Biomass and waste incineration not as green as pretended?

April 07, 2020

While the CO2 taxes Europe is imposing are getting higher every year, there seems to be a problem in the sector of green energy production. International agreements make clear that CO2 emissions have to be reduced and that sustainable energy sources have to be prioritized. But what about biomass energy plants and waste incineration? Researchers […]

When will car assembly plants reopen?

April 07, 2020

In Belgium, Audi and Volvo would like to reopen their plants after the Easter holidays. BMW is holding on until the end of the month. Every car manufacturer is trying to plan a reopening as soon as possible, but many problems still have to be solved. Most concrete are the plans of Volvo Ghent. “We […]

Car industry’s biggest crisis: round-up of Q1 in 2020 (Update)

April 06, 2020

At the beginning of the year, corona hit China and (indirectly) the manufacturers in other parts of the world. Now that the virus has spread worldwide, the corona crisis announces itself as the biggest crisis ever, we give a round-up of a disastrous first quarter of the year. At the beginning of the year, especially […]

BMW importer provides transport in Corona times

April 03, 2020

At the headquarters of the Belgian importers, many press and demo cars are at a standstill for the moment. BMW Belux and Mini Belux wanted to use them nevertheless, so it made the cars available to people battling the coronavirus or suffering from its economic consequences. Mini Mini Belux proposes the use of its temporarily […]

Exception: Tesla sold more cars in Q1 2020

April 03, 2020

Electric car manufacturer Tesla was the big exception in the first quarter of the automotive ‘horror year’ 2020. During the first three months of this year, Tesla sold 40% more cars than during the same period in 2019. In total, Tesla delivered 88 400 cars, and this was far more than what was expected by […]

PSA sends heavyweight to China

April 01, 2020

Now that the corona crisis is fading in China, the industry and trade are trying to start up again. Just now, PSA has announced that it sends Grégoire Olivier, a company heavyweight, to China to replace Carlos Gomes, who has chosen to leave the company. Grégoire Olivier is actually the secretary-general of the PSA Group, […]

Agnelli family goes on with business, despite corona

April 01, 2020

Exor, the holding of the Agnelli family and biggest shareholder of Fiat Chrysler Automobile, goes on doing business, despite the corona crisis. Monday, it announced a 200 million dollar investment in technology company Via. By doing so, it becomes an 8,87% shareholder and gets a chair on the board, like other investment companies such as […]

BYD unveils new, much safer ‘blade battery’

March 31, 2020

On Monday, Chinese vehicle and battery manufacturer, BYD, unveiled its new ‘blade battery’. It promises to be more compact and much safer. During the online launch event, BYD President Wang Chuanfu declared that the blade battery embodies BYD’s concern to solve battery safety problems. In a video, BYD showed a blade battery being pierced by […]

BMW shows powertrain of its hydrogen car

March 31, 2020

The premium German car manufacturer, BMW, is showing the first virtual insights into the powertrain system of its hydrogen car, i Hydrogen Next, first shown at the Frankfurt Motorshow IAA. The system is one of the alternative powertrain systems BMW is further developing, considering the different markets and customer requirements all over the world. “We […]

Electric classic cars on the rise

March 27, 2020

More and more electrically driven old-timers are introduced on the market. At first, they were offered by small enthusiast companies. Now, also, car manufacturers are interested. Fans of those classic cars are increasingly scared that they won’t be able to drive their original specimen anymore because of emission restrictions. Today, VW is jumping on the […]

EU emission rules divide European car industry

March 27, 2020

The European car manufacturer association, ACEA, is preparing an official demand to postpone the stringent EU rules on CO2 emissions entering into force by the end of this year. But inside the organization, not all ducks are in a row yet, and there will also be fierce opposition from the EU Parliament. The car manufacturers […]

Dark future for car industry, PSA-FCA marriage threatened

March 26, 2020

AlixPartners, an American consultancy agency renowned in the automotive sector, has published a study last Tuesday about the consequences of the corona crisis on the car industry. They see three scenarios, from reasonably dark to extremely gloomy. The first scenario takes a fairly rapid recovery into account, including an 8 to 12% regress in sales, […]

Dutch study proves ‘EVs always better for climate’

March 25, 2020

A study of Radboud University (Nijmegen, the Netherlands), together with the universities of Exeter and Cambridge in the UK, is formal: electric vehicles are always more environmentally friendly. Even when the electricity used to drive the EVs is partly made with fossil fuels like gas or even coal, the balance is still positive for the […]

Are car dealers the weakest link in the chain?

