In-depth automotive features

By giving our journalists the freedom to write about subjects in more depth, these longer reads offer a deeper look into the big issues the auto industry is facing along with extra background coverage, statistics, and comment.

GM future models - GMC and Hummer

24 Aug 2020 | Glenn Brooks

We're just over a year away from the return of Hummer, although it will be much changed from what went before. While these will be big vehicles - a pick-up and an SUV - each will be electric, and the brand folded into GMC. That division also has electrified vehicles in its future but before then, the money to pay for their development has to be earned by new and next generation gasoline and diesel vans, pick-ups and SUVs.

RESEARCH SNAPSHOT - Shedding light on the car interior

19 Aug 2020 | Matthew Beecham

Not so long ago, car interior lighting consisted of central and side headliner lights, complemented by low-level ambient lighting located mainly in the cockpit area. Now we are seeing LEDs in a variety of applications, from back-light switches to indicate the location of door handles to footwells. Yet the desire for ambient lighting goes beyond aesthetics; it can also influence driver concentration and eye fatigue. Continuing just-auto/AIC’s series of research snapshots, Matthew Beecham reviews some innovations in the ambient lighting arena.

RESEARCH SNAPSHOT – Game of drones

13 Aug 2020 | Matthew Beecham

The auto industry is seeing a steady influx of drone technology being used for a variety of purposes, ranging from moving lightweight parts over short distances to delivering new car keys amidst the pandemic to monitoring and inspecting plant infrastructure. Is the auto industry ready to take flight? Game on? Continuing just-auto/AIC’s series of research snapshots, Matthew Beecham takes a brief look at who is doing what in the auto sector with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

GM future models - Wuling goes electric

11 Aug 2020 | Glenn Brooks

Exceedingly strong in light commercials, SGMW's Wuling brand is also a force to be reckoned with in MPVs. The division is also beginning an expansion from the functional vehicles of the past and present, as witnessed by a series of concepts which have hinted strongly at what's coming for Wuling in the 2020s.

RESEARCH SNAPSHOT - Level 2 ADAS technologies trickle down car segments

3 Aug 2020 | Matthew Beecham

While advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) technologies have appeared in luxury cars for some time, they are increasingly appearing in less expensive cars. Continuing just-auto/AIC’s series of research snapshots, Matthew Beecham reviews the extent to which ADAS technologies are permeating car segments.

Nio and Volkswagen key to future for JAC

29 Jul 2020 | Glenn Brooks

A shake-out which began twelve months ago is seeing many brands disappear from China's monthly sales charts. For a while, Anhui Jianghuai Automobile also looked vulnerable. Instead, this medium-sized car maker has found a niche by contract manufacturing EVs and continuing a steady roll-out of of its own JAC-brand models.

BMW AG future models - Mini

21 Jul 2020 | Glenn Brooks

Mini has so far been relatively unscathed by the fall out from the COVID-19 crisis. Europe remains the brand's number one region, and here, sales fell by 35% during the first half of 2020 to 70,624 but only 26% in June.

BMW AG future models - BMW i EVs

20 Jul 2020 | Glenn Brooks

BMW launched the i3 in 2013 but apart from the i8, not a lot subsequently happened for the i sub-brand. Now, with the just-announced iX3, i is being recharged, with quite a few other electric cars, crossovers and SUVs on the way.

JLR - Too far, too soon? Is it all doom and gloom?

30 Jun 2020 | Calum MacRae

Tata Motors is reportedly close to making a decision on the strategic direction of its British premium vehicle manufacturer Jaguar Land Rover (JLR).

Daimler future models - Mercedes-Benz cars

23 Jun 2020 | Glenn Brooks

The success of the W177 A-Class demonstrates that there is a lot of life and a lot of profit in cars. Daimler is wise to continue investing globally in such vehicles, with certain models doing especially well in Europe and China. Soon we'll see a new S-Class, to be followed by BR206, the next C-Class.

D&C - Looking to the post-Covid automotive world (4)

10 Jun 2020 | Dave Leggett

In the fourth of a series of conversations, just-auto editor Dave Leggett and GlobalData lead automotive analyst Calum MacRae discuss some of the big questions prompted by the coronavirus crisis and its potentially lasting impact on the automotive sector.

Volvo Cars plots a path towards 2030

9 Jun 2020 | Glenn Brooks

A balanced spread of sales around the globe is helping Volvo Cars weather the ongoing storm. After China began to fall apart last year, the Swedish brand looked exposed yet that market's comeback is greatly helping Volvo to offset downturns in Europe and North America.

China’s shift to online sales gathers pace

13 May 2020 | Dave Leggett

Volkswagen in China is reporting that sales have recovered sharply after the COVID-19 slump that hit the market hard in the first quarter. It now says there is a big shift towards online sales and reducing human contact in a digital sales process. Michael Mayer, head of sales and marketing for VW in China, provides an update.

