THE WEEK THAT WAS: Optimism amongst the gloom

By Graeme Roberts | 7 January 2011

January in this part of the northern hemisphere is pretty horrid being cold, grey, dark and damp, interspersed this year by joy over a certain cricket result Down Under (you've still got the sun, if not the Ashes, so stop moaning, unless in waterlogged Queensland) and various inept bureaucrats all pointing in a circle in an attempt to blame someone else or pretend mounds of household rubbish haven't been piling up for up to a month and that roads, footpaths and airports were promptly cleared of the pre-Christmas snow.

After all that, various 2010 sales results -and the odd forecast - trickling in from around the globe are cause for cautious optimism and we've thoughtfully packaged the lot in one easy serving here.

Also of great interest to many readers was the news that Beijing is finally doing something about congestion in Beijing. Not good news for would-be car buyers or the trade and I wonder how long it'll be before we see Beijing licence tags trading at the same prices sometimes seen in Singapore. Or how the ingenious residents of that fair Chinese burg will eventually get around the bureaucrats' scheme.

Once upon a time there were car shows and consumer electronics shows but, with so much electrickery in cars now, there is some merging of interests, hence our look at a number of developments from (reportedly) sunny but v cold Las Vegas this week, also nicely packaged for your convenience.

We've also been following up on the latest union developments at Fiat and the intriguing 'industrial espionage' at Renault which the automaker is playing down and politicians are playing up. More to come on those, I think.

Have a nice weekend.

Graeme Roberts
Deputy/News Editor