ABB CEO: ‘It’s time to move to electric vehicles’

August 29, 2023

In an interview with the Swiss newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung, the CEO of the Swedish/Swiss technology group ABB, Björn Rosengren, says that the time has definitely come to buy an electric car. The development of charging infrastructure is gaining momentum, so the biggest hurdle is disappearing. “Due to Covid-19, I’ve been unable to travel to […]

MD ALD/LeasePlan Belgium: ‘Our world will be completely different in ten years’

August 02, 2023

In May of this year, vehicle lease company ALD Automotive announced that it had successfully acquired 100% of LeasePlan, one of the world’s leading fleet management and mobility companies. More than enough reasons for us to talk with Johan Portier, the new Country Managing Director of ALD Automotive/LeasePlan in Belgium. This transformative acquisition represented a […]

Bolt has its new e-scooter, the Bolt 6

July 20, 2023

Estonian mobility company Bolt introduced its new e-scooter, Bolt 6. The plan is to gradually roll out the new model, with better handling and a pimped-up design, in Brussels and the other cities where Bolt operates. According to the company, the new two-wheeled means of transport sets a new standard for safety and sustainability. Two […]

Ford Pro CEO : ‘Software-based vehicle is much harder to design than EV’

April 06, 2023

Just before the presentation of the new Ford E-Transit Courier, we got a chance to sit down with the CEO of Ford’s commercial vehicle operation Ted Cannis. He offered some insight on what’s next for Ford Pro, and how he would like to see some support from the Belgian government for electric commercial vehicles. “At […]

BMW CEO: ‘Openness to all technologies is best for climate’

March 03, 2023

During a round table, BMW Group CEO Oliver Zipse told car magazine and others about his view on hydrogen and the plans to ban ICE cars in the EU by 2035. In his view, “hydrogen-fueled cars don’t stand a chance against BEVs except for customers who do not have access to charging infrastructure or […]

Citroën CEO: ‘Cars should be smaller, cheaper… and more enjoyable’

February 09, 2023

Citroën CEO Vincent Cobée is clear: the energy transition will lead to another smaller, lighter type of car. It could prelude the end of the current hype: the big, boxy SUV. BEVs need more aerodynamic shapes and as less weight as possible. Unfortunately, that’s hardly the case for SUVs. The Citroën boss is fairly outspoken […]

Jon Williams (Ford): ‘Different customer needs ask for specialized businesses’

January 18, 2023

At the Brussels Motor Show, we met Jon Williams, European Vice-President and General Manager of Ford Blue, the ICE part of Ford Europe’s business. He talked about the different specialisms inside Ford Motor Company now. “Recently, we’ve made clear that electrification and sustainability are the main priorities for our company, certainly in Europe,” Williams started. […]

Henrik Fisker: ‘Nobody wants to drive a bad-looking car’

December 28, 2022

Since the end of last month, the first units of the new electric SUV Fisker Ocean have been coming of the line in the Magna-Steyr factory in Austria. This is a perfect moment to ask CEO and owner Henrik Fisker about his views on the car business and its recent evolutions. Henrik Fisker is Danish […]

CEO Enerdeal: ‘Solar energy production is mature, let’s implement it

August 30, 2022

In light of the recent events and their impact on the energy market, we chatted with Grégoire de Pierpont, CEO of Enerdeal, an installer of solar energy systems at the industrial level. “Our company has existed since 2009 and is mainly active in Belgium and Luxembourg but also in Africa. We install medium to large […]

China’s BYD stopped making pure ICE cars once and for all

April 04, 2022

China’s second-biggest independent automaker next to Geely, BYD or Build Your Dream in English, announced on Sunday that it had stopped ultimately making cars with only an internal combustion engine (ICE). BYD will only continue to produce smaller ICE engines for its plug-in hybrids, next to battery-electric models, the sole focus left. On Twitter, BYD […]

‘Mazda keeps to its multi-solution approach’

