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Automotive Intelligence Gathering

Automotive strategy, Automotive strategy consultants, Automotive strategy consulting, automotive process improvement, Training

All the key industry news summarised and neatly organised

Automotive strategy, Automotive strategy consultants, Automotive strategy consulting, automotive process improvement, Training

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Automotive strategy, Automotive strategy consultants, Automotive strategy consulting, automotive process improvement, Training

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Favourite stories of the past week…?

  • Oranges And Lemons -- FCA has agreed to let Mahle’s diagnostic devices access vehicle computers so that third party repairers can service their cars. The reason they can’t do so already is down to FCA’s cyber security protocols that unfortunately lock out unauthorised repairers, so you need special codes and portals to prove you are a goodie and someone needs to pay for all that. BMW do something similar. Is it just a happy coincidence that third parties must buy their way in (an extra revenue stream compared with those before), or will carmakers find themselves under fire from competition regulators arguing they are making life too hard for third parties?
  • If You’re Over Me -- Mazda is struggling to generate much interest in the very high tech Skyactiv-X engine. Rather than the hoped for 25% of sales, it is hovering nearer to 5%. The engine is Mazda’s bet that you can persuade customers that electric powertrain is over-hyped and on a well-to-wheel basis internal combustion is the best path. But it doesn’t seem to be working. Is this a sign for Mazda (and others) to bow to the inevitable and come up with powertrain strategies that are more clearly on a pathway to electrification?
  • Ain’t Nothing Going On But The Rent -- JLR showed off the Project Vector concept car, saying the vehicle will be used in on-road trials during 2021. The car highlights a key problem for premium brands in an autonomous world: it may be that a bland pod is exactly what Uber et al will be calling out for; it must make sense for vehicle utilisation to be improved by using the same vehicles for local delivery. The problem is that neither of these things speak to either Jaguar or Land Rover’s brand values. If local delivery is a fantastic opportunity for JLR, why not jump in now (Mercedes manage to have the three pointed star on Sprinter and S-Class)? And if it doesn’t fit the brand image now, why will things be different in a few years’ time?


Automotive strategy, Automotive strategy consultants, Automotive strategy consulting, automotive process improvement, Training
Automotive strategy, Automotive strategy consultants, Automotive strategy consulting, automotive process improvement, Training
Automotive strategy, Automotive strategy consultants, Automotive strategy consulting, automotive process improvement, Training

February 2020

February 3rd to February 9th

Fewer accidents on the way; the importance of ride hailing; and flip-flopping self-driving car developers.

February 10th to February 16th

How to meet your CO2 targets; GM exits fringe markets stage left and; mega expensive car dealerships.

January 2020

January 6th to January 12th

A car company worth its weight in gold; early days for electric cars in Europe; and a worrying sign for self-driving enthusiasts.

January 13th to January 19th

Facing up to reality in Europe; too little money to go around; and the benefits of getting the basics right.

January 20th to January 26th

Not enough money to go around; Mercedes EQC news is good and bad; and cars that last a really long time.

January 27th to February 2nd

Aston Martin’s independence; the difference between electric winners and losers; and secret emissions trading is a thing.

December 2019

December 2nd to December 8th

Blurry maps give rubbish directions; customers seeing dealers less often; and electric cars in emerging markets.

December 9th to December 15th

Sustainable electrification strategy; faux insights from the top brass; and more ideas about low-cost hybrids.

December 16th to December 22nd

Car sharing on the rocks; a behemoth in search of a name; and festive cheer.

December 23rd to January 5th

Plug-in hybrids with serious range; solar roofs for all; and counterfeit cars.

November 2019

November 4th to November 10th

Good news for internal combustion engines; realistic break even figures for niche producers; and futuristic concepts that need more work.

November 11th to November 17th

A very expensive Ford; smaller and more powerful batteries; and making the right number of vehicles.

November 18th to November 24th

Ride hailing companies acting like utilities; PSA surprisingly bullish on small electric cars; and Tesla keeps it simple.

November 25th to December 1st

Rosy assumptions for fuel cells; car companies vs capitalism; and is this how FCA butters up acquisition targets?

October 2019

October 7th to October 13th

GM needing US workers as much as they need it; how long it really takes to reach automotive grade; and no more Dyson.

October 14th to October 20th

Daimler apps overly generous with location data; OEMs that still won’t commit to meeting CO2 targets; and a battery maker with an optimistic outlook.

