Dieselgate not over yet: 1,6 billion extra costs for Daimler

January 23, 2020

The consequences of ‘dieselgate’ are still looming everywhere. Especially the German car manufacturers are suffering from it. Daimler foresees a further 1,5 billion euros of additional costs, Volkswagen has been condemned to a 135-million-euro fine in Canada. On Wednesday, we were talking about Mitsubishi under investigation by German justice; now the bad news is returning […]

Jackpot for Musk: Tesla passes 100-billion-dollar ceiling

January 23, 2020

For the first time in the company’s history, Tesla has passed the 100-billion-dollar ceiling at Wall Street, making it worth more than German car giant Volkswagen. If it can keep up this value, this means hitting the (first) jackpot for CEO Elon Musk, rewarding him with 346 million dollars. The admiration of Donald Trump, who […]

Opel is almost halving its design department

January 22, 2020

Car manufacturer Opel is scrapping 40% of the jobs of its design department near its Rüsselsheim headquarters. It’s the most recent measure to cut operational and production costs to get the manufacturer profitable in the long run. Just a week ago, Opel announced that it would cut 2.100 additional jobs in Germany through a voluntary […]

Mitsubishi under diesel fraud investigation in Germany

January 22, 2020

German justice has carried out a series of searches in different locations for suspected diesel fraud. The cars concerned were produced by the Mitsubishi group. Ten different locations were searched, among them company offices of Mitsubishi. The prosecutor’s office has declared that “there are presumptions that cars (of Mitsubishi) are equipped with a fraud software […]

‘Battery-trucks’ to sustainably power ToyChamp stores

January 22, 2020

Children’s toy retailer ToyChamp is going to use trucks to supply batteries to its stores in Belgium and the Netherlands. The batteries will be charged by the solar panel park on the roof of its distribution center in Genk. Flemish Minister for Energy, Zuhal Demir (N-VA), was invited to the presentation of the project. Demir […]

VW to buy 20% of Chinese battery producer

January 21, 2020

As European manufacturers are doubling down on electric cars, batteries have become the new gold. German carmaker group, Volkswagen, is set to purchase 20% shares of Chinese battery producer, Guoxuan High Tech. For its part, the European ‘Airbus of battery’ is set to start production in 2022. Pushed by the European authorities, carmakers are jumping […]

Will robot-taxis ever find a real-life use?

January 21, 2020

Autonomous shuttles and robot taxis are supposed to replace the car and other transport with a safer and more intelligent form of mobility. However, while their development has been going on for a few years, questions about usage, economic models, public acceptability, and real-world safety remain. For years, humans have been dreaming of tomorrow’s mobility. […]

EU ‘Green Deal’ will cost at least €1.000 billion

January 21, 2020

European Commissioner Johannes Hahn estimates that the European ‘Green Deal’ will cost at least 1.000 billion euros. He now has to convince the European finance ministers of the ‘Sustainable Europe Investment Plan’. That plan is the investment structure of the ‘Green Deal’ that was proposed in December. To achieve its main goal, a climate-neutral Europe […]

‘The car is not dead, the traditional car industry on the contrary…’

January 21, 2020

Klaus Kaldemorgen from the DWS investment fund thinks that there is a bright future for the automobile, but not really for the current car industry. According to him, the digital data and logistics companies will be the first to benefit from the changes. “The car is not dead, it’s just rejuvenating,” says Kaldemorgen. “The car […]

Toyota to build hydrogen-powered prototype city

January 20, 2020

On the grounds of a closed factory at the foot of the Mount Fuji, Toyota will build a completely new, fully connected and fully renewable prototype city. Called the Woven City, it will be powered by hydrogen fuel cells and is set to become a real-world incubator for tomorrow’s technologies. At the Las Vegas Consumer […]

Brussels Motor Show sees growing interest in electric

January 20, 2020

From the 500.000 visitors to the Brussels Motor Show, there were a lot more interested in purchasing a car than last year. One-third of them showed interest in electrified vehicles, especially hybrids and plug-in hybrids, less in pure electric cars. Hesitation The full-electric car still scares a lot of people. It’s still too expensive for […]

Electric Polestar in Belgium: ‘four brand stores to fuel online sales’

January 20, 2020

At the Brussels Motor Show, Polestar’s COO, Jonathan Goodman, explains the new brand’s expansion plan. The Polestar 2, an electric saloon car with 470 km of range, will be sold exclusively online, but clients will be able to see the vehicle ‘live’ in Belgium’s four brand stores. Belgium is one of the six European countries […]

