Spot the product placement

Spot the product placement

Last time I heard the words 'Ford' and 'coke bottle' in the same sentence it was when the Mark Three Cortina adopted the then fashionable kink in its waistline back at the end of 1970.

Today the fizz was all about the use of technology to reduce fossil fuel use in PET bottles to make fibres for car upholstery. Of course, the link is not obvious, hence the carefully placed bottle of Famous Brand sugared water in the handout shot.

I also wonder, if this takes off, at how long Brazil sugar cane will remain the only sustainable source? It is, after all, rather popular when turned into another fossil fuel replacement - the ethanol lots of Brazilian cars run on.

Nonetheless, kudos to boffins at Ford and Coca-Cola for somehow ending up sharing an intriguing development which I guess was a project far more interesting than ensuring interior bottle holders are the right size.

Speaking of recycling-related tech, one of us has been in Korea this week looking at what Kia is up to. If you've ever wondered what happens to development cars, let us inform you.

We also learned that the automaker intends to sell its electric Soul globally and that parent Hyundai's recent quality niggles have led to the departure of the R&D chief and a couple other top suits. Which may well have explained why the word 'quality' was also on the Kia itinerary.

Speaking of quality, Volkswagen's twin clutch gearboxes - and other bits - were in the news again this week as some large recalls kicked in, including another one for those pesky automatics in China. Trade sources say it appears the synthetic oil can cause electrolysis which can lead to the main fuse blowing and bye-bye drive so mineral oil is going in instead. Yet, ironically, the problem does not appear to have occurred in Europe. VW has previously said the fault happens only in China-made gearboxes so I noted with interest that the latest recall includes full imports which have German-made 'boxes.

Finally, Ford Brazil unveiled a new Ka - Bill Ford was in town at the time - and this looks like being the second Brazilian product to get OneForded after the EcoSport. Brazil's outgoing model is a local redo of the European original; in Europe we have a reskinned Fiat 500 built in the same east European plant. The new one will be a five door hatch (instead of three) and some markets (Brazil, China, east and southern Europe) will also get a saloon. That should widen the appeal - I recall the original, despite being powered by an asthmatic pushrod engine for most of its life, being very popular here in England; the replacement is a far less common sight, spotted much less often than its Fiat sibling.

Have a nice weekend.

Graeme Roberts, Deputy Editor,

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