PSA Finalises Deal To Buy Opel Brand From GM

France’s PSA Group is set to announce a deal to buy Opel from General Motors after striking an agreement with the US car manufacturer. The manufacturer of Peugeot, Citroen and DS cars will hold a press conference with GM, at which the transaction is expected to be presented after Reuters reported that a deal had been struck between the two car manufacturers.

By acquiring Opel, the French group will leapfrog rival Renault to become Europe’s second-ranked car manufacturer after Volkswagen by market share. Between them, PSA and GM Europe recorded 71.6 billion euros (AUD$100.1 billion) in revenue and 4.3 million vehicle deliveries last year.

The tie-up was approved by the PSA supervisory board, on which the French government, Peugeot family and China’s Dongfeng are represented as shareholders. The news of the takeover comes as GM’s European Opel brand recently posted a 16th consecutive year of losses. Britain’s impending exit from the European Union has only made the prospects for Opel and Vauxhall more difficult.

Brexit could lead to trade barriers between the UK and EU, disrupting supply chains, pushing up the cost of components and raising the price of cars. It could also mean large job losses. For PSA, the Opel deal caps a two-year recovery under cost-cutting chief executive Carlos Tavares, who said he would apply the same methods to Opel if the deal went through.

PSA averted bankruptcy by selling 14 per cent stakes to France and Dongfeng in 2014, to match a diluted Peugeot family holding. Tavares has said that PSA would redevelop the Opel lineup with its own technologies to achieve rapid savings, according to Reuters.

 

Electric Mercedes-Benz Urban e-Truck Comes To Market In 2017

This year, Mercedes-Benz Trucks is bringing the world´s first all-electric heavy-duty truck to market in a small series. Following the presentation of the Urban eTruck with 25 t perm. GVW and a range of up to 200 km at the International Commercial Vehicle Show in 2016, the first vehicles will be delivered to customers this year.

As Stefan Buchner, Head of Mercedes-Benz Trucks worldwide, explains: “Following the world premiere in September 2016 at the International Commercial Vehicle Show the customer reaction was outstanding. We are currently talking to around 20 potential customers from the disposal, foodstuffs and logistics sector. With the small series we are now rapidly taking the next step towards a series product.

“By 2020 we want to be on the market with the series generation.”

“Zero emissions, quiet as a whisper and with a payload of 12.8 t: The Urban eTruck offers an impressive economical and environmentally friendly concept. The vehicle will initially go in a low two-figure number of units to customers in Germany – and later in Europe too. It will be used in real transportation applications there. The aim is to use actual application scenarios and requirement profiles together with the customer to further optimise the vehicle concept and the system configurations of the electric truck. The tests will include use in shift operation, charging times plus battery and range management.

Stefan Buchner continued: “When it comes to future technological issues we have set the standards in the sector, for instance with regard to electric and autonomous driving plus connectivity. 2017 will now be our year of implementation: step by step we are developing the vehicles and systems to achieve market maturity.”

In order to be able to depict the various application possibilities, 18- and 25-tonne models will be equipped with a refrigerated body, as a dry box body and as a platform vehicle. Together with a special charger which takes into account the increased demands on a truck, the vehicles will be handed over to the customers to use for a period of twelve months and supported by Mercedes-Benz Trucks road testing department. During this time the use profiles and areas of application will be recorded and the knowledge gained and expectations compared.

The Urban eTruck is part of a comprehensive electric initiative from Daimler Trucks. The light-duty electric truck Fuso eCanter will be in use in a global small series in 2017. Around 150 vehicles will be handed over to selected customers in Europe, Japan and the USA. Daimler Trucks is thus covering a wide application portfolio of electric trucks all over the world.

Increasing urbanisation and better economy of the battery technology pave the way for all-electric trucks. Better air quality, a lower noise level and entry restrictions are now important catchwords in the big metropolises of the world. It will be necessary to transport goods in urban environments for increasing numbers of people – and with the lowest possible emissions and noise. Therefore, in the future, all-electric trucks will take care of supplying people in many metropolises with groceries or other goods needed on a daily basis.

 

Harvey Norman Sponsors Simona De Silvestro’s Supercar Team

The striking red livery of the Team Harvey Norman entry was officially unveiled at this year’s Championship launch at Adelaide Oval, with De Silvestro excited to get her season underway. â€œThe car looks fantastic. Red goes faster, right?” remarked De Silvestro. “It’s great to show off the Altima I will be racing this year, as well as announcing that Harvey Norman will be supporting me. Harvey Norman was with me at the last two Bathurst 1000’s, so it’s great to have them on board again.”

