New in this week: Lincoln future products. With fewer than 200,000 vehicles sold globally in 2023, the premium Ford group brand could certainly do far better as a true rival for Lexus, BMW, Audi and Mercedes. A new CEO in the US last year and more recently a fresh leader for China have paused a formerly planned big push into EVs or at least tweaked and delayed the strategy. So where does that leave Lincoln here and now? This report looks at the current range as well as what could be in the pipeline to replace each.

Delphi injection

Phinia’s Delphi brand has announced a first 500 bar GDi fuel system to be installed within a Chagan Auto hybrid vehicle launching later this year. A specialist in premium fuel systems, aftermarket parts and electrical systems, Delphi has recently announced that it will provide its high performance 500 bar gasoline direct injection (GDi) fuel system to Changan Auto. The system has been specifically designed to reduce exhaust particulate emissions as well as lowering fuel consumption without a costly engine redesign. Alongside this, the improved fuel system delivers better engine efficiency, particularly during the warm-up phase before the catalytic converter starts. The system also boasts adaptability to various fuel types and different engine platforms ensures applicability without any major engine design modifications. We spoke to Todd Anderson, chief technology officer, to discuss the partnership process and to highlight how the fuel system works.


The BMW 7 Series comes equipped with Level 3 tech that means drivers can remove their hands from the wheel and shift their focus away from the road, even in the rain. Elad Hofstetter, chief business officer at Innoviz, updated Just Auto on the latest autonomous vehicle (AV) tech it supplies to BMW.

India bounce likely

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GlobalData analysis shows that despite a slowdown to LV sales in March, a rebound in India is expected after the elections. he Indian automotive market experienced a robust start to the year, but this momentum slowed in March, with a notable 11% month-on-month (MoM) decrease in the selling rate to about 4.3 million units. This marked the second consecutive MoM decline. Despite this downturn, Light Vehicle (LV) wholesales remained resilient at 424k units, showing a slight 1% dip from the previous month but an 8% increase year-on-year (YoY). Passenger Vehicle (PV) sales were at 362k units (-1% MoM, +10% YoY), while dispatches of Light Commercial Vehicles (LCVs) with GVW up to 6T stood at 62k units (0% MoM, -5% YoY). Automakers continued to streamline inventory for older and weak-selling models during the month. Reports indicate that dealership inventories of PVs in India surpassed 300k units at the start of April. Demand also weakened, as consumers and businesses adopted a wait-and-see attitude because of the April/May general elections. Nevertheless, a backlog of orders, the recently launched new models (mostly SUVs), and aggressive discounts from OEMs helped sustain sales. SUVs continued to be the market’s primary growth engine, as major OEMs have broadened their SUV offerings to include smaller models.

West Europe weak

According to GlobalData, Western Europe’s car market remained weak in April. The Western Europe PV selling rate for April stood at just over 11m units/year, similar to the March result and weaker than the close of 2023 or first two months of this year. With 960k vehicle registrations recorded, this represents an 11.5% improvement year-on-year (YoY). Year-to-date (YTD) sales grew by 6.4%. The YoY volume gains last month were primarily driven by strong growth in Spain and Germany, with generally solid performances in the other major markets too. While the outlook for 2024 remains broadly in line with the previous update to this report, we have slightly trimmed the forecast due to two consecutive months of disappointing results. That said, while the macroeconomic outlook appears subdued across the region, fading supply issues and assumed vehicle price easing this year should support the market.

11m and counting

The first ninth generation 2025 Camry has come off the assembly line at Toyota’s Kentucky plant. The Camry was the first Toyota passenger model built in the US in 1988 with 11m assembled to date and US$10bn invested in the plant which now employs 10,000 people. Toyota’s most recent $1.3 billion investment in the Georgetown facility further boosts electrification, including assembly of a new, three row battery electric SUV for the US.

Xpeng down under

Xpeng said this week it had signed an agreement with Australian distributor TrueEV, as the Chinese battery electric vehicle (BEV) startup continued its efforts to expand its sales beyond the mainland. The deal followed a similar agreement signed last month with Malaysia’s Sime Darby group to distribute its vehicles in Hong Kong with sales scheduled to begin in the third quarter of 2024. Guangzhou based Xpeng said it had entered into an exclusive partnership with Australia’s specialist EV distributor and retailer TrueEV, with plans to begin marketing the G6 SUV in the fourth quarter of 2024. In China, G6 prices start RMB200,000 (US$27,700).

Japan down

Japan’s new vehicle market declined by a further 11% to 310,346 units in April 2024 from 349,592 units a year earlier, according to registration data released by the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA). The market had been in sharp decline since Daihatsu was ordered at the end of December to halt production after an investigation found it had falsified safety test results over a period of decades. This also affected sales of models shared with other brands including Toyota, Mazda and Subaru.

