Governments don’t want to be milch cows anymore

May 12, 2020

The corona crisis has led to significant economic fall-out. Many companies are looking to governments and public authorities to save them. In principle, those authorities want to comply, but not at any price. They don’t want to be simple milch cows anymore. On Monday, for example, the French Minister for Economy, Bruno le Maire, has […]

VDL Roeselare to build electrical buses for Leipzig

May 12, 2020

VDL Roeselare, the coach manufacturer, based in the Belgian city of Roeselare, is allowed to supply electric buses to the German city of Leipzig. VDL announced this on Monday, May 11th. Made in Belgium VDL Roeselare is the former Jonckheere company, now part of the Dutch VDL Group, with headquarters in Eindhoven. The manufacturer also […]

Belgian pilots fear for their jobs in ‘corona storm’

May 07, 2020

The Belgian pilots of Brussels Airlines and Ryanair are getting ready to face the coronavirus storm. Ryanair will undoubtedly put pressure on the Belgian pilots. At Brussels Airlines, the 692 pilots are waiting for negotiations, as Lufthansa’s pilots will reduce their salaries by 45% for two years. “We often forget to say that, in exchange, […]

Germany to support car industry with purchase premiums

May 06, 2020

The German government is going to revitalize the national car industry by stimulating the demand for cars. Sales have collapsed during the corona crisis. The expected purchase premiums could become part of a comprehensive economic stimulus program. Details are still to be decided. That is the outcome of Tuesday’s ‘car summit’ between the German government […]

Big move from Nissan to save the Alliance

May 06, 2020

To secure the future and solve the problems that occurred in the Renault/Nissan/Mitsubishi Alliance after the Ghosn debacle, Nissan will confine its activities in Europe in the coming years. Japan’s number two car manufacturer will concentrate in the future on the Japanese home market, the United States, and China. Activities in Europe will be restricted […]

Colruyt goes fully for wind energy

May 05, 2020

The Colruyt Group and the Colruyt family are putting all their wind energy companies in one holding, Virya Energy. They also take over Parkwind, the biggest Belgian developer of offshore wind parks. Virya (an allusion on the Buddhist word for energy) is the umbrella for three branches of wind energy companies. There is Parkwind, but […]

6,7 million aviation-related jobs at stake in Europe

May 05, 2020

Several European airlines have announced a total of 24 000 redundancies. The sector is bleeding because of the corona crisis. However, according to IATA, this is only the beginning. The international sector organization warns that 6,7 million European aviation-related jobs will be lost. British Airways has said it would be cutting 12 000 jobs or […]

Xpeng P7, the Chinese Tesla Model 3 challenger?

May 04, 2020

Chinese car manufacturer Xiaopeng, unveiled the Xpeng P7, what it likes to position as a severe challenger for Tesla’s Model 3. Not only the design closely resembles the existing Tesla products, but also the X-pilot function (autonomous driving function) has a lot in common with Tesla’s AutoPilot. Musk even calls it ‘a pale copy’. Xiaopeng […]

Sixteen countries ask EU to allow flight vouchers

April 30, 2020

Twelve European Member States, including Belgium and the Netherlands, have asked the European Commission to temporarily abandon the obligation for airlines to reimburse passengers whose flights were canceled because of the corona crisis if those passengers so request. In this way, they want to give the aviation sector, which has been hit hard by the […]

EU Commission ready to tackle tourism problem

April 29, 2020

On Wednesday the 29th of April the European Commission will convene to design a strategy to save the next tourist summer season in Europe. The Commission seeks to draw protocols about the safe exploitation of tourist facilities all over the EU. The spokesman of Commission Chairwoman Ursula von der Leyen pointed out that the weekly […]

Europe readies massive plan to save auto industry

April 28, 2020

European Commissioner for Internal Market, Thierry Breton, estimates that Europe should dedicate 10% of its theoretical 1 500 billion euro economic stimulus measures to the automotive sector. The Commissioner underlines that 1,4 million companies, generating a return of €2 300 billion, and more than 40 million direct and indirect jobs are at stake. Due to […]

ACEA: ‘Car taxes bring in €440,4 billion in 14 major EU markets’

April 28, 2020

National governments in the EU’s 14 major car markets, including the UK, get a total of €440,4 billion out of vehicle taxes annually. That is the equivalent of two and a half times the total budget of the EU itself, ACEA, the European Automobile Manufacturers Association, writes in its latest edition of its 2020 Tax […]

