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Mercedes-Benz to roll out 15 new models in China in 2019

Gasgoo reported that in 2018, Mercedes-Benz sold a total of 674,125 vehicles (including Smart) in China with a year-on-year growth of 10.3%. The German premium car brand plans to roll out 15 new models in this country, including the new E-Class, the mid-cycle refresh GLC L, the all-new GLE and the all-new EQC, the automaker told local media on January 29.

The new Mercedes-Benz E-Class will replace the 3.0T engine with the M264 turbocharged inline-four engine, still hooked up to 9-speed automatic manual transmission.

Its exterior will retain the design of the existing model. The grille featuring two or three horizontally-placed slats is flanked by eye-catching headlights. The bumper stretches across the lower part of the front face. As to the side profile, waistlines stretch from the front wing to the taillight cluster. The new model offers the tires in two sizes of 18 inches and 19 inches and packs an exhaust layout with dual stacks of pipes on each side.

The all-new Mercedes-Benz EQC is likely to be produced by Beijing Benz in early 2019 and go on sale in the second half of the year.

Source : Gasgoo
Groupe PSA starts autonomous driving tests on open roads in China

Groupe PSA obtained a licence to start autonomous driving tests on open roads in China (Chongqing). As the first French carmaker to do so in China, Groupe PSA demonstrates its leading position in the development of vehicle connectivity and autonomous driving technology, reinforcing the Group’s commitment to the Chinese market.

Groupe PSA’s autonomous car experience in Europe helps it to adapt to the local environment to meet Chinese market needs. The challenge is to integrate Groupe PSA’s technology into the Chinese ecosystem with special cases since the environment, infrastructure, map system and road users are different.

Groupe PSA is the first car manufacturer to have tested the autonomous car on open roads in France from July 2015 onwards, as well as the first carmaker to obtain the authorisations to carry out autonomous mode tests with “non-expert” drivers in March 2017.

Mr Carla Gohin, Vice President, Innovation of Groupe PSA, commented that “Obtaining the license for autonomous driving tests on open roads in China is a remarkable milestone for Groupe PSA, as China is the largest automobile market in the world and is witnessing the boom in the development of autonomous driving technology. This marks an important step for our AVA ‘Autonomous Vehicle for All’ program, which aims to provide safe and intuitive autonomous cars for all customers. From this fresh start, we’ll continuously bring our cutting edge technology to Chinese customers.”

Source : Strategic Research Institute
European car market stabilizes during 2018

The European car market remained stable during 2018, as 15.6 million vehicles were registered just 346 more than in 2017. It was the best result since 2007, when the market peaked with 16.02 million registrations. Strong results in Q2, where the market was up by 4.8%, and Q3, where the market was up by 1.1%, were enough to offset the large decline posted in Q4, where the market dropped by 7.5% and recorded its lowest volume since 2014.

Commenting on the year’s results, Mr Felipe Munoz, JATO’s global analyst, said that “The effects of WLTP and the lack of availability of many key versions affected registrations in Q4, which is not surprising given that by late November less than two in three versions available in Europe were homologated.”

Diesel vehicles posted their lowest market share since 2001, as demand fell by double digits in 20 of the 27 markets included in JATO’s analysis, with the biggest drops in the UK (-30%), Scandinavia (-22%) and Benelux (-22%). “Throughout 2018 we continued to see the effects of the diesel crisis, as announcements of policy changes by governments led to confusion and panic among consumers,” continued Munoz.

Globally, Europe was the world’s third largest car market behind China and the US, as strong results in Spain, Poland and the Netherlands were offset by falls in the UK, Italy and Sweden. Poland, Slovakia, Luxembourg and Lithuania all posted record levels of volume, while it was the best year since 2007 for Spain and Estonia, and the best year since 2008 for Romania, Hungary, Croatia and Latvia. In contrast, it was the worst year for registrations in Switzerland since 2010, the UK since 2013, and Norway since 2014.

Volvo Group announced that its Q4 and full year 2018 result. Mr Martin Lundstedt President and CEO said that “2018 was a record year for the Volvo Group. For the full year, we grew net sales by 17% to SEK 391 billion (333) and improved our adjusted operating income to SEK 40.7 billion (29.3), with a margin of 10.4% (8.8). Trucks, Construction Equipment, Volvo Penta and Financial Services all recorded their highest adjusted operating income ever. During the year we also continued to increase our financial strength. With an operating cash flow of SEK 26.6 billion we ended the year with a net cash position of SEK 43.9 billion in the Industrial Operations, excluding pension liabilities. This enables us to take on the future from a position of strength.”

In Q4, net sales increased by 16% to SEK 105.8 billion (91.6). Adjusted for currency movements and acquired and divested units net sales increased by 10%.
Adjusted operating income amounted to SEK 10,597 million (7,105), corresponding to an adjusted operating margin of 10.0% (7.8). Adjusted operating income in Q4 2018 excludes the previously announced provision of SEK 7 billion.
Reported operating income amounted to SEK 3,597 Million (7,105).
Currency movements had a positive impact on operating income of SEK 1,225 Million.
Operating cash flow in the Industrial Operations amounted to SEK 15.5 billion (14.4).

For the full year 2018 net sales increased by 17% to SEK 390.8 billion (332.7).
Adjusted operating income amounted to SEK 40,660 Million (29,278) corresponding to an operating margin of 10.4% (8.8).
Reported operating income amounted to SEK 34,478 Million (29,678).
Operating cash flow in the Industrial Operations amounted to SEK 26.6 billion (28.4).
The Board of Directors proposes an ordinary dividend of SEK 5.00 per share (4.25) and an extra dividend of SEK 5.00 per share.