Samsung nixes AV

Samsung Electronics has discontinued its research and development (R&D) into autonomous driving, according to South Korean reports, following the lead of a number of global technology companies, including Apple, which have already pulled the plug on this segment. According to the reports, Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology (SAIT), the division responsible for the electronics giant’s medium- and long-term technology development, this month deleted autonomous driving from its scheduled research projects with the company now prioritising research on robotics and other areas.

Ferrari rises

Ferrari core earnings rose 13% in the first quarter helped by sales of models such as the EUR2m (US$2.2m) Daytona SP3 limited series luxury car and a greater contribution from personalised vehicles. Reuters said the result was also helped by strong pricing power and product and country mix, as the automaker achieved double digit growth for both revenue and profits despite stable car deliveries.

BMW down (a bit)

BMW Group first quarter 2024 revenues dipped 0.6% year on year to EUR36,614m on higher sales volume and a more favourable product mix. Pre tax earnings (EBT) fell 18.9% to EUR4,162m including a EUR108m boost from interest rate and currency hedging transactions. EBT margin was 11.4% versus 13.9% and above the >10% full year target. Net profit fell 19.4% to 2,951m.

EV rivals partner

Reuters reported Nio had made a deal with BYD to source batteries for an EV brand called “Onvo” in English (“Ledao” in Chinese), which will be priced at a lower range in a bid to compete with Tesla. At the start of the week, Nio confirmed the name of its new brand, with the website going online. The Onvo L60, due to be unveiled next year, is expected to compete with Tesla Model Y, with a price of under US$30,000 (around €28,000, or £24,000). Currently Nio purchases the majority of its batteries from battery giant CATL, though industry sources said BYD will join CATL to supply a smaller battery pack one version of the new Onvo EV, according to Reuters.

China PVs down

Retail sales of light passenger vehicles in China fell 2% year on year to 1.585m units in April and 6% month on month, according to the China Passenger Car Association (CPCA), despite the Chinese government’s ongoing efforts to stimulate domestic consumption. Sales in the first four months of the year were 9% higher at 6.42m units, driven by strong demand for new energy vehicles (NEVs) comprising mainly electric and plug in hybrid vehicles, sales of which increased by 35% to 2.48m units year to date (YTD) or almost 39% of total passenger vehicle sales. Leading NEV manufacturer, BYD Auto, was behind much of this growth.

Nvidia funds UK AV startup

UK self-driving start-up Wayve has announced it has raised $1.05 billion with an investment round led by chipmaker NVIDIA and Japanese tech giant SoftBank Group. It also secured funding from existing investor Microsoft. The valuation was not disclosed.

Toyota profit diving

Toyota Motor reportedly has forecast a 20% profit decline in the current financial year ending 31 March 2025 citing looming investment in both its suppliers and strategy after it delivered blockbuster fourth quarter earnings. Despite the leaner forecast, the automaker’s results smashed market expectations, Reuters said. Operating profit surged 78% in the January March quarter and, for the full year, reached JPY5.35 trillion (US$34.5bn), the first time a Japanese company topped JPY5 trillion, local media reported.

BEV AV truck testing

Daimler Truck has combined battery electric drive and integrated autonomous driving technology into one semi-truck for the first time: the autonomous Freightliner eCascadia technology demonstrator. The truck is based on the production BEV model and has Torc’s autonomous driving software and Level 4 sensor and compute technology. This will eventually enable Level 4 autonomous driving.

Another rental EV reduction

Europe’s largest car rental firm Sixt SE is continuing to reduce the number of electric vehicles in its fleet, Bloomberg reports. It comes as it warned of lower resale values would keep it from meeting its annual targets. In January, Sixt and Stellantis, the world’s third-largest automaker, struck a deal for the purchase of up to 250,000 vehicles for Sixt’s fleet across Europe and North America.

Peugeot out

Indonesia’s largest vehicle distributor, PT Astra International, said it had stopped selling Peugeot vehicles, ending the French brand’s 52 year presence in the south east Asian country. Head of Astra’s Peugeot sales, Rokky Irvayandi, said the decision to discontinue the brand’s sales was made by the parent company: “Stellantis has made a strategic decision to halt Peugeot sales in Indonesia.” Peugeot sales had plunged 68% to 23 units in the first quarter of 2024.

Ford restricting ICE sales?

Ford is reportedly considering restricting the sale of combustion engine (ICE) vehicles in the UK market on order to meet UK government targets for EV sales. Speaking at a conference hosted by the Financial Times, Ford’s European EV unit chief Martin Sander said that the UK’s EV quota rules meant that Ford would consider diverting sales to other countries in order to avoid heavy fines. “We’re not going to pay penalties,” Sanders reportedly said.

Have a nice weekend.

Graeme Roberts, Deputy Editor, Just Auto