March 24, 2020

At the moment, car dealers are only permitted to perform urgent repairs. For all other things, showrooms and workshops are closed. In a sector where the margins are already fragile, this can cause big problems. As in many other countries, Belgian car sales have come to a complete halt due to the corona crisis. All […]

Germany changes budget strategy entirely

March 24, 2020

Germany, until now, one of the most fervent defenders of financial orthodoxy, completely changes strategy because of the corona crisis. On Monday, the German government adopted measures implying hundreds of billions of euros, something that was never seen since the end of World War II. Germany is suspending all budget limits and foresees massive aid […]

Car industry closing down almost completely

March 23, 2020

Apart from the hesitant reopening of plants in China, the entire car industry is heading for a ‘lockdown’ all over the world. We already gave several updates in the past, here is the latest update on the state of the world’s car industry at this moment. Europe In Europe, there were already a lot of […]

Car industry under severe pressure: will Europe be most hurt?

March 20, 2020

While the Chinese car industry is slowly restarting, the rest of the world is now coming to a halt because of the corona crisis. We already mentioned multiple closings of plants a few days ago. Now, it’s practically the entire ‘western’ industry that is closing down. The European tendency has crossed the Atlantic now. Big […]

Move Mobility: ‘You can convert car users’

March 17, 2020

The Dutch bureau, Move Mobility, has elaborated a new, more sophisticated calculation model for mobility problems. Research shows that investing in public transport and bikes is far more efficient against traffic jams than investing in roads for cars. “If you make public transport good enough, a part of the car users will change,” says Hans […]

European car industry is closing down (update)

March 17, 2020

Where the Chinese car industry is slowly starting up again, the European car industry is rapidly closing down because of the coronavirus and supplying problems. At this moment, the ‘Southern’ manufacturers with a lot of factories in the south of Europe are closing down, but the rest is following at a rapid pace, everywhere else. […]

Composing e-car sounds, a new kind of design

March 16, 2020

One of the charms of an electric car is the absence of (motor) sound. Nevertheless, manufacturers think that a lot of customers will miss them. So they pay composers to create new sounds for the car. “We can’t ignore the fact that if you want to distinguish yourself, you can’t do it with design alone, […]

The limits of a ‘Green Deal’

March 16, 2020

Europe has launched its ‘Green Deal’ recently, and also in the States, there is a proposition for ‘a green new deal’ on behalf of the Democrats. Both deals have a big number of points in common, but they also have important limits, some say. Both plans want CO2-neutrality in 2050, the change to renewable energy, […]

ADAS, a blessing or a curse?

March 11, 2020

Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) are increasingly installed in cars. They can help the driver, but they can get too intrusive for some and, above all, they’re expensive. Some manufacturers ask themselves if this isn’t a bridge too far, advancing too quickly. Today’s driver assistance systems are foreboding the autonomous car of tomorrow. But lane-keeping […]

E-bikes more popular to steel

March 11, 2020

In 2019, almost 40% more electric bikes were stolen in the Netherlands. This is, of course, a direct consequence of the booming sales. While those bikes are also more expensive, the financial damage rose even more. “We’ve lost millions of euros extra,” says Bert Gelling from ANWB, the biggest bike insurer. Last year, 420 000 […]

Maxime Picat: ‘PSA wants to make cars for everyone’

March 10, 2020

Many car manufacturers are struggling. Lately, their reaction to the different threats differ. In this article, we talk with Maxime Picat, since 2016 EVP at PSA and Operational Director for Europe. Our rendezvous was scheduled for Geneva, but we finally talked on the phone. Of course, Maxime Picat couldn’t hide being exalted by the fact […]

Morphoz: Renault presents adaptable car

March 09, 2020

At the canceled Geneva show, Renault was ready to show the Morphoz concept car. As the name suggests, the vehicle can change according to the needs of its passengers. It’s Renault’s vision on personal and shared mobility for 2025 and beyond. Morphoz sits on Renault’s future, a modular electric platform CMF-EV that will be used […]