Audi quits DTM racing

April 28, 2020

Car manufacturer Audi has announced that it will leave the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM) at the end of the season. As a side-effect of the corona crisis, a lot of car manufacturers are questioning their motorsport engagements. “Audi has shaped the DTM and the DTM has shaped Audi, says the new Audi CEO, Markus Duesmann. […]

ACEA: ‘sales of commercial vehicles halved in March’

April 24, 2020

Sales of commercial vehicles have nearly halved, dropping by 47,6% in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the first quarter, this was, on average, -23,2%, according to the latest figures published by ACEA, the European Automobile Manufacturers Association. Hardest hit markets are Spain (-31,7%), France (-26,9%), and Italy (-26,6%), not surprisingly the countries with […]

Volvo launches Stay Home Store

April 24, 2020

The Swedish car manufacturer, Volvo, is launching a Stay Home Store concept. It works via the already existing online sales tool of Volvo Cars and offers customers and dealers a new, transparent, and user-friendly platform for interaction. The platform is available in all European countries where there is a lockdown (representing 60% of Volvo’s sales […]

IATA-boss: ‘low-cost flying, those days are gone’

April 23, 2020

According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the total number of international air passengers could fall by 1,2 billion by September 2020. Fewer passengers and regulations for ‘social distancing’ in airplanes will mean the end of cheap flights, says IATA-boss Alexandre De Juniac. In an interview with the French radio station Europe 1, Alexandre […]

Alcopa joins forces with Bergé Auto

April 22, 2020

The Belgian car distribution company Alcomotive becomes a joint venture between the mother company Alcopa and the automotive distribution group Bergé Auto. Bergé Auto will be the majority partner with a 60% share, while Alcopa will hold the remaining 40%. Alcomotive distributes near to 30 000 vehicles per year in 6 European countries and will […]

T&E: ‘Even in worst-case EV emits 28% less CO2’

April 21, 2020

A new, comprehensive study published by the European Federation Transport & Environment makes it very clear that an electric vehicle (EV) is always cleaner than a classic one with an internal combustion engine (ICE). In the EU, it emits three times less CO2 on average. The study is confirming the results of a Dutch study […]

Belgian energy transition delayed

April 20, 2020

The Belgian energy transition is delayed because the federal government is hesitating to decide. In principle, Belgium will have to close its nuclear power stations in 2025. To be able to do so, gas-fired power stations will have to be built, but the approvals are lacking. Gas-fired power stations According to Elia, the operator of […]

Post-corona era to redefine entire mobility sector

April 20, 2020

Bicycles are a popular way to get around during the corona crisis. Many expect this to continue even after the measures have been lifted. A number of cities also want to adapt their infrastructure to stimulate cycling and to slow down post-corona revival of car usage. Incidentally, the corona crisis is affecting the entire mobility […]

Car sales in Europe: March was a disaster

April 17, 2020

The European car manufacturing association, ACEA, has announced that car sales in Europe regressed by 55,1% in March. Main reason for it was the imposed closing of the dealerships all over Europe around the middle of the month because of the corona crisis. Some 567 000 new cars have been registered in Europe in March, […]

Engie exerts pressure to keep two nuclear reactors until 2045

April 16, 2020

Engie Electrabel wants to keep its two youngest nuclear power plants, Doel 4 and Tihange 3, in operation beyond 2025, even as far as 2045. But this will require a decision before the end of the year. Engie asks Belgian Prime Minister, Sophie Wilmès (MR), to decide this year whether or not to postpone the […]

D’Ieteren CEO: ‘A Belgian car market of 430 000 units this year’

April 14, 2020

Denis Gorteman, CEO of D’Ieteren Auto, is clear. He estimates the Belgian car market at 430 000 units this year and around 450 000 the following years – a far cry from the 550 000 last year. At the moment, the automotive sector is losing 3,7 billion euros a week, says sector federation Traxio. The […]

Liege Airport to become WHO hub for medical equipment

April 14, 2020

Liege Airport has been selected by the World Health Organization (WHO), together with seven other airports all around the world, to become an air hub for critical medical equipment. It is estimated that Liege will deal with some 100 million masks and gloves, 25 million respirators, gowns, and protective kits, and 2,5 million test kits […]

