News & Comment

The electrification message in Frankfurt: It’s far more than just a compliance issue

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Posted: September 22, 2017

At the Frankfurt auto show, every stand and every brand had something newsy to say about with electrified vehicles or EV strategies, falling in line with each other, as it were. The obsession with electrification was unprecedented. Hardly a conversation among execs didn’t touch on the topic. And it was nearly impossible to keep track of […]

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The trepidation about taking a leap at FCA

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Posted: September 22, 2017

Why are the serious suitors of Fiat Chrysler apparently limited to the Chinese? Volkswagen, generally believed to be the most logical, potential non-Chinese buyer, is said to be concerned about FCA’s large negative working capital positions should the industry fall into a slump. Sergio Marchionne’s cash generation skills — similar to the way Carlos Tavares […]

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If Daimler is going to split up divisions to unlock value, will other Germans will do the same?

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Posted: September 22, 2017

FCA has touched off lots of spin-off speculation with its Ferrari success. So, what about GM? Industrywide speculation about spinning off brands and business units is reaching a fever pitch. Now General Motors is in the conversation, with speculation that it could make Cadillac independent, or possibly some of its new mobility plays. It all […]

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Jim Hackett may have a few surprises up his sleeve at Ford next week

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Posted: September 22, 2017

These days there is a tremendous amount of speculation about what strategic gems Ford’s Jim Hackett will unveil on October 3. But one concern among Ford-watchers: there have been so many big announcements in the EV space in the past couple of weeks that Hackett’s expected plan to accelerate Ford’s electrification plans could look and […]

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Is there a herd mentality in the German auto industry?

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Posted: September 22, 2017

Of course there is. One wonders if German automakers could make strategic moves without first getting signals from arch-competitors — a markedly different way of operating than in Japan and even China and the U.S. But Volkswagen has for the moment elected not to follow Daimler’s apparent plan to split up its divisions to unlock […]

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Five key impediments to a successful self-driving car strategy

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Posted: September 11, 2017

The auto industry increasingly recognizes the threats and opportunities associated with self-driving cars. Unfortunately several impediments stand in the way of formulating and implementing a strategy for dealing with self-driving car technology and its impacts.

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Here’s another reason why Daimler is looking at a new divisional structure

By: Soren Sarstrup

Posted: September 7, 2017

Fiat Chrysler isn’t the only automaker contemplating how to unlock value by splitting up operations. Daimler is considering revising its divisional structure by potential breaking off its financial and truck and buses units. The effort is being made under the aegis of Dieter Zetsche, but the real architect is said to be CFO Bodo Uebber […]

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Of all the EV strategies that emerge in Frankfurt, Honda’s may be the most interesting

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Posted: September 7, 2017

Yes, there will be a ton of attention paid to autonomous vehicle technology at next week’s Frankfurt auto show, but what senior executives will watch most closely is the kind of EV strategies that emerge at the show – or at least are elaborated upon. Among the approaches expected to be rolled out will be […]

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What’s the real thinking behind VW’s revival of the microbus?

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Posted: September 7, 2017

Why is Volkswagen dangling another nostalgic/iconic vehicle such as the I.D. Buzz, the modern version of the Microbus? Because the plan goes way beyond that. This is no repeat of the Beetle’s lackluster re-emergence 20 years ago. The Buzz represents a key aspect of VW’s strategy for the U.S. market — break into the country’s […]

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A sneak preview of Ford’s grand new strategy – and the executive behind it

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Posted: September 7, 2017

New Ford CEO Jim Hackett isn’t  expected to lay out his grand strategy until October 3, but some things are becoming clear. Ford is seeking other areas and partners for deploying its self-driving technology before installing it in passenger cars. Large commercial trucks appears to be one option. The man behind that effort at Ford […]

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