Iran, sanctions against, came into focus this week, not least with the news that a powerful US lobby group planned to have a go at automakers with links to the renegade state at this week’s New York show.

PSA had earlier suspended parts supplies to the ICKO operation it has long been associated with – this goes all the way back to the Iranian Peykan version of the Hillman Hunter – and GM was quick to assure us PSA’s decision predated its recently announced alliance.

And there was also news Hyundai had pulled the plug on Iran as well. As we noted, a strict new American law is putting pressure on foreign companies to reduce or eliminate their operations in Iran or risk penalties in the US market so this is all pretty sensitive at the moment, and there are a surprising number of foreign automakers with links to the country.

While we learned in Noo Yoick Jaguar had finally pushed the go button on the F-type, I was impressed with the looks of the new Chevrolet Impala which GM intends to target more to private buyers than the previous 70% police-and-feds customers; this is a nameplate dating back to the late ’50s that, in the ’60s, sold 1m a year. Them were the days….

There was also a new Hyundai Santa Fe – which will be sold worldwide – and the updated Mitsubishi ASX which will soon be the US-built Outlander Sport, some for export.

In Russia, the Renault-Nissan alliance, with local partner Avtovaz, opened a new production line, the honours being performed by Putin himself.

US sales results saw the best March SAAR since 2008 and an interesting shift to more economical, smaller cars. UK sales weren’t too bad, either.

Saab remained in the news with its future unresolved and there is now a cloud over the planned revival of the former GM plant in Delaware as Fisker regroups and refinances.

Long Easter weekend for us with Friday and Monday off. If you’re also taking a break, enjoy.

Graeme Roberts, Deputy Editor,