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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.

Investment opportunities ahead in digital Malaysia

10 Jul 2020 | Guest

In a seventh guest article written exclusively for just-auto, Dato Madani Sahari, the CEO of Malaysia Automotive, Robotics and IoT Institute (MARii), reflects on investment opportunities in Malaysia, building on its technological strengths. 

UK auto industry will struggle without targeted Government support

10 Jul 2020 | Dave Leggett

The UK Government's GBP300bn post-virus stimulus package announced this week omitted automotive specific measures. Just a matter of weeks ago, it seemed that the final touches were being applied to an automotive sector support package that would include scrappage incentives designed to kick-start new vehicle sales.

Virtual and augmented reality get COVID-19 boost – should the auto industry embrace this technology?

6 Jul 2020 | Mike Vousden

Virtual and augmented reality get COVID-19boost –should the auto industry embrace this technology?Virtual reality (VR) and its cousin, augmented reality (AR) were previously niche facets of the gaming industry, but have been growing in popularity since COVID-19 lockdown orders were implemented in many countries as consumers seek out new forms of escapism closer to home. Of the USD300m of non-advertising revenue Facebook reported in Q1 2020, a large proportion of that was driven by the company’s Oculus virtual reality gaming offshoot demonstrating the technology’s growing importance.

Good and bad news and a Defender competitor revealed - the week

3 Jul 2020 | Graeme Roberts

Gestamp is consolidating here in the UK. It is to close two plants as well as move staff from the Cannock site to the Wolverhampton facility it opened in 2018.

Tesla resilience continues to confound COVID-19 crisis

2 Jul 2020 | Dave Leggett

Tesla's market capitalisation now exceeds that of Toyota, making it the most valued carmaker in the world.

COVID-19 spike clouds US vehicle market outlook

29 Jun 2020 | Calum MacRae

A week is a long time in this crisis. Just last week it was heartening to see that the analysts at JP Morgan had called the US market above 14 million for 2020 based on reports of strong showroom traffic in June. Above 14 million for the US market is the position that GlobalData has held for a long time.

Nissan output woes continue as Mazda picks up - the week

26 Jun 2020 | Graeme Roberts

Nissan, despite some product hits in various markets over the last few years - Qashqai in Europe always comes to mind - has struggled of late as well as enduring the long-running Ghosn saga.

Value and future prospects drive Volkswagen interest in Europcar

25 Jun 2020 | Dave Leggett

Volkswagen Group is said to be interested in acquiring French car rental firm Europcar. Why would VW be interested in such a buy? The answer lies in a mixture of the timing of the opportunity and an eye on long-term industrial trends.

Skoda shows how COVID-19 forces sales process rethink

25 Jun 2020 | Mike Vousden

Automakers are facing the realization that, while lockdown restrictions are beginning to lift in many countries, customers are still reluctant to risk their health by going to a dealership and potentially exposing themselves to infection. To mitigate the problem, Skoda launched a competition to uncover the best digital solution to selling cars in a post-COVID world.

BMW and Mercedes autonomous drive collaboration reset by COVID-19

22 Jun 2020 | Dave Leggett

BMW Group and Mercedes-Benz are putting their cooperation on development of next-generation technology for automated driving temporarily on hold.

Nissan’s latest production cuts unsurprising

22 Jun 2020 | Dave Leggett

Nissan said last week that it is to make further production cuts in Japan due to COVID-19 impacts on global vehicle demand.

Welcome back, dieselgate - the week

19 Jun 2020 | Graeme Roberts

Dieselgate has reared its ugly ahead again, this time in the UK, getting on for five years after Volkswagen admitted cheating on US emissions testing, sparking a saga that has cost it billions in fines and other costs, such as setting up the nationwide EV recharging network Electrify America, led to tens of thousands of perfectly functional cars being parked in the desert, put executives in US jails as German prosecutors tried to achieve likewise (with less success) this side of the Atlantic and generally tarnished its reputation. But this week's news was not about VW.

PSA-FCA’s proposed merger just got messy and there’s no clear pathway out

19 Jun 2020 | Calum MacRae

On 17th June the European Commission (EC) announced it was opening an in-depth investigation into the proposed PSA-FCA merger due to concerns over the merged company’s dominant market share in light commercial vehicles (LCVs) under 3.5 tonnes gross vehicle weight (GVW).

Turkey waits in the wings if supply chains are remapped

16 Jun 2020 | Calum MacRae

In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic there has been much discussion about how automotive supply chains will be remapped to reduce disruptions to supply. Such a remapping could see the chains shortened and a move away from lowest-cost to best-cost. Early on in the pandemic we saw how China’s shutdown impacted vehicle manufacture in Europe with the likes of FCA and Daimler halting production due to parts shortages.

