Ah, the wondrous web of global automaking: Drivers and sorters at DHL are going on strike, and this threatens to cripple production at Jaguar Land Rover in the UK. JLR has outsourced a good deal of its logistics to Deutsche Post–owned DHL. DHL employees serving JLR’s plants at Castle Bromwich and Solihull voted for a strike after they did not receive terms and conditions extended to regular JLR staff. (Read More…)
Renault hopes to get going on its foray into China, and to sign a joint venture agreement with Dongfeng, Reuters says. “We are waiting for an official invitation from the Chinese industry ministry,” Reuters heard from an insider. Rumors of an impending JV kept Chinese media guessing and speculating for years. (Read More…)
1,200 BMWs are sitting at German dealers and cannot be repaired. The reason: Missing parts. After a software change in BMW’s German parts distribution system, supply with needed parts has become sporadic and unpredictable, Automobilwoche [sub] says. BMW works council chief Manfred Schoch blames cost cuts by BMW’s management:
“There were other solutions, but they wanted to save money. Now it will be getting three times as expensive.”
BMW has started to provide customers with replacement cars. Even that cause problems. “If people want to go on vacation in a Touring, and they are given a sedan, they won’t be happy,” a dealer told Automobilwoche.
A BMW spokesman confirmed the backlog to Reuters, but said the situation is improving.
And here, by popular demand, the sales of cars imported to Japan in June, and for the first half year of 2013, as published by the Japan Automobile Importers Association. For those with open eyes and mind, a few items quickly become clear: (Read More…)
Detroit is finally dropping the mask and says what it really wants in U.S. / Japanese trade relations. It wants to keep existing barriers that frustrate importation of Japanese cars, and that, for all intents and purposes, prevent importation of Japanese trucks. For the next generation, Detroit wants to be in your pocket without outside interference. (Read More…)
Nissan and Renault co-CEO Carlos Ghosn still sees a future in the electric car, it’s the European market that doesn’t have great prospects of a turn-around as far as Ghosn is concerned. (Read More…)
GM wants to move Opel upmarket (again,) to allow more breathing space for Chevrolet in Europe, Reuters reports. Frustrated Opel dealers say GM needs to declare what it wants, and stick with it for a change. (Read More…)
The fight over the flammable refrigerant takes a new twist. France refused to register Mercedes A-Class, B-Class and SL cars assembled since June 12, even though German authorities have approved them, a Daimler spokesman told Reuters. (Read More…)
Fiat launched a seven-seat version of its Fiat 500, a car that used to be known for its cramped space in the original model. Called the 500L Living (as in Living Room …), the seven seater “is about a meter longer than the classic 500,” writes Reuters.
We may have one of those really rare cases where Formula 1 racing leads to honest, provable new car sales. The UK boutique builder Caterham “is developing a crossover SUV and a subcompact car with Renault, Chairman Tony Fernandes” told Reuters. The cars should be launched “soon after the first sports cars due in 2016 under the Caterham and Renault Alpine brands,” the wire says. (Read More…)