Source : Strategic Research Institute
Ford to invest USD 1 billion, hire 500 at Chicago factories

Ford Motor Co plans to invest USD 1 billion and add 500 jobs at its plants in Chicago as the automaker launches three new SUVs. Ford announced at the Chicago Auto Show that they will expand capacity to produce a new Ford Explorer, new Police Interceptor Utility and new Lincoln Aviator. Work will be finished this spring. The new jobs at the two Chicago facilities will bring employment at both to about 5,800.

The Chicago plant will stop making the one-time top-selling Taurus sedan as it meets rising demand for SUVs. The Chicago factory is Ford's longest continually operating vehicle assembly plant. It started producing the Model T in 1924.

The Aviator is due in showrooms this summer and the Interceptor is the top-selling police vehicle in the country.

Source : Strategic Research Institute
Automakers recall 1.7 million cars with fatal airbags

CNBC reported that Subaru, Tesla, BMW, Volkswagen, Daimler Vans, Mercedes and Ferrari are recalling about 1.7 million vehicles to replace potentially deadly air bag inflators made by Takata Corp of Japan. The inflators can hurl shrapnel into drivers and passengers. At least 23 people have died from the problem worldwide and hundreds more were injured. The moves, announced by the US government, are part of the largest series of automotive recalls in US history. About 10 million inflators are being recalled in the US this year, with as many as 70 million to be recalled by the time the whole mess ends late next year.

Takata used the chemical ammonium nitrate to create a small explosion to inflate the air bags. But the chemical can deteriorate over time due to high humidity and cycles from hot temperatures to cold. The most dangerous inflators are in areas of the South along the Gulf of Mexico that have high humidity.

The recalls, which began in 2001, are being phased in over time and managed by the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Many of the recalls are limited to specific geographic regions in the US Owners can check to see if their vehicles have been recalled by going to and keying in a 17-digit vehicle identification number.

In the latest round, Subaru is recalling 826,144 vehicles, including various Forester, Legacy and Outback models from 2010 to 2014. Mercedes is recalling 288,779 vehicles from model years 2010 to 2017. Volkswagen is recalling 119,394 vehicles, including Audi and Passat models from 2015 to 2017. BMW is recalling 266,044 vehicles from 2000 to 2004 model years and the 2007 to 2015 model years.

The recalls also include 159,689 vehicles from Daimler Vans spanning model years 2015 to 2017. Tesla is recalling 68,763 Model S vehicles from 2014 to 2016 and Ferrari is recalling 11,176 vehicles of various models ranging from 2014 to 2018 model years.

Source : CNBC
Automobili Lamborghini achieved historic sales record

In Fiscal Year 2018 (1 Jan – 31 Dec), Automobili Lamborghini SpA achieved another historic sales record. With 5,750 cars delivered to customers around the world, +51% over the previous year, the Italian super sports car brand continues its global growth. Mr Stefano Domenicali, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Automobili Lamborghini commented that “In 2018, Lamborghini entered new dimensions. We delivered not only another sales increase, but reached substantially new levels in surpassing by far the magic mark of 5,000 Lamborghinis sold. This quantum leap proves the sustainability of our product and commercial strategy. The performance is all the more remarkable as we mastered an unprecedented double challenge: constantly bringing new models and technologies to the super sports car market, while simultaneously managing doubled production capacities at our headquarters in Sant’Agata Bolognese. Right from its sales start, the new Super SUV Urus created enthusiastic market acceptance and broadened our customer base. We also significantly increased our high brand awareness, especially with the young generation, having multiplied our followership on our social media channels to more than 32 million. All this is a real team achievement and I would like to thank every Lamborghini team member for their inspiration and dedication to our brand.”

With 157 dealers serving 50 countries, worldwide deliveries to customers in 2018 increased from 3,815 to 5,750 units. Thus, since 2010 (1,302 units) the company has more than quadrupled its sales numbers. Beyond sales figures, Lamborghini outperformed all other key business objectives in 2018.*

Lamborghini is a global brand and sales volumes are well distributed among the three major regions. All regions set a new sales benchmark in 2018 and contributed to the total sales growth compared to the previous year. EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa): 2,497/+69%, America: 1,952/+46% and Asia Pacific: 1,301/+30%.

With 1,595 units the USA remains the largest single market, followed by the UK (636), Japan (559), Germany (463), Greater China (342), Canada (316) and Italy (295). All these markets increased deliveries substantially and marked national historic sales levels.

Both super sports car model lines achieved record sales, thus contributing to the growth. Sales of the V12 Lamborghini Aventador, born in 2011, is still exceptionally strong and grew by 3% from 1,173 to 1,209 units. Even stronger was the sales increase of the V10 Lamborghini Huracán, growing by 5% from 2,642 to 2,780 units. As expected, a substantial contribution to the global sales increase came from the Super SUV Urus, with 1,761 units delivered to customers since its market introduction in July 2018.

Source : Strategic Research Institute
Ford gaat in de VS 1,5 miljoen auto's terugroepen.
Buitenlandse fabrikanten krijgen daarop standaard van de Amerikaanse overheid een forse boete.
Zou dat dan nu ook voor Ford gaan komen?
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