KPMG rewards employees for using public transport

January 17, 2020

Consulting firm KPMG pushes its employees to swap their company cars for more environmentally friendly solutions. From February 1st, every employee taking the step will get 10 euros per day of mobility budget to be reinvested in mobility solution subscriptions. With this incentive, the company hopes to reduce its CO2 emissions by 350 tons. Worldwide […]

Toyota invests in flying taxi

January 17, 2020

Car manufacturer Toyota invests 394 million dollars in Joby Aviation, an American start-up that wants to make flying taxis. “Aviation is a long-term goal for Toyota,” says CEO Akio Toyoda in a press release taken over by De Morgen. “With this, we have the opportunity to revolutionize the future lifestyle of people and their way […]

Diess: ‘VW definitely needs to speed up transformation’

January 17, 2020

Volkswagen CEO, Herbert Diess, wants the company to speed up its transformation into a technology company. He said that at a meeting with the company’s top management. Diess pointed out the rapid developments at Tesla and Toyota. Volkswagen’s current European sales figures don’t immediately demonstrate the need for change. In 2019, the group remained number […]

Belgian new ‘composite bicycle frame’ start-up gets big contract

January 17, 2020

The start-up Rein4ced, which specializes in the automated production of composite bicycle frames, will build frames for the bicycle giant Accell Group. Every year, the Dutch Accell Group sells more than 1 million bikes. The best-known brands in its portfolio are Batavus, Koga, Raleigh, Lapierre, and Ghost. For five years, Rein4ced worked on a new […]

29% of Belgian consumers ready to buy hybrid

January 16, 2020

According to the Global Automotive Consumer Study 2020, done by Deloitte, 29% of the Belgian consumers are ready to buy a hybrid electric car, and 9% want a fully electric vehicle. These findings corroborate the study of the Belgian car magazine, AutoGids/Le Moniteur Automobile, where one-third of the respondents was ready to drive an electrified […]

Toyota to build second model at French Onnaing site

January 16, 2020

On Tuesday, the 14th of January, the world’s second-largest carmaker announced the production of a second vehicle at its Onnaing (France) plant, where the Yaris is already manufactured. The car will be a small SUV. Neither the name of the model nor the production schedule is known for the moment, although the new model might […]

Elon Musk ‘on schedule’ to become richest man on earth?

January 16, 2020

Both visionary and controversially, Elon Musk has more than a reason to dance these days, as it looks he is ‘on schedule’ to cash his first 346 million dollars bonus of the 50 billion he will get if all targets are met by 2028. Combined with his shares of Tesla and other companies like SpaceX, […]

Toyota launches Kinto mobility services in Europe

January 15, 2020

Kinto, a Toyota daughter providing new mobility services, was started over a year ago in Japan and is now coming to Europe. Kinto will start different services in different countries of the EU, according to what the specific market wants and is ready for. According to an Ernst&Young study, car manufacturers will have to draw […]

Renault President Senard: ‘the Alliance is not dead’

January 15, 2020

Jean-Dominique Senard was on a visit at the Brussels Motor Show. There he confirmed that the rumors about a possible divorce between Nissan and Renault were completely false. “On the contrary, we will see to it that the Alliance will be in full force again as soon as possible.” It was the newspaper, the Financial […]

Additional restructuring for Opel in Germany

January 15, 2020

PSA subsidiary, Opel, will cut 2.100 additional jobs in Germany through a voluntary redundancy plan. Employees born before 1963 will be able to opt for early retirement. The agreement made with the trade unions should lead to “further, clear improvement in our competitiveness,” says Opel boss Michael Lohscheller. In exchange, the manufacturer excludes redundancies until […]

University think tank includes nuclear in Belgian sustainable energy plan

January 15, 2020

Metaforum, the interdisciplinary think tank of the KU Louvain, has published its vision on sustainable and feasible energy and climate policy. The text ‘Sustainable Energy Provision for Belgium’ sides with the Paris climate agreement and the European Green Deal and works out how Belgium can contribute. Renewable energy The authors of the text took up […]

Ryanair becomes Europe’s largest airline

January 14, 2020

With 152,2 million passengers transported in 2019, the Irish low-cost airline, Ryanair, becomes the largest passenger air transporter of Europe. It sits just ahead of the German Lufthansa Group, which transported 145 million passengers last year. Ryanair is still affected by the Boeing 737 Max lockdown, but the company’s share price jumped by 10% in […]

