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

From Vegas to Tatarstan - The Week

12 Jan 2018 | Simon Warburton

There's really only one place to start this week and it has to be in the Nevada desert where the annual tech-fest of the Consumer Electronics Show 2018 kicked off the year in a technological blitz which was high on AI.

Review of the automotive year, 2017 (part two)

22 Dec 2017 | Dave Leggett

Editor Dave Leggett offers a personal take and review of the year with a look at selected highlights. This instalment takes in the second half of 2017.

Review of the automotive year, 2017

18 Dec 2017 | Dave Leggett

Editor Dave Leggett offers a personal take and review of the year with a look at selected highlights. This instalment takes in the first half of 2017.

EVs in US not such a Smart move - the week

15 Dec 2017 | Graeme Roberts

Going all-electric in the US does not appear to have worked too well for Smart, as we noted in this article. "Might the initial results of a strategy which has been Smart US dropping its petrol-powered Fortwo range hold a warning for others? In November, the brand was not only outsold by Lamborghini but Rolls-Royce was the only make which delivered fewer cars." As automakers dive headlong into 'e-mobility', does a cautionary tale lie therein?

Time to end the era of homogeneous design?

15 Dec 2017 | Calum MacRae

Has the world gone mad? We've all been there - looking at the supernumerated types on the late train back home. We'll take a surreptitious glance at them working away on their laptop or iPad. We see them open a few spreadsheets. They'll spend a cursory few seconds ostentatiously scrolling through a few figures. Another corporate lamp post marked.

COMMENT - US sales plummet as Smart goes electric

11 Dec 2017 | Glenn Brooks

Might the initial results of a strategy which has been smart USA dropping its petrol-powered fortwo range hold a warning for others? In November, the brand was not only outsold by Lamborghini, but Rolls-Royce was the only make which delivered fewer cars.

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.

Re-imagining the gas station and battery charge times - COMMENT

6 Dec 2017 | Dave Leggett

Fully electric vehicles come with a number of challenges, 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.

Uber and Volvo are a sign of the times - COMMENT

27 Nov 2017 | Dave Leggett

Uber loses money, lots of it. Although ride-hailing is seen as a sunrise industry, Uber has struggled with high costs even as it has grown revenues. Nevertheless, the privately held start-up has attracted investors who see a bright future in ride-hailing and are reassured by its dominant share (over 70%) of the US ride-hail market.

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.

COMMENT - Why Mazda needs the Amati luxury brand

25 Oct 2017 | Glenn Brooks

It's almost 25 years since Mazda shelved Amati, its take on Acura, Infiniti and Lexus. Given that the plans for multiple models and a bespoke W12 engine were not backed up by a rock solid balance sheet, this was the right decision. Now, with its recent concepts effortlessly showing up so many cars from the likes of Ferrari, Aston Martin and Rolls-Royce which lack beauty, it's time for Mazda to think again.

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.

COMMENT - Uncertain future ahead for Ellesmere Port

16 Oct 2017 | Dave Leggett

The news that the UK's Vauxhall Ellesmere Port plant is dropping a shift, reducing output and its workforce, gives it a shot at improving its competitive position in the context of the Opel/Vauxhall European manufacturing footprint.

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.

UPDATED - Ford's Bridgend engine plant; the anatomy of its decline

28 Sep 2017 | Calum MacRae

A confluence of factors, many of them rooted in history, are behind the expected decline in output at Ford’s Bridgend plant which will lead to the loss of 1,100 jobs over the next five years.

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.

New order: world in motion dances to China’s beat

15 Sep 2017 | Calum MacRae

It used to be the way that a trip to a major European motorshow was a good chance for the assembled press to have a good laugh at the latest attempts by the Chinese OEMs to infiltrate the European market. Who can forget the 2007 Frankfurt Show when China’s Shuanghuan Motor was represented on its stand by an SUV that looked more like a BMW X5 than the X5 did.

COMMENT - The car shows world order is changing

13 Sep 2017 | Chris Wright

Frankfurt, Paris, Geneva, Tokyo and Detroit – the big five, must-attend car shows. Not anymore, the world order has changed.

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.

The summer of love's electric reboot - the week

25 Aug 2017 | Dave Leggett

Although it's August, there have been one or two interesting talking points in the news this week.

Electrics, Frankfurt, GM, FCA - the week

18 Aug 2017 | Graeme Roberts

Our scrutiny of future Jaguar SUVs and electric models drew a lot of looks this week as did news of electric Ford Transits developed with DHL Deutsche Post.

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