March 11, 2022

When traveling to Mazda’s EU headquarters in Frankfurt for the CX-60 reveal, we talked with Joachim Kunz, Senior Management Development & Engineering, and Jo Stenuit, Design Director. They’re both impregnated by the need for Mazda to stay Japanese and to offer an alternative to classic premium. In a multi-solution approach. “At Mazda, we’re bound to […]

Tavares: ‘electric is tech chosen by politicians, not by industry’

January 19, 2022

In an interview with four European media, the CEO of Stellantis, Carlos Tavares, gave his thoughts on Europe’s campaign to phase out the internal combustion engine by 2035. The 63-year-old company director believes that switching to more expensive EVs without a progressive transition could create a social fracture. One year after the fusion of French […]

Asking Alain Visser: ‘Lynk & Co victim of its success?’

November 03, 2021

Volvo’s sister brand Lynk & Co, just celebrating its fifth anniversary two weeks ago, is struggling to keep all of its 30 000 – or even 50 000 – ‘club members’ in Europe happy and tackle software problems that may differ in different countries. And every day, some 150 to 200 additional members are signing […]

Toyota: ‘Carbon is the enemy, not a particular drivetrain’

August 31, 2021

Toyota Motor chief scientist Gill Pratt denies that Toyota has been slow to develop full battery solutions. However, a significant portion of the $10 billion per year the company spends on R&D goes to scientists working on battery development. In a blog post, Pratt counters the criticism of Toyota dragging its feet about BEVs and […]

MD LeasePlan Belgium: ‘We’re at a crucial tipping point regarding EVs’

March 22, 2021

Recently, car leasing company LeasePlan published its yearly ‘Mobility Insight Report’. According to Johan Portier, Managing Director of LeasePlan Belgium, the most striking result is that some 55% of the Belgians consider switching to electricity when buying a new car. “We are at a crucial tipping point regarding electric driving,” he says. We had a […]

‘2021 fiscal year to be most difficult in Ryanair’s history’

February 02, 2021

In a recent press release, Irish low-cost airline Ryanair reports a €306 million net loss and a 78% drop in customers during 2020’s third-quarter (October to December) due to the corona pandemic and the different travel restrictions. The airline declares that its balance sheet remains one of the strongest in the industry, with €3,5 billion […]

Shell buys German lamppost charging specialist ‘ubitricity’

January 26, 2021

Dutch oil giant Shell will buy German charging point manufacturer ubitricity if allowed to do by competition authorities. The Germans are specialists in integrating EV charging points into lampposts and bollards. In the UK, ubitricity has built in more than 2 700 chargers into ‘street furniture‘ already, being the largest provider with a market share […]

Alain Visser, CEO of Lynk & Co (2): ‘We are the wild horse in the stable’

January 13, 2021

Alain Visser, CEO of Lynk & Co, preaches the revolution. He doesn’t want to sell cars anymore, he wants to lend them monthly, and he wants his clients to share them. In this second part of the interview, he explains how it works. Visser has no high opinion of the current car business. Over the […]

Alain Visser, CEO of Lynk & Co (1): ‘We go for another business model’

January 12, 2021

The Belgian Alain Visser is Lynk & Co’s CEO, the Chinese Geely daughter who intends to change things on the car market. Many new and sometimes controversial ideas come from or are stimulated by the CEO — no better reason for having a chat with him. We’ve known Alain Visser for a long time. Already […]

Interview: the new faces at PSA Belux

January 07, 2021

Dutchman Bas Viveen, an ‘automotive veteran’ with mileage at Renault, Nissan, Peugeot, and Opel/Vauxhall Europe, runs Peugeot Belux for a few months already from August 2020. His colleague CEO at Citroën Belux, Frenchman Damien Martin-Cocher, just arrived from Ukraine, finishing his obligatory ‘quarantine’. Time to meet the new faces at PSA Belux. For both men, […]