October 21st to October 27th

Yamaha says cars are a waste of time and money; remote control tanks with limited range; and Tesla gets all mushy about big cars.

October 28th to November 3rd

Promiscuous customers; visions of an all-powerful Tavares; and why do carmakers hate batteries but love hydrogen?

September 2019

September 2nd to September 8th

Small electric cars; hoping for a trickle-down effect from Lambo’s supercar; and how to make even more special edition sportscars

September 9th to September 15th

Vauxhall expects a post-Brexit windfall; how to keep an electric car youthful; and preserving the staircase of talent.

September 16th to September 22nd

What price Amazon’s electrification; GM flees its low cost engineering centre; and Golf takes a leaf out of the McLaren P1’s book.

September 23rd to September 29th

GM failing to plan; Toyota’s spiderweb; and what counts as insight when it comes to autonomy?

September 30th to October 6th

The electric vehicle brand losing its shirt; Nissan’s artisanal robots; and Volvo and Geely do something very sensible.

August 2019

August 5th to August 11th

Continental says good riddance to combustion engines; unusable industry standards; and ways to shake up the used car market.

August 12th to August 18th

Green bonds for green cars; a rental company’s PR coup; and thinking harder about subscriptions.

August 19th to August 25th

Volvo makes lots of new friends; Ford’s throwaway autonomous car assumptions; and bad news for unicorns.

August 26th to September 1st

Ford’s Qashqai rival arriving unfashionably late; self-driving cars that are hard to teach; and learning lessons about all-inclusive leasing.

July 2019

July 1st to July 7th

Hypercars for all; jobs for the masses; and are Norwegians making everyone else look silly?

July 8th to July 14th

Musk says price will skyrocket; managing the decline of combustion engines; and why are factories for electric cars so expensive?

July 15th to July 21st

Nothing to see at Tesla; affordable car subscriptions; and inventive Japanese car sharing users.

July 22nd to July 28th

Coming Soon...

July 29th to August 4th

Proving yourself as a carmaker; the rise of the Porsche Taycan; and contingency plans full of holes.

June 2019

June 3rd to June 9th

Share the past as well as the future; FCA dancing with multiple self-driving suitors; and are Ford staff right to be unhappy?

June 10th to June 16th

Phantom “production-ready” self-driving cars; electric car start-ups struggling to raise money; and why have VW dropped Aurora?

June 17th to June 23rd

New cars for old people; self-driving brains that use modular decision making; and VW’s blockbuster plant closure plan.

June 24th to June 30th

Renault and Nissan love arguing; buyers are happy with hybrids if they are cheap; and is the start-up bubble deflating?

May 2019

May 6th to May 12th

Life goes on for diesel; Audi’s treatment of disgruntled customers; and BMW and Tesla’s software woes?

May 13th to May 19th

Life moving more slowly; hands-off highway driving by Nissan; and is Ford managing its restructuring the right way?

May 20th to May 26th

Stingy electric car charging stations; buy-what-you-see car showrooms; and can FCA and Renault do a deal without Nissan?

May 27th to June 2nd

Smaller pay packets for fat cats; saving money by thinking differently; and how loyal will young customers be?

April 2019

April 1st to April 7th

Pollution taxes > outright bans; Tesla’s Model S and Model X lose ground; and open CO2 pools in Europe -- only for the brave?

April 8th to April 14th

Ignoring brand history; Ford aims to be fit before the crunch; and underestimating the difficulty of developing electric cars.

April 15th to April 21st

Improving fuel economy without touching the engine; Uber’s expensive self-driving car technology; and is Audi’s thinking more mature than its rivals?

April 22nd to April 28th

Mr Musk’s driverless dog and pony show; dirty passengers make dirty vehicles; and why did Ford just spend $500 million on Rivian?

April 29th to May 5th

Cheaper 3D printing of metal parts; Tesla’s lean cash experiment; and is a battery raw material supply crunch real or imagined?

March 2019

March 4th to March 10th

Cheap cars with batteries that get bigger; electrification’s missing link; and what is going on at Tesla?

March 11th to March 17th

European CO2 targets thin the herd; the no-deal Brexit tariff plan; and BMW and Daimler might put E-FIRST.

March 18th to March 24th

Daimler needs to be Smarter; Ford’s new broom; and fewer powertrains could encourage sharing.