Call for green relaunch plans after corona

April 10, 2020

Many call upon governments to couple post-corona relaunch plans to ecological transition. A proposal from Denmark to attribute economic support in the spirit of the European Green Deal has gained the support of eight EU Member States. Belgium is not one of them since there is no consensus between the different regions. The cause lies […]

Car industry desperately looking for solutions

April 10, 2020

The car industry is struggling and desperately seeking an exit out of this crisis. To achieve this, sh’s giving everything she gots, from the classical lobbying up to the production of urgently needed medical material. The European car manufacturers association ACEA announced yesterday that the production of 1,47 million cars has already been postponed since […]

Brussels Airlines CEO Vranckx: ‘going for it 100%’

April 09, 2020

Brussels Airlines fights to survive amid the corona crisis, but Dieter Vranckx shows himself combative. “I’m going for it 100%.” The newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws interviewed the CEO of the Belgian airline, which is part of Lufthansa. No new Sabena scenario Since March 21st, the 42 Brussels Airlines’ airplanes have been on the ground in […]

Dieselgate isn’t over yet (bis)

April 09, 2020

A British High Court judge has cleared the way for yet another wave of jurisdictional claims against Volkswagen and possibly other manufacturers. The Dutch Diesel Emission Justice Foundation is determined to claim compensation for the 8,5 million Europeans who bought a frauded car from the VW Group. Dieselgate started in September 2015 in the States, […]

Corona: air traffic controller Skeyes hit hard

April 08, 2020

Belgian air traffic controller, Skeyes, loses almost €100 million due to the corona shutdown of air traffic. It’s asking the government for help – the umpteenth victim in the aviation sector. Apart from repatriation and cargo flights, there is very little air traffic in Belgium. “90% of the planned volumes are not used,” says Skeyes […]

Germany is keeping Dutch and Belgian borders open

April 07, 2020

Germany has decided to keep the borders with Belgium and the Netherlands open for traffic. This in spite of the corona crisis. “Health care only works across borders,” the German Minister-President of the federal state North Rhine-Westphalia, Armin Laschet, says. And he refers to the German hospital a little further in Aachen, where German and […]

Will Brussels Airlines once again become a state-owned company?

April 04, 2020

Like many other airlines, Brussels Airlines is severely affected by the corona crisis. The airline would have appealed to the Belgian authorities for at least 200 million euros in aid. According to some sources, the group of experts in charge of rescuing the large Belgian companies as a result of the COVID-19 crisis is also […]

Aviation to be prioritized in Belgian economy rescue

April 01, 2020

With the coronavirus health crisis, the Belgian economy has been put on the back burner. Eight task forces have been set up to focus on rescuing it after the crisis, with aviation getting first dibs. As Belgian aeronautical companies, airlines and airports are on tick over, the sector notes that it will take months to […]

PSA prepares to reopen European plants

March 30, 2020

After shutting down all its European industrial sites due to the coronavirus outbreak and the government lockdown that ensued, the French car-manufacturing group, PSA, prepares to reopen some plants with a specific reinforced work protocol designed to ensure the workforce’s safety regarding the virus. “We won’t make any compromise on the health of our employees […]

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, […]

Corona snowball effect threatens transport sector

March 25, 2020

Although there is still a lot of truck traffic on our roads, these are not golden times for the transport sector. The stagnation of economic life because of the corona crisis has its consequences here too. “I fear a snowball effect from which the transport sector cannot escape,” says Lode Verkinderen. The director of the […]

Which fate for Lufhansa’s daughter Brussels Airlines?

March 25, 2020

With the current air transport crisis caused by the coronavirus outbreak, the Lufthansa group will benefit from emergency help from the German government. But, what will be the fate of the group’s non-German airlines, like the already struggling Brussels Airlines? Strategy professor, Paul Verdin, warns not to repeat the mistakes made during banks’ rescue in […]

Aviation hit hard: $252 billion loss

March 25, 2020

After estimating the cost of the coronavirus outbreak for the air transport sector at 63 billion and then 113 billion dollars last week, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) now foresees the total losses at 252 billion dollars. With the crisis touching 98% of all worldwide passenger air traffic, the sector won’t be back on […]