BMW accelerates EV production even more

December 29, 2020

Is the German car manufacturer BMW getting nervous about the energy transition? In any case, the company wants to draw already one-fifth of its turnover out of electric cars in 2023. At the moment this is 8%. According to CEO Oliver Zipse, talking to the South-German newspaper Augsburger Allgemeine, there should be 10 million EVs […]

Fiat reveals new ‘3+1’ body version of New 500 Electric

October 26, 2020

Fiat has introduced a new version of its electric 500 – the Fiat New 500 3+1, which is characterized by an additional door on the passenger side, hinged in the opposite direction. Thus, the New 500 3+1 is designed to make access to the second row of seats easier – whether for passengers or if […]

Nissan COO: ‘The relation with Renault has never been this strong’

September 08, 2020

Ashwani Gupta, a lively Indian in his early fifties, has the most difficult task at Nissan: making the failing Japanese number two profitable again. At Nissan, he’s COO, member of the board, director of operations, and performance. In short, he’s the duty fire officer. Gupta and the newly appointed Luca de Meo at Renault have […]

Polestar opens first ‘Space’ in Brussels

July 24, 2020

Polestar, the new car manufacturer of electric vehicles and daughter of the Chinese Geely Group, has opened its first ‘Space’ in Brussels, the third in the world, after Beijing and Oslo. Later, there will be three more in Belgium, in Antwerp, Ghent, and Liège. “Brussels gets renowned for the implantation of green mobility,” says Lies […]

Agnelli family invests in Belgian e-bike Cowboy

July 23, 2020

Exor Seeds, an investment vehicle of the Fiat family Agnelli, is one of the new investors in the Belgian connected e-bike Cowboy. The Brussels start-up raises 23 million euros in a new capital round. The money will be used to design new bikes and expand the sales network, co-founder of Cowboy, Adrien Roose, says. An […]

Nissan MD West Europe: ‘We will be the smart follower’

July 23, 2020

Last week, Nissan presented its second full-electric passenger car, the Ariya. It’s also the sign for the new Nissan strategy to be developed. We had a brief virtual meeting with the CEO and COO and spoke with the newly appointed MD Nissan West Europe, the Belgian Koen Maes. For Nissan, 2019 has been an ‘annus […]

Stéphane Sertang (Ginion Group): ‘the private car will be for passionates’

June 15, 2020

How is the car business waking up after the corona confinement? Belgian newspaper L’Echo asked Stéphane Sertang, CEO of the car dealer group Ginion, how he sees things. Ginion Group covers a certain amount of (usually premium or high-end luxury) brands. There is Mini, BMW, and Volvo, but also Ferrari, Rolls-Royce, Ferrari, McLaren, Pininfarina, or […]

Erik Swerts, MD Alphabet: ‘Mobility is at a turning point’

June 11, 2020

Just before the corona crisis hit Europe, the mobility supplier Alphabet ordered a mobility survey. We discussed the results with Erik Swerts, Managing Director of Alphabet Belgium & Luxembourg. First, an overview of the most important results. The survey was held in the first half of February 2020 by the research bureau iVOX. 93% of […]

Ex-CEO Audi: ‘The best solution is driving less’

April 27, 2020

Bram Schot (58), the former CEO of Audi, has left the company this month and considers his options. Meanwhile, he analyses the current situation and thinks about the future. He talked openly to the Dutch newspaper Trouw. Schot was the successor of Rupert Städler at Audi in 2018 and led the company through a difficult […]

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 […]

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 […]

e-bike 2.0 gets automatic gearbox

April 02, 2020

The e-bike market has been growing steadily for years. The market represented 9 million units last year. That is why the Belgian company E2 Drives also focuses on this growth market by developing innovative technology with an automatic gearbox. Interesting technology E2, founded by Arthur Deleval and Simon Godfrind, tries to position itself in the […]

CEO Francis Deprez confident D’Ieteren is ‘well-armed’

April 02, 2020

D’ieteren CEO Francis Deprez is facing the worst economic crisis of his career. But D’Ieteren Group is armed with a €1,5 billion in cash. The magazine Trends interviewed Deprez and asked him about his view on the corona crisis and his vision for the future. Impact corona crisis D’Ieteren found a new CEO for its […]

