CrossDrilledRotors.ca Official Blog

  • Brembo exec explains why being small helps in fast-changing industry

    Matteo Matteo Tiraboschi: "As the smaller company, we are quicker and more focused."

    Few suppliers have been able to constantly grow their business like Brembo. In the first half of 2018, the Italian brake specialist posted revenue of 1.34 billion euros ($1.5 billion), up 6.1 percent from the same period in 2017, and increased net profit 2.5 percent to 140 million euros ($160 million). The car business accounts for a bit less than three-quarters of that revenue; the remaining 30 percent is split more or less evenly among motorcycles, racing and aftermarket/commercial vehicles. Although one of the leaders in its field, Brembo is still relatively small compared with giants such as Robert Bosch or Continental. Brembo Executive Deputy Chairman Matteo Tiraboschi explained why this can be an advantage. He also knows, however, that Brembo needs to grow, he told Automotive News Europe Associate Publisher and Editor Luca Ciferri and Correspondent Andrea Malan.

    Which companies are Brembo’s biggest competitors?

    We are one of the few complete braking system suppliers in the world. As far as discs are concerned, we have mainly local competitors. Nobody operates worldwide as we do. In calipers, we face all global players. They are a very important resource for us because they do not let us rest on our laurels while they are at our customers’ doors. Some of these competitors, such as Continental and TRW, do not only offer brakes. Sometimes they target our customers as a marketing prize, and they are ready to offer brakes at very low prices to gain access to other kinds of business. We then have to show the customer we really offer something different.

    Brembo is a hyperspecialized company often fighting, as you said, against multidivisional giants. Do you feel at a disadvantage?

    Of course, their diversified offer is an advantage. But as the smaller company, we are quicker and more focused.

    Does Brembo need to grow?

    We have to grow. Globally, we are small. We would have to double our sales to 5 billion euros per year.

    Family-owned companies such as Brembo are known to think longer term. How far into the future does Brembo look?

    We have a structured three-year plan that projects results up to five years. Beyond five years, we have guidelines. But it’s difficult to get into too much detail, not least because our customers have a hard time forecasting their business over that time frame.

    Europe still accounts for more than half of your revenue. Is it too much?

    That is because most premium carmakers we supply are in Europe. There is no need to rebalance. If we look at the end markets for the cars we supply, sales are quite evenly split between America, Europe and Asia.

    How much does your biggest customer account for?

    We have a policy not to let any customer generate more than 10 percent of our revenue. We have a number of customers around that percentage, but nobody at 40 percent. That is key to keeping our independence and to avoid being tied to big car platforms. If you lose one of those big platforms, you risk a big drop in revenue. We are ready to leave something on the table to have fewer long-term worries and to be able to be more aggressive toward customers, if necessary.

    Would it make sense for Brembo to diversify its product portfolio?

    We bought [seat belt maker) Sabelt 10 years ago, but the [global financial] crisis canceled most of the growth possibilities, so we decided to focus on our core business. [Brembo sold Sabelt in 2015.] We also evaluated the aerospace world, but, given the kind of technological breakthroughs that are possible now, we must stay focused to avoid the risk of missing opportunities in our core business.

    One of the biggest disruptors to the industry will be the electrification of the car. How will Brembo handle this difficult transition?

    The brake is a key element of the passengers’ comfort. If the car is electrified, it will need an electric brake instead of the current hydraulic one. We will have to understand which cars will be electrified and up to which point the cars will be electrified. Generally speaking, cars will be heavier and need better-performing brakes. Imagine stopping in an emergency in a 3-ton SUV.

    MEET THE BOSS

    NAME: Matteo Tiraboschi

    TITLE: Brembo Executive Deputy Chairman

    AGE: 51

    MAIN CHALLENGE: Maintaining Brembo’s leadership in high-end brakes while managing the transition to brake-by-wire.

    Is the current trend toward SUVs a boon for Brembo because bigger vehicles require bigger discs?

    The heavier the car, the better for us, for two reasons: First, as you said, a heavier vehicle needs a stronger and more advanced brake. Second, carmakers look to ways to reduce weight, and we can help them do this.

    The Jaguar I-Pace has a one-pedal braking system that during normal conditions slows the car by activating an electric motor as soon as the accelerator pedal is released. But in an emergency, the brake pedal activates the four disc brakes. Does that mean we will still need four disc brakes?

    Of course. And mildly electrified cars [with 48-volt systems] do not have enough braking power to stop the car in an emergency.

    How is Brembo working on regenerative braking?

    We already produce some parts, and we are developing an integrated system. The end solution will be a box [a sort of central processing unit] with integrated brake management.

    Are there any vehicles on the road with such systems made by Brembo?

    Not in production yet. We are talking about brake-by-wire to various customers. When you touch a product that affects safety, you have to be careful. Nobody wants to make mistakes, but once someone starts, all others will follow.

    What are the main advantages?