Belgium: one out of three new cars sold is premium

January 13, 2020

According to the Belgian Automotive Sector’s Federation Febiac, one new car out of three sold in Belgium is from a premium brand. This important share is due to the significant number of premium company cars and the aggressive fleet policy from premium brands. “The Belgian fleet car situation is quite specific for our small country. […]

Consumer organization TA launches private car lease solution

January 13, 2020

In partnership with Toyota and Lease Plan, consumer association Test-Achat/Test-Aankoop (TA) is launching a new private leasing solution for its members. According to the association, this offer is designed without unexpected fees, unlike other private lease offers. For many years, Belgian consumer association Test-Achat/Test-Aankoop (TA) has been denouncing the private lease sector’s abuses as an […]

Iron powder: resource for battery of the future?

January 13, 2020

Researchers at the Technology University Eindhoven want to use iron as a fuel because no CO2 is released during combustion, and the powder can be endlessly recycled. Iron powder like a charged battery Professors Niels Deen and Philip de Goey (TU Eindhoven), together with Mark Verhagen, manager of Team SOLID, have built a pilot plant […]

Autonomous revolution to be led by self-driving shuttles

January 10, 2020

Besides the excitement of the past few years about autonomous driving, experts and industrial companies have now realized that the revolution will happen in stages. Robotaxis and shared self-driving vans should lead the way and clear the path for future driverless vehicles. This year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas was not short of […]

Peugeot CEO: ‘Peugeot will comply in CO2 norm from Day One’

January 10, 2020

Jean-Philippe Imparato, CEO of Peugeot and visiting the Brussels Motor Show on Thursday, is clear. “We will be ready for the stringent EU emission regulations from Day One. And that doesn’t mean Peugeot cars won’t be attractive anymore, on the contrary.” The automotive sector is under pressure in Europe. The average CO2 emissions for every […]

‘Real sales’ make Mercedes Belgian premium segment leader

January 09, 2020

Mercedes is number one in premium car sales in Belgium. According to Mercedes-Benz, the brand has made its mark in the professional market for several reasons. Mainly thanks to the extended vehicle portfolio and the availability of cars. Mercedes-Benz was still five thousand vehicles behind BMW a year ago. Now, Mercedes has an advantage of […]

Ex-D’Ieteren CEO becomes Chief of Cabinet at liberal party

January 09, 2020

Axel Miller (54), ex-CEO of D’Ieteren, and former CEO of Belgium’s now state-owned Dexia Bank found a new job as Chief of Cabinet at the Belgian liberal party MR. He fills in the vacancy Gaëlle Smet left when she moved to the European Parliament. Apparently, Miller was ‘seduced’ by young MR president Georges-Louis Bouchez who […]

Rolls-Royce’s SUV boosts record sales

January 08, 2020

British boutique carmaker, Rolls-Royce, announces its biggest year ever with a 25% sales increase for 2019. Part of the BMW mother ship, the brand sold 5.152 cars last year, which was incidentally the first full year for the new Cullinan SUV. Rolls-Royce doesn’t disclose any figures, but America and China were the brand’s biggest markets. […]

48-Volt mild-hybrid technology to become the norm

January 08, 2020

Mild-hybrid technology could very well become the norm for future engines, as its ratio of energy efficiency to cost makes it extremely competitive compared to other fuel-saving technologies. With its low voltage, it’s also safer and lighter. As carmakers are rushing to reduce their average CO2 emissions for 2020 and the upcoming years, numerous types […]

Business is booming for 85-billion-dollar Tesla

January 08, 2020

Tesla is worth over 85 billion dollars on the stock market. This makes the manufacturer of electric cars worth twice as much as Ford. Only Toyota and VW are bigger. The company also makes more profit than expected and sells more cars than ever before. The future also brightens up financially. At the end of […]

Elia: ‘Belgium produces more energy than it uses’

January 08, 2020

Last year, the total consumption of electricity in Belgium decreased by 3%. In 2019, consumption was 84,7 terawatt-hours or the lowest level since 2014. Older figures are not available. Decreasing consumption “We have seen a decline in the energy consumption for some years now,” says Elia spokeswoman, Marleen Vanhecke. “Especially the industry has improved its […]

Luca de Meo on its way to Renault?