March 25th to March 31st

Self-driving dominoes falling; creating new cars is too expensive; and battery range -- it’s all in the manufacturing.

February 2019

February 4th to February 10th

PSA’s continued efficiency drive; when Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi met Waymo; and JLR’s big write-down.

February 11th to February 17th

Renault cut the cords of Ghosn’s parachute; using Brexit to bury bad news; and Americans who can’t afford their wheels.

February 18th to February 24th

Mercedes-Benz EQC’s failure to launch; broadening the Model 3’s appeal; and is Ford’s CEO isolated?

February 25th to March 3rd

Cheap electric vehicles get more wheels; selling without a storefront; and how far can the Porsche brand stretch?

January 2019

December 31st to January 6th

Smart cars for smart homes; sales planning the old way; and docking driverless pods on the move.

January 7th to January 13th

Opel names a van after a car; Daimler’s unclear sharing strategy; and a real vehicle data scare.

January 14th to January 20th

Paying for travel differently; Tesla’s growing pains; and more creativity needed to sell electric cars.

January 21st to January 27th

Old-fashioned electric cars; bicycles that ride themselves; and do panics really only start once everyone is ready?

January 28th to February 3rd

Self-driving cars we can’t understand; smart cars doing stupid things; and Koenigsegg are in the money.

December 2018

December 3rd to December 9th

The shifting electric vehicle landscape; cars past their best; and thinking harder about the future.

December 10th to December 16th

Waymo’s reliability in Arizona vs California; European CO2 targets; and what does it take to give up your car?

December 17th to December 23rd

The power of self-driving hardware; possible BMW and Daimler parts sharing; and VW trash-talking GM.

December 24th to December 30th

Pick-up truck drivers hate electric cars; and BMW has a worry-free outlook on battery costs.

November 2018

November 5th to November 11th

GM planning in a vacuum; lidar companies opening up; and when is it a good idea not to give the customer what they want?

November 12th to November 18th

VW building factories they don’t need; a smoother path to electrification; and is Uber on borrowed time?

November 19th to November 25th

Maybe Ghosn wasn’t so bad after all; Toyota’s mysterious appetite for capacity; and GM’s mega job cuts.

November 26th to December 2nd

Rivian’s unbelievable specification; Volvo wants data to be free; and could Brexit mean more work for the UK?

October 2018

October 1st to October 7th

How driverless vehicles can thrive today; GM and Honda’s recipe for self-driving success; and is Ford really getting fitter?

October 8th to October 14th

Verifying the safety of driverless vehicles; Executives and politicians play pass the parcel; and move over Marty McFly.

October 15th to October 21st

Tesla shrinks into the crowd; weak carmakers lose influence with politicians; and making public transport free for all.

October 22nd to October 28th

BMW’s relentless self-driving collective; cars as power stations; and stop over-thinking robot decision making.

October 29th to November 4th

Cars powered by the sun; subscription services shutting down; and OEMs spend too much money on the wrong things.

September 2018

September 3rd to September 9th

Worrying launch sales for Jaguar I-Pace; a different approach to checking autonomous cars are safe; and great electric cars.

September 10th to September 16th

Identikit German electric SUVs; electric vehicle development costing more than expected; and difficult market conditions.

September 17th to September 23rd

Sensible planning for a hard Brexit; difficult to understand cryptocurrencies; and the promise of  decent in-car infotainment.

September 24th to September 30th

Executives without insurance; the impact of infrastructure; and the difficulty of predicting consumer demand.

August 2018

August 6th to August 12th

Tesla’s long-term outlook; Ford’s slimmer portfolio and a blow for winner-takes-all mobility company valuations.

August 13th to August 19th

Unsettling times for lidar investors; Aston Martin’s money for old rope and Tesla’s product ageing problem.

August 20th to August 26th

Cash burning a hole in VW’s pocket; quick maths by union leaders; and Lynk&Co’s rise from zero to hero.

August 27th to September 2nd

Untrustworthy third-party speculation about Tesla; one more thing driverless cars need to prove; and Waymo’s rollout plan.

July 2018

July 2nd to July 8th

A drop in demand for Model 3, high resolution lidar and PSA downsizing by stealth.

July 9th to July 15th

The demise of cheap motoring, a Brexit that pleases the automotive industry and parking spaces for autonomous vehicles.

July 16th to July 22nd

A new CEO at FCA, e-scooters score first blood over taxis and a forgetful CEO at Tesla.

