As governmental negotiations proceed with Iran, Renault is going forward with plans to resume exporting car parts there, pending the easing of trade sanctions. Gilles Normand, chairman of the automaker’s Asia-Pacific region, said in a Tehran interview, “We can start the preparatory work” with suppliers while “waiting for the go-ahead on the possibility to exports parts to Iran.”
Is recently deposed Renault COO Carlos Tavares going over to take the reins at PSA Peugeot-Citroen? According to media reports, the one-time right-hand man to Carlos Ghosn will be sitting in the chair occupied by current CEO Philippe Varin.
This is the Renault Zoe. It’s like most EVs on the road, with its limited range, limited power, and limited usability.
Unlike the other EVs, however, the Zoe comes with DRM attached to its battery pack. In short: If you value your ability to drive the Zoe at all, then you will submit to a rental contract with the pack’s manufacturer. Should you fail to pay the rent or your lease term expires, Renault can and will turn your Zoe into an expensive, useless paperweight by preventing the pack’s ability to be recharged, consequences be damned.
Today’s edition of Ur-Turn comes from Brian Driggs, a long-time TTAC reader, Mitsubishi fan and published of Gearbox Magazine, a digital enthusiast publication that we highly recommend.
As a North American Mitsubishi enthusiast, I often find the dismissive comments about the brand disappointing. While the US might be the second largest market on the planet (second to China, I suspect), it’s far from being the only market. I believe Mitsubishi is diversified enough they can afford to be more proactive with regard to automotive trends. News of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi partnership only supports that belief.
Reports out of South Korea are confirming the news that French car enthusiasts have been waiting on for decades: Americans will soon be able to buy French cars again, with Renault Samsung confirming that the first Mitsubishi-branded product exported to America will be the Renault-Samsung SM5.
While the US government decided Chrysler was too big to fail and bailed out the company with loan guarantees in 1979, American Motors was judged just the right size to fail and had to get bailed out by the French government. This led right to the weird history of the Renault Alliance, which included a Wisconsin-ized Renault 11 hatchback called the Encore. The Encore wasn’t a huge seller in North America and the car tended to deteriorate quickly under American conditions, so today’s Junkyard Find is a rare one. (Read More…)
An obscure story in the Azerbaijani press this past summer may be the tip of a much larger iceberg involving General Motors, PSA Peugeot Citroen and the Western World’s current bete noir: the Iranian regime currently embroiled at the heart of a controversial nuclear program, which is subject to economic sanctions by the United States government, including those that specifically target Iran’s automotive industry.
Citing reports from Iran’s Mehr news agency, an Azerbaijani news outlet reported that an unspecified number of brand new Chevrolet Camaro RS 2LT convertibles were imported by a division of Iranian conglomerate Iran Khodro. According to the report, the Camaros were sent from Miami to Paris, and then from Paris to Tehran via a Qatar Airways plane. The report also states that US Customs and Border Patrol documents list the final destination as the Aras Free Trade and Industrial Zone.
Recently, as to the attention given by TTAC to the spy shots of what might be or not a future Ford Ka sedan in southern Michigan, commenter Kenmore asked, “Has any other sad little runt of an econocar ever received so much attention on TTAC?”. Since you asked, I’ll offer up a brief pictorial explanation. (Read More…)
Renault will be returning to the United States, but not with Meganes or Kangoos sold under the diamond brand. Instead, the Renault-derived products will be variants of jointly-developed Renault Samsung cars sold under the Mitsubishi brand, as part of a new alliance between Renault-Nissan and Mitsubishi.
Emerging markets have been a big theme at TTAC for the past few years, with our coverage going beyond the cursory articles on automotive developments in the BRIC countries. Our articles on places like North Africa and Indonesia aren’t always the most popular, but we keep an eye on them for a very important reason. These countries are the final frontier for growth in the automotive sector.
Back in the 1950s, when Europe was still rebuilding after World War Two, Ford Motor Company and General Motors decided to show the world what a cost-no-object car was like in the American idiom. First Ford introduced the 1956 Continental Mark II, hand assembled down to the component level, that was said to lose $1,000 on each and every $10,000 Mark II sold. Adjusting for inflation, that loss is the equivalent about $8,600 in 2013 money. A year later, GM started selling the Motorama influenced Eldorado Brougham, at an even steeper $13,074. Motor City lore has it that not only was the Eldo Brougham thousands more expensive than the Mark II, its loses exceeded those of the Mark II by thousands of dollars as well. Now the Sanford C. Bernstein brokerage has looked at how much money various European automakers have lost on particular cars since 1997.
At some point in the crush of the news cycle, Nissan unveiled an all-new Rogue for 2014, based off their new CMF platform. The Rogue will still retain 4-cylinder power, but will now seat seven, moving up a class size. But for those who want something smaller, Nissan’s got something for you as well. The old Rogue.
Following the departure of chief operating officer Carlos Tavares, Renault Chairman and CEO Carlos Ghosn has announced that the company will be adding two new divisions to the existing finance, human resources and CEO office functions. Thierry Bolloré is being appointed Chief Competitive Officer, with responsibilities for Design-Product-Programs, Engineering-Quality-IS/IT, Purchasing, Manufacturing and Supply chain. Bolloré’s replacement as executive vice president in charge of manufacturing and supply chain will be Jose Vicente de los Mozos, reporting to Bolloré. The new position of Chief Performance Officer will be filled by Jérôme Stoll, with responsibilities for Sales & Marketing function, and coordinating Renault’s international operations, which apparently will have more autonomy. Michael van der Sande was named senior vice president for Marketing, replacing Stephen Norman, a member of Renault’s management committee, whose future appointment will be announced separately. Bolloré and Stoll will both report to Ghosn, whose published statement said, “Our objective was to take fast, transparent action by putting in place a clear and simple organization. The aim is threefold: to accelerate and expand our ongoing progress, to ensure performance at Group level and to give the regions more responsibility.”
Biographies after the jump. (Read More…)
The Mégane Renaultsport that our E.I.C pro tempore liked so much is going to get a new look along with the rest of the Mégane lineup. The idea is to harmonize the Mégane, one of Renault’s core models, with more recently introduced cars like the Clio, to strengthen brand identity. The changes include the larger grille that is used on the company’s latest models along with a new bumper, hood and elliptical headlights.
The departure of Carlos Tavares is barely 24 hours old, but we’re already getting reports of the genesis of Tavares’ exit, which was only partially brought about by his public courting of North American OEMs.