Latest automotive comment

The best views and opinions in automotive industry publishing, all in one place, from just-auto's monthly columnists and in-house experts.

Auto shows and dieselgate again - the week

18 Apr 2019 | Graeme Roberts

Two motor shows this week - Shanghai and New York. News, auto show-related, kicked off the week with some improvement on the Chinese sales front as the rate of decline showed signs of slowing in March.

Will Brexit ever happen? - the week

12 Apr 2019 | Graeme Roberts

Another week, another kick-the-Brexit-can-down-the-road move by the apparently paralysed UK government as a humiliated Remainer prime minister shuttled to various European capitals and Brussels before a small-hours announcement that, er, nothing had been achieved apart from yet another extension. You can imagine how the automakers who brought forward summer plant shutdowns or stockpiled a few parts just-in-case just-in-time was interrupted temporarily must have been feeling.

Toyota’s free hybrid patent licenses - an existential moment

8 Apr 2019 | John Voelcker

Ask any random person to name a carmaker offering hybrids, and you’ll surely get back the name Toyota. The hugely profitable carmaker pioneered hybrid-electric powertrain in its 1997 Prius.

Dodging fake news - the week

5 Apr 2019 | Graeme Roberts

April Fools Day is always guaranteed to give imaginative PR minds a little exercise so 'ware 'fake news' of anything automotive on the first of the month. I by no means trawled the entire web for gags but we did receive some excellent spoofs with my favourite being Toyota Australia's 'PieAce' van-based 'convertible. Nice work on Photoshop.

M&A, restructuring, plants - the week

29 Mar 2019 | Graeme Roberts

M&A, 'restructuring' and plant news dominated a busy week which is (TGIF) drawing to a welcome close. May as well start with Ford.

COMMENT - Daimler-Geely deal on Smart brand good for both

28 Mar 2019 | Dave Leggett

Daimler has struck a deal with Geely for a 50:50 joint venture based in China to develop and operate the Smart brand globally as an all-electric carmaker.

Ford starts to restructure Europe - the week

22 Mar 2019 | Graeme Roberts

Ford has begun its European business restructure announced in January and the fact that the axe is hanging over 5,000 jobs was our most-read story this week.

Brexit, Brexit, Brexit - the week

15 Mar 2019 | Graeme Roberts

Our review of Subaru's outgoing fourth generation Forester - did it really start the fad for crossovers at launch back in 1997? - and a look at the brand's electrified future was the most-read analysis article this week. But Brexit topped the news.

Geneva of course - the week

8 Mar 2019 | Graeme Roberts

The annual Geneva motor show - long an industry and visitor favourite for its compact size and being on 'neutral' Swiss territory - dominated this week. As usual, we compiled a vast list of world debuts from soup to nuts, er, Abarth to Zenvo. Electrification, natch, was a big theme with both concept and production cars on show.

Here comes Geneva again - the week

1 Mar 2019 | Graeme Roberts

Another year passes and Geneva is upon us. As usual, we have a lengthy list of expected global debuts, updated daily, with our productmeister Glenn Brooks continuing to keep score through the press days.

The CASE is building - the week

22 Feb 2019 | Dave Leggett

It's been another week with plenty going on in the auto biz related to the big megatrends, neatly summed up by the CASE acronym (connected, autonomous, shared and electric). Re-arrange that to ACES if you prefer.

COMMENT - Swindon closure underlines Honda's failure in Europe

19 Feb 2019 | Dave Leggett

There's plenty of commentary around on the decision by Honda to shut its UK manufacturing facilities at Swindon. Some say it's all about Brexit and the ongoing uncertainties that brings, while others claim Brexit has absolutely nothing to do with it. The reality is a little more complex.

Toyota-ing on a sunny Spanish isle - the week

15 Feb 2019 | Graeme Roberts

Highlight of my week was undoubtedly another trip - after several years - to one of my favourite business and leisure spots, the Spanish island of Majorca (aka Mallorca) to which I've been many times both for holidays and new car launches. This time around it was the much improved Toyota Corolla, the model formerly known in Europe as the Auris.

Fiat, weather, results and jobs - the week

8 Feb 2019 | Graeme Roberts

A gimlet eye on Fiat attracted interest this week. "Such has been its shrinkage at home, Italy is no longer the number one market for the Fiat brand. A 20% slide to 323,342 vehicles sold to Italian buyers in 2018 compares to a 13.2% gain in Brazil to 325,726. Is FCA concerned? Not at all.