July 23rd to July 29th

Opel’s turnaround story; Tesla’s rebate strategy; connected cars talking about the weather and Ford’s mystery restructuring bill.

July 30th to August 5th

Solar powered cars; the cons of GM’s manufacturing strategy and car making’s no-deal-nightmare Brexit.

June 2018

June 4th to June 10th

Volvo’s 2025 strategy, Honda and GM battery sharing, saving diesel and what people really think about their cars

June 11th to June 17th

Toyota bets on Grab, VW’s strategy to monetise data and Proton the sequel

June 18th to June 24th

Humans abusing autonomous vehicles, innovation in action and great news for electric vehicle enthusiasts.

June 25th to July 1st

A rosy forecast for dealerships, GM discounting and comparing what companies say about their driverless vehicles

May 2018

May 7th to May 13th

Profiting from car data, connectivity the BYD way, personalised driverless cars and the difference between leasing and subscribing

May 14th to May 20th

Volvo without diesel, Nissan taking the fight to Tesla, a retail price point for driverless systems and how Waymo do it

May 21st to May 27th

The future of manual transmissions, safer self-driving car tests and electric vehicle sales forecasts

May 28th to June 3rd

Buying level 4 and 5 systems off the shelf, traditional OEM does an Uber and how autonomous vehicles could disrupt tyre supplies

April 2018

April 2nd to April 8th

Trade wars, Tesla volumes, driver assistance super-sleuths and PSA’s secret agenda to mitigate Brexit

April 9th to April 15th

Uber’s strategy, Tesla manufacturing, Ford macroeconomic strategy and PSA’s electrification plan

April 16th to April 22nd

PSA restructuring strategy, Tesla’s tolerance of failure, Porsche diversification and Waymo just wants to drive cars, not make them

April 23rd to April 29th

Volvo’s electric car claims, dangerous (self) driving, rising fleet CO2 levels in Europe and Innoviz’s big win

April 30th to May 6th

The end of Tesla technology leadership, rumoured UK 2040 range requirements and PSA’s retail strategy

March 2018

March 5th to March 11th

Autonomous technology as a commodity, industrial assets that keep on going and marginal gains in electric vehicles

March 12th to March 18th

VW’s electric vehicle volume forecast, white label autonomous cars from Magna and Ford’s not-so-noteworthy product plans

March 19th to March 25th

PSA on course for 2021 CO2 targets, BMW would love to sell you an electric car… from 2020 onwards, Ford and Mahindra’s cooperation and a new lease of life for diesel

March 26th to April 1st

Tesla’s privacy policy, VW’s diesel guarantee, self-driving companies that are smarter than the rest and ride hailing market dominance

February 2018

February 5th to February 11th

Aston Martin’s way of working, electric vehicle supply shortages, the advent of seamless door-to-door mobility and self-driving partnerships

February 12th to February 18th

The Renault-Nissan alliance, public perception of internal combustion engines and electrifying sports cars

February 19th to February 25th

Tesla Semi truck total cost of ownership, blockchain in cars, electric delivery vehicles and implications of electric cars for Big Oil

February 26th to March 4th

Car sharing without fleet operators, Audi A6 with 48V technology, OEMs react to EU CO2 targets and Waymo driverless technology

January 2018

January 2nd to January 7th

Tesla’s crisis, financing for AVs, Toyota’s diesel strategy, Aurora’s collaborations and ICO-funded disruptive start-ups

January 8th to January 14th

German OEMs showing off, Ford’s autonomous vision, Toyota autonomous partnerships, and solid state battery costs

January 15th to January 21st

Electric car converts, high resolution vehicle radar, and business class seating coming to a Transit van near you

January 22nd to January 28th

FCA’s revival, Opel’s restructuring, Elon Musk’s performance incentives and new battery technologies

January 29th to February 4th

Autonomous vehicles in court, the next step for internal combustion engines and carmakers crying foul of CO2 targets

December 2017

December 4th to December 10th

WM Motor said that they are going to spend $3 billion to deliver a three vehicle, 100,000 unit a year, line-up

December 11th to December 17th

Changan, FAW and Dongfeng have struck a cooperation agreement. They’ll develop new technologies and a shared platform together.