COVID-19 recovery ebbs and flows - the week

12 Jun 2020 | Graeme Roberts

It was, as you have probably already noted yourself, something of a mixed week. COVID-19 ebbed and flowed by country, with some pockets of the US flaring back up a little following relaxing of lockdown, other defying the trend with infections and deaths continuing to fall even as people mingled more in newly socially distanced bars, restaurants and, of course, even the slowly reopening casinos of Las Vegas and other gambling hot spots.

D&C - Looking to the post-Covid automotive world (4)

10 Jun 2020 | Dave Leggett

In the fourth of a series of conversations, just-auto editor Dave Leggett and GlobalData lead automotive analyst Calum MacRae discuss some of the big questions prompted by the coronavirus crisis and its potentially lasting impact on the automotive sector.

Pushing digitalisation beyond consumerism

10 Jun 2020 | Guest

In a sixth guest article written exclusively for just-auto, Dato Madani Sahari, the CEO of Malaysia Automotive, Robotics and IoT Institute (MARii), outlines how Malaysia is helping industry players to digitalise their entire business value chain for better results and performance. It's an opportunity that the COVID-19 pandemic has further opened up.

China market gains give auto industry a lift

9 Jun 2020 | Dave Leggett

New vehicle sales in China rose by almost 12% year-on-year to 2.14 million units in May 2020, according to preliminary data released by the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM).

COVID-19 recession bites deep into automotive, but company strategies for recovery now vital

8 Jun 2020 | Dave Leggett

With vehicle markets decimated across the world, automotive companies are coming under considerable pressure due to lost sales, but now is the time for them to formulate strategies for recovery over the next eighteen months.

Nissan plant pension problem - the week

5 Jun 2020 | Graeme Roberts

Nissan's UK plant may have been reprieved in Nissan's recent shake-up plan but it is now under threat from no deal Brexit and the union has also weighed in, saying the automaker's plans to end a defined benefits pension scheme for hundreds of workers at the Sunderland plant are "disappointing" and "opportunistic".

COMMENT - May market numbers exceed expectations

4 Jun 2020 | Calum MacRae

Today, industry associations representing the vehicle markets of Germany, the UK and Russia all reported May light vehicle sales.

Nissan Sunderland plant uncertainties are a reminder of still-present Brexit risks

3 Jun 2020 | Dave Leggett

In widely reported remarks, Nissan COO Ashwani Gupta has reiterated the importance of UK-EU free trade to the future of its Sunderland manufacturing plant.

Scrappage incentives - attention turns to Germany and the UK

2 Jun 2020 | Mike Vousden

Last week, France announced plans to inject more than EUR8bn into its automotive sector. The hope for the European industry is that it's not the only country to act.

Nissan right to focus on core strengths and cost control

1 Jun 2020 | Dave Leggett

Nissan has now confirmed the closure of its Barcelona, Spain, manufacturing plant as part of a new business plan that focuses on cost control and the needs of core markets.

Crisis eases, capacity cuts and V2G - the week

29 May 2020 | Dave Leggett

The COVID-19 crisis and its heavy impact on the automotive sector are still very much with us. There were plenty of reminders of that in this week's just-auto coverage. However, population lockdowns are being eased and factories are starting up. Indeed, attention is starting to shift to the recovery phase and getting economies cranked up.

France moves first to bolster the automotive sector

29 May 2020 | Calum MacRae

This week France announced plans to inject more than EUR8bn into its automotive sector. The hope for the European industry is that it’s not the only country to act.

The just-auto analysis goes on - the week

22 May 2020 | Graeme Roberts

COVID-19 or not, our analysis never stops. Leading the pack this week was a look at Mitsubishi, ahead of a critical restructuring announcement from major shareholder Nissan Motor next week.

COMMENT - Uber could jeopardise its future with cost cuts

22 May 2020 | GlobalData

Ride sharing providers such as Lyft and Uber are suffering at the hands of COVID-19. However, a balance has to be found between cash conservation and investing in the future.

COVID-19 adds to M&A rationale in automotive sector

21 May 2020 | Dave Leggett

Exor NV – Fiat-Chrysler’s (FCA’s) largest investor – has confirmed the timing for the proposed FCA-PSA merger for completion by early 2021 as initially announced. It is both a timely reminder that the long-term drivers of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in the automotive sector have not gone away and that the COVID-19 crisis and its impact on companies will actually accelerate restructuring.

Proposed UK import tariffs raise big questions for UK’s auto industry

20 May 2020 | Dave Leggett

The UK government is preparing a new set of import tariffs which would include a 10% tariff applying to all imported new cars when the UK's Brexit transition period ends at the end of this year.

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