News that Škoda is building a new, energy-efficient press shop at its main factory in Mladá Boleslav drew a lot of eyes to just-auto.com this week. Construction has now begun on the M4 hall and, next spring, the VW Group automaker will install a servo press line in the new hall that will be able to press aluminium body panels for the first time. The new facility is expected to go into operation in February 2017 at a cost of EUR86m (US$93.47m).
Then there was news of another Ford assembly plant in Thailand, from which the blue oval supplies a lot of Asia-Pacific markets.
Fall-out from the VW diesel emissions-rigging scandal continued this week with Porsche SE revealing its profits had been hit as a result and yet another Martin Winterkorn resignation, this time from Audi. Meanwhile, in the US, VW made a first compensation offer but it was widely derided, and seen as an attempt to sidestep pending litigation by disgruntled owners. And talks started in Germany between CEO Matthias Müller and the chairman of the group works council Bernd Osterloh, who have already agreed on the “further procedure for investment and capacity planning”. The company said a series of discussions between the board of management and the employee representative body would take place over 10 days in order to “find a common path for the future of the company”.
We also spoke to a former Ford chief technical officer who reckons automakers which fail to embrace mobility challenges will lose out and learned of a new plan for Tata Motors’ Jaguar Land Rover aimed at cutting costs and boosting output.
Finally, my favourite version of the Mini has been redone and resized – C segment, would you believe – and I had a chance to try it out on some nice roads in northern Spain.
Have a nice weekend.
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Graeme Roberts, Deputy Editor, just-auto.com