Latest automotive interviews


just-auto uses its unrivalled access to the top industry executives to bring you interviews with the personalities shaping the news all year round.


Toyota NZ CEO Alistair Davis on changing dealers to agencies

6 Apr 2018 | Graeme Roberts

The new vehicle distribution model is changing for Toyota and its dealer network. Toyota New Zealand will sell new vehicles to customers under an agency structure, with dealers being an agent for the Kiwi importer and distributor. This company blog interviewed CEO Alistair Davis about the changes, what the drive has been behind this shift for the brand in New Zealand, and what the changes mean for its customers.


Prodrive on composites for special edition vehicles

23 Mar 2018 | Matthew Beecham

While pressures to reduce vehicle emissions through weight saving have stimulated auto industry interest in lightweight composite components, there is also an appetite for bespoke cosmetic parts. We caught up with Prodrive’s Commercial and Engineering Director Richard Gregory to learn about the challenges of satisfying some of the world’s most discerning customers.


INTERVIEW - Oliver Zipse, BMW board member responsible for production

21 Mar 2018 | Chris Wright

In an interview with just-auto, Oliver Zipse, BMW board member responsible for production, said that he does not expect changes to trade arrangements between the UK and EU to directly impact UK output volume at Mini's Oxford plant.


INTERVIEW - Sarah-Jayne Williams, Ford's Director, Smart Mobility (Europe)

15 Mar 2018 | Dave Leggett

In September of last year, Sarah-Jayne Williams joined Ford as its first director for 'Smart Mobility' in Europe. Her job is to focus on future mobility solutions for Europe and to define and implement Ford of Europe’s Smart Mobility strategy. Dave Leggett recently caught up with her in London, where a 'Chariot' shuttle service has just launched.


GENEVA INTERVIEW - Nissan Europe SVP of sales and marketing Ken Ramirez

12 Mar 2018 | Mike Vousden

Ken Ramirez is Nissan Europe's recently appointed senior vice president sales and marketing. We caught up with him at the 2018 Geneva show to talk about the cars on display and the brand's plans for an electrified future.


Pitch perfect - Harman hits the right note on EVs

12 Mar 2018 | Matthew Beecham

Electric vehicles are quiet. Too quiet, say legislators, thereby posing a risk to pedestrians and cyclists. So new legislation is swinging into force next year mandating all hybrid and EVs to generate a certain level of noise when travelling electric at low speeds. We discuss the implications of these new sound regulations and the opportunities they present to OEMs with Harman’s Rajus Augustine, Global Director of Business Development for HALOsonic - Harman’s suite of active noise management technologies.


GENEVA INTERVIEW - Cupra strategy director Antonino Labate

7 Mar 2018 | Mike Vousden

We caught up with Antonino Labate, director of strategy, business development and operations at Cupra, Seat's newly spun off performance-minded sister brand. He discusses the genesis of the brand, the thinking behind launching with an SUV and how Cupra could develop in the future.


GENEVA INTERVIEW - Kia Motors Europe's Michael Cole

6 Mar 2018 | Chris Wright

Kia Motors Europe is cautiously optimistic that it can break through the 500,000 sales barrier this year with numbers already running 6% ahead of last year which ended with 472,000 sales.


GENEVA INTERVIEW - FCA's Sergio Marchionne

6 Mar 2018 | Chris Wright

Fiat Chrysler chief Sergio Marchionne is never short of a few words for the press, in an hour long round table in Geneva he covered a multitude of bases from the performance of the brands, steel tariffs in the US, the Chinese, diesel engines, new technologies and even his own plans once he steps down from his role.


Gamification and the human role in Industry 4.0

26 Feb 2018 | Calum MacRae

Industry 4.0 is the hot topic among manufacturing companies right now. With the movement seemingly wrapped up in taking automation to extremes, attendant concerns about employment in manufacturing have come to the fore. Calum MacRae of just-auto talked to the CEO of leading2lean, Keith Barr, about their differentiated approach to 4.0 which seeks to put the human in the driving seat.


Interview with JLR's director of global purchasing and sourcing, chassis systems

21 Feb 2018 | Simon Warburton

Neil Marsons is Global Purchasing Director, Chassis, Supply Chain Design and Global Sourcing Strategy at Tata-owned Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) where he is accountable for strategy development and execution, as well as supplier performance for all chassis systems and commodities across all JLR vehicles. Simon Warburton talked to him at JLR’s Gaydon site in central England.


ZF ramps up R&D spend on autonomous driving technologies

14 Feb 2018 | Matthew Beecham

ZF recently presented its next steps on the road to autonomous driving. Its supercomputer, ProAI, acts as a central control unit within a test vehicle and with this ZF is taking a modular approach to the development of automated driving functions. The goal is a system architecture that can be applied to any vehicle and tailored according to the application, available hardware and desired level of automation. To find out more, we spoke to Torsten Gollewski, Head of Advanced Engineering at ZF and Managing Director of the ZF venture capital company, Zukunft Ventures GmbH.


Voice recognition becomes common parlance

13 Feb 2018 | Matthew Beecham

Carmakers are fast adopting virtual assistants, confirming that speech is becoming the preferred interface for tomorrow’s cockpit. Voice control was king at the most recent CES. Continuing just-auto/QUBE’s series of interviews with automotive specialists, we spoke to Leor Grebler, CEO of Unified Computer Intelligence Corporation. UCIC is a Toronto-based company that helps integrate Alexa into hardware products. They created an Echo-like device on Kickstarter back in 2012 and have been working in voice since then.


TomTom bangs the autonomous driving drum

30 Jan 2018 | Calum MacRae

TomTom, synonymous with satellite navigation systems, is making a big push into the autonomous vehicle area where it can leverage its mapping and UX expertise. At the 2018 CES in Las Vegas just-auto's Calum MacRae met with Willem Strijbosch, head of autonomous driving, TomTom to find out about their latest developments.


OPTIS on simulating sensors performance in autonomous vehicles

30 Jan 2018 | Calum MacRae

At the 2018 CES in Las Vegas just-auto's Calum MacRae caught up with Gilles Gallée business development director at OPTIS. OPTIS is a company that specialises in virtual reality simulations of sensors and this expertise is being used in the automotive sector as autonomous vehicles are being readied for development.


CES - How Samsung is shaping the future of autonomous driving

29 Jan 2018 | Matthew Beecham

Samsung Electronics recently established the Samsung Automotive Innovation Fund, a $300-million fund focused on connected car and autonomous technologies. In addition to the fund, Harman, a Samsung subsidiary, has established an autonomous/ADAS business unit which works with the Samsung Strategy and Innovation Centre Smart Machines team to develop technologies for safer, smarter, connected vehicles. To learn more, we met with Dave Anderson, director of technology, Smart Machines, Strategy & Innovation Centre, Samsung Electronics.


Foresight Automotive's clear vision for autonomous technology

25 Jan 2018 | Calum MacRae

Foresight Automotive is an Israeli automotive technology startup that develops ADAS and autonomous vehicle technology. At the 2018 CES in Las Vegas just-auto's Calum MacRae caught up with Doron Cohadier, VP Business Development at the company.


CES - Harman VP on cool car audio trends

23 Jan 2018 | Matthew Beecham

Since Harman was acquired by Samsung for US$8bn last year, it has evolved into an even bigger audio powerhouse. During the most recent CES, Harman took over the Hard Rock Hotel in Vegas and filled its conference rooms with the very latest in-car audio equipment. We sat down with Bill Wyman, Harman’s VP of global marketing for Car Audio, to learn more about its showcase and some current trends in the car audio marketplace.


CES - AImotive and their vision first approach to autonomous

19 Jan 2018 | Calum MacRae

AImotive is a Hungary-based AI expert that hopes to bring autonomous driving to the masses. Its technology is based on a "vision first" approach. In early January 2018 it raised US$38m in a Series C funding round. At the 2018 CES, just-auto's Calum MacRae chatted to Bence Varga, AImotive's Head of European Sales.


CES - Zenuity on making autonomous driving a reality

18 Jan 2018 | Matthew Beecham

Zenuity was formed a year ago as a joint venture of Volvo and Autoliv. Its mission is to help transform the auto industry into the autonomous age by creating and delivering leading advanced driver assistance, automated driving, and cloud-based automotive software. The company is working on developing universal autonomous driving technology that emphasises safety and security. Continuing just-auto/QUBE’s series of interviews at CES, we met with Dennis Nobelius, Zenuity's president to learn more about the company’s progress to date.



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