The 28-year-old Swiss driver has a decorated track record in open-wheel racing, recording a podium in IndyCar, and landing a testing role with the Sauber F1 Team. But this will be her first full-time season racing the Nissan Altima Supercar.

“Everyone has been really welcoming to me since I arrived, so I can’t wait to get racing. We have started our testing program, and I’m feeling really comfortable in the car and with the team.”

“This season will be challenging, as it’s my first full year driving the Altima. But I have a great team around me, and I’m really looking forward to going racing at the Clipsal 500.”

Nissan Motorsport also welcomes two major consumer electronic brands, LG and Lenovo, who will also support De Silvestro’s campaign. For Nissan Motorsport Team Owner Rick Kelly, the new season now has added excitement.

“It’s always great to welcome new brands to our team,” said Kelly. “We were fortunate to work with Harvey Norman last year, but to have them now as part of our team is a huge endorsement of what we’re doing and where we’re headed. With also LG and Lenovo involved, we have two new exciting brands to go and represent. So, we’re all very keen to get the season started.”

The #78 Team Harvey Norman Nissan Altima will first hit the track for a pre-season test at Sydney Motorsport Park, Feb 21, before the season-opening Clipsal 500, March 2-5.

 

Summernats TV Special Begins This Sunday

The record smashing, tyre frying 30th edition of the Street Machine Summernats was the largest Summernats ever, jam packed with four days of epic high octane action. To relive this incredible, iconic spectacle, Summernats is bringing you a huge two part TV special, because with so much action it couldn’t fit in just one episode!

Grab some mates, get the BBQ heated up and enjoy the ultimate horsepower party in the comfort of your own home! For more information, click here.

 

High-Level VW Executives Could Face US Charges

U.S. prosecutors are planning to charge high-level Volkswagen executives based in Germany over the car manufacturer’s diesel-cheating scandal, a person familiar with the matter told Bloomberg, after the FBI arrested a manager in the U.S. for allegedly misleading regulators.

VW’s executive management was informed about the “existence, purpose and characteristics” of an emissions cheating device in July 2015, and chose not to disclose it to U.S. regulators, a court filing showed.

Oliver Schmidt, who headed the company’s regulatory compliance office in the U.S. from 2014 to March 2015, was arrested by federal investigators in Florida, the New York Times reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

The person familiar with the situation declined to specify when charges against more senior-level executives may be filed or whether the executives to be charged are still employed by the car manufacturer, Bloomberg reported.

Schmidt appeared in U.S. District Court in Miami. He did not enter a plea and was ordered held pending a hearing by U.S. Magistrate Judge William C. Turnoff.

Schmidt, who was shackled and wearing a jail uniform, was charged with fraud and conspiracy in not disclosing a cheating device used to rig U.S. diesel emissions tests from 2006 through 2015.

He was arrested in Florida after attempting to return to Germany from a vacation, the Justice Department said. Schmidt’s lawyer David Massey said Schmidt had learned of the investigation and reached out to the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation to offer to cooperate. Schmidt then met with FBI agents in London last year, he said.

The criminal complaint against Schmidt was unsealed in U.S. District Court in Detroit.

The U.S. complaint said Schmidt and other employees gave a presentation to VW’s executive management on or about July 27, 2015. The complaint did not identify the other executives who attended the meeting.

“In the presentation, VW employees assured VW executive management that U.S. regulators were not aware of the defeat device,” the complaint said.

“Rather than advocate for disclosure of the defeat device to U.S. regulators, VW executive management authorized its continued concealment.”

In the meeting, Schmidt and other VW employees prepared a chart with possible consequences from a meeting with California regulators. One of the “negative for VW” consequences was “there could be an ‘indictment,'” the complaint says.

It was not immediately clear if or when Schmidt was terminated at VW. VW officials declined to identify Schmidt’s employment status.

“Volkswagen continues to cooperate with the Department of Justice as we work to resolve remaining matters in the United States,” the company said in a statement. “It would not be appropriate to comment on any ongoing investigations or to discuss personnel matters.”

Herbert Diess, VW brand chief, was asked by Automotive News about the charges on the sidelines of the Detroit auto show. He said:

“Naturally I can say little about that. We simply have to accept that the investigations continue and we hope that we can soon reach a point where we put this behind us. But these are things that the management board itself has no knowledge of,” he said referring to the status of the investigations.