December 18th to December 27th

Toyota’s electric vehicle plan, solid state batteries for BMW, VW capital discipline and the Tesla pick-up

December 28th to January 1st 2018

VW’s resurgence, re-badged SEATs, labour problems, half-price lidar and Mission E sales forecasts

November 2017

November 6th to November 12th

Deutsche Telekom have realised that the same infrastructure used to run telephone exchanges sets it up rather nicely to provide electric vehicle charging

November 13th to November 19th

GM’s presentation at a conference hosted by Barclays made it sound like the company can’t get out of the traditional car business quickly enough

November 20th to November 26th

Divergent 3D have raised $65 million; serious firepower to develop more flexible manufacturing techniques

October 2017

October 2nd to October 8th

GM showed off a heavy commercial truck platform that is largely faithful to their 2002 AUTOnomy skateboard concept

October 9th to October 15th

Kobe Steel’s admission that it had shipped suspect product has everybody scrambling to try and understand whether they’ve used any of it to build cars

October 16th to October 22nd

More tough talk from Tavares on how out of shape Opel is

October 23rd to October 29th

Executives seem to be falling over each other in a bid to be the most bullish on self-driving technology.

October 30th to November 5th

Tesla would have wanted better news to share -- “burst runs” of 500 or 1,000 units don’t tell you much about true capacity

September 2017

September 4th to September 10th

Four companies (one newby and three established) showed this week that they see a path to success through picking trends first and companies second

September 11th to September 17th

It was always going to be a week of big announcements due to the Frankfurt show and there was plenty of interest going on

September 18th to September 24th

Volkswagen plan to make the MEB platform upgradeable so that used vehicle buyers can get a car with a specification and functionality that is better than when it came out of the factory gate

September 25th to October 1st

Mazda and Toyota’s electric vehicle joint venture seems more in the interest of the former than the latter

August 2017

August 7th to August 13th

Mazda’s 2030 vision -- boldly transparent in not planning for electrification to be anything more than a sideshow in the near term

August 14th to August 20th

FCA joining BMW’s autonomous program shows that BMW wasn’t bluffing when it said it wanted to involve others in creating a multi-brand platform

August 21st to August 27th

Ford published some details of their work on the first autonomous vehicle that they are planning to launch

August 28th to September 3rd

I’m wondering about GM’s approach to pricing their “hands-off” Supercruise feature

July 2017

July 3rd to July 9th

We are going to keep things very simple and recommend that you take a look at VW’s mobility technology day press release

July 10th to July 16th

I think that there are two breakaway companies that need to either win the stage or be re-absorbed into the peloton: Tesla and Uber

July 17th to July 23rd

Following the German cartel allegations the cohesiveness of the industrial-media-government alliance appears to be fragmenting

July 24th to July 30th

GM’s Corporate line seems to be growing inexorably -- how much longer investors will agree to hundreds of millions of dollars per quarter being spent without any substantive explanation?

July 31st to August 6th

Toyota and Mazda’s share tie-up and the accompanying JV to build a new US plant

June 2017

June 5th to June 11th

Renault’s plans for using 2nd life batteries from electric vehicles for stationery storage

June 12th to June 18th

Waymo retiring their self-built cars in preference to more FCA minivans suggests a realisation that hardware isn’t for them

June 19th to June 25th

BMW and US utility PG&E published some really in-depth findings from their vehicle-to-grid storage experiment

June 26th to July 2nd

People have been talking informally about €100 / kWh battery cell costs before 2020 for a while now but Audi have now broken cover and quoted the number in an interview

May 2017

May 1st to May 7th

Should we expect to see Renault's new strategic plan sometime soon?

May 8th to May 14th

GM executives expect to meet their cost target of $100/kWh for battery cells earlier than they previously said

May 15th to May 21st

Could the Japanese hydrogen network and fuel cell consortium do for fuel cells what Tesla’s supercharging network did for BEVs?

May 22nd to May 28th

Jim Hackett... the next Mulally or the next Nardelli?

May 29th to June 4th

HERE say that driverless cars will feature such powerful computers that, when they are parked up, their spare brain power could be leased out

April 2017

April 3rd to April 9th

Read all about it in PDF format

April 10th to April 16th

Volvo recognise driverless cars will likely lead to fewer vehicles being manufactured

April 17th to April 23rd

German OEM profits are exceeding expectations and FCA’s sales in Europe are on a tear. Peak auto any time soon?

April 24th to April 30th

French oil major Total publicly acknowledging the effect that electric cars will be having on fuel demand by the 2030’s

March 2017

March 27th to April 2nd

Read all about it in PDF format