Talking electricals with Volvo - the week

1 Feb 2019 | Graeme Roberts

Our interview with Volvo Cars on its electrification strategy was a very popular read this week. We spoke to Lex Kerssemakers, senior vice president, Volvo Cars, EMEA, about the Geely-owned automaker's plans.

Ghosn, Ghosn, gone - the week

25 Jan 2019 | Graeme Roberts

The ongoing Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance/Ghosn saga was in the news this week and our story about Nissan's CEO making clear the automaker did not want to move closer to the French partner was the top read for many people.

COMMENT - It takes two to tango (and to disagree)

23 Jan 2019 | Dave Leggett

Many in the automotive sector agree that collaborations among car companies are one way for them to shape up for the big challenges ahead and potential disruption to a basic business model (OEM manufactures vehicle, it is shipped to dealer for retail and final customer is a vehicle owner) that has held sway for more than a century.

BMW and Mercedes talks prove auto is very CASE sensitive

22 Jan 2019 | Calum MacRae

Recent Reports emanating from the German newspaper Handelsblatt suggest that the two fierce rivals, BMW and Mercedes-Benz, are exploring developing the next generations of their compact cars on a shared architecture.

Ghosn, Brexit and a giant BMW grille - the week

18 Jan 2019 | Dave Leggett

As one of my colleagues remarked, the grille on the just facelifted BMW 7 Series is somewhat reminiscent of the front-end of a basking shark in full plankton filter-feed mode. I'm sure the Chinese will love it anyway (a staggering 44% of all 7 sales last year were in China - which explains the Shanghai roll-out). It was a lighter moment in a week that has had a more serious side on a number of fronts.

DETROIT REPORT - Trucks and performance cars dominate NAIAS

16 Jan 2019 | Dave Leggett

As news of Ford and VW's tie-up dominated headlines from NAIAS 2019 in Detroit, the show halls amply illustrated the current product focus for North America's auto industry. Unsurprisingly, large brawny pickups and performance cars dominated.

Ford and JLR wield the jobs axe - the week

11 Jan 2019 | Graeme Roberts

Restructuring announcements by two major automakers imperiled the job prospects of thousands and rather took the edge off all the clever techie developments revealed out west at the CES show in Las Vegas. Such was the just-auto week.

Mobile power banks for e-cars - the week

4 Jan 2019 | Dave Leggett

Another annual US light vehicle market over 17m units has been posted, the fourth in a row. 2018's tally was pretty impressive in the end, but there are obviously a few question marks surrounding how things will pan out in 2019. The Chinese market data for December and full-year is awaited with considerable interest.

Review of 2018 - Part 2

23 Dec 2018 | Dave Leggett

2018 was quite the year and threw up one or two surprises in the automotive business. Editor Dave Leggett's personal review picks out some highlights as seen through the prism of just-auto's industry coverage.

Review of 2018 - Part 1

20 Dec 2018 | Dave Leggett

2018 was quite the year and threw up one or two surprises in the automotive business. Editor Dave Leggett's personal review picks out some highlights as seen through the prism of just-auto's industry coverage.

BMW poaches Audi autonomous driving chief - the week

14 Dec 2018 | Graeme Roberts

News that former Audi automated driving head Alejandro Vukotich would take over as head of BMW Group's driver assistance and autonomous driving development department on 1 January, replacing the retiring Elmar Frickenstein, was a most-read news story this week.

COMMENT - The uncertain road  to driverless delivery

11 Dec 2018 | Dave Leggett

Autonomous vehicles are increasingly seen as at the heart of a radically different future landscape for transport solutions in the world’s major urban areas. But don't believe all the hype, says Dave Leggett

Nosing around inside Jaguar's E-Pace - the week

7 Dec 2018 | Graeme Roberts

Analysis of the Jaguar E-Pace interior was a popular read this week while newshounds were drawn to the awful possibility the latest round of Ford restructuring could cost 25,000 jobs.

Analysis-r-us - the week

30 Nov 2018 | Graeme Roberts

Analysis is a key part of the just-auto offer so it might pay to start this week with mention of a report by one of our, er, analysts on the Thai plug-in hybrid industry.

How the mighty fall - the week

23 Nov 2018 | Graeme Roberts

I'm sure many others - in or observing the autobiz - were as saddened as I was to hear of Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance kingpin and Nissan Motor supremo Carlos Ghosn's downfall this week.

COMMENT - Is there politics behind Nissan Ghosn charges?

21 Nov 2018 | Dave Leggett

Companies are not just about the clinical science of conducting business and maximising returns for stakeholders. There are other elements in these sometimes complex social organisations.

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