“Naturally this is not good news for us at the show.”

Diess declined to comment when asked if he expected further arrests of VW executives.

Building the case

Europe’s biggest carmaker initially blamed a small group of “rogue engineers” for the test-cheating, and has repeatedly said no current or former board members were involved.

According to an affidavit filed by FBI Special Agent Ian Dinsmore, internal VW emails and accounts from two anonymous cooperating witnesses from inside VW’s engine development department and from James Liang, an engine department employee who pleaded guilty to fraud charges in September 2016, provided enough evidence to charge Schmidt.

When the evidence first arose that something was off with VW’s diesel engines, Schmidt wrote an email to another executive questioning whether the company should fess up. “It should first be decided whether we are honest,” he wrote. “If we are not honest, everything stays as it is.”

After several meetings in Germany, Virginia, Michigan and California, Schmidt and other executives in August 2015 came up with a plan to conceal the defeat device from regulators. Schmidt wrote an email to another VW manager explaining that one employee would not be coming to a meeting with California regulators “so he would not have to consciously lie.”

The complaint reads: “Nevertheless, in the summer of 2015, Schmidt agreed to travel to the United States to participate in direct conversations with U.S. regulators in which he intended to, and did, deceive and mislead U.S. regulators by offering reasons for the discrepancy other than the fact that VW was intentionally cheating U.S. emissions tests, in order to allow VW to continue to sell diesel vehicles in the United States.”

Witness told Calfornia

An unnamed witness, referred to in the complaint as “CW1” met with California regulators on Aug. 19, 2015 and “disclosed, in direct contravention of instructions from his management, that certain VW diesel vehicles used different emissions treatment depending on whether the vehicles were on the (testing) dynamometer or on the road, thereby effectively admitting that VW had cheated U.S. emissions tests.”

The FBI was not immediately available for comment.

Senior VW officials are not attending this year’s Detroit auto show.

Lawsuits filed against VW by the New York and Massachusetts state attorneys general accused Schmidt of playing an important role in VW’s efforts to conceal its emissions cheating from U.S. regulators, the paper said. Schmidt and other VW officials repeatedly cited false technical explanations for the high emissions levels from the car manufacturer’s vehicles, according to the state attorneys general.

20 years at VW

Schmidt began working in Volkswagen engine development in 1997, after receiving a degree in mechanical engineering, from the University of Applied Sciences, in Hanover, Germany.

Throughout his career at Volkswagen, he held various positions in development, marketing, and production — all within the field of powertrain development.

He was then responsible for everything that was related to tailpipe emissions, starting with regulatory, leading to certification and in the end, taking care of the defect reporting, up to 15 years in a cars life.

He made several public appearances in the U.S. in recent years, including the 2012 CAR Management Briefing Seminars in Traverse City, Mich.

Schmidt followed Norbert Krause, who was head of VW’s U.S. environmental office until 2009 and who retired from VW in 2011. Krause told Reuters in 2015 that nobody at Volkswagen of America was involved in the process of engineering the manipulated diesel cars.

Scandal breaks

VW admitted in September 2015 to installing secret software known as “defeat devices” in 475,000 U.S. 2.0-litre diesel cars to cheat exhaust emissions tests and make them appear cleaner in testing. In reality, the vehicles emitted up to 40 times the legally allowable pollution levels.

The news comes as VW is nearing a deal to resolve criminal and civil allegations over its diesel cheating in the U.S., crucial steps toward moving past the scandal, which has cost it billions of dollars and its reputation.

 

Next Generation Holden Commodore Breaks Cover

Holden has revealed first images and more details of the all-new Commodore ahead of its Australian launch early in 2018. The next-gen Commodore takes cutting-edge safety, driving and infotainment technology and makes it available for Australians, everywhere. The next-generation Holden Commodore is democratizing technology.

Now with images of the next Commodore breaking cover, Australia gets its first look at the sleek and sophisticated design that will be hitting Australian roads in 2018. Designed in Germany by the Opel team with input from GM Holden’s team, the new Commodore takes the best of Europe and makes it great for Australia.

Building on information released last month regarding the next-generation Commodore, Holden has confirmed a raft of premium technologies will make Commodore the most technologically-advanced Holden ever. From potentially life-saving safety technology features, to active driving technology and seamless infotainment, the all-new Commodore will make driving safer, easier, more involving and more connected than ever before for Australian customers.

