The prime event of the week was, of course, the 2013 Detroit auto show and, just in case you haven’t yet had enough, all our coverage is handily packaged here.
Among the stories attracting the most reader eyeballs this week was the news that Chrysler would resume Jeep production in China, this time using the new Fiat Guangzhou joint venture that’s building the Dodge Dart-based Fiat Viaggio. VW, rightly, claims a lot of credit for its early JVs in China but fewer people are aware Jeep was also in there early, at around the same time. The tangled web of history sees that original venture morphed into today’s Beijing Benz; the detail is in the story. GM was also early into China with its various JVs; of the Detroit Three, Ford was quite late to the party, lagging the others by as much as a decade.
Speaking of Volkswagen, a new engine plant opened in Mexico this week, headed for annual output of 330,000 TSI petrol engines to go into cars made in Puebla, Mexico and [toot, toot] Chattanooga, Tennessee. And, I should think, the new Audi plant in San José Chiapa scheduled to begin production in 2016.
In Detroit, Simon Warburton learned that Johnson Controls is not yet done with A123 Systems and spoke to Bill Ford about the automaker’s calculated risks – and successful payback.
If you’re into numbers, editor Dave Leggett has had his abacus out – running his eye over 2012 global sales, Europe (don’t ask), more signs that, if you don’t have a premium brand over here, you’re toast, and another set of read-’em-and-weep figures from China.
As you may have heard, snow has fallen in England today with the usual road, train and airport chaos. How the Scandanavians, Russians and Canadians must laugh. Cue a friend in (a surprisingly snow-free this year) Chicago’s annual boast about how he can clear four feet off his driveway in an hour with his snow blower and the local council clears his (main) road as often as needed. Here, I’ll need to borrow a test-fleet snowplough to clear my estate…
Have a nice weekend.
Graeme Roberts, Deputy Editor, just-auto.com