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The Ford Fiesta is the most popular car at TTAC.
We don’t mean to say that TTAC’s audience researches the Ford Fiesta more often than any other vehicle. Nor are we suggesting that the Ford Fiesta is the consensus favourite among TTAC’s vast contributor network. Rather, there are a total of three Fiestas spread across TTAC driveways: the managing editor’s 1.0-liter EcoBoost, an ST at the home of our advice columnist, and another ST in the family of TTAC’s editor-at-large.
That’s an impressive level of marketplace penetration for a car that generates just 0.3 percent of the U.S. auto industry’s new vehicle sales volume. Yet across the pond, the very same car owns an industry-wide 4.5 percent of the overall new vehicle market.
2016 will be the eighth consecutive year in which the Ford Fiesta claims the title of the United Kingdom’s best-selling vehicle. Not only is the consistency remarkable, so too is the authority with which the Fiesta scores its victories. Read More >
The United Kingdom isn’t scared of electric vehicles, what with their high fuel prices and limited driving distances (when compared to the U.S.).
However, General Motors has developed a serious case of cold feet on the issue of launching a Vauxhall-branded Chevrolet Bolt, which could prove a decent sales performer. An all-electric range of 238 miles is impressive, so why is the General so shy? Read More >
Jaguar Land Rover’s brands are as British as crumpets and the Union Jack (ignore the fact that it’s owned by India’s Tata Motors), so concerns over Britain’s vote to leave the European Union should fall squarely on its tweed-covered shoulders.
The automaker is keeping a stiff upper lip, at least in public, with a spokesperson saying the company doesn’t plan to make changes to its strategy, Reuters reports.
A $1.34 billion assembly plant in Slovakia is going ahead as planned, said Jaguar Land Rover strategy director Adrian Hallmark, who called the Brexit a “short-term issue” during a news conference. Read More >
The United Kingdom, through referendum, has decided to break off from Europe and go it alone. But what of all the auto manufacturers that produce vehicles in the island nation? And of their employees? And trade?
We won’t know the answers to those questions until the UK and European governments sort out how the two entities will work together in the future. For now, it’s business as usual. Though, thanks to Autocar, we at least have reactions from the big players in the UK’s automotive industry.
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The UK’s Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders is tasked with, according to the SMMT, promoting “the interests of the UK automotive industry at home and abroad.”
Prior to the June 23 Brexit vote for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union, the SMMT insisted that voting “remain” was critical to the UK automotive industry. Brexit could jeopardise jobs, automakers were in agreement that remaining was important, and pointed to the UK’s 800,000 auto industry jobs and its £15.5 billion contribution to the economy as reasons to stay in the European Union.
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With European regulators taking a closer look at the continent’s wonder fuel — diesel, that is — in the wake of Volkswagen’s emissions scandal, oil burners could hasten their disappearance from European Union streets.
That would be great for police officers in the UK, who seem increasingly confused about what kind of fuel goes in their patrol car’s tank. Read More >
The 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback has bowed in prototype form at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show, and will be getting its U.S. welcome at the New York International Auto Show on March 22.
After having images leaked two days ago, the prototype offers a clearer look at what buyers can expect when the 10th generation Civic hatch goes on sale. Just don’t expect the ornate, go-fast trappings of this version to be found on anything approaching a base model.
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The last Land Rover Defender rolled off the line Friday at the Solihull, UK facility, according to the automaker.
The wildly uncomfortable, loud and grandfather to all Land Rovers will live on, albeit in name only — the next-generation Defender is already in the works.
The final Land Rover Defenders shared two common parts with the first Series Land Rover, according to the automaker: the hood cleats and underbody support strut. Which is two parts more than I expected would have survived from the originals. Read More >
Last we heard, Volkswagen’s small loophole that it could technically skate through on the definition of “cheating” in Europe was fairly well closed.
Last week, Volkswagen’s chief in the UK asserted in a letter to British Parliament that the company may not have have technically cheated in Europe.
“Volkswagen accepts that a defeat device was used in the USA in certain models, in the context of the very different regulatory framework and factual circumstances there,” Paul Willis wrote in a December letter (via New York Times). “However we do not think that it is possible to make the same definitive legal determination in relation to the software that was fitted to those differently configured vehicles in the UK and EU.” (Emphasis ours.)
Holy shit. Really?
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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.
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When Jaguar’s latest-and-greatest sedan arrives on American shores next spring, it will do so with an extra option on the order sheet — a manual transmission.
According to Car & Driver, the Jaguar XE will get a third pedal and a stick in the middle of the center console that does things. Apparently, there are still enough people out there that know what to do with that thing in the center console that Jaguar believes it will make up between 10 and 20 percent of overall sales.
“It is enough to be worth the investment, and we are happy with our decision,” North American CEO Joe Eberhardt told C&D.
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Caparo Industries chairman Angad Paul died Nov. 9 in an apparent suicide just days after the steelmaking company his father founded, and Angad ran, announced massive job cuts and forced administration in Britain, according to The Guardian (via Autoblog).
Caparo Industries is the parent company of Caparo Vehicle Technologies, which produced the Caparo T1 and was planning a higher-end version of the car to go on sale.
The Caparo T1, which was developed with help from McLaren engineers, lived on the fringes of the supercar market with only 16 examples sold in the UK for around $360,000. It was also built at a short-lived plant in the U.S. Prince Albert of Monaco helped unveil the car in 2006 and it later appeared in several racing events around the world, including Goodwood. Read More >
The New York Times is reporting that a loophole in emissions regulations for European cars could keep Volkswagen from paying billions to governments for illegally polluting cars. Regulators considered closing the loophole in 2011, but ultimately failed to do so, which could leave the escape hatch ever-so cracked for Volkswagen to run through.
According to the report, which cites internal meeting notes of European regulators in Geneva, automakers can send through testing cars programmed for special circumstances that daily drivers can’t access.
“A manufacturer could specify a special setting that is not normally used for everyday driving,” British regulators warned in 2011, according to the New York Times. Read More >
There may be a quicker one coming.
That’s if you believe what Autocar reported Thursday. According to the British publication, Ford engineers in Europe are already be whispering there could be a lighter, quicker version of the 2016 Ford Focus RS coming. Engineers are reportedly aiming for a sub-4 second 0-60 run.
The increased performance won’t come by way of a bigger engine however — the laws of thermodynamics in cramped spaces preclude a bigger bolt-on snail, apparently — but rather the ol’ Colin Chapman route: adding more lightness. Read More >
Volkswagen’s chief in the United Kingdom told representatives Monday that cars in that country likely wouldn’t need expensive urea tanks retrofitted to those cars to comply with emissions standards, AutoCar reported.
Volkswagen UK managing director Paul Willis told members of parliament that most of the 1.2 million cars in that country fitted with illegal “defeat devices” to cheat emissions tests would only need a software fix and not an additional urea tank that is widely believed to be needed in U.S. cars. About 400,000 cars would need a fuel injector replacement instead of the costly tank.
It’s likely that many of the cheating Volkswagens in the U.S. would need all or a combination of three fixes — software update, fuel injectors and a urea tank — to bring those cars into compliance.
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