“Customers are expecting more of their vehicles than ever before,” said Holden’s Executive Director of Sales, Peter Keley. “The all-new 2018 Commodore redefines the level of technology people can expect, and how tech can help our customers be safer, more involved and more connected than ever before. The Commodore combines technology across a number of areas in a way that you would usually only find in high-end prestige vehicles and makes it available for everyday Australians. Combined with the howling V6, world-first all-wheel-drive system and all the on-road performance you expect from the Commodore, this is a car that ticks all the boxes and more,” said Keley.

Going on sale in Australia early in 2018, the new Commodore range will be headlined by the V6 flagship model, the first ever imported Commodore will honour the iconic nameplate by being the most technologically-advanced Holden ever. With a cutting-edge all-wheel-drive system channeling 230 kilowatts and 370 Newton metres to the road, combined with adaptive suspension technology, a company-first nine-speed automatic transmission and torque-vectoring all-wheel drive, the next-generation Commodore will continue to cement Holden’s reputation for class-leading driving dynamics and on-road refinement.

Jeremy Tassone, Holden’s Engineering Group Manager for Vehicle Development, said the technical underpinnings of the next Commodore also represents Holden’s commitment to bringing the best vehicles from around the word to Australian customers.

“From its cutting-edge all-wheel-drive system, to nine-speed transmission and adaptive suspension, this is a true driver’s car in the way Commodore has always been. We’re taking the best of Europe and making it even better for our Australian customers. I can’t wait for our customers to get behind the wheel”

In addition to the Commodore’s unique all-wheel-drive system, further details surrounding the ‘FlexRide’ suspension system have also been confirmed. The continuously adaptable FlexRide chassis electro-hydraulically adapts the dampers to the road and the driving conditions 500 times per second or 30,000 times per minutes.

Additionally, the driver can save personal preferences for the steering characteristics, throttle response and dampers via the ‘Sport’ button.

-‘Standard’: The automatic control selects the best set-up based on the information collected by the vehicle sensors.
-‘Tour’: Comfortable chassis configuration, and throttle response for best fuel consumption and most relaxed touring. The right mode for relaxing long-distance drives.
-‘Sport’: Brake dive is reduced, flat and responsive chassis control at high speeds and the throttle and steering provide more direct feedback.

The new central ‘Drive Mode Control’ software is the heart and soul of the adaptive chassis. It continuously analyses the information provided by the sensors and setting and recognizes the individual driving style. The individual systems are then optimized for the best traction and road position.

Exterior Design:

The design of the next Commodore is based on the ‘Monza’ Concept car, created by the Opel Design team in Germany. The prominent front grille and the slim-line headlamps are directly inspired by the Monza Concept enhance the wide horizontal gesture of the front end and provide it with a bold appearance. The grille sits lower than on the outgoing model and further emphasises the solid stance.

The side window graphics feature with an upper chrome strip, rather than a full-chrome treatment, and the coupé-like roofline graphically pull the car down and emphasize its stretched appearance. The ‘blade’ light catcher in the lower doors pulls attention rearwards. The new Commodore is as sleek as it looks: it has an exemplary drag factor of 0.26 making it one of the most aerodynamic vehicles in its class.

At the rear, clear and simple lines combined with the slim, precise double-wing LED signature also give the car a wider appearance. The newly designed center high-mounted LED stop lamp has been integrated into the roofline. It helps to give the rear end a more high-tech look typical of premium brands’ vehicles.

Interior Design:

The attention to the smallest detail is also evident inside the Commodore. The cockpit is organized along horizontal lines, enhancing the feeling of elegant lightness and of space. The cockpit is orientated to the driver for a sportier feeling. The generous center console that further embraces the driver provides the feeling of sitting in a much larger class of vehicle. Clean lines, modern surfaces and first-class craftsmanship with soft-feel materials at all touch points contribute to a feeling of elegance and grace.

Infotainment system design:

Equal attention has been paid to the controls and the infotainment interface. The frameless touchscreen of the infotainment system exudes a sophisticated and technical charm. Many functions are controlled via the touchscreen in order to simplify the interface, while three clusters of buttons have been designed to allow quick and intuitive operations: the upper ones for the major functions of the infotainment system, the central ones for climate and heating controls, the lower ones for driver assistant controls. This very clear set-up avoids drivers and passengers having to dive into sub-menus on the touchscreen to find the most essential functions.

