Tag: Europe

By on May 13, 2019

Having already announced plans to cut thousands of jobs in Europe in an effort to stem the region’s ongoing cash hemorrhage, Ford has reportedly begun re-examining the United Kingdom. Initially, the automaker’s restructuring plan involved ending production at a transmission plant in France, killing the C-Max in Germany, and dissolving its Ford-Sollers joint venture in Russia.

While Ford hoped to shed as many employees as possible through voluntary retirement, it acknowledged it would have to fire at least 5,000 people in Germany and an unspecified number of U.K. citizens in March. The company hasn’t settled on a figure, though inside sources claim it should be no more than 550 jobs — all of which should be of the non-manufacturing variety.  (Find Out…)

By on May 9, 2019

Image: Nissan

Pick your jaw up off the floor. As automakers struggle to offer electric vehicles deemed “affordable” by the motoring public, those buyers aren’t exactly swamping dealers with requests for EVs.

Even in the Europe Union, members of which punish drivers of fossil fuel-powered vehicles with high taxes, EVs amounted to just 2 percent of new vehicles registered last year. And yet the EU plans to drastically cut down on greenhouse gas emissions in the coming years.

New data from the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) shows that the EU’s green dreams will be hard to realize without some sort of massive incentive for the purchase of electric vehicles, as right now those vehicles are only marginally popular in extremely wealthy countries. The EV “people’s car” is still a dream. (Find Out…)

By on May 8, 2019

In a QOTD post last week, we walked down Nineties memory lane. The topics of discussion were the vehicle designs we still found stylish in The Current Year. In that post, conversation was restricted to domestic brand offerings.

Today, we go foreign.

(Find Out…)

By on May 1, 2019

Perhaps to its misfortune, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles does not sell a midsize pickup in the world’s biggest truck market, but buyers in certain overseas markets were able to get into a four-door, body-on-frame midsizer carrying the Fiat badge — the Fullback, more properly described as a rebadged Mitsubishi Triton/L200.

Note the word “were.” The Fiat Fullback is no more, according to FCA’s light commercial vehicles division. The discontinuation stems from the same problem Fiat faces in America: really bad sales. (Find Out…)

By on April 29, 2019

1975 Mercedes-Benz 240D in California wrecking yard, LH front view - ©2017 Murilee Martin - Paardensex

Europe, the continent where tech-savvy bad guys in action movies come from, finds itself in a rapid and transformational shift. As European lawmakers and city governments turn their back on diesel, so too are automakers and customers.

Compared to past years, the take rate for diesel automobiles now resembles the trajectory of American-market passenger cars. Last month, the continent posted the worst sales showing for diesel vehicles this century. In what calls “Belgian’s colonies,” the take rate for diesel — which once surpassed 55 percent — is accelerating its descent to zero.

It seems you can tax the evil away. (Find Out…)

By on April 18, 2019

The Rare Rides series has broached the subject of De Tomaso a few times before. The luxurious Longchamp coupe was accompanied by the Qvale-branded Mangusta, and the tangentially related Chrysler TC.

But today’s De Tomaso takes the cake for rarity over any of those previous Rare Rides. It’s a Guarà Barchetta, from 1995.

(Find Out…)

By on April 5, 2019

It might have taken two years of investigative raids and Daimler acting as a whistleblower, but Germany’s Big Three automakers finally stand accused by the European Union of collusion. On Friday, the European Commission claimed that Volkswagen Group, BMW and Daimler broke antitrust rules by acting together to delay the introduction of two emission cleaning systems between 2006 and 2014.

The Commission’s preliminary view is that BMW, Daimler and VW participated in a collusive scheme, breaching the EU’s competition rules by limiting the development and proliferation of new emission cleaning technology for diesel and gasoline-fueled passenger cars sold in the “European Economic Area.” This collusion occurred in the framework of the car manufacturers’ so-called “circle of five” technical meetings — which includes VW Group’s Porsche and Audi.  (Find Out…)

By on April 3, 2019

Image: Ford

Amsterdam, home to green medicinal plants and red lights, was the site of a Ford product extravaganza on Tuesday, with the automaker announcing a number of hybrid or electric models for the highly regulated European market.

