What’s the selling price for a huge automaker’s entire European operations? $2 billion, apparently — one billion in cash and another billion in gained liabilities.
The Volkswagen Golf GTi may be what many consider the definitive “hot hatch,” and most enthusiasts credit it with popularizing the idea of a functional yet fun-to-drive and economical daily driver. From its roots have sprung countless pocket-sized performance variants, right up to today’s current Focus RS.
But the Volkswagen Golf was far from the world’s first hatchback. It wasn’t even close.
So where did the idea of a hinged-rear body panel begin? More than 40 years prior to the launch of the GTi, another innovative car introduced the world to the idea of the hatchback, among a few other new features. Are you surprised that it was French, after our Matra article last month?
Tesla founder Elon Musk wants to build a new European factory to satisfy growing demand on the continent, and France knows just the place he should do it.
French Energy Minister Segolene Royal reportedly pitched the idea of using the site of a soon-to-be-mothballed reactor to Musk, according to Reuters (via Automotive News Europe).
“He didn’t say no,” said Royal, who plans to follow-up the pitch by meeting with Tesla management.
Forget all about PSA Peugeot Citroen. It’s dead. Well, the name, anyway.
As part of its five-year corporate strategy, dubbed “Push to Pass,” the French automaker is rebranding itself as Groupe PSA and dropping hints of a tentative return to the U.S. market.
PSA’s sales and profitability are growing again thanks to a new product strategy and a bailout by the French government, but CEO Carlos Tavares wants to see more gains by branching out into new markets.
With the Saab brand now functionally dead, could the next quirky car du jour for individuality-signalling Americans come from France?
All eyes will be on PSA Peugeot Citroen on April 5 as France’s top automaker reveals its new international growth strategy, possibly heralding a return to the long-abandoned U.S. market.
The U.S. and Iran are being looked at as potential export markets, now that PSA’s “Back in the Race” restructuring program has improved the financial fortunes of the once-struggling automaker. Read More >
Like ripples in a pool of sulphur-rich oil, the impact from Volkswagen’s diesel emissions scandal keeps spreading.
In a cost-cutting measure designed to mitigate the growing financial damage caused by the scandal, Volkswagen is planning to cut 3,000 administration jobs in Germany, according to Reuters.
Volkswagen just tabbed a former FBI director to be the highest paid traffic cop in the universe.
That, Renault is only “improving” its emissions, GM’s big bet on ride sharing and the world’s biggest auto supplier says diesel isn’t dead … after the break!
Agents from France’s Economy Ministry’s fraud office last week raided the headquarters of automaker Renault, as well as other sites in Guyancourt and Lardy, as part of a probe into heavily polluting diesel vehicles in the European country. Specifically, the agents were said to be looking into “possible engine-rigging to dodge pollution controls,” reported RFI.
Renault stated that investigators found “no evidence of a defeat device equipping Renault vehicles,” Reuters reported.
Renault is now the second automaker to be investigated on a deeper level after Volkswagen admitted to falsifying CO2 emissions data in Europe and implementing a “defeat device” in diesel vehicles worldwide.
Newly promoted, high-priced executives at Mazda seem to think there’s something to this crossover fad.
That, Hyundai’s landed a Benjamin Button to lead Genesis and I wish I would have known how cheap I could have purchased an F1 team … after the break.
Nissan and the French government struck a deal Friday to end a dispute over how much influence the state has over the carmaking alliance between the Japanese automaker and Renault, according to Renault.
The French government will cap its voting rights between 17.9 percent and 20 percent in non-strategic shareholder decisions, and will preclude “interference” by the government in Nissan by Renault. Renault, which is partially state-owned, is Nissan’s largest shareholder.
Earlier this year, France passed a law that would have given the government increased voting rights in the alliance, perhaps in an attempt to forge a stronger partnership between the two automakers. Read More >
Nissan has announced a proposal which would end Renault’s control of the Renault-Nissan Alliance, and would curtail interferance by the French government.
When we last left off, Nissan was looking to gain a voice in the alliance it made in 1999 with Renault by increasing its stake while mitigating the stake shared between Renault and Paris. The Japanese automaker has held a 15 percent non-voting stake since alliance CEO Carlos Ghosn turned around its fortunes in the early 2000s, as French law prevents affiliates owning less than 40 percent of a French-led company from voting at the shareholders’ table.
Nissan has other ideas. Read More >
Toyota and PSA announced Tuesday that they would continue to build a van for European markets for light commercial and passenger duty and unveiled their newest Toyota Proace/Peugeot Traveller/Citroen SpaceTourer eggs.
The three vans, which look virtually identical short of their shades and faces, are all produced at PSA’s factory in Valenciennes, France.
While the Toyota version looks like one of those samurai crabs, it’ll likely never set foot in the U.S. and that’s a shame — commercial vans are the new hot thing for automakers, you know?
The battle between Nissan and the French government over the former’s voting stake in the Renault-Nissan Alliance continues on.
This month, after temporarily raising its stake to 19.7 percent, the French government cut back its stake to around 15 percent, which is still enough voting power under the Florange Law to block anything it didn’t like from Nissan and its allies during shareholder meetings.
However, second-in-command at Nissan, Chief Competitive Officer Hiroto Saikawa, expressed it wasn’t enough to go back to “the situation of seven months ago,” desiring “a better balance between the two companies,” a source told Reuters.
Instead, Nissan responded to the draw-down with a proposal establishing a “better-balanced” 25-percent/35-percent crossed shareholding, with Nissan finally having a say after 16 years of merely owning a piece of the company which rescued it from death back in 1999.
Investigators in France seized documents and office equipment from Volkswagen offices there in connection with its inquiry into the automaker’s admission that it cheated emissions tests.
The raid, which happened on Friday, wasn’t reported until Sunday, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Investigators in Germany and Italy have already seized documents from Volkswagen’s respective headquarters in those countries relating to the scandal, which affects more than 11 million cars worldwide.
Officials in New South Wales, Australia are banning UberX cars from their roads for three months after failing to prosecute their drivers, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.
Authorities charged 24 drivers with violating the state’s taxi laws, saying the UberX car-sharing service couldn’t properly monitor and vet its 4,000 drivers in Sydney. Those charges were dropped due to “evidentiary issues” and the drivers avoided fines up to $70,000.
Now the state says it’ll ban private UberX cars from the road instead. Read More >