D&C - Looking to the post-Covid automotive world

5 May 2020 | Dave Leggett

In the second of a series of conversations, just-auto editor Dave Leggett and GlobalData lead automotive analyst Calum MacRae discuss some of the big questions prompted by the coronavirus crisis and its potentially lasting impact on the automotive sector. In this second instalment, they consider impacts on the supply-side of the business.

Reflections on COVID-19

28 Apr 2020 | Dave Leggett

In the first of a series of conversations, just-auto editor Dave Leggett and GlobalData lead automotive analyst Calum MacRae discuss some of the big questions prompted by the unprecedented coronavirus crisis and its impact on the automotive sector. In this first caffeine-powered instalment, they consider the rapidly changing global business landscape.

COVID-19 causes global auto industry running rate to dip to a historic low

27 Apr 2020 | Dave Leggett

Our analysis shows that the global light vehicle market hit a seasonally adjusted annual running rate (SAAR) of just 54 million units in March, which compares with almost 90 million light vehicles sold globally in 2019.

Can future 7 and other SUVs save Qoros?

22 Apr 2020 | Glenn Brooks

Baoneng Investment Group bought 51% of Qoros in December 2017, and has since raised its stake as co-founder Chery Auto steadily lowers its own holding. This year is going to be a major challenge for the China-based automaker, especially as it has only a few models, several of which are far from fresh. Baoneng is investing though, with the soon to be imminent Qoros 7 to be supported by other new SUVs in 2021 and beyond.

Fragile automotive supply chains will complicate factory re-starts

20 Apr 2020 | Dave Leggett

Even as the unprecedented global COVID-19 public health crisis is yet to reach a peak in many countries, a number of carmakers and major component companies are now talking about restarting temporarily shut down plants later this month or in early May.

Ford's journey to the post-Covid business landscape starts with survival

15 Apr 2020 | Dave Leggett

Ford has let us know it expects to see a $650m loss for the first quarter. It's a big number, but there's no great surprise there. Ford wasn't exactly in great shape before the crisis hit.

Will Hyundai be the big winner when COVID-19 ends?

8 Apr 2020 | Glenn Brooks

Blink and you risk missing a major shift in global car markets. As recently as February, Hyundai sold just 6,066 cars in China. This month, an accelerating recovery means the country will almost certainly displace the collapsing US as the brand's No.2 market behind Korea. With many new models headed for the launchpad in all regions, Hyundai is ready for all eventualities.

Auto sector faces biggest existential crisis since 2007-09

31 Mar 2020 | Calum MacRae

The automotive sector is facing its biggest existential crisis since the 2007-2009 financial crisis with 97% of light vehicle manufacturing plants in Europe and North America temporarily shut down.

COMMENT - Covid-19 could stall CASE disruption

27 Mar 2020 | Calum MacRae

While the automotive industry has been an active participant in all four strands of CASE, it was perhaps the sharing element that was most troublesome. Despite many OEMs being invested in, or indeed, having their own ride-hailing and lift-sharing operations, sharing has always been looked at warily rather than fully-embraced.

Shutdowns to cost European auto industry GBP29bn

23 Mar 2020 | Calum MacRae

Sweeping announcements by the region’s automakers mean that over one million vehicles will be lost from production in the period up to the week beginning 27th April. The COVID-19 coronavirus is cutting a swathe through the economic and social fabric of the world and bringing incalculable human cost. Indeed, it is presenting an economic crisis few expected to see again in their lifetimes after the 2007/8 global financial crisis.

Management briefing - 2020 Geneva motor no-show

25 Feb 2020 | Glenn Brooks

This year's Geneva Salon will be remembered as being cancelled due to the coronavirus. What would we have seen? There was no stand-out star, although there were to be many important prototypes and production models making their world debuts. Please note that our preview was written before cancellation.

EU CO2 edict sends small Kia model variant packing

18 Feb 2020 | Graeme Roberts

"From 2021, phased in from [1 January] 2020, the EU fleet-wide average emission target for new cars will be 95 g CO2/km." Thus says the rule from Brussels. Failing to comply with that could wipe an auto brand off the map.

Automotive suppliers on the CASE at CES

31 Jan 2020 | Matthew Beecham

US Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao used a keynote address at the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) to reveal an initiative entitled: ‘Ensuring American Leadership in Automated Vehicle Technologies: Automated Vehicles 4.0’. The guidelines are intended to unify efforts across 38 federal departments and agencies that are working to advance the safe use of such vehicles. As the Trump administration signals strong support for AVs, an increasing number of suppliers worldwide are taking a keen interest in serving the self-driving market. Continuing our series of research snapshots, this one turns a spotlight on some of those exhibiting CASE (Connectivity, Autonomous, Sharing/Subscription and Electrification) technologies at the CES.

