Big news began the week as Geely finally reached a deal to take Volvo off Ford’s hands.

Ever cautious after what happened with Saab and Koenigsegg, we scrutinised the fine print and considered the implications and possible outcomes.

Nissan started pricing the Leaf EV for Japan and the US and immediately sparked a price war with Mitsubishi whose tiddler i-MiEV suddenly looked a little expensive.

GM announced a new 1.4-litre turbo engine for the upcoming US-spec Cruze and, on this side of the Atlantic, Opel/Vauxhall said it was hiring 250 engineers.

Some models we are already familiar with in Europe made US debuts this week. The New York show saw the debut of the Nissan Juke and the Toyota iQ which will be sold as a Scion Stateside.

Meanwhile, Ford and Microsoft said they’d be joining forces again. After the success of SYNC for infotainment, comes a new package that will help Ford EV drivers determine when and how to most efficiently and affordably recharge battery electric (BEV) and plug-in hybrid (PHEV) vehicles. It also should help utility companies manage the added demands of electric vehicles on the electric grid.

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Bad news in California, today. Despite some serious lobbying by workers, politicians and unions, the state’s last car plant – NUMMI – closes today. Just what is needed in a time of high unemployment. Pundits estimate up to 20,000 direct and indirect jobs will be affected. Another nice PR job in a state where you got your US start, and many of your loyal customers live, Toyota.

Easter, already, and the weather is just right for those first barbecues and giving lawns their first light trim of the season.

Yeah, right. It’s raining outside and parts of the UK are still digging out from the latest snowfall.

Have a good weekend. Ours is longer than usual – we’ll see you again on Tuesday.

Graeme Roberts
Deputy/News Editor