EU wants a maximum 15 minutes waiting time for trucks at borders

March 24, 2020

The European Commission wants to introduce so-called ‘green lanes’ or priority lanes on the main traffic axes, where trucks can cross the border within 15 minutes. As a result of border controls, traffic jams in some places in Europe reached 40 km last weekend, with waiting times of up to 18 hours. “This must stop. […]

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 […]

Coronavirus: worldwide economic measures to avoid crisis

March 23, 2020

Countries, economic states, and national banks are pouring billions to support the global economy, paralyzed by the Covid-19 virus pandemic. To avoid or reduce as much as possible the pandemic’s impact, they are offering fiscal stimuli, fiscal cuts, rate cuts, and targeted measures. Here is a round-up, country by country. The European Central Bank (ECB) […]

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 […]

Cross-Channel traffic adapts to closure Schengen zone

March 18, 2020

With France imposing a total lockdown, and Europe closing the borders of the Schengen-zone, cross-Channel transport is adapting to the new situation. On Tuesday, Eurostar already decided to scrap half of its high-speed train connections from London with the rest of Europe. From Thursday, Eurostar will reduce its offering by 80%. This means only three […]

Port of Antwerp: ‘vigilant but ensuring critical supply’

March 18, 2020

Lockdown or not, the Port of Antwerp is doing everything in its power to remain fully operational. The port employs some 60 000 people and is of the utmost importance for the supply of Belgium and other EU countries. “We are actively working to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus,” says Port of Antwerp. […]

Corona: bus services under high pressure

March 18, 2020

The Belgian public and private bus sector are under pressure because of the coronavirus. Public bus services are being adapted, and private bus companies are coming to a halt. The Belgian Federation of Bus and Coach Operators (FBAA) consulted some 320 companies. Three-quarters of the fleet, about 8 200 vehicles, is not running. “Our sector […]

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. […]

Volkswagen summoned in Amsterdam court for dieselgate

March 17, 2020

Autoconcern Volkswagen has been summoned by the Dutch Diesel Emissions Justice Foundation because of the diesel scandal. That’s what the Dutch press agency ANP writes. In addition to Volkswagen, the foundation, which is committed to all registered European victims, also sues cheating software developer Robert Boch, importer Pon, and individual Dutch dealers in court in […]

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, […]

BMW: record turnover, but profits down by €2,1 billion

March 13, 2020

German carmaker BMW has posted a record turnover for last year, surpassing the €100 billion for the first time in its history. But profits fell by 29% from €7,1 billion to €5 billion. Considerable investments in electrifying its model range and a piggy bank of 1,4 €billion set aside to pay a pending EU fine […]

BMW plug-in hybrids to go electric in ‘eDrive zones’

March 13, 2020

BMW introduces an eDrive Zone application, which allows its plug-in hybrid cars to switch to electric mode automatically in the city. Drivers who play the game, win free minutes of electric recharging for their car. The company has chosen Switzerland, Germany, Austria, France, the Netherlands, and Belgium to launch the application. In Belgium, seven ‘eDrive […]

Oil price plummets: daily ‘profit’ of €13 million for Belgium

March 10, 2020

The price of crude oil crashed due to lower demand and higher production. One barrel now costs $35, a drop of 22%. It has been since the Gulf War in the early 1990s that the price of crude oil fell so much again in one day. The lower demand is the result of the coronavirus, […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Dutch plan world’s biggest wind farm and hydrogen plant

February 28, 2020

Oil giant Shell, the Dutch gas network company Gasunie and Groningen Seaports want to build a mega-offshore wind farm and a mega-hydrogen plant in the north of the country. The electricity will be used to mass-produce hydrogen by electrolysis. Hydrogen can be transported throughout north-west Europe using the obsolete Groningen natural gas infrastructure. The NortH2 […]

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 […]

‘Diesel waterpump on building site pollutes more then ten trucks’

February 26, 2020

Combustion engines in machines such as diggers, generators, and water pumps on construction sites pollute the air far more than expected. Stricter European standards have recently been introduced for these types of engines, often diesel engines. But in practice, the emission limits are regularly considerably exceeded. Experts say that people living near construction sites, in […]

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 […]

Tesla owners stuck in traffic jams at charging stations

February 25, 2020

The Dutch consultant KPMG had warned about this last week: black EV charging station Saturday. After all, people who are on winter sports with Tesla are suffering from a new kind of traffic jam, namely at the charging stations. On social media, films appear of long rows of Tesla cars at charging points of the […]