A total of sixteen electrified models made their (future) existence known, with most falling under the automaker’s new Ford Hybrid banner. Some, like the Fiesta EcoBoost Hybrid and Focus EcoBoost Hybrid, are products thrifty American greenies can only dream of. There’ll be no more Fiestas or Focuses for you, sorry. Another is one Americans with loftier lifestyles might desire, and one Ford could sell here, but won’t: a plug-in Explorer. (Find Out…)

By on March 30, 2019

Image: FCA

Like characters on a long-running TV show, PSA Group and Fiat Chrysler remain the topic of intense speculation as to when they’ll hook up. There’s been romance in the past, including that time in 2007 when they spent the night and walked away with a series of jointly-developed small vans. The children’s names were Peugeot Bipper, Citroen Nemo and Fiat Fiorino. Only the latter survives to this day.

In the large van segment, FCA builds the Fiat Ducato, Peugeot Boxer, and Citroen Jumper at its Italian Sevel Sud plant, with production recently extended through 2023. Thanks to PSA’s acquisition of GM’s European operations, Opel and Vauxhall-badged vans will soon roll from the FCA factory.

As rumors of a kiboshed merger deal swirl (FCA’s controlling family reportedly didn’t approve of the marriage), a new report claims there’s another limited partnership in the works. (Find Out…)

By on March 26, 2019

Image: Daimler AG

A month after a European Parliament committee approved a host of measures designed to reduce roadway fatalities, the European Commission has signed off on the plan. New vehicles sold in Europe starting in 2022 stand to be more connected and nanny-like than ever, with speed limiters being just one of the mandatory safety features.

Other features include connection points for alcohol ignition interlock devices, driver monitoring cameras, and a range of lesser tech that drivers might actually approve of. (Find Out…)

By on March 16, 2019

After a fiscally damaging year that Ford CEO Jim Hackett implored employees to forget, cuts are coming to the automaker’s workforce, and America won’t be spared. But America can wait, as that region remains a major profit generator. Other regions aren’t, and the automaker’s axe has already fallen in South America.

Now it’s Germany’s turn, with Ford announcing the loss of “more than 5,000” workers in that country. (Find Out…)

By on March 12, 2019

2017 Infiniti QX30 AWD - Image: © Timothy Cain/Paardensex

Western Europe doesn’t like Infiniti very much, so the Japanese premium brand has decided to hit the road. The brand’s residency in the competitive region only lasted a decade, and middling consumer interest, coupled with increasingly stringent emissions regulations, is all the reason it needs to take a hike.

In doing so, Nissan’s premium division plans to cease global production of the QX30 at its Sunderland, England assembly plant. The subcompact crossover, born of a rocky Mercedes-Benz partnership, and its overseas-only Q30 hatch sibling go belly-up in July of this year. (Find Out…)

By on March 1, 2019

Today’s Rare Ride is the European luxury sedan you’ve never heard of. Plush, brown, and boxy, it’s the Talbot Tagora from 1982.

(Find Out…)

By on February 25, 2019

The European Commission is said to be investigating several automotive companies over possible antitrust violations relating to the sale of auto parts. According to Germany’s Der Spiegel, Renault, Nissan, PSA, Jaguar Land Rover and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles have all been placed under government scrutiny for possible price fixing. The report claims the manufacturers may have colluded to elevate the value of certain auto parts by as much as 25 percent.

Assuming the report is accurate, that would make this the EU’s second major automotive cartel investigation in the last two years. (Find Out…)

By on February 13, 2019

Ford Motor Company has reportedly informed British Prime Minister Theresa May of its tentative plan to move out of the United Kingdom. The automaker explained the situation to May during a private call with business leaders tasked with assessing how Brexit might impact the economy. Ford said it was already preparing to move its facilities — which include two engine plants, a transmission factory, and an R&D center — abroad.

With the European Union and British government still unable to establish trade terms, automakers are having a panic attack. Ford later told that a no-deal Brexit would be catastrophic for its European-based businesses, citing earlier claims that it would cost the manufacturer up to $1 billion. (Find Out…)

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