Toyota blows hot and cold on EVs

December 21, 2020

At a news conference on Thursday last week, Akio Toyoda, the grandson of Toyota’s founder, Kiichiro Toyoda,  and now President and CEO of the company, said Japan would run out of electricity in the summer if all cars were running on electric power. The infrastructure needed to support a 100 percent EV fleet would cost […]

Is the luxury car ready for the electric era?

December 16, 2020

The energy transition is inevitable. The sooner manufacturers are adapting themselves to it, the better for them. Nevertheless, manufacturers of real luxury cars seem to have many problems to adapt themselves, Porsche being a notable exception. For many of those traditionally-thinking companies, the energy transition won’t be a piece of cake. By the look of […]

Rumble at VW top: Diess stays (for now), Ulbrich is leaving

December 03, 2020

For a while already, there’s an ongoing rumble at the Volkswagen top. Group CEO Herbert Diess has already been deprived of his Volkswagen responsibility, now his plans for further restructuring of the group are colliding head-on with many other board members. The head of electric development, Thomas Ulbrich, has decided to leave. The slumbering conflict […]

American car industry: the Trump years

November 10, 2020

In his 2016 election campaign, President Trump made big statements about reviving and restructuring the American car industry. We try to give a short analysis of what happened and what didn’t. In fact, it was President Obama who saved the American car industry back in 2009 after the financial crisis. With big state loans and […]

Will the corona pandemic change car buying habits?

November 04, 2020

Many car manufacturers are trying online sales. Apart from certain brands, like Tesla, this hasn’t been a big success yet. But the venue of several new brands and the corona pandemic may see this change. For the moment, internet sales are booming. The question is, will it stay like that when things are getting normal […]

Hyundai is rehiring design guru Luc Donckerwolke

November 04, 2020

In March of this year, Belgian car designer Luc Donckerwolke seemed to be leaving Hyundai through the back door. Today, he’s coming back as Chief Creative Officer (CCO), a new prominent position apparently created for him. Donckerwolke resumes his career as Executive Vice president, but his office will now be located at the Hyundai Motor […]

The SUV isn’t dead yet

October 27, 2020

The Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) has become the most popular sort of vehicle in the world. Nevertheless, the criticism is increasing as well: too big, too heavy, too polluting, too intimidating, too… What to think about this split? Until now, the market stays predominantly insensitive to these critics. The SUV represented one fifth (20,9%) of […]

The battle for the battery

October 23, 2020

According to the Swiss bank UBS, the expected battery cost will drop under the ‘magic’ barrier of $100 per kWh by 2022. This will trigger a faster switch to electric vehicles than previously expected. Undoubtedly it will also cause a relentless fight for the production of the heart of an electric car, the battery. Matthias […]

All-season tire more popular, but winter tire not dead yet

October 20, 2020

As November approaches, many car users think of changing their tires from summer to winter tires. In contrast to the US, where all-season tires are top-rated, the European customer was no fan yet. This seems to be changing due to the warm winters and the increasing quality of the newest all-season propositions. “Many people choose […]

‘Electrification will cost jobs all over Europe’

October 15, 2020

Several players in the dealer service and maintenance sector for cars sound the alarm bell. The electrification of the European car park will cost many jobs in the sector because the maintenance of an electric motor is far less complex. The Dutch organization of dealers and repair shops Bovag confirms: “The maintenance needs of an […]

Is there a future for the traditional motor show?

October 13, 2020

With the announcement that the 99th Brussels Motor Show won’t take place in January 2021, one of the last successful shows won’t be there next year. Is there still a place for a traditional motor show in our rapidly changing society? Ten years ago, the hierarchy was still obvious: there was Geneva. Every year, there […]

Brand repositioning, the new toy for marketeers

September 23, 2020

Car analysts all over the world agree that in the future, there will be fewer manufacturers and products because of the increasing costs. Considering the number of different brands, they’re less sure. Creating and repositioning brands has become one of the most important pass-times of the marketeers. An example? Rumors have it that Maserati will […]

Reactions on Vivaldi proposal go in all directions (update)

September 21, 2020

Last week, the plans of the Vivaldi coalition for a Belgian federal government leaked: one of the items that caused turmoil was the obligation to electrification for new company cars, starting in 2026. Of course, the reactions on this plan went in all directions. We try to list all criticisms and give an overview. The […]

‘An EV as my company car? No, thanks’

September 18, 2020

With the proposal out of the political world to make all company cars EVs as of 2026, many reactions have been registered. One of them was about practical experiences in the matter from the last two years. “A totally green, electric company car park in 2026? I like to hear it, but it seems unrealistic […]

Uncertainty leeds to hesitation for Brussels Motor Show

September 10, 2020

On Wednesday, car importer Hyundai Belux has announced that it will not be present at the 2021 Brussels Motor Show in January. Organizer Febiac is still confident that everything will work out well, but the uncertainty around the show causes nervousness throughout the whole Belgian car scene. Hyundai Belux is not the first importer that […]

Will the Japanese brands leave Europe?