Fiat presents its first BEV, the new Fiat 500

March 06, 2020

Due to being a star at the canceled Geneva Motor Show, Fiat launched last week in Milano, its third generation of the Fiat 500, the fully electric version being the highlight. FCA has mobilized opinion-makers like Leonardo di Caprio and illustrious brands like Armani, Bvlgari, and Kartell to support the launch. The first by showing […]

Geert Bruyneel (Volvo): ‘The success of Ghent is competence’

March 06, 2020

On Thursday, Volvo inaugurated its brand new battery assembly plant in Ghent, the first for Volvo. Belgian Geert Bruyneel, responsible for Global Production Operations at Volvo, had traveled from Göteborg to comment on the important investment. “Sustainability is as important as safety at Volvo,” says Geert Bruyneel. “That’s why we are on this electrification journey. […]

BMW i4 Gran Coupe: first EV of the new era for 2021

March 04, 2020

Almost ten years go, BMW was a pioneer in electromobility with two models, the i3 and i8. After years of silence, the first car of the new EV era will be launched in 2021. It’s a 3 Series-sized sedan aiming directly at competitors like a Tesla Model 3 or a Polestar 2. The small i3 […]

Coronavirus leads to nose dive in global vehicle sales

March 04, 2020

Global light vehicle sales figures from the first month of 2020 should make for alarming reading. Just 6,2 million were sold in January, the lowest monthly figure since January 2012, which saw 5,9 million units sold, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company. Mike Vousden, Automotive Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “While the drop […]

Volkswagen’s second EV called ID.4 will be SUV

March 04, 2020

The second full-electric VW in the ID. range, finally called ID.4, will be an SUV. The product version of the ID. Crozz show car will be launched in the second half of this year. This BEV will be sold in Europe, China, and the US. Just recently, VW CEO, Herbert Diess, announced that the popularity […]

Dacia Spring: cheap EV for 2021

March 03, 2020

Renault’s daughter, Dacia, released the first news of its Spring concept, meant to be shown in a world premiere at the Geneva Motor Show. The Dacia Spring Electric Showcar wants to be the cheapest EV on the market, available in 2021. In September 2019, former CEO Thierry Bolloré promised us the most affordable small electric […]

Car market hesitates, hybrid revives

March 03, 2020

The first figures about the car market in 2020 indicate a hesitation in car sales, to be confirmed. Hybrid cars, on the contrary, are fighting back. Not so long ago, they were declared dead. Now, it becomes obvious that they probably will be the preferred link to electrification for a lot of people. In France, […]

Peugeot 208 is Car of the Year 2020

March 02, 2020

The 60 members of the Car of the Year jury, coming from 23 European countries, have elected the new Peugeot 208 as The Car of the Year 2020. It won the title with a considerable lead on the Tesla Model 3 (2nd), and the Porsche Taycan (3rd), two full-electric cars that took too many points […]

Is no Geneva Motor Show the culmination point?

March 02, 2020

160 exhibitors are already breaking up their costly Geneve exhibition stands. The Geneva International Motor Show (GIMS) has been canceled this year. The loss for the organizers is estimated at 30 million Swiss Francs; all the exhibitors have to pay their costs themselves. For a long time, the GIMS organizers insisted on the fact that […]

Citroën launches Ami, an electric four-wheel ‘people mover’

February 28, 2020

On Thursday, PSA-daughter Citroën launched Ami, the production version of Ami One, a prototype it showed in Geneva last year. The manufacturer doesn’t like you to call it a car; it’s a ‘moving object able to transport two people in an urban environment’. At Citroën, they describe their Ami as ‘disruptive urban mobility’. It’s small; […]

PSA sells less, earns more

February 28, 2020

The French car manufacturing group, PSA, just announced a record benefit for the year 2019. Although it sold fewer cars, it earned more money and will let the shareholders and the personnel benefit from it. “Our company is financially very healthy at this moment,” declared Group CEO, Carlos Tavares, when he presented the yearly financial […]

Renault adds Twingo Z.E. to its electric portfolio

February 27, 2020

French car manufacturer Renault has announced that it will add a full-electric version to its smallest car range, Twingo. The Twingo Z.E. will have the city as its favorite playground. At last, Renault has decided for the obvious. Its recent Twingo shares practically all technology with the Smart Forfour. This Daimler product is already two […]

Brexit: is Nissan thinking of leaving Europe?