January 08, 2020

On Tuesday, a dry press message from car manufacturer Seat announced that CEO Luca de Meo was no longer in function. Most analysts see in this the sign that the deal with Renault is almost concluded. “Seat informs that, on his request and in common agreement with the Volkswagen Group, Luca de Meo is stepping […]

Ginion Group importer of Touring Superleggera

January 07, 2020

Touring Superleggera, one of the legendary Italian ‘Carrozzeria’, born in 1926, has appointed the Ginion group as its importer for Belgium and Luxembourg. The Touring Sciàdipersia Cabriolet (world premiere in Geneva last year) will be exhibited in the Dream Car hall of the Brussels Motor Show (10th to 19th of January) to celebrate this new […]

CO2 emissions of cars up second year in row

January 07, 2020

CO2 emissions from new cars rose sharply in 2019 for the second year in a row. New cars emit an average of 121,2 grams of CO2 per kilometer in Belgium. This brings us back up to the level of 2014. There are a number of reasons for this negative evolution, such as the switch from […]

Engie jumps with Arval onto lease market for EVs

January 07, 2020

Together with the leasing company Arval, the energy company Engie will lease electric cars. Under the name Numobi, they want to manage a fleet of 30.000 electric cars in Belgium by 2030. All-in The energy company Engie and the leasing company Arval expect the demand for electric company cars to skyrocket in the coming years. […]

Belgian Infrabel CEO Lallemand quits for French rail

January 07, 2020

Infrabel CEO, Luc Lallemand (53), is leaving the company to do the same job at the French railway infrastructure management company, SNCF Réseau. Lallemand has been in his current function since the railroad was split up in 2005. At SNCB Réseau, Lallemand will be in charge of 54.000 employees, five times as many as at […]

XR unveils action plans for ‘Brussels Motor Show of Lies’

January 07, 2020

Environmental movement Extinction Rebellion (XR) is proposing a ‘menu’ of eight or more disruptive actions to be performed on Saturday 18 January at the Brussels Motor Show they call the ‘Salon of Lies’. Among these are suggestions of pouring ‘fake blood’ or sticking oneself with superglue to the cars. On its website, XR details how […]

Belgian car industry is doing well in contrast with other EU countries

January 07, 2020

The situation of the car industry in Germany and other European countries is in stark contrast with the one in Belgium. The two remaining manufacturers, Audi in Brussels, and Volvo in Ghent are increasing turnover with 5,5-6%. The German car industry has seen its production numbers fall to a level as low as in 1996. […]

‘Green car’ loans for Brussels Motor Show

January 06, 2020

Less than a week away from the opening of the 2020 Brussels Motor Show, banks are already presenting their new type of loans designed for ‘green cars’. Both BNP Paribas Fortis and KBC offer low 0,80% APR rates for A to B Eco-label cars or electric and CNG cars in the latter’s case. As it’s […]

French-German pilot battery factory to be inaugurated

January 06, 2020

The first tangible example of what has to become Europe’s ‘Airbus of Batteries’ will be inaugurated in Nersac (France) on January 24th by the French Minister of Economics, Bruno Le Maire, and his German colleague, Peter Altmaier. It’s a pilot project involving Opel, Peugeot, Total, and its daughter Saft. The new plant will employ 200 […]

Belgian XenomatiX’s lidar sensors ready for breakthrough

January 06, 2020

For the Belgian company XenomatiX, participating in the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas will be a significant start of an extraordinary year. As a Louvain spin-off of Imec, the company produces the so-called lidar sensors. Multi-beam approach Thanks to XenomatiX’ multi-beam approach – using several laser pulses at the same time – they […]

Audi CEO Bram Schot: ‘Cars will become far more expensive’

January 06, 2020

Audi CEO and Dutchman Bram Schot, who will be leaving Audi in April, sees two evolutions shortly. First, a lot of brands will disappear because they can’t afford the energy transition. Secondly, a new car will be 3.000 to 5.000 euros more expensive within four years. “An electric car is more expensive at the moment,” […]

Belgians still eager to buy cars: second best year ever?

