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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.

Chips, solid state batteries, vans - the week

7 May 2021 | Graeme Roberts

The chip crisis continues. Volkswagen chief Herbert Diess has said the carmaker was in "crisis mode" over an ongoing lack of badly needed automotive chips, adding the impact of the shortage would intensify and hit profits in the second quarter.

COVID support, Ssangyong, BMW futures - the week

30 Apr 2021 | Graeme Roberts

An article from our wider GlobalData family drew many just-auto readers this week: UK-based carmakers forced to halt or reduce production in recent months have been placing workers on COVID-19 furlough and claiming their wages from the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, according to newly published government figures. But were their struggles directly attributable to the pandemic or due to other issues such as the well-known semiconductor shortage that has been hitting several industries in the past few months?

Self-driving cars are still a long way off - COMMENT

28 Apr 2021 | Dave Leggett

The UK government is to allow vehicles equipped with a degree of automated operation on UK roads this year.

Tokyo is off and motor shows remain under threat

26 Apr 2021 | Dave Leggett

Does Shanghai's in-person auto show which opened last week herald the start of a post-Covid return to business-as-usual for the big global motor shows? Hardly.

Vale Ford legend Richard Parry-Jones - the week

23 Apr 2021 | Graeme Roberts

As if to prove the old adage 'bad news sells papers", the announcement Richard Parry-Jones, a leading figure in the UK automotive sector, who led Ford's product engineering revival in the 1990s, had died in an accident was the top rated article on just-auto this week.

Battery management technologies key to EV ecosystem – COMMENT

23 Apr 2021 | Guest

In this latest guest article written exclusively for just-auto, Dato Madani Sahari, the CEO of Malaysia Automotive, Robotics and IoT Institute (MARii), considers the evolving electromobility ecosystem and the rising importance of the battery management system.

Chips (again), Ssangyong receivership, batteries - the week

16 Apr 2021 | Graeme Roberts

You want chips with that? The automakers and their suppliers certainly do but the microprocessor makers' fryers just aren't able to keep up with the queue out the shop door. Barely a day goes by without another chips shortage story on just-auto and it's going to take a while for supply to match demand.

Sinking Ssangyong, Suzuki revival, chips latest - the week

9 Apr 2021 | Graeme Roberts

Is the end nigh for Ssangyong? News on just-auto this week does little to discourage such thoughts.

Lancia, soaring sales, Honda plant sold - the week

1 Apr 2021 | Graeme Roberts

Easter has come around again - traditionally a time to try and remember where we left the mower and barbecue at the end of last summer but, as you may have heard, we already had our two days of summer early this year and week. So, what tickled just-auto readers' fancy this week?

Could Toyota use Tesla EV tech to leap ahead of rivals?

1 Apr 2021 | Mike Vousden

Toyota may be preparing to launch a small electric SUV using technology provided by Tesla, according to rumours circulating across a number of outlets. If true, this could prove to be a highly disruptive force in the auto industry, combining Toyota’s manufacturing strength as the largest automaker by volume, and Tesla’s market leading position in electric vehicles.

Electrification update, Renesas' chip pan fire - the week

26 Mar 2021 | Graeme Roberts

The momentum towards widespread electrification of passenger vehicles is now unstoppable. Across the auto industry, OEMs are racing to catch up with Tesla's dominance, while battling regulatory pressures in the form of strict CO2 targets that mean electrification is no longer an option but a necessity. Automakers are increasingly moving away from broad, flexible powertrain strategies that balance combustion and electrification, with most now firmly set on an electric-only path. Wondering about the state of electrification in the auto industry by major group? We've got your back.

COVID-19 one year on in the auto sector - what have we learnt?

23 Mar 2021 | Calum MacRae

As the UK marks a year since its first population lockdown and the auto industry - among many industries - reflects on a year of unprecedented turmoil caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Calum MacRae offers some thoughts on what has been learnt

Malaysian SMEs and startups await scaleup opportunities

22 Mar 2021 | Guest

In this latest guest article written exclusively for just-auto, Dato Madani Sahari, the CEO of Malaysia Automotive, Robotics and IoT Institute (MARii), considers the readiness of smaller Malaysian firms and startups for the southeast Asian auto sector’s transformative times ahead.

Lynk & Co, BMW, Mazda EV - the week

19 Mar 2021 | Graeme Roberts

Once again, I've managed to top just-auto's 'most read article' list so, in case you missed it, here's how last week went.

Vinfast plans, Toyota A-seg, Ford battery deal - the week

12 Mar 2021 | Graeme Roberts

Funnily enough, the most-read article on just-auto this week was last week's week. So, in case you missed it, here 'tis. Second most popular: our ongoing 'good news' article about auto industry recovery.

Is LG Energy Solution eyeing more Tesla supply?