NEXT-GENERATION COMMODORE KEY HIGHLIGHTS:

-Cutting-edge driver assistance systems and technology:
     -Autonomous Emergency Braking
     -Adaptive Cruise Control
     -Speed Limit Cruise Control
     -Lane Departure Warning
     -Lane Keep Assist
     -Forward Collision Alert
     -Side Blind-Zone Alert
     -Rear Cross-Traffic Alert
     -360-degree Camera

-Next-generation comfort and convenience technologies:
     -Massage Seats
     -Rear one-touch folding seats
     -Heated Front and Rear seats
     -Ventilated Front seats
     -Express up/down all windows
     -Wagon power lift-gate
     -Active Noise Cancellation

Program overview:

-Next-generation Commodore built in Germany on all-new, global E2 architecture shared with Opel Insignia
-Lightweight construction methods result in approximately 200kg weight savings compared to current Commodore
-Flagship model offers V6 AWD drivetrain with Holden-first 9-speed transmission
-V6 engine delivers 230kW / 370Nm while being incredibly efficient thanks to Stop-Start technology and Active Fuel Management
-2.0T petrol and 2.0T diesel front-wheel drive models also coming to Australia
-Liftback and Sportwagon body-styles
-Cutting-edge, adaptive all-wheel-drive system with torque vectoring and twin-clutch (‘Twinster’) rear differential system
-Adaptive ‘Flexride’ suspension system offers three settings: ‘Tour’, ‘Standard’ and ‘Sport’ 
-Next-generation matrix lighting system
-Infotainment includes:
     -Apple Car Play and Android Auto
     -8-inch configurable LCD instrument display,
     -next-gen head-up display

Additional details and information to be confirmed closer to launch.

 

Summernats Launches 30th Horsepower Party

The Street Machine Summernats, proudly supported by Rare Spares has officially launched the 30th instalment of Australia’s largest annual horsepower party.

Parliament House in Canberra and more than a dozen spectacular street machines provided the colourful backdrop to welcome the high octane four day automotive extravaganza back to Canberra, taking place this January 5 – 8, 2017.

Summernats co-owner Andy Lopez welcomed everyone in attendance and spoke of the significance of the events 30th birthday and the continued growth of the Summernats ahead of the event.

“It’s our 30th Birthday and we are growing, but certainly not growing up. We have gone from 1,200 cars and 75,000 people attending in 2010. Today I can confirm we have over 2,200 cars already entered to Summernats 30 with more expected. This is more than a 15 per cent increase on our best ever year and pretty jaw dropping,” said Andy.

“We are also expecting close to 110,000 people through the gates over the four days. The event is obviously doing something right, as it continues to attract those who have made it successful and yet also attracts new people every year.”

The Summernats will kick off with the huge annual Citycruise on Thursday at midday, which is a great free event for the Canberra city. The action packed schedule continues over the four days including the world’s biggest burnout competition, the Burnout Masters, elite show judging plus great concerts with an all Aussie line–up including ARIA winners Drapht and Spit Syndicate, plus Airbourne and Thirsty Merc playing on Saturday night. Saturday evening will also see the awarding of Australia’s most coveted Street Machine award in the country, the Summernats Grand Champion.

“I want to thank the Summernats team who bring the event together every year. We have a total of 700 people employed in Canberra over the event over the four days in a huge variety of roles, working in what is a quiet time of year, which is great.
In 2015 an ACT Government commissioned economic impact report confirmed Summernats brings in around 20 million dollars into the ACT economy over the event period.

ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr was excited to once again launch the event on behalf of the ACT Government, speaking of the event’s virtues and the Summernats efforts in continuing to improve what is an ACT institution.

“To have an event with this much history and community support, to be still growing and be even more relevant in its 30th year is a testament to the strength of the event and direction it has taken under the new owner’s leadership. The event has diversified and been one that has attracted a broader audience as its grown older,” said Chief Minister Barr.

“The economic contribution the event makes to the ACT is well understood and one of the reasons the ACT government provides both in kind and financial support to Summernats.”

“Turning 30 is an amazing achievement for any event in any context, but for a city like Canberra that is young in itself, to have an event so entwined in the city’s history over the summer months is a fantastic thing,”

“From me, congratulations again on your 30th event, we look forward to it being a fantastic success and all of those numbers outlined are a testimony to a lot of hard work behind the scenes. We also look forward to a continuation of what’s being a successful partnership and it’s my honour to launch the event.”