Nissan reboots Micra with Mercedes-Alliance engine

20 Aug 2019 | Glenn Brooks

Why isn't Nissan Europe a more powerful force in small cars? Intense competition in the Qashqai segment and the surrendering of the B-SUV class to every other brand as the Juke has grown ever older are the reasons for the current woes. Yet none of that should be affecting the performance of the Micra. It's a cracking little car and deserves to be more popular.

CASE trends update - Aptiv's 'smart achitecture'

31 Jul 2019 | Dave Leggett

Technological developments are moving rapidly among suppliers in the field of CASE megatrends. In this snapshot, we take a look at Aptiv's 'smart architecture' approach to the needs of future autonomous vehicles.

4D printing and the rise of smart materials

24 Jul 2019 | Dave Leggett

Imagine if your favourite pair of jeans could last forever, thanks to self-repairing polymer chains in the fabric. Further, imagine a vehicle interior configuring to a customised layout and shape you have specified.

Can new owner fix ailing Qoros with fresh models?

23 Apr 2019 | Glenn Brooks

Last year was a trying one for Qoros with only 64,200 cars delivered to buyers in China, the brand's largest market. The first quarter has been far, far worse, with wholesale deliveries amounting to a mere 824 vehicles. There has been a cash infusion from the new owner but clearly, new models are an urgent requirement.

Mercedes-Benz Cars outlines future procurement strategy

10 Apr 2019 | Dave Leggett

Mercedes-Benz Cars says it is taking the next step in the implementation of the CASE strategy and is making its supplier network 'even more international'. It is also using Blockchain technology for greater supply chain transparency and to reinforce sustainability aims.

India's quiet achiever - the rapid rise of Mahindra

18 Mar 2019 | Glenn Brooks

The battle for third place in the Indian market for passenger vehicles is hotting up, with both rivals drawing on foreign subsidiaries to expand their ranges. Tata is well placed to attack the country's traditional number three brand from later in 2019 as new models come on line. For now though, Mahindra is pulling ahead thanks to ever more Ssangyong-derived SUVs.

Model Y is revealed - but what will Tesla do next?

15 Mar 2019 | Glenn Brooks

Following the presentation of the long-awaited Model Y, now is the perfect time to have a look at what Tesla Incorporated might be planning next.

Management briefing - 2019 Geneva motor show overview

6 Mar 2019 | Glenn Brooks

There were more surprises at this year's Geneva motor show than has been the case with previous events. For brands such as Alfa Romeo and Fiat, that worked a treat with the Tonale and Centoventi concepts having a high level of media coverage. We also learned a great deal about these and other makes' future vehicle plans, highlights of which are noted below.

FCA looks to the future - where next for Jeep?

4 Mar 2019 | Glenn Brooks

Each of the world's most successful and well known 4x4 model lines had humble beginnings. What is interesting is that of Jeep, Land Rover, Range Rover, Land Cruiser, G-Class and Haval, only three are brands.

Management briefing - 2019 Geneva motor show preview

27 Feb 2019 | Glenn Brooks

Volkswagen won't be revealing the Mark VIII Golf at this week's Geneva motor show, which is great news for Renault, which can garner much publicity for the new edition of Europe's second best selling vehicle.

Audi future EVs - should Elon fear e-tron?

22 Jan 2019 | Glenn Brooks

The first in two features which cover what Audi is up to worldwide looked at the division's current and next generation cars. The second of the two now turns not only to what's ahead to fill out the Q1 to Q9 range of SUVs but also examines the strategy for expanding the line of e-tron electrified vehicles.

25 years on comes the fifth generation Toyota RAV4

18 Jan 2019 | Graeme Roberts

It seems hard to believe Toyota's RAV4 is 25 years old and entering its fifth generation. Seems only a few years ago I had my first go in the little three-door launch model with its cheeky look a larger Toyota iteration of Suzuki's Vitara, a two-litre petrol engine, side opening rear door and tailgate mounted spare wheel.

Review of 2018 - Part 2

23 Dec 2018 | Dave Leggett

2018 was quite the year and threw up one or two surprises in the automotive business. Editor Dave Leggett's personal review picks out some highlights as seen through the prism of just-auto's industry coverage.

Review of 2018 - Part 1

20 Dec 2018 | Dave Leggett

2018 was quite the year and threw up one or two surprises in the automotive business. Editor Dave Leggett's personal review picks out some highlights as seen through the prism of just-auto's industry coverage.