    Less fuel consumption because you don’t have a hydraulic circuit that needs to maintain pressure and there is no exhaust oil to get rid of.

    Will the search for integrated solutions have you move down into the mass market?

    No. We are not cost leaders, so we have to be price leaders. The lower part of the market would not pay for our kind of engineering content.

    Because Brembo serves the premium market, does this mean in China you are limited to boosting business with European automakers’ local joint ventures?

    That’s our current position. But we did, however, open an r&d center dedicated to China to be closer to Chinese customers whose cars are aesthetically pleasing but still lack technological content. The more you help them develop future products for export to Europe and the U.S., the easier it will be to supply those vehicles.

    What is your business forecast for 2019 in Europe, the U.S. and China?

    I expect we will be able to grow our global business in 2019 despite an overall flat car market. I foresee a slight decrease in the U.S., a slight improvement in Asia, which will be significant in absolute volume terms, and a flat Europe. Our premium positioning makes us less sensitive to volume contractions. Therefore, we stay in positive territory in the U.S., where we benefit from the technological upgrading of some sports cars from cast-iron brakes to aluminum or ceramic ones. We follow the growth of the Asian market, and in Europe we operate in the very high range, so there is nothing to worry about.

    AUTOMOTIVE NEWS EUROPE MONTHLY MAGAZINE

    This story is from Automotive News Europe’s latest monthly magazine. To view the new issue, as well as past issues, click here.

    Brembo had a record 360.7 million euros ($413 million) in investments in 2017. Will it continue at this level?

    We had a high investment cycle, as we are opening three plants in Poland, Mexico and China. I expect 2018 to have a lower level and a slight decrease in the coming years.

    Do you have any joint ventures that help reduce the costs of r&d?

    So far we keep everything in-house. You have to know how everything works before you can delegate some parts of the work.

    How would a tariff war effect your business?

    On paper it shouldn’t be a problem, as we keep production and sales geographically aligned, even for brake calipers. In the real world, our customers will be affected; so we will, too. If the U.S. imposes a 25 percent tariff on a Porsche made in Germany, which we supply, the eventual drop in sales volume will affect us.

    Brembo supplies BMW’s U.S. plant. Let’s suppose BMW moves half of its production to Europe to avoid European tariffs on U.S.-made products. How do you replace the lost business in the U.S.?

    Our U.S. salespeople will have to wake up every morning with an idea about finding new customers. Actually, we could manage these kinds of figures with our plant flexibility; bigger numbers would be a problem.

    Have you been hit by steel tariffs?

    So far, so good – touch wood. We haven’t because we produce in the U.S. [and buy steel there].

    How about your carbo-ceramic brakes business? How many do you produce per year?

    Business is going well, within an important phase of tech development. We are close to opening the new carbon factory in Curno, [Italy, which is close to Brembo’s headquarters in Stezzano]. Customers who buy cars with carbo-ceramic brakes as an option choose that option more often. Porsche, for example, has it as a standard only on the very high end of its range, but customers ask for it when it’s an option.

    Did you solve the industrialization problems to also offer carbon pads with carbon discs?

    We now have carbon pads, which are needed only for extreme uses – basically on the racetrack and only for true racecar drivers. Besides, they are still extremely expensive.

    What is the ratio between the cost of a carbo-ceramic disc and a steel one?

    The industrial cost is about 1,000 euros versus 150 euros for a traditional one. The manufacturing process is still very complex and expensive, and the volumes are very low: 250,000 discs per year versus millions of traditional discs.

    In your world, you own all the relevant intellectual property, the products and the tooling. Can any of your customers get the rights to a specific design?

    A brake caliper is not like a tire; it is specific to a car. I cannot take a caliper made for a Mercedes and put it on a BMW or vice versa; it is physically impossible. Each caliper is tailor-made, and we always have here at least 70 cars to test for development of the brakes, together with the customer. That is true for discs, too. Our aftermarket department has several thousand product codes and each year has to develop all the ones for newly launched cars.

    In the past, Brembo used to supply complete suspension modules to Porsche. Is it still the case?

    Yes, but it won’t last long because it’s dilutive for us. We buy the suspension, but our margin on it is lower than on our brakes.

  • Hyundai offers its biggest SUV to date

    With six SUVs in the lineup now, the full-size Palisade just announced and — according to Hyundai America chief operating officer Brian Smith — another on the way, is Hyundai becoming an SUV company that also makes cars instead of a car company that also makes SUVs?

    Currently, there are six in the North American pipeline: the Nexo fuel-cell crossover, the Tucson, the Santa Fe, the Kona, the Kona EV and the Santa Fe XL. Palisade is No. 7 and Smith said one more is coming.

    The count may not as yet have overtaken its cars (eight), but that’s certainly where the market is headed.

    The Palisade is bigger than anything Hyundai has built to date, even the short-lived Veracruz. It has seating for eight and, even with eight people, 509 litres of cargo room. That grows to 1,296 litres with the third row folded.