January 03, 2020

Despite continuous calls for climate action and a paradigm shift, Belgians are not prepared to get rid of their cars yet. On the contrary, with 550.003 new vehicles registered, its the second-best year ever for the sector, after 2011 (572.211), and only 371 cars less than in 2018. Other trends are diesel decline slowing down, […]

Booming business: driving and flying on used deep-frying fat

January 03, 2020

The East Flemish family company, Quatra, collects 65.000 tons of used deep-frying oil annually, which is used as fuel for cars and will soon also be used for airplanes. “In ten years’ time, we have become the biggest in Europe.” At the beginning of 2019, Quatra invested 10 million euros for the construction of a […]

Zimmer composes sound for electric BMWs

January 03, 2020

Film music composer Hans Zimmer (62) from now on creates sounds for new electric BMWs. Zimmer created his first sound for the BMW Vision M Next concept car, but he will also make compositions for upcoming production models. From 2021 on, a driving noise is compulsory for electric vehicles, making them safer for pedestrians and […]

‘Artificial Intelligence has to be more human’

January 02, 2020

Artificial Intelligence (AI) can break through if it consumes fewer data and can make connections like humans. That’s what Mieke De Ketelaere says in the weekly magazine Trends. De Ketelaere has been working with artificial intelligence for more than twenty years. Since May, she has been drawing up the strategy for artificial intelligence at IMEC. […]

VAB: ‘Consumer not ready yet for EV’

January 02, 2020

Mobility club VAB has realized its first e-Barometer, surveying 4.000 car users in Flanders. On the question of what they expect from electric mobility, only 5% of individual buyers see themselves in an EV. “The first breakthrough will have to come from the fleet sector,” says Joni Junes from VAB. “There, 10% of the respondents […]

Ghosn’s escape surprised everybody

January 02, 2020

The escape of former Alliance CEO, Carlos Ghosn, has surprised many people. He was under confinement in Japan attending his trial and wasn’t allowed to leave the country. Last Monday, he made a ‘James Bond’ escape to Libanon, apparently aided by a private company hired by his wife, Carole. His Japanese lawyer, Junichiro Hironaka, has […]

Volkswagen imposes dealer association on D’Ieteren

December 29, 2017

After years of discussions and being opposed to it for many years, Volkswagen importer D’Ieteren has finally installed a dealer association in Belgium, named ‘Amicale’. It is composed of 22 bigger dealers, indicated by the importer as ‘market area leaders’. New contracts The association is a direct result of the new type of dealer contracts […]

Small BMW dealers are quickly disappearing in Belgium

December 29, 2017

Small BMW dealers in Belgium are facing tough times. They are pushed to make big investments and the BMW importer wants bigger dealers. The last 5 years 19 of the 69 Belgian BMW dealers changed hands. BMW is doing well in Belgium. This year the German manufacturer will again sell more than 40.000 vehicles and […]

Truck cartel: 3.200 transport companies file €500 million claim

December 28, 2017

More than 3.200 carriers in 9 European countries have pressed charges against a trust of truck manufacturers in München (Germany). Together they claim a compensation of at least 500 million euro. 2,9 billion euro fine Last year truck manufacturers MAN, Volvo/Renault, Daimler, Iveco and DAF already were imposed a 2,9 billion euro fine by the […]

Geely takes major part in Volvo Trucks

December 28, 2017

Chinese car maker Geely, already owning car division Volvo Cars, is taking a major part in AB Volvo, the group building trucks under Volvo brand, Renault and Mack. By acquiring 8,2% of the capital and 15,6% of the voting shares from the Swedish Cevian Capital fund, it becomes the prime share holder. 3,25 billion euro […]

Race for electric airplane has taken off

December 27, 2017

Startups like Lilium, Volocopter or Zunun Aero make up 46% of 70 programs in the world to develop an electric airplane. The question whether these startups might dethrone giants like Airbus, Boeing or Bombardier in the future is not rhetorical anymore. With technology accelerating fast the aviation sector, being a gourmand user of fossil fuels, […]

Clean Air Act saves far more lives than previously thought

December 27, 2017

A study of researchers at MIT (Massachussets Institute of Technology) shows that the environmental measures included in the US Clean Air Act save far more lives than previously estimated. Small and ultra small particles in the air, due to combustion and other pollutants in the air, are responsible for premature death of 4,2 million inhabitants […]

Volkswagen expects record sales and revenue for 2017

December 27, 2017

German car maker Volkswagen with its 12 brands is likely to break its car selling record in 2017. CEO Matthias Müller said to the Welt am Sontag magazine to expect to publish in March “excellent results for 2017 due to record sales and costs cuts”. Remarkable in operational terms “2017 will certainly be remarkable in […]

‘Ferdinand Porsche: automobile legend without scruples’

December 26, 2017

Ferdinand Porsche, legendary figure from last century’s automobile history, didn’t hesitate a moment to get help from the Nazi party without any compromise to reach his goals. Wolfram Pyta, director of the center for research on Nazi crimes in Ludwigsburg (Germany) wrote a tarnishing book about it. SS member “For opportunistic reasons Ferdinand Porsche enlisted […]