12 Mar 2021 | Mike Vousden

Reports suggests that LG Energy Solution – the recently spun off battery division of LG Chem – will expand its manufacturing footprint to produce more lithium ion (Li-ion) battery cells for Tesla vehicles. The US EV giant is widely considered to be the leading company in the growing EV sector, with traditional automakers racing to catch up, so any supply contract with Tesla should be considered especially lucrative.

Toyota scents a city car opportunity in Europe

8 Mar 2021 | Mike Vousden

Toyota has confirmed that it will produce an A-segment city car based on its TNGA-B architecture for European buyers. It will be the third compact TNGA-B model after the B-segment Yaris launched in 2020 and similar Yaris Cross SUV due later in 2021. The new model could get a new name, but it will probably keep the Aygo nameplate that’s been on sale in Europe for two generations alongside the badge-engineered Citroen C1 and Peugeot 108.

JLR cuts, Ssangyong gloom, manager moves - the week

5 Mar 2021 | Graeme Roberts

Hardly the best 'good news' story on just-auto this week, but our report Tata-owned Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) was planning to reduce its manufacturing capacity by a quarter over a five-year period to 2027, as part of its latest strategic plan under new CEO Thierry Bollore, was the most-read article. I'm not surprised.

Rimac – what’s all the fuss about?

3 Mar 2021 | Mike Vousden

Electric vehicle startups are a dime a dozen at the moment.

JLR job cuts, January global sales, new Magna plant - the week

26 Feb 2021 | Graeme Roberts

News Tata-owned Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) had confirmed a further 2,000 job cuts this year, following the automaker's announcement the Jaguar brand would be all-electric by 2025, was the most-read article on just-auto this week.

Is contract manufacturing the future for EV startups?

25 Feb 2021 | Graeme Roberts

This week's announcement from EV startup Fisker it had inked a deal with Taiwan's Hon Hai Technology Group, better known as consumer electronics contract manufacturer Foxconn, to co-develop and build a "breakthrough new segment vehicle" reflects a new approach from EV startups - contract rather than in-house build.

COMMENT - BEVs and hydrogen provide fuel for thought

25 Feb 2021 | Guest

There have been a number of stories in the press recently which all in one way or another related to the potential growth of hydrogen as fuel source for cars and other forms of transport. 

Honda open to partnerships in race for EVs

23 Feb 2021 | Mike Vousden

Honda is looking to set up more partnerships to tackle future challenges – that is the message coming from the company’s incoming CEO, Toshihiro Mibe. The statement is intended as a rallying cry for the company – a recognition that rapid change is upon the automotive industry, and Honda will need to branch out to ensure it is ready to tackle it.

Ford joins the charge towards electrification

22 Feb 2021 | Mike Vousden

Ford is the latest global automaker to commit to a bold electrification strategy. The US company has announced that, by mid-2026, all of its models sold in Europe will be capable of zero-emissions driving using either battery-electric or hybrid-electric powertrains. Doubling down on the shift away from combustion engines, the automaker goes on to say that, by 2030, all its vehicles sold in Europe will be fully electric.

Car companies bite the electric bullet - the week

19 Feb 2021 | Dave Leggett

The news this week was dominated by announcements of electric vehicle strategies. Jaguar Land Rover said its Jaguar brand would be all-electric from 2025.

Electrification - is it a sprint or a marathon?

18 Feb 2021 | Guest

In this latest guest article written exclusively for just-auto, Dato Madani Sahari, the CEO of Malaysia Automotive, Robotics and IoT Institute (MARii), considers developments in the rapidly developing area of automotive electrification.

Tesla’s updated Model S lays down gauntlet for rising EV challengers

18 Feb 2021 | Mike Vousden

Tesla changed the public’s perception of electric vehicles in 2012 with the launch of the Model S sedan. This was the first ever mass-produced electric car that truly captured the public’s imagination, changing the image of EVs from compromised, eco-friendly economy cars, to desirable, advanced, high-performance premium vehicles. Accepted wisdom in the industry is that once the established automakers began to flex their muscles with their own EVs, as emission regulations tightened and forced them to enter the market, that the establishment would quickly catch up.

BYD v Tesla, Ssangyong woes, Ford's good Q4 - the week

12 Feb 2021 | Graeme Roberts

BYD delivered 415,046 vehicles to customers in China last year, an 8% drop compared to 2% for the market. January deliveries, however, were up 68% to 42,401, in a market which rose by 29.5% to 2.503m.

West European sales hit by lockdowns in January

11 Feb 2021 | Calum MacRae

West Europe, which has largely been in an extended lockdown from late December and through January since the identification of a more infectious COVID-19 variant, saw new light vehicle sales plummet in January by an estimated 22.6% year on year.

GKN jobs axe, battery breakthrough, JLR results - the week

5 Feb 2021 | Graeme Roberts

British labour body, Unite, says proposals by GKN to shutter its plant in the UK Midlands city of Birmingham with the potential loss of 519 jobs, has left the workforce "shocked and angry."

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