    Its styling is bold, with a massive front fascia, huge vertical daytime running lights and a gaping grille. It’s also pushed out to the corners, for a rather boxy but attractive shape.

    It embodies a break with tradition, as well. Lead designer SangYup Lee said that unlike some carmakers that try to make each model look like a smaller or larger version of its sibling, Hyundai is aiming to share design cues but not copy them. So, while the Santa Fe, for instance, has daytime running lights that sit like eyebrows above and separate from the headlights, the Palisade’s begin in the eyebrow position but carry through down to the headlights.

    The Palisade also aims to take a chunk out of the premium large SUV segment, with premium touches including power-reclining third-row seats, quilted leather upholstery and a premium feel to the dash, centre console and related components.

    Under the hood, the Palisade doesn’t break much new ground: a 3.8-litre V-6 motor delivers 291 horsepower at 6,000 r.p.m. and 262 pound-feet of torque at 5,000 r.p.m. It’s connected to an eight-speed automatic transmission and Hyundai’s HTRAC all-wheel-drive system. That system provides an electronic variable-torque-split clutch with active torque distribution between the two wheels.

    A new snow mode adjusts torque split from front to back and side to side to maximize whatever traction may be available.

    As well, where once there was a competition to provide as many cupholders as possible, today’s rivalry seems to be about how many USB charging ports you can provide. They’re everywhere: on the console, on the front seat back (for middle-row passengers) and in the third row.

    The Palisade also features eight driver safety features, including lane guidance, forward collision avoidance with pedestrian detection, blind-spot detection, rear cross-traffic alert, auto high-beam, driver attention alert, safe exit and smart cruise.

    Safe exit is an extension of both cross-traffic and blind-spot alert: it senses when an object is in jeopardy of striking a door — such as a cyclist passing from the rear — and prevents that door from opening.

    Rear passenger alert also seeks to avoid child deaths due to abandonment in cars on hot days: it uses ultrasound to detect rear-seat movement and first alerts the driver to check the rear seat when turning off the car. If that alert goes unheeded and the system detects movement after the car has been locked, it not only honks the horn but also sends an alert to the driver’s smartphone using Hyundai’s BlueLink connectivity system.

    That BlueLink system provides for remote starting with climate control, car finder, remote unlock and lock and diagnostic tools.

    The system comes free for five years and uses the driver’s smartphone as an interface.

    The 2020 Hyundai Palisade will be available in summer of 2019 in Hyundai dealers across Canada. There’s a joke about singer Freddy Cannon in here somewhere — I just can’t think of one.

  • Super Bee's basic build a collector's boon

    The Dodge Super Bee, such as Morley Fast’s 1969 edition, was released in hopes of attracting buyers looking for a low-cost, B-body muscle car.

    The Dodge Super Bee, such as Morley Fast’s 1969 edition, was released in hopes of attracting buyers looking for a low-cost, B-body muscle car.

    By 1969, the muscle-car era was nearing the height of its popularity and its sales arena was becoming crowded. The choices available from the Big Three manufacturers were staggering and included everything from compact to intermediate and even full-size models.

    At Chrysler, the Plymouth Division opted for a low-cost intermediate in 1968, the Road Runner. Based on the mid-size Satellite, it sold several thousand more units than expected and was an over-the-top success story.

    In the Dodge camp, the Coronet lineup was based on the same B-body platform and in an effort to attract buyers, the Super Bee model was born. The problem for Dodge was that the Super Bee had to compete with the posher Coronet R/T and the other stand-alone B-body offering, the unique and already popular Dodge Charger.

    What resulted was Super Bee sales were significantly lower than the Road Runner. Today, lower sales figures simply mean a rarer model car when it comes to collectability, and the Super Bee certainly fits the bill.

    For Morley Fast of Steinbach, owning muscle cars is nothing new. Through the years, Fast and his wife Lori have owned many and Morley even raced them locally in the ’70s at Keystone/Bison Dragways. While many of those cars came and went, a few of those were 1969 Dodge Super Bees.

    “I really liked the ride and handling of the B-body Mopars, and was always on the lookout for another Super Bee,” Fast said.

    In 2016, Fast was at a car show in Radium Hot Springs, B.C., and came across a Hemi-powered 1969 Dodge Super Bee. After meeting the owner and asking if the car was for sale, he found it wasn’t, but left him his contact information in case he changed his mind. Three weeks later, the owner called Fast and asked if he was still interested.

    “I was deep into the building of our new home and didn’t really have a lot of time, but I said ‘if you can get it delivered to me, I’ll send a cheque,’” Fast said. Three days later, the Super Bee was in his driveway.

    To most, it appears to be a basic two-door, Super Bee pillared coupe: the least expensive and entry-level model. Where things change is when you see the list of performance features added with the choice of the Hemi engine and Super Track Pack option.