COMMENT - The uncertain road  to driverless delivery

11 Dec 2018 | Dave Leggett

Autonomous vehicles are increasingly seen as at the heart of a radically different future landscape for transport solutions in the world’s major urban areas. But don't believe all the hype, says Dave Leggett

Global automotive market report - Q3 2018

20 Nov 2018 | Dave Leggett

There were signs of global vehicle market weakness in the third quarter and stock market volatility suggests investors have become more nervous as 2018 has progressed. Dave Leggett assesses the state of the global vehicle market.

Tata's future model strategy

18 Oct 2018 | Mike Vousden

Tata Motors is now seeing the benefits of having made investments in multiple new models. Its home market has contracted in recent months yet Tata sales have expanded for three months straight, including September. This comes at just the right moment for the company, as by contrast, its JLR division is in trouble in many markets.

The SUVs and trucks in GMC's future

6 Sep 2018 | Mike Vousden

Following our foray into the future model strategies of GM's Baojun and Wuling brands, we return to the US to look at GM's truck-and-SUV-themed brand, GMC.

BMW i cars – future models

23 Aug 2018 | Mike Vousden

After our recently published overview of BMW's main range, we take a closer look at the firm's 'i' range of electrified vehicles. Initially just featuring the i3 and i8, there are now a number of models planned under the electric sub-brand.

Global automotive market report - Q2 2018

8 Aug 2018 | Dave Leggett

The global automotive market is continuing to grow, according to analysis carried out by just-auto. However, demand in key markets is easing as concerns rise over the outlook. Dave Leggett provides a commentary.

COMMENT - Be ready for no-deal Brexit scenarios

4 Jul 2018 | Dave Leggett

In the global scheme of things, Brexit may look like something of a local issue for Europe.

Groupe PSA future models analysis - DS Automobiles

19 Jun 2018 | Mike Vousden

This chapter of our analysis series of the divisions of Groupe PSA covers DS Automobiles. It is the third of four features and follows examinations of the future models strategy of Peugeot and Citroën.

COMMENT - OEMs explore bundled services and cars on subscription

12 Jun 2018 | Dave Leggett

There is more than one way to skin a cat. As proverbs go I feel it's a slightly brutal one. Maybe 'more than one way to prepare a meal using eggs' is kinder to cats, if a little less catchy. Anyway, you get the drift. That old maxim springs to mind when looking at some of the latest schemes automakers are devising to get you behind the wheel of their vehicles and paying for the privilege.

ANALYSIS - Future models for Infiniti

30 May 2018 | Mike Vousden

After the recent features on the future models strategies for Renault and Alpine, Dacia, Lada, RSM, Datsun, Venucia and Nissan, this chapter of our analysis covering Renault-Nissan Alliance brands focuses on Infiniti. Mitsubishi, the final make in the series, follows later in the week.

ANALYSIS - Future models for Renault Samsung Motors

14 May 2018 | Mike Vousden

After the recent features on the future models strategies for Renault, Alpine, Dacia and Lada, this chapter of our analysis covering Renault-Nissan Alliance brands focuses on Renault Samsung Motors (RSM).

BMW and Daimler see common new mobility cause - COMMENT

4 Apr 2018 | Dave Leggett

We live in interesting times in the automotive business, for sure. Everyone is talking about driverless cars, connected cars, electric cars and the emergence of the 'sharing economy'. But we don't quite know how these things will actually play out, how much disruption is really ahead.

Investors beware, EVs are a slow train coming - COMMENT

19 Feb 2018 | Dave Leggett

Tesla is a fascinating company to watch. It's a start-up (not exactly new though), is still losing money, but is making cars that serve a segment of the market set for major growth - battery electric vehicles. There is much to admire about Elon Musk's vision and execution, but let's not get too carried away.

If a self-driving car could give you back an hour each day, how would you use it?

9 May 2017 | Matthew Beecham

While time spent sitting in traffic can feel tedious, it could fly by in a robo-car as you focus on other things, productive or otherwise. Continuing just-auto/QUBE’s series of research snapshots, this one takes a sideways look at the autonomous car.

Toyota's approach to developing environmental technologies

6 Dec 2016 | Graeme Roberts

As fuel consumption regulations continue to strengthen in various countries, and as many automobile manufacturers advance their commercialisation of electric-powered vehicles, such as plug-in hybrids (PHVs) and electric vehicles (EVs), Toyota is working to further evolve conventional fossil-fuel-powered engines and transmissions. The reason, the automaker says: "To steadily promote reduction in CO2 emissions".

Mercedes-Benz: Artificial intelligence – is there a human-centred approach?

5 Dec 2016 | Graeme Roberts

How is artificial intelligence (AI) influencing tomorrow's mobility? How can we use its ideas today? How intelligent will the car of the future be? And above all: what role will people play in this? These were the central questions discussed by Mercedes-Benz experts at the fourth Future Talk in Berlin in dialogue with scientists, engineers and journalists.

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