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 […]

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 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 […]

Interview: Frans Timmermans on the EU Green Deal

February 03, 2020

Flemish newspaper De Morgen interviewed Frans Timmermans, ‘Mister climate’ of the European Commission, about the European Green Deal. Timmermans does not see the Green Deal as a fixed plan, but rather as a guideline with the ultimate goal of climate neutrality by 2050. For Timmermans, the Green Deal combines three major challenges in Europe: the […]

German lithium processing plant to prevent battery shortage

January 29, 2020

Advanced Metallurgical Group (AMG) wants to build a lithium plant in Germany. The aim is to prevent a shortage of batteries once the European production of electric cars is running at full speed. The German automotive world warned for such a crisis last week. According to analysts, there will inevitably be a shortage of raw […]

GM is considering (re)launch of electric Hummer

January 15, 2020

Rumour has it that General Motors is considering taking this ultimate off-road vehicle back into production. With an electric motor, it’s true, but still far from energy-efficient. Energy crisis The Hummer made its debut during the first Iraq war, and also remained an armored menace when it was introduced on the road in 1992. When […]

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 […]

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 […]

Seven federations join forces in ‘Low Emission Mobility Platform’

January 08, 2020

Seven Belgian federations are joining forces to set up a so-called ‘Low Emission Mobility Platform’ to exchange knowledge and to boost the breakthrough of sustainable technology in the mobility sector. Priority will be the roll-out of EV charging infrastructure and further development of hydrogen and green gas, the parties state in a press release. The […]

‘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. […]

François Bellot: ‘Belgian rail has too many pen-pushers’

December 11, 2017

In an interview with economical newspaper L’Echo, Belgian federal Minster of Mobility François Bellot (MR) says that at his age, he can speak “without mincing matters“. Like saying the “SNCB/NMBS has too many pen-pushers sitting at a desk and too few people in the field” or Brussels should have to work at night at its […]

“Brussels is slowly getting stuck.”

December 04, 2017

Former CEO of Brussels public transport company STIB/MIVB Alain Flausch leaves the Union of Public Transport which he has lead for 6 years. He is disappointed about Brussels and Belgium as a whole: “We should take other cities as an example,” he claims. In his 6 years as Secretary-General of the international Union of Public […]

Philippe Dehennin (FEBIAC): ‘the friendly neighbouring dealer is not dead yet’

November 30, 2017

Since June 2017 the Belgian Association of Car Manufacturers and Importers (Febiac) has a new president. Phillippe Dehennin left BMW in 2016 and is now the head of what is commonly known as the “car lobby” in Belgium. He is convinced mobility will evolve to multi-modal and inter-modal, but that doesn’t mean that the car […]

EU-Commissioner Bienkowska: ‘I wouldn’t buy a Volkswagen anymore’

November 21, 2017

Three years after dieselgate burst out, what has really changed? “I wouldn’t buy a Volkswagen anymore”, says EU Commissioner for Industry Elzbieta Bienkowska (53) in an interview with Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad. She grew up in communist Poland, being the daughter of a car technician. And it was she who got to deal with the […]

What is D’Ieteren going to do with one billion euro cash ?

November 21, 2017

With the sale of 40% of its Belron business, Belgium’s largest car importer, family concern D’Ieteren, is sitting on a pile of one billion euro in cash. Asked by newspapers L’Echo and De Tijd what D’Ieteren is going to do with it , CEO Axel Miller answers “not to be in a hurry in looking […]

Toyota’s no 2 Didier Leroy: “Ten years ago they made fun of our hybrids”

October 23, 2017

At the age of 59, Toyota’s no.2 worldwide is French, native from Lille, close to the Belgian border: Didier Leroy. He saw Toyota predicting the switch from the combustion engine to electric 15 years ago. Financial newspaper L’Echo interviewed the man on the eve of the Tokyo Motor Show. Leroy’s career at Toyota got a […]