February 26, 2020

The president of Nissan Europe, Gianluca de Ficchy, has evoked the possibility that Nissan could leave Europe because of a no-deal Brexit. A key player in this story is Nissan’s Sunderland plant in north-western England. “If Great Britain is not capable of closing a free trade agreement with the EU after Brexit, there will be […]

VW CEO Diess: ‘SUVs will become less popular’

February 26, 2020

Volkswagen Group CEO, Herbert Diess, has caused a certain turmoil with his statement that shortly, SUVs will lose part of their popularity. The cause? Electrification. Last year, VW still thought that half of the cars sold would be SUVs in 2025; now, the big boss apparently sees a change. This is remarkable, given the fact […]

Regarding battery production, VW wants to be a free-rider

February 25, 2020

VW wants its own battery technology and strategy. That’s why it’s joining with Northvolt to build a giga-factory in northern Sweden and another one in German Salzgitter. In doing so, VW is showing it wants to be a free-rider in the battery competition. Car manufacturers are all aware of the importance of batteries. To be […]

DS 9 symbolizes return of French premium cars

February 25, 2020

The French PSA daughter, DS, manufacturer of cars with a certain ‘French chic’, launches DS 9, a ‘grand sedan’ reminiscing to the times of the original (Citroën) DS. In fact, it’s the successor of the beautiful but fairly unsuccessful Citroën C6. DS 9 is a real sedan, with three different volumes and strong, elongated lines. […]

What’s the future for road assistance provider Touring?

February 24, 2020

Touring Club de Belgique, the national road assistance provider, is celebrating its 125th anniversary. Time to look ahead, the world is changing rapidly, and high business dependence on car ownership may be a hindrance in the future. Will Touring become a mobility club like its Flemish competitor VAB? Until today, road assistance is the core […]

LEZ: the lessons learned from Rotterdam

February 24, 2020

At the beginning of this year, the Dutch city of Rotterdam abolished its Low-Emission Zone (LEZ) that started in 2016. A measure in stark contrast with the city of Ghent, for example, where a LEZ has been introduced recently, and a possible expansion is causing a political uproar. The LEZ of Rotterdam was from the […]

Hyundai and Kia announce predictive shift system

February 21, 2020

Hyundai Motor Company and Kia Motors Corporation announced the development of a Connected Shift System based on Information and Communication Technology (ICT). Both are the most important members of the South Korean-based Hyundai Motors group. The Connected Shift System can predict the oncoming road and traffic conditions and act on the shifting pattern of the […]

Jaguar Land Rover goes urban with Project Vector

February 20, 2020

As a part of its ‘Destination Zero’ mission, Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) showed Project Vector, a concept car that wants to integrate into smart city infrastructures of the future. Project Vector wants to be an advanced, flexible, multifunctional electric vehicle platform, ready to drive autonomously when needed. The idea is to be of service for […]

‘Diesel may die slowly, but it will die.’

February 20, 2020

Ferdinand Dudenhöffer is a renowned car expert in Germany, director of the Center for Automotive Research (CAR) of Duisburg University. He is a close follower of the car market (especially in Germany) and sees the diesel engine slowly fading away. The industry has admitted to this too. A lot of car manufacturers have severely reduced […]

‘Fake’ plug-in hybrids pay a lot more taxes in 2020

February 20, 2020

Plug-in hybrids that don’t fulfill the new requirements are much more expensive this year. The fiscal advantage of those lease-cars dwindles: halving of the fiscal deduction percentage, up to four times more benefit of all nature. Fraud use of these so-called ‘fake’ plug-in hybrids has caused new, more stringent requirements for PHEVs to comply with. […]

Polestar 2 kicks off, we drove it

February 17, 2020

Volvo/Geely’s electric brand, Polestar, is really coming on the market now. Apparently, the interest of the visitors at the Brussels Motor Show, its first public appearance as a car to be bought, was higher than expected. From Friday on, orders are happily awaited. We were invited to Volvo’s confined testing site near Gothenburg to make […]