    The mighty 426-cubic-inch Hemi V-8 utilizes to four-barrel carburettors, a 10.25:1 compression ratio and dual exhaust to produce 425 horsepower at 5,000 r.p.m. and 490 ft. lbs. at 4,000 r.p.m. It’s backed up by a TorqueFlite 727 three-speed, automatic transmission and Dana 60 Sure-Grip rear axle fitted with a 4.10:1 gear ratio.

    Aside from a repaint of the factory A4 Platinum Metallic paint in the late ’90s, and the reproduction 15-inch Goodyear Redline tires, this Super Bee is a 38,000 original mile car. The Super Bee also came with the optional Ramcharger forced-air induction package, that included twin hood scoops, leading to an encapsulated, oval air cleaner, to feed fresh air to the two carburettors. The only trim options found on it is the M21 chrome roof drip-rail mouldings and the Super Bee’s rear bumblebee stripe. Inside, the is the original blue bench seat vinyl upholstery and Music Master AM radio, looking just as it did when it left the factory.

    Steering is manual as are the large, factory 11-by-three-inch drum brakes used to bring the Super Bee to a stop. Cooling is handled with a heavy-duty 26-inch radiator with fan shroud and the exhaust exits through the factory cast iron exhaust manifolds leading to a full dual-exhaust system with stainless tips.

    There were 16,709 Dodge Super Bee models produced in 1969, with 7,645 of those being the two-door coupe model. Of those, 91 were equipped with the 426 cubic-inch Hemi V-8 and 53 were equipped with an automatic transmission.

    Further number crunching shows that Fast’s Super Bee is the only one to roll out of the factory with the Platinum Metallic paint and blue vinyl interior upholstery.

    Since purchasing the car, the Fasts’ have attended several car shows including World of Wheels and the Super Bee has taken many awards. “It’s a powerful car and our plans are to keep it well maintained and enjoy showing and driving it,” Fast said.

  • LEVEL-2 AUTONOMOUS CAR MARKET TO REGISTER A DOUBLE-DIGIT GROWTH RATE OVER 2018-2024, NORTH AMERICA TO BE A MAJOR REGIONAL CONTENDER

     

    With companies pouring billions of dollars in self-driving technology, the global autonomous car market has advanced rapidly in the recent years. In fact, with the development stages as close to testing on public roads, the notion of driverless cars is no longer a science fiction. The overall technological advancements and integration of GPS, Artificial Intelligence, advanced electronic sensors such as LiDAR, RADAR, and ultrasonic sensors, have undeniably shaped the overall progress of the autonomous car market.

    How is the level 2 vehicle segment of autonomous car market faring of late?

    According to reliable reports, with automotive technologies showing incredible potential, a big shift has been witnessed from level-1 to level-4 type of autonomous driving. Accounting for a dominating share in 2017, the level-1 (semi-autonomous solutions) autonomous car market is projected to register a CAGR of 6% over 2018-2024. However, level-2 autonomous cars sales are expected to depict an impressive growth, given the integration of advanced sensors and internet technologies with advanced automotive machineries. The level-2 autonomous car market is anticipated to record a phenomenal double-digit growth of 45% over 2018-2024.

    Is Europe emerging as a lucrative investment hub for autonomous car market?

    With the profound presence of automotive industry bigshots in the region, the regional autonomous car market of late has been gaining immense momentum. The automakers are increasingly seen adopting and investing in the autonomous vehicle technology to strengthen their product portfolio, while enhancing their overall global reach. The relentlessly hyped arrival of autonomous vehicles in the region is further favored by strong governmental support. The regional governments are taking initiatives to improve the road & telecom infrastructure to improve the interaction of self-driving vehicles with the surrounding.

    Recently for instance, Gothenburg, a major European city has made it to the headlines for strongly embracing autonomous cars deployment. The authorities are planning to turn this Swedish city into an amenable location for the self-driving cars. It has been reported that with this deployment move, the city will be poised to witness benefits such as safe and secure transportation with more smooth and efficient flow of traffic. Besides, the Netherlands government has reportedly invested over 100 million in projects like installing new traffic lights to enable better communication with self-driving cars.

    Such supportive governmental initiatives have also helped the regional auto manufacturers & technology firms to conduct and test autonomous driving technology on roads and freeways. Estimates claim that the Europe autonomous car industry share accounted for a major chunk of over 40% of the global autonomous car market in 2017.

    How North America is performing in the race for autonomous cars deployment?

    Quite unsurprisingly, the North America autonomous cars market is also high on the index, given the increasing rate of ambitious auto testing programs. Add to it the hundreds of American auto manufacturers developing self-driving technologies and supportive government policies. Recently, autonomous car industry major Zoox is set to become the fore most self-driving car company to have a permit from California Public Utilities Commission to shuttle public customers & operate its autonomous cars.  For the record, Zoox is one amongst the 62 companies with a permit to test its autonomous technology in California. Waymo, a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc., is also one of the biggest player in North America autonomous car industry, and has filed over 338 patents for the self-driving technology between 2010 and 2017.

