Our week included an interview with Fords London based mobility chief Sarah-Jayne Williams

Our week included an interview with Ford's London based mobility chief Sarah-Jayne Williams

It's been a busy week for the entire just-auto team with a Russian conference to attend, new products to catch up with, a key new automaker appointee to interview, plus our usual analysis.

Let's start with the interview - director of automotive Dave Leggett sat down with Sarah-Jayne Williams who recently joined Ford here in England as its first London based director for 'smart mobility' in Europe. Her job is to focus on future mobility solutions for Europe and to define and implement Ford of Europe's Smart Mobility strategy. The discussion began with the just launched 'Chariot' shuttle service.

Meanwhile, our supplier editor Simon Warburton has been practising his multi-lingual skills again, attending the annual Russian Automotive Forum in Moscow (from where he reported this morning it was snowing; spring arrives late in that capital). While he's managed to keep an eye on the Melrose v Dana battle for GKN's automotive business, he's reported extensively from the Russian event on sales in that recovering emerging market, Renault Russian unit parts exports to company operations in Algeria and signs of recovery at Russian component makers. There's more to come next week.

Yours truly took a look at Citroen's repositioned, 'quirky' (return to real Citroens then) C4 Cactus and found it delightful (somehow the original 'Mk1' passed me by; I'd surely have remembered the 60s-style front bench seat in the automatic versions) and our new and future products editor Glenn Brooks reviewed - extensively - Hyundai's future model plans in a two-parter here and here. He also extensive 'wrapped' this month's Geneva show here.

EVs featured strongly on j-a this week, starting with our technology analyst Matthew Beecham's interview with Harman over their quietness, suppliers are joining forces to mine materials for and make battery cathodes in Chile, Millbrook saw the need to offer the European industry further test facilities, Panasonic kicked off a new li-ion battery factory in Japan (it is already well established in EV batteries as we saw on an exclusive visit some years ago) and VW said it would be making EVs in 16 factories worldwide by 2022.

Just today, Toyota Motor North America announced a new strategy that includes its electrification plans (building on its hybrid leadership) and Ford outlined a comprehensive new strategy that includes new EV and hybrid models. Exciting times ahead.

Have a nice weekend.

Graeme Roberts, Deputy Editor, just-auto.com