The 30th Birthday Bash for the Street Machine Summernats takes place between 5 -8 January 2017.

ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr with Summernats Co-owner Andy Lopez

 

MotorWorld Sydney To Host Monterey Hero Ron Goodman

Ron Goodman, known for his numerous victories and car building in the USA, will be making a special appearance at MotorWorld Sydney along with the Porsche 356 that he guided to victory. Goodman will be showing off his famous 1954 Porsche 356, as well as a fully restored 1956 Porsche Speedster, at Sydney Motorsport Park from December 1-4.

In 2014, Ron Goodman chased his dreams all the way to Monterey in the United States of America. After being held up in transit, his Porsche 356 finally arrived just twelve hours before the race, and the rest was history. Visitors to MotorWorld Sydney will have a chance to meet Goodman and see his famous Porsche 356 in action, as well as hear stories from Ron and learn about the film made about his journey. Goodman will also be displaying a fully restored 1956 Porsche Speedster and a rare 1983 Porsche Speedster.

Goodman’s appearance will be a treat for classic car enthusiasts, giving visitors to MotorWorld Sydney the incredible opportunity to see his famous Porsche in action as he drives a few laps in celebration of his achievement.

“Going to Monterey to race my Porsche or any historic race car is the holy grail. It’s such an iconic race with a diverse array of cars that you only really see in magazines and museums. To be part of that is a great achievement for a small group of Aussie enthusiasts.” said Ron Goodman.

Visitors will also have the chance to learn more about the award-winning film that was made about Goodman’s big win.

“The film “The Road to Monterey” ended up winning the German Auto Film Festival. We were up against giants like Audi, VW, and Skoda with their huge budgets. We Aussies, just three of us, filmed it on a shoestring with no second takes.” Goodman said.

Winners of the Glasuirt Amazing Paint Race will have the privilege of driving around the track with Ron Goodman in his famous Porsche. This experience will be the thrill of a lifetime for the lucky winners. Goodman will also head the judging panel to pick the best-presented car club, assessing car clubs including Mustang, Historic Police Vehicles, Porsche Club of Victoria, Ex-military Vehicles, and Lotus & Historic Sports & Racing Cars Association. Assisting him with the judging will be Nova Newsreader Matt de Groot and ABC Sports Presenter Stephanie Brantz.

Australia’s biggest test fest also offers entertainment for families, with the open-air cinema and family zone in action on Saturday and Sunday. Jaguar’s Land Rover Art of Performance Tour will be a highlight, offering visitors the opportunity to test the newest Jaguars on some of the most technologically advanced courses ever seen.

Tickets for MotorWorld Sydney can be purchased at the following link: http://www.motorworldsydney.com/tickets/

 

Hyundai Supplies Paris Taxi Fleet With ix35 Fuel Cell

Hyundai Motor will hand over 60 ix35 Fuel Cell SUVs to the Paris-based electric taxi start-up STEP (Société du Taxi Electrique Parisien). A memorandum of understanding was signed at the opening of a public hydrogen fuel station operated by Air Liquide at Hyundai Motor’s European headquarters in Offenbach, Germany. The world’s largest fuel cell taxi fleet “hype” (Hydrogen Powered Electric) currently serves the Greater Paris Area with five ix35 Fuel Cell SUVs that Hyundai Motor delivered in December 2015. The fleet is planned to increase up to several hundred vehicles within five years.

“With the memorandum of today, STEP and Hyundai Motor have committed to bring 60 additional ix35 Fuel Cell taxis to the streets of Paris,” says Thomas A. Schmid, Chief Operating Officer at Hyundai Motor Europe. “Not only will the fuel cell taxis provide a clean transportation solution for the city, they are also a practical, comfortable and reliable choice for drivers and passengers.”

Saving more than 800 tons of emissions

The 60 new ix35 Fuel Cell vehicles will not add to the 17,000 taxis already in circulation in and around Paris. They are replacing petrol and diesel-powered cars. Compared to a diesel-powered taxi with CO2 emissions of 135 gram per kilometre and an annual mileage of 100,000 kilometres, the ix35 Fuel Cell vehicles will save more than 800 tonnes of CO2 per year in exhaust emissions. That is the equivalent of one person taking the plane and flying more than 200 times from Frankfurt to New York and back. In contrast to this, the only emissions from the tailpipe of the ix35 Fuel Cell during driving are water vapour.