September 01, 2020

For Japanese carmakers, the mature European market is surely not the most important. As it is also very competitive and difficult because of stringent regulations, more and more Japanese brands are thinking of abandoning the fight in Europe. A while ago, the Japanese car manufacturer Mitsubishi announced that it is freezing its investments in Europe […]

R&D under pressure in the whole car industry: the Renault example

August 28, 2020

The corona crisis has led to reconsidering R&D investments throughout the car industry. Some weeks ago we saw suppliers trying to cut costs everywhere, including R&D; today we zoom in on the fate of Renault’s Technocentre. Technocentre Renault in the Paris banlieue (Yvelines) is the biggest R&D center in France. It employs some 10 500 […]

CEOs become salesmen for their electric products

August 27, 2020

The communication specialists of several car manufacturers are bringing out the big guns. Their CEOs have to sell new electric cars directly. Lately, we saw Olivier François (President Fiat Brand Global) testing the new 500 La Prima on Youtube. Last week, VW Group CEO, Herbert Diess, was talking about his two-week holiday in Italy while […]

Rich, green, and nostalgic? Buy an electric Lunaz Rolls

August 25, 2020

You have a few Rolls-Royces or Bentleys in your garage, and, of course, a series of other more plebeian motors. What can you do to stand out from the crowd? You can buy an (old) electric Rolls-Royce or Bentley. Too posh or old style? Try a fully electric Jaguar XK 120 instead. Lunaz is the […]

Are small cars being pushed out of the market?

August 24, 2020

Whenever you look at the plans of car manufacturers, there’s not much talk about or space for future small cars (A- or B-segment). Manufacturers explain that stringent emission rules make them too expensive. Couldn’t it be that they don’t want to sell them anymore because they don’t make enough money per unit? If you talk […]

World (range) record for Hyundai Kona Electric

August 18, 2020

Hyundai just made a successful record attempt at the German Lausitzring. This time the circuit wasn’t used to set a speed record, the Korean manufacturer wanted to see how far the Kona Electric could drive with one battery charge. The 1 000 kilometer mark was broken easily. Kona Electric The participating cars were three Konas […]

Luxury car segment doesn’t suffer from corona crisis

August 18, 2020

The luxury car segment in Belgium hasn’t suffered severely from the corona crisis. The market of real luxury cars only decreased by 3,2%, while the total car market shrunk by 26,6%. When we say luxury market, we think of brands like Porsche, Ferrari, Maserati, Bentley, Aston Martin, Lamborghini, McLaren, and Rolls-Royce. This choice is a […]

Higher electricity distribution costs to make EVs unaffordable?

August 17, 2020

From 2022 onward, the Flemish energy regulator (VREG) wants to calculate the distribution costs of electricity on the basis of capacity and no longer on consumption. Peak consumers will pay more, and it might even price the electric car out of the market. According to Maarten Matiënko, spokesman for VAB, electric driving might become more […]

‘Water stress’, a problem for the near future

August 13, 2020

Worldwide, water shortage or (sometimes) flooding are growing concerns. Also, in the financial world, such concerns are ventilated. But apparently, not everybody is already conscious of the big problem that is looming ahead. “Investors underestimate the risk of water shortage and its impact on the financial portfolios in the years to come.” This is the […]

Renault steels chief designer Vidal from PSA

July 30, 2020

Luca de Meo is officially the new CEO of Renault since the 1st of July. He has started his new job with a bang. After taking the chief designer of Seat, Alejandro Mesonero-Romanos, with him (announced last Monday), he has now lured PSA star designer Gilles Vidal into stepping over to Renault. Gilles Vidal Gilles […]

EVs for free? Of course it has a cost

July 17, 2020

In Germany, you can drive a Renault Zoë free of charge. How is this possible? Two reasons: manufacturers need electric cars to lower their average fleet consumption, and many governments subsidize heavily after the corona crisis. Autohaus König, a large German car dealer with different outlets, proposes an electric Renault Zoë for two-year leasing at… […]

Is FCA/PSA deal in danger?