Belgian renewable energy production up 20%

February 14, 2020

Electricity production through solar panels and windmills grew 20% in Belgium in 2019. The jump from 9,7 TWh in 2018 to 11,5 TWh in 2019 is mostly due to wind energy. Those are the results published by the Regulating Commission for Electricity and Gaz (CREG). Solar and wind energy installations represented 16% of the total […]

Flanders investigates ‘improper use’ of fiscal benefits for pick-ups

February 13, 2020

The Flemish Minister for the Budget, Mathias Diependaele (N-VA), starts an investigation about the improper use of the tax advantages attributed to pick-up vehicles. The sales of pick-ups have tripled in the past ten years. This success is mostly due to the fiscal advantages. When somebody registers a vehicle as a ‘light truck’, he/she pays […]

Nissan sues Ghosn for €83,4 million before civil court

February 13, 2020

Nissan counter-attacks: last Wednesday, it has started a new procedure before a Japanese civil court and asks 10 billion yen (€83,4 million) compensation payments from its former CEO, Carlos Ghosn. The latter has fled Japan at the end of last year and has started lawsuits against his former employers. Nissan explains that the procedure is […]

Volvo and Geely ready for fusion

February 11, 2020

The Swedish car manufacturer Volvo was already owned by the Chinese carmaker Geely for 99% but was acting independently. Now they’re thinking of fusing into one big company to better withstand the uncertain future and its many challenges. By working together, Volvo and Geely estimate themselves to be well-armed to face the changes. “This combination […]

BMW Head of Design: ‘Car sector is turned upside down’

February 10, 2020

For ten years now, Dutchman Adrian van Hooydonk leads the design department of the German premium car manufacturer BMW. He thinks the whole car sector is now ‘in a perfect storm’. “In our industry, everything is turned upside down.” “We have electrification, we have autonomous cars coming, and everything has to be done at the […]

VW gives each brand a region and a mission

February 10, 2020

Since his venue to power, VW Group CEO, Herbert Diess, has been working on a plan to give each brand of the group a specific geographical responsibility and a trade mission. Lately, it has become clear where he wants them to be. The VW Group counts four so-called generalist brands like Audi, Seat, Skoda, and […]

Volvo CEO: ‘We have no intention to pay EU fines’

February 07, 2020

Volvo CEO, Hakan Samuelsson, was in Brussels on Thursday to comment on the good results of the Swedish/Chinese car manufacturer last year. The Ghent factory is playing a major part in these positive evolutions. In 2019, Volvo sold 705.000 cars (+9,8%), (first time more than 700.000), and turnover increased with 8,5% to 26 billion euros. […]

Peugeot: ‘We’re right on track’

February 06, 2020

French car manufacturer Peugeot, part of the PSA Group, has no fear about the stringent EU average CO2 rules. At a driving presentation of all their electrified models, they confirmed to be ‘right on track’ to meet the European standards. The brand strategy of Peugeot is focused on three elements: serenity, pleasure, and simplicity. Peugeot […]

Is 6% of Belgian car sales fake?

February 06, 2020

Once again, there’s some commotion about the car sales figures in Belgium in 2019. Officially, 550.003 car sales were registered, a very good result, and second-best year ever. But 6% (34.952 cars) was deregistered a few months after registration and sold elsewhere. The practice is common knowledge in Belgium. Importer federation Febiac, which is delivering […]

Mercedes stops development new internal combustion engines

February 05, 2020

German vehicle manufacturer, Daimler, has announced that it will no longer develop new internal combustion engines (ICE) for passenger cars. Instead, it will concentrate on battery technology and electric motors. It was the Head of Development, Markus Schäfer, who declared that there were no development projects anymore for future ICE. Emission rules and fiscal measures, […]

Frankfurt Motor Show IAA is dead

January 31, 2020

After the disaster of last September, the German car manufacturer association VDA has decided to leave Frankfurt to organize its big bi-annual motor show. The famous, 70-year-old IAA in Frankfurt is dead. It was an accident waiting to happen. The last Frankfurt Motor Show or IAA was a disaster, both for the manufacturers (some 500.000 […]

British car industry first victim of Brexit

January 31, 2020

Since Brexit was voted in 2016, the British car industry shrank 25%. Last year total car production was 1,3 million units, far away from the 2 million that were predicted only four years ago. Of course, the crisis in the British car industry is not due to Brexit alone. The has also been the diesel […]