Even when it is produced from natural gas, hydrogen is a far cleaner energy than any fossil fuel: for equal distance travelled, hydrogen cars reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20 per cent compared with internal combustion vehicles and do not produce any fine particles.

Up to 594 kilometres on a single tank of hydrogen

ix35 Fuel Cell is the world’s first mass-produced and commercially available fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV). Currently there are more than 300 Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell SUVs on European roads in 12 countries. That is more than all the FCEVs of other manufacturers combined. Its powerful asynchronous electric motor generates 100kW, and with a maximum torque of 300Nm it delivers a fun-to-drive experience. Thanks to its efficiency, the ix35 Fuel Cell’s range is up to 594 kilometres on a full tank.

Hydrogen Mobility Europe 

ix35 Fuel Cell vehicles deployed are partially funded by the Hydrogen Mobility Europe Project. Hydrogen Mobility Europe is funded by the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU), a public private partnership supporting research, technological development and demonstration activities in fuel cell and hydrogen energy technologies in Europe.

 

Nissan Acquires 34 Per Cent Stake In Mitsubishi

Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., (“Nissan”) has completed its acquisition of a 34 per cent equity stake in Mitsubishi Motors (“MMC”) and become its largest shareholder. MMC will also become part of the global Alliance with Nissan and Renault. With the addition of MMC, the Alliance will be in the world’s top three automotive groups by global volumes, with sales of 10 million units in fiscal year 2016.

Nissan Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Carlos Ghosn announced that Nissan and MMC would collaborate on joint purchasing, deeper localization, joint plant utilization, common vehicle platforms, technology-sharing and an expansion of the companies’ combined presence in both developed and emerging markets.

“The combination of Nissan, Mitsubishi Motors and Renault will create a new force in global car-making,” said Ghosn. “It will be one of the world’s three largest automotive groups, with the economies of scale, breakthrough technologies and manufacturing capabilities to produce vehicles to serve customer demand in every market segment and in every geographic market around the world.”

Ghosn predicted that through its partnership with MMC, Nissan would target synergy benefits worth 24 billion yen in fiscal year 2017, rising to 60 billion yen in fiscal year 2018 and beyond. The gains will contribute to increased earnings per share worth an estimated 4 yen per share in fiscal year 2017 and 10 yen per share in fiscal year 2018 – on top of any earnings accretion linked to Nissan’s overall shareholding in Mitsubishi Motors.

Nissan offered its assistance at the request of Osamu Masuko, president and chief executive officer of MMC, following the company’s fuel economy crisis. The two companies have cooperated on kei-cars for the Japanese market over the past five years.

“We are committed to assisting Mitsubishi Motors as it rebuilds customer trust,” said Ghosn. “This is a priority as we pursue the synergies and growth potential of our enlarged relationship.”

As part of this strategy, Nissan has nominated four representatives to the Board of MMC, including Ghosn as chairman-elect. The other nominees are Hitoshi Kawaguchi, chief sustainability officer and head of global external affairs; Hiroshi Karube, global controller and global asset manager; and Mitsuhiko Yamashita, Nissan’s current representative on the Mitsubishi Motors board.

At Masuko’s request, Yamashita joined the company earlier this year as executive vice president of development and as a member of its executive committee. Ghosn has announced a number of other management changes, effective November 1, to allow him to continue to focus on maintaining Nissan’s momentum in delivering performance, while at the same time supporting Masuko at MMC.

Ghosn has proposed to the Nissan Board, which has approved, the appointment of Hiroto Saikawa, currently chief competitive officer, as co-chief executive officer. Saikawa will be succeeded as chief competitive officer by Yasuhiro Yamauchi, currently Alliance executive vice president of purchasing. Veronique Sarlat-Depotte, currently deputy to Yamauchi will assume the responsibility as Alliance executive vice president of purchasing and head of the Renault Nissan Purchasing Organization.

She will be supported by Makoto Uchida who will take responsibility for purchasing at Nissan. Also at the request of Masuko, the management team of MMC will be further strengthened by current Nissan Chief Performance Officer Trevor Mann, who will become chief operating officer of MMC.

Mann will be replaced as chief performance officer by Jose Munoz who will continue as chairman of Nissan’s North American region. Ghosn concluded: “At a time of unprecedented change in the global auto industry, this strategy will build on our existing strengths and management capabilities to ensure increased competitiveness, better products for our customers and attractive returns for shareholders.”