July 14, 2020

The giant fusion deal between Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) and the PSA Group risks turning turtle. Analysts still think that it can work, but they are questioning the 50/50 deal. An equilibration even less justified since FCA has a state-certified loan of €6,5 billion. The deal is also in a critical phase because of the […]

Crisis accelerates Daimler’s ‘green’ conversion

July 09, 2020

“Daimler can do better. And we will do it.” That was the message of CEO Ola Källenius on Wednesday at the general assembly of the group. An essential part of accomplishing this will be the green conversion Daimler is going to accelerate in the coming years. Dumping CO2 will be one of the key measures. […]

British car industry derails, Nissan Sunderland is the exception

June 25, 2020

The British car industry is at the edge of the abyss. Squeezed between Brexit, Covid-19, and the electric transition, it is really fighting for its survival. The lonely bright star at the firmament remains Nissan Sunderland, but for how long still? Like in all other countries, the closure of the showrooms during several months, and […]

Car federation Febiac proposes ‘green deal’

June 18, 2020

In his speech for the (virtual) general assembly of the Belgian federation of car and bicycle importers, Febiac president Philippe Dehennin pointed at the many challenges the car sector is confronted with. He proposes a ‘green deal’ to create a system of intelligent mobility in the country as soon as possible. “The future will be […]

Mazda’s first EV is the MX-30. We drove it…

June 17, 2020

The Japanese car manufacturer has a quite different approach to electrification than most of its (usually far bigger) competitors. We already gave information about this in the recent past. Today, we had the opportunity, as one of the first in Europe, to drive their first fully electric car, the MX-30. Mazda stands for an original […]

Are EVs more dangerous on the road?

June 16, 2020

According to a report in the Netherlands (EV rapport 2020), electric vehicles are far more dangerous in everyday traffic. The possibility for someone to get hurt is three times as high with an electric car, the report claims. Unfortunately for the authors, further reading leads to a lot of question marks and very few answers… […]

Is the star of VW CEO Herbert Diess waning? (Update)

June 10, 2020

There’s a possibility that the VW Group CEO Herbert Diess will be gently led to the exit. On Monday, Volkswagen announced that COO Ralf Brandstätter (51) will take over as CEO of the Volkswagen brand, starting the 1st of July. Diess will “therefore receive greater leeway for his tasks as Group CEO,” a press release […]

Will Renault be nationalized again?

May 19, 2020

The discussion in France is ongoing. The French car manufacturer Renault is in bad shape for the moment, and one of its biggest shareholders, the French State, is considering the options to save this national monument, including a (re)nationalization. At the moment, Renault is suffering so much from the corona crisis and its economic consequences […]

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 […]

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, […]

Brussels: ‘car-sharing fails due to cheap parking’

March 11, 2020

According to Brussels Mobility Minister, Elke Van den Brandt (Groen), the free-floating car-sharing sector is failing to work because parking is too cheap in the capital. This simplistic remark pushes Brussels deputy, Clémentine Barzin (MR), to call out the government to offer positive solutions and stop with punitive measures. While it was seen as the […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

‘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 […]

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 […]

Car taxation in Belgium: ready for the labyrinth?

January 16, 2020

It’s motor show time in Belgium, a lot of people are considering buying a new car. It’s already tricky and time-consuming to search for the best buy, but then there is taxation. In a country that is just twice the size of the city of LA and counts 11 million inhabitants, there are several taxation […]

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,” […]

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 […]

XR calls for boycott of ‘Brussels Motor Show of lies’

January 02, 2020

The Belgian branch of the global environmental movement, Extinction Rebellion (XR), calls for a boycott of the Brussels Motor Show. They baptized it the ‘Salon of Lies’ in a press release. XR is planning actions on Saturday 18 January to ‘disturb’ the motor show’s last weekend. Details will be published later. In that press release, […]

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 […]

Le Monde: ‘France has to reduce speed limit to save lives’

December 29, 2017

Lowering the speed limit on secondary roads in France from 100 to 90 kph is inevitable to save lives, and should be implemented as soon as possible at beginning of the new Macron government’s term, as intended. France’s leading newspaper Le Monde is quite straightforward in its editorial opinion. The discussion about lowering the speed […]