Automotive News Europe - February 2020 - 3
AUTOMOTIVE NEWS EUROPE
Legend's last lap?
olkswagen finds itself at a crossroads
that is reminiscent of what it faced
45 years ago. In both instances environmental and market pressures converged,
forcing VW to make a daring choice about
its future. In 1974 it picked the Golf over
the Beetle as the foundation for its future.
Despite the prosperity achieved from the
success of its best-seller, the Golf's future seems more in doubt than ever. The
automaker's long-term success or failure appears to be directly linked to the
success of the forthcoming full-electric
ID3 compact hatchback, which is underpinned by dedicated architecture that
cost more than 6 billion euros to develop.
Making matters worse for the Golf is that
is it no longer VW's global best-seller. It
lost its title last year to the Tiguan SUV.
We investigate whether this will be the
final generation for the Golf in our cover
story (Pages 6-9).
Koji Sato, who became head of Lexus
in January, starts the decade facing the
same mega-challenge as other automaker CEOs: How to prepare for the rise of
electrified, autonomous, connected cars
on a global level. Lexus's strength in hybrids puts it in a good position to meet
current emissions standards, but regulators are demanding more. Sato outlined
how he will steer the brand through these
obstacles (Pages 10-11).
BMW has no plans to follow rivals such
as Mercedes-Benz and Audi by developing a dedicated electric vehicle architecture to better compete against EV
leader Tesla. Financially, the strategy
makes sense because in the early years
of the market's transition to electrified
vehicles factories can quickly adapt to
changing demand, but the move puts a
premium on finances over offering competitive products. We take a closer look
at BMW's EV plan (Page 12).
Not long ago, optimists predicted that
fully self-driving cars would be on the
road by 2020. Today, top automotive
executives are taking a more pragmatic
view, as the cost and complexity come
into focus and investments are diverted
to more pressing needs such as electrification. Another factor slowing the move
to fully autonomous cars is that consumers are wary after several high-profile accidents, including a fatal Uber crash and
incidents involving Tesla's Autopilot system. A recent Deloitte study found that
positive momentum on consumer trust
in self-driving cars "has slowed sharply
in the past year." We look at what the
future holds for autonomous vehicles
The compact SUV market in Europe is
forecast to be flat this year after years
of growth as automakers replace key
models and the segment pivots away
from diesels toward electrified models.
After this year, however, the segment is
forecast to expand until the middle of
the decade. We look at the trends and
models expected to support this growth
The DS 3 Crossback E-Tense is the
brand's first full-electric vehicle, and
its launch is part of parent PSA Group's
electrification push. The small SUV is
positioned in the premium segment,
where it currently has no direct rivals,
says DS executives, who believe customers will buy a battery-driven DS because it offers a "high-end powertrain."
Also helping is that the car's total cost
of ownership in France, where there is
a 6,000 euro purchase bonus, is lower
than for a gasoline version with an automatic transmission (Page 19).
French supplier Plastic Omnium expects to outperform the global automotive market by an average of 5 percentage points a year and have annual
free cash flow of more than 200 million
euros between 2020 and 2022. We
learned how in an interview with new
boss Laurent Favre (Page 20).
Denso's electrification director for Europe, Ulrich Schwarz, doesn't believe the
supplier's close ties with Toyota, which
is Denso's largest shareholder and a big
believer in hybrids, slowed its efforts to
develop solutions for full-electric cars.
He tells us why on Page 21.
In his new book, "Design: Between the
Lines," former Renault styling boss Patrick Le Quement documents what he
sees as a fundamental shift from the
1960s to 1980s as designers "began
to be looked upon as significant assets
who could transform the destiny of a
company." In our Final Word we also reveal Le Quement's interesting description of the Mustang II (Page 34).
Enjoy the issue!
The first Nissan Juke was a big hit in Europe's small SUV segment when it
launched in 2010, but since then the sector has grown to 24 competitors
from two. Although Nissan was slow to replace the Juke, it believes it has
not only caught up with rivals in the segment but has overtaken them.
"We wanted to make sure we could leapfrog not one but two stages," said
David Moss, Nissan's senior vice president of r&d in Europe. Learn more
about the new Juke on Page 18.
Associate Publisher and Editor
Automotive News Europe - February 2020
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Automotive News Europe - February 2020
Automotive News Europe - February 2020 - Intro
Automotive News Europe - February 2020 - Cover1
Automotive News Europe - February 2020 - Cover2
Automotive News Europe - February 2020 - 3
Automotive News Europe - February 2020 - Contents
Automotive News Europe - February 2020 - 5
Automotive News Europe - February 2020 - 6
Automotive News Europe - February 2020 - 7
Automotive News Europe - February 2020 - 8
Automotive News Europe - February 2020 - 9
Automotive News Europe - February 2020 - 10
Automotive News Europe - February 2020 - 11
Automotive News Europe - February 2020 - 12
Automotive News Europe - February 2020 - 13
Automotive News Europe - February 2020 - 14
Automotive News Europe - February 2020 - 15
Automotive News Europe - February 2020 - 16
Automotive News Europe - February 2020 - 17
Automotive News Europe - February 2020 - 18
Automotive News Europe - February 2020 - 19
Automotive News Europe - February 2020 - 20
Automotive News Europe - February 2020 - 21
Automotive News Europe - February 2020 - 22
Automotive News Europe - February 2020 - 23
Automotive News Europe - February 2020 - 24
Automotive News Europe - February 2020 - 25
Automotive News Europe - February 2020 - 26
Automotive News Europe - February 2020 - 27
Automotive News Europe - February 2020 - 28
Automotive News Europe - February 2020 - 29
Automotive News Europe - February 2020 - 30
Automotive News Europe - February 2020 - 31
Automotive News Europe - February 2020 - 32
Automotive News Europe - February 2020 - 33
Automotive News Europe - February 2020 - 34
Automotive News Europe - February 2020 - Cover3
Automotive News Europe - February 2020 - Cover4