or closure - the week

15 Jun 2018 | Graeme Roberts

It was not, to put it mildly, the best week for autoworkers, at least this side of the pond. A sharpened American axe appeared over the automatic transmissions factory in Bordeaux, France, (see, they make more than fine wine there). Should the automaker not secure a buyer for its Ford Aquitaine Industries (FAI) site at Blanquefort in south west France, the factory will close, although no forced redundancies would be implemented before September 2019. Not good news.


Is Infiniti toast in Europe? The week

8 Jun 2018 | Graeme Roberts

Is Nissan about to pull Infiniti out of Europe? It's a good question, asked, reflectively and of the automaker, this week by our new and future products editor Glenn Brooks. As he said: "December will be Infiniti Europe's 10th birthday - will there be much to celebrate? As sales plunge at a dizzying rate across Europe and new model launches are pushed back, the question has to be asked: is Nissan planning to pull the plug on its luxury brand in the world's toughest market?"


BMW's induction course - the week

1 Jun 2018 | Dave Leggett

You don't have far to look to see some fabulous innovation in the automotive industry. For example, BMW's wireless charging pad is coming  soon and it may well be attractive to many.


England to Ford's rescue again - the week

18 May 2018 | Graeme Roberts

Once again, good old Blighty has helped out Ford's F-150 series across the pond. You're welcome. Few weeks ago, we learned the new three litre diesel V6 engine for the top selling North American pickup truck line comes from England. The engine is a variant of the three-litre turbodiesel sold in Jaguar and Land Rover models and is built at the Dagenham Engine plant just east of London. This week, we've been helping out with bits. Magnesium castings, to be precise.


Magnesium flares in Ford's face - the week

11 May 2018 | Graeme Roberts

A seemingly minor incident (though not for those involved directly) made more public this week shows the fragility of the global supply chain should just one link fail.


Will any senior VW execs ever serve time over dieselgate? The week

4 May 2018 | Graeme Roberts

Will any top level Volkswagen executives ever go to prison, as happened to a couple of sacrificial lambs thrown early on to US prosecutors? It's a question which comes to mind following the unexpected revelation last night that the US Justice Department has filed criminal charges against former VW CEO Martin Winterkorn, accusing him of conspiring to cover up diesel emissions cheating. Filing charges is one thing - getting the good Herr Winterkorn across the Atlantic to a US court room is the tricky bit.


Will diesel finally get a break? The week

27 Apr 2018 | Graeme Roberts

Thanks largely to Volkswagen, diesel's had a bad rap the last couple of years. When you add in sway-in-the-currently-fashionable-breeze politicians, such as the UK government which has laid out only vague details of its next tax-the-diesels assault, it's little wonder potential buyers are adopting a wait-and-see approach and sales are down.


They're changing the guard at Avtovaz - the week

20 Apr 2018 | Graeme Roberts

News Avtovaz had named Yves Caracatzanis CEO, replacing Nicolas Maure from 1 June this year, rated highly with just-auto readers this week.


VW's Mueller gets the axe - the week

13 Apr 2018 | Graeme Roberts

An extraordinary week that culminated last night with the expected news that Volkswagen was restructuring the group and tossing out the long-serving chairman and CEO Matthias Mueller, a company 'lifer' who was handed the task of steering the company through the diesel crisis and setting it on a new path.


PSA makes a UK van decision - the week

6 Apr 2018 | Graeme Roberts

Great news this week for the Vauxhall vans operation at Luton here in England this week. Despite Brexit, new Opel/Vauxhall owner PSA is to raise manufacturing capacity and add the production of Peugeot- and Citroen-badged panel vans at the factory. The plant, which started building Vauxhall badged Isuzu and Suzuki designed LCVs, more recently has been a JV with the Renault-Nissan alliance and built models for four brands but the technical agreement with Renault for the current Opel/Vauxhall Vivaro panel van - based on the Renault Trafic - will end and production will shift to right-hand drive versions of Peugeot and Citroen panel vans plus future Vivaro models on a PSA platform. Nice to hear, too, the decision was a major vote of confidence in a UK plant and reflected its core competitive strengths. Not to mention giving PSA a handy LCV plant inside a hefty UK market whose future trading relationship with the EU is still not clear.



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