    With such advance level of self-driving car deployment stages across the region, it goes without saying that North America autonomous car market is poised to be a lucrative investment hotspot for potential stakeholders in the years ahead. Reports further claim that the North America market is projected to record an annual growth rate of 14% over 2018-2024.

    How many cars can we expect by 2024 to have self-driving capabilities?

    According to a report by Global Market Insights, Inc., the global autonomous car market has the potential to surpass 60 million units by 2024. The data significantly goes on to validate that the overall autonomous car market, being just one of the subcategory of the global automobile industry, is moving lot faster and is poised to traverse along a lucrative growth curve in the ensuing years.

  • Subaru WRX STI: excellent sports car, overachieving commuter

    Michel Deslauriers / LC MediaThe Subaru WRX STI exudes character in every stylish detail.

    Michel Deslauriers / LC Media

    The Subaru WRX STI exudes character in every stylish detail.

    If we regularly follow the ups and downs of our sports team, we’ll invariably figure out which players have character and which don’t. And in the automotive world, very few cars have as much character as the Subaru WRX — especially if it wears an STI badge.

    It’s a powerful car, with a turbocharged 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine that produces 310 horsepower — up by five for 2019 — and 290 pound-feet of torque. Its all-wheel drivetrain can be manually configured to send more torque to the front axle or the rear one, according to the driver’s preference. No slushbox here, as the only transmission available in the STI is a close-ratio, six-speed manual.

    The WRX STI is noisy, whether it’s idling or accelerating at wide-open throttle, while vibration and harshness is part of the driving experience — all the time. It takes off with a violence that triggers goosebumps and sticks to the pavement in curves with exceptional force. Behind the wheel of the STI, it’s impossible to drive like a senior citizen. Its dynamic abilities are downright impressive, and like a hockey game that shows character, the car always gives 110 per cent during each drive.

    While we appreciate that quality in a professional sports player, because victory is the only thing that counts, it’s very different in a road car. On the everyday commute, the 2019 Subaru WRX STI is exhausting. It rattles its occupants on all types of road surfaces except newly paved highways — a rare sight in Canada — and the exhaust drone is omnipresent. As for fuel economy, we averaged 12.0 L/100 km during our test. The engine requires super unleaded, by the way.

    The seats offer great lateral support in addition to being quite stylish, with a mix of leather and faux-suede upholstery as well as red accenting.

    We also like the red seatbelts.

    The dashboard is functional and most controls are within easy reach, while the infotainment system is modern.

    However, some of the latter’s on-screen buttons are too small, and since the car settles down, they’re hard to tap on while we’re driving.

    And then there’s the car’s styling. Younger folks probably like it, but it’s the older car buyers who can afford the insurance premiums. That rear wing is a love-it-or-hate-it addition, but luckily, it can be swapped for a more subtle trunk-lid spoiler on the Sport-tech trim. Oh, and the STI is the last model in Subaru’s lineup that can’t be equipped with its EyeSight suite of advanced driving aids. Not that typical STI buyers would necessarily want it, though.

    The STI is all about character. But like a good hockey player, it costs quite a lump of dough with an MSRP from $40,195 before freight and delivery charges. The “regular” 268-horsepower WRX is almost as fast, consumes less fuel and its engine seems to be more reliable, and costs almost $10,000 less. Also, a finesse player like the Volkswagen Golf R, despite not having as much character, scores as many goals as the STI without always ending up in the penalty box.

  • Bentley CEO sees new challenges but more potential for ultraluxury brand

    The rollout of Bentley’s latest Continental GT has been slowed by WLTP emissions rules and work needed to refine its Porsche-based dual-clutch transmission.

    Adrian Hallmark’s appointment in February as Bentley CEO marked his return to the ultraluxury brand 12 years after the Briton left. Hallmark was closely involved in the launch of the Continental GT, Bentley’s first car under Volkswagen Group ownership, and he departed as the brand’s sales director. He initially stayed with the VW Group, rising to executive director for Asia, before leaving to oversee Saab’s global sales. That job lasted just 11 months, after which he moved to Jaguar Land Rover, eventually becoming group strategy director. Hallmark returned to Bentley at a tough time, but he told Automotive News Europe Correspondent Nick Gibbs that the current losses will be short-lived. He also explained why Bentley does not need a sports car.

    You have been Bentley CEO for more than six months now. How had the company changed in the 12 years you were away?
    Most of the good things that were here are still here. There are a lot of extra ones as well. The brand has gone from 1,000 sales to 10,000 sales to become consistently the biggest ultraluxury brand out there. Although we are not as successful as Ferrari in terms of net profit, we have made money for 13 of the 15 years since the GT was launched. We have got a strong business model. The big change is the environment we now face. If I look forward 10 to 15 years -- the investment, the direction, the future of luxury, how we fit into that -- the variables have massively changed. But so has the potential.

    Is there potential because the number of high-net-worth individuals is forecast to grow?
    They are. We started using that as a basis for our planning 15 years ago. At that time the number of people with more than $1 million in stocks and other investments was 6 million. That has gone up to 16 million today, and the prediction is it will rise to 20 million by 2025. The irony is that even with 16 million high-net-worth individuals today, only a few tens of thousands per year buy ultraluxury cars.

    What would tempt more of the world’s super rich to buy ultraluxury cars?
    About 40 percent of our customers would consider buying an EV. But more important, the two major demographic segments that we don’t currently sell to -- the upper liberals and the post-moderns -- account for 40 percent of high-net-worth individuals, and an EV is even more appealing to them than to our customers. They tend to buy Porsche and Tesla now. We see full-electric cars as another growth opportunity in a five- to 10-year period. In the meantime, all nameplates will have a hybrid option before 2025.

    Will your full-electric car be a stand-alone model or a version of an existing vehicle?
    I can’t say yet, but our mission is to define grand touring. Whatever we do, it needs to be a continent-muncher [long-distance cruiser] but with style and comfort that is unrivaled. So when we build an electric car, it will be a Bentley first and foremost, and it will be an electric Bentley second.

    You have said the car will come “before 2025.” Why is there such a big window?
    The problem is, with the size of our vehicles and the frontal area we push through, current battery-power density limits the size of the car with a credible driving range. The Jaguar I-Pace is the perfect-size car for the battery technology, but it’s too small for us. It’s all driven by power density of the battery, but there’s nothing industrialized in the supply chain before 2023-2024-2025. Only then does it open up the size of the vehicle and the category you can make a credible battery-powered car.

    Will a plug-in hybrid be enough to tempt this untapped group of super rich?
    No. It’s an interim technology.

    So who will Bentley’s plug-in hybrids appeal to?
    Hybrids for us are the answer to CO2 and compliance challenges but also country- or city-specific legislation challenges. Forty-five percent of our cars are driven in cities, and they are used on a regular basis. When cities start to shut out combustion engines, we want to create products that are fully future-proof for that interim period. That’s the reason for hybrids. Not to expand into brand new customer segments.

    Does your Bentayga plug-in hybrid qualify as an ultralow-emissions vehicle (ULEV, which produces 50 g/km of CO2 or less), making it eligible for tax breaks in some markets?
    No, it does not.

    Will it need a bigger battery?
    Yes, and we are working on it, both now for range and for the compliance figures to get it to the ULEV category.

    Is the hybrid available now?
    No. One of the reasons we have had a tough year is the WLTP’s (Worldwide harmonized Light vehicles Test Procedure) effect on us has been close to catastrophic. We have done a lot of work to ensure our cars will comply with legislative requirements, but we have been stuck in the queue because we were not quick enough. The hybrid should have been on the streets right now. Instead, it has been delayed until February or March. We have a lot of interest and it’s ready, but we cannot release it because we do not have the certification. We have had to make choices; and the hybrid, unfortunately, went to the back of the queue. We have had to be ruthless in that prioritization.

    Did WLTP also cause you to drop the Bentayga diesel?
    Yes and no. That was really because of a reduction in demand for diesel over the last couple of years. Then we got delayed by WLTP, and by the time we would bring it back in, we would almost be ready for the next round of legislation. The V-8 gasoline engine will more than compensate.

    VW Group financial reports have made mention of the slow rollout of the new Continental GT. What has been the issue there?
    A number of things, none of them fundamental, but they are frustrating and time-consuming. First, we have chosen to use the world’s finest dual-clutch system for sports cars [which comes from sister brand Porsche], and one of the challenges we underestimated was refining it for an ultraluxury application. The second key thing has been WLTP. And on top of that, we are obsessive about gaps and rads [precision of panel gaps and surface radii, or body curves], as we call them. We don’t let it go until it’s right, so we are just taking our time to get it right. The double punch has been the shift in WLTP.

    Is the GT fully available now?
    It has been since July, apart from the WLTP stoppage. We are running at capacity, the order bank is good, the car is getting rave reviews, and it’s a winner. We did it exactly the same the first time I was here. We delayed that first GT by eight months because it was not better than the Audi A8, and that was the standard.

    Now that the Continental GT is up and running, will the next quarter be profitable, or even the full year?
    It definitely won’t be a profitable year. Will the last quarter be profitable? Probably. We have gone through the difficult period. This year is a conversion year to a better business model, and next year you will start to see significant growth and a return to normality in terms of profit.

    Bloomberg

    “We see full-electric cars as another growth opportunity in a five- to 10-year period,” Bentley CEO Adrian Hallmark said.

  • Daimler, BMW mull cooperation on platforms, self-driving tech, report says

    Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche and BMW CEO Harald Krueger have both signaled lower profits this year.

     

  • GLOBAL AUTOMOTIVE COLLISION REPAIR MARKET VALUATION TO SURPASS A MAMMOTH $270 BILLION BY 2024

    Image result for collision parts

     

    The automotive industry is experiencing an unprecedented surge in sales, the consequence of which is evident from automotive collision repair market dynamics. As improving economic conditions around the world coupled with the rapidly rising need for intra-city and intercity goods transportation promote the sales of commercial as well as passenger vehicles, automotive collision repair industry share is experiencing an upsurge.

    Some of the factors that have significantly impacted this industry include the increased on-road traffic that has led to surging vehicle crashes & accidents. According to a 2016 report by the National Collision Database (NCDB) of Canada, the occurrence of vehicle accidents rose approximately by 2% in comparison to the 2015 numbers. This trend would be positively impacting the overall automotive collision repair market over 2018-2024.

    How would consumer preferences influence the automotive collision repair market?

    As the economic conditions around the globe have depicted enhancement, there has been an increase in disposable incomes, allowing consumers to shift their preferences towards the advanced automobiles, thereby impacting the automotive aftermarket. Currently ongoing developments like the incorporation of wireless technologies now require high expertise & innovative machinery to address the issue of vehicle maintenance. These technological advancements across developed & developing nations would be further fueling the global automotive collision repair market.

    How would the sales of finishing compounds and adhesives and sealants influence the industry growth?

    Finishing compounds are witnessing a remarkable rise in reparation activities, primarily due to the rising road traffic leading to an increased risk of minor dents, scratches as well as small crashes., further propelling industry growth.

    Adhesives and sealants based automotive collision repair industry will also witness a steady growth over 2018-2024, driven by the rise in the number of vehicle safety norms and standards as well as the increased focus on lightweight vehicles. The use of adhesives in devices as large as the vehicle chassis and as small as sensors will further expedite adhesives and sealants based automotive collision repair market.

    Which vehicle segment would be witnessing significant gains?

    Passenger car sales are projected to rise exponentially over the forecast period. According to a report by the International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers (OICA), the overall passenger vehicle sales in the year 2017 went up by 2% compared to 2016 numbers. Attributing to rising sales, the passenger cars segment would be registering revenues of about $128 billion by 2024. With consumer preferences shifting to shared mobility where vehicles usually witness a lot of wear & tear, the overall automotive collision repair market from PCVs will depict significant gains.

    How will the expanding auto industry in APAC impact the automotive collision repair industry growth?

    Asia Pacific is expected to observe substantial growth prospects over 2018-2024, essentially on account of the ever-growing automotive sector in the region. Extensive vehicle sales in tandem with the rising demand for effective repair will propel APAC automotive collision repair market. Regional players have also been indulging in strategic growth tactics to impel the industry share.

  • The 10 most outrageous automotive news stories of the year

    From snow cars in Montreal to hoverbikes in Dubai to flaming police cars in Florida, here’s proof that 2018 was a wild year on the roads.

     

    As 2018 draws to a close, we’re looking back at some of the wildest, weirdest, most exciting and funniest news stories of the year.

    Here’s hoping 2019 is just as weird.

    Icing Tesla The 10 most outrageous automotive news stories of the year

    People being jerks always draws a crowd, but we had no idea how much interest there would be in the trend of needlessly blocking Tesla Superchargers, dubbed ICE-ing. But there you have it, not only is this the top oddball news, it is the top news hit overall and the top story of the entire year on Driving.ca, all of it over the past few days

    A shockingly accurate car made entirely of snow in Montreal confuses parking police

    A shockingly accurate car made entirely of snow in Montreal confuses parking police

    montreal21 The 10 most outrageous automotive news stories of the year

    A car made entirely of snow confuses police officers in Montreal. Reddit

    This one was satisfying. A parking enforcement officer in Montreal was left feeling a little perplexed by this illegally parked Delorean DMC-12 made entirely of snow. The machinist who crafted this immovable (except by plough) snowmobile even added windshield wipers, so the officer could’ve left a ticket…instead they left a note that read “You made our night hahahahaha :)”.

     

    Two heavy-footed drivers learn firsthand how expensive McLaren repairs are

    First ever crash of the 1-million dollar McLaren Senna in Munich, Germany.

    First ever crash of the 1-million dollar McLaren Senna in Munich, Germany.

    Being “the first” to do something can get you a lot of attention, even when it’s not wanted. That was the lesson learned by this fellow who was the first to crash a McLaren Senna. The person who posted this photo of the crashed Senna to Instagram called the damage “little” and “not bad thankfully,” but the German authorities who gave the repair estimate thought otherwise; repairs were said to cost $1.27 million. If anyone can sympathize with the car’s owner, it’s this unlicensed Toronto driver who crashed a McLaren 720S into an Audi R8 while his friend filmed it. O of.

     

    German teen demonstrates how to lose a license in 10 minutes

    speeding traffic police cop stop speed trap radar 2 The 10 most outrageous automotive news stories of the year

    A policeman in Berlin pulls over a car caught speeding during a city-wide police action to catch people for speeding and other traffic infringements on April 16, 2013. Sean Gallup / Getty Images

    Getting your driver’s license is an exciting event, and for one German teen it turned out to be entirely too much. Caught doing nearly double the speed limit on the way home less than an hour after earning his license, the young man was fined $300, banned from the road for four weeks and ordered to take re-training, all in front of his four friends who were in the vehicle at the time. Better luck next time, kid.

     

    VW is restoring this philanthropist’s 350,000-km Beetle

    kathleen brooks 1967 annie beetle large 9207 The 10 most outrageous automotive news stories of the year

    Kathleen Brooks 1967 Annie Beetle Restored

    Volkswagen of North America was so moved by the story of three-time breast-cancer survivor Kathleen Brooks and her 1966 Beetle “Annie,” which has accumulated over 350,000 km, that they’ve offered to restore the daily-driver back to showroom condition. It’s a great gift for a woman who definitely deserves it–Kathleen continues to work with cancer patients and survivors during treatment and recovery.

     

    Driver refuses police demands to pull over, cites fear of Prius tires popping

    2017 Toyota Prius Technology

    2017 Toyota Prius Technology Peter Bleakney / Driving

    A driver in Washington state tainted the immaculate reputation of Prius owners when she refused to pull over for police earlier this year. Spotting outdated plates, an officer attempted to stop the driver first with a few “whoop whoops” from the siren, then with a loudspeaker as she continued on, and finally by walking up to the side of the car and speaking to her through the open window. She declined, telling the officer “I drive a Prius,” and that her tires kept popping. Uh, what? When the officer insisted and physically removed her from the vehicle, she told him “I am going to own you, I am going to own your kids, I am going to take your house from you.” Then she was arrested.

     

    Dubai’s police force is getting hoverbikes

    Police officers in Dubai already had a pretty radical fleet of service vehicles. You can imagine the conversations in the garage: “Morning partner, should we take the i8 or the Aventador?” “It’s Monday, let’s take the Veyron.” Beginning in 2020, the options for Dubai’s lucky law enforcers will also include an actual flying hoverbike. The Hoversurf S3 2019 is a battery powered motorcycle-cum-drone with a one-piece carbon-fibre body and the potential for forty minutes of flight per charge.

     

    Cop burns down own car in reckless pursuit of speeder

    Meanwhile in Florida, a police officer who spotted a vehicle speeding down the highway in the opposite direction performed a series of ill-advised manoeuvres to catch it and was immediately reprimanded by the Gods of Driving. After pulling a U-turn across the grass median, accelerating to 225 km/h, passing a vehicle on the right shoulder and telling the camera capturing it all “I don’t recommend doing that—what I just did,” he finally caught the speeder. But before the officer could even get the other driver’s license and registration in hand, his cruiser caught on fire, and then to make matters worse, he couldn’t seem to figure out how to use the fire extinguisher. Eventually he tells the speeder to just go. Oh boy. You know his fellow officers down at the precinct are never going to let him live this down.

     

    Prince Harry sells his Audi like an ordinary guy, on AutoTrader UK

    audi prince harry1 The 10 most outrageous automotive news stories of the year

    Prince Harry’s former 2017 Audi RS 6 Avant. Handout / AutoTrader UK

    Every once in a while a member of the British Royal Family will do something so ordinary that it’ll make you think, “Huh, they’re just like the rest of us.” It feels good, frankly. Like when Prince Harry was spotted in the discount frozen food section of his local grocery store a couple years ago–this was pre-Markle Harry, mind you. Earlier this year, the younger prince also listed his Audi RS6 Avant for sale on AutoTrader.co.uk. With just 7,184 km on the odometer and an original sale price of around $140,000 before options, the vehicle was listed at $120,000.

     

    Chevy is building a hydrogen military truck based on the Silverado

    chevrolet silverado zh2 The 10 most outrageous automotive news stories of the year

    2020 Chevrolet Silverado ZH2

    General Motor’s military division has developed a new hydrogen-powered vehicle called the Silverado ZH2 for the US Army. As the name suggests, the rugged truck is based on the 2020 Silverado, but uses two power systems unique to it: a Hydrotec fuel cell and a Jouletec battery system. Want to drive one? If yes, you’d better enlist, because the ZH2 will not be made available to the public.

     

  • Motorsport Network and Speed Digital launch Motorious.com

    Motorsport Network and Speed Digital launch Motorious.com

     

    Technology and media businesses combine capability to create a new global automotive platform for the collectable car market.

    NEC Birmingham, UK & Charlotte, North Carolina, USA – January 10, 2019 – Motorsport Network and Speed Digital today brought their respective market positions and digital expertise to bear on a new collaboration – Motorious