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.

Faurecia VP on connected and personalised car interiors

6 Jul 2020 | Matthew Beecham

If you appreciate uncluttered, simple dashboards, then it will come as welcome news that traditional buttons are gradually disappearing in favour of multi-functional touchscreens. The increasing use of multi-screens supports our view that such in-car technology is increasingly becoming a personal assistant, allowing for intelligent messaging and personalised content. To learn more about what we can expect in car, we spoke to Alexander van Laack, Vice President of Sales – FCA, Nissan and New Entrants, Faurecia Clarion Electronics. Launched last year and headquartered in Japan, Faurecia Clarion Electronics brings together the software and electronics expertise of Clarion, Parrot Automotive and Coagent Electronics as well as other acquisitions such CovaTech and Creo Dynamics.

Exponential demand for ADAS puts pressure on vehicle testing

29 Jun 2020 | Matthew Beecham

The volume and complexity of vehicle testing for assessments and approvals are expanding rapidly, causing concern for the industry. To find out how it is coping with the burgeoning test workload, we spoke to Wesley Hulshof, Senior Applications Engineer responsible for overseeing the growth of the testing service division within the AB Dynamics group.

Falken Tyre is on a roll as the COVID-19 lockdown eases

18 Jun 2020 | Matthew Beecham

In the latest of our COVID-19 industry updates, we speak with Markus Bögner, COO and President of Falken Tyre Europe, to find out how the tyre manufacturer has been affected and how it is updating its working practices to ensure employee safety.

How data farming can accelerate AV development

11 Jun 2020 | Matthew Beecham

Autonomous vehicles (AVs) rely on artificial intelligence (AI) to direct behaviour. AI is built up through machine learning in which algorithms are fed with millions of data points yet this process is currently creating a bottleneck for the industry. Continuing just-auto/AIC’s series of interviews, we spoke to Matt Daley, managing director of rFpro, about how his company is addressing it.

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.

How tomorrow’s car could take care of your mind, body and soul

12 May 2020 | Matthew Beecham

The importance of health and wellness has come into sharp focus in recent months. Consumer technologies such as fitness trackers have been popular for some time, monitoring our heart rates, performance and sleep, but how might the renewed focus on wellness translate to the automotive space? To understand the current technology and what we might expect in years to come, we speak with Tim VanGoethem, vice president of advanced mobility solutions at Harman X, Harman’s division focused on innovation and future-facing technologies.

T-Roc Cabrio - has Volkswagen created a segment?

29 Apr 2020 | Glenn Brooks

One of the many recent events which Volkswagen had to cancel was the media launch of the T-Roc Cabriolet. The driving has to wait but the project's leaders could be interviewed at least. Fielding questions from just-auto's Glenn Brooks via Skype were Project Manager Franz Kaltofen, Günther Witte from Technical Development and Jan-Ingo Theuner who works in Product Marketing.

Using driving simulators to navigate the ‘new normal’

28 Apr 2020 | Matthew Beecham

As COVID-19 continues to impact the global automotive industry, OEMs and Tier Ones are looking at how to minimise cost, catch up lost lead time and ultimately, create new products that will stimulate demand to buy again. Ansible Motion, manufacturers of driving simulators, explains the role simulators can play for an industry looking to catch up where it can. Matthew Beecham spoke to founder Kia Cammaerts about the possibility of a new ‘Machine Age’.

Innovative interiors de rigueur for Citroen

7 Apr 2020 | Matthew Beecham

In today’s car interior, space in front of the wheel remains a priority with the explosion of added content and features. In tomorrow’s car, the space behind the wheel of the self-driving car will be transformed into a comfortably designed control and entertainment centre. To learn more, we talked with Jean-Arthur Madelaine Advenier, head of interior design for Citroen. Minimalistic, colourful interiors using organic materials and 3D printing to personalise and customise is the order of the day.

Nio confident on prospects despite COVID-19 crisis

26 Mar 2020 | Matthew Beecham

It’s clear that the impact of COVID-19 on China was significant and dramatic in the first few months of 2020. Factories closed, workers unable to leave their homes and a depressed automotive sales market. Despite the setbacks, Chinese electric vehicle startup Nio has looked to the positives and adopted new ways that have seen it sustain order levels to those before the crisis hit. Matthew Beecham spoke to Nio’s VP for Europe Hui Zhang about the measures it took and what the future holds for the brand.

Interview with Mercedes-Benz interior design director

23 Mar 2020 | Matthew Beecham

Mercedes-Benz interior designers break new ground with every model. To learn how they achieve it and what inspires them, we caught up with Hartmut Sinkwitz, head of Mercedes-Benz interior design. We also discussed the forthcoming Mercedes-Benz S-Class. Expect them to push the design envelope further with ambient lighting effects and touch functionalities.

Yanfeng is on a mission to wipe out COVID-19 germs in the car

17 Mar 2020 | Matthew Beecham

Given the accent on tomorrow’s car interior is becoming more about occupant comfort and health, how will that affect the interior? Maintaining a social distance, we put this question to Han Hendriks, Chief Technology Officer at Yanfeng Technology. The coronavirus epidemic highlights just how important vehicle hygiene is for the entire mobility industry. The supplier has developed an antimicrobial device that can be integrated into the headliner console and uses UV light to disinfect the air and surfaces in the vehicle interior. Other discussion topics put under the microscope include smart interior surfaces and Yanfeng’s Experience in Motion 2020 (XiM20) concept vehicle.

Ford puts a Spin on the micromobility market

9 Mar 2020 | Matthew Beecham

Spin, the micromobility unit of Ford Motor, is expanding its footprint from 70 markets in the US to cities in Europe. The company will launch its first international fleet of dockless electric scooters in Cologne, Germany this spring. It is also applying for the upcoming Paris e-scooter share permit and exploring opportunities in the UK. To learn more about Spin’s roll out plans for Europe, we talked with its co-founder and president Euwyn Poon.

The weight is over – Revival of aluminium matrix composites

4 Mar 2020 | Matthew Beecham

Lightweighting remains the holy grail of the automotive industry. Legacy materials such as high strength steels, aluminium alloys and carbon fibre all have their limitations and despite the promises made of hybrid composite metals, they haven’t yet managed to break into the mainstream. But perhaps that is all about to change. Recent breakthroughs in aluminium matrix composites (AMCs), coupled with a real push from the industry to reduce weight, especially in electric vehicles, could see the potential for this family of materials to finally be relevant and crucially, viable for automotive uses. That’s according to Richard Thompson, commercial director at AMC manufacturer, Alvant, who claims AMCs could hold particular relevance to electric vehicle (EV) manufacturers.

A new approach to accelerating powertrain development

4 Mar 2020 | Matthew Beecham

The UK Government and The University of Bath are making a GBP70m investment in new ways of teaching and collaborating to accelerate powertrain innovation. To learn more, we talked to Professor Chris Brace, academic director of the new institute.

Sustainable composites for the auto industry

4 Mar 2020 | Matthew Beecham

Prodrive has developed a process that enables the manufacture of recyclable composites with the potential to fulfil three or more useful lifetimes. To learn more, we spoke to John McQuilliam FIMMM, Director of Engineering at Prodrive Composites and board member of the British Composites Society.

Using a common language to develop AVs

4 Mar 2020 | Matthew Beecham

Despite some bold predictions for autonomous vehicles (AVs) of late, enthusiasm for further development has stalled. Foretellix, an Israeli based start-up, believes that verifying the safety of an AV through a miles-driven approach is time-consuming and costly. Their focus is on the quality of coverage and offer a new language for AV developers to sustain development. To learn more, we spoke to CEO and co-founder Ziv Binyamini.

Ricardo launches on-demand consulting expertise

4 Mar 2020 | Matthew Beecham

Ricardo has launched a concept that aims to break down the barriers in the conventional model of consulting, providing customers with access to a global pool of experts that would be beyond the capability of the largest consulting firms. A bold claim. To learn more, we spoke to Sam Hassall, business unit leader of Recardo’s TRNTY (pronounced ‘trinity’).

Interview - Ford Europe chief, Stuart Rowley

20 Feb 2020 | Dave Leggett

These are turbulent times for Ford. Earlier this month, investors took fright when the company announced a $1.7bn quarterly loss. But Ford Europe was a bright spot in the numbers, posting a profit and a big improvement to trend. At the London launch for the electric Mustang Mach-E, Dave Leggett caught up with Ford of Europe chief Stuart Rowley.

The future looks bright for dim mirrors

19 Feb 2020 | Matthew Beecham

Car auto-dimming mirror-maker Gentex Corporation has developed a number of new features and technology concepts that expand its digital vision, car connectivity and sensing, and dimmable glass product lines. To learn more, we spoke to Craig Piersma, Director of Marketing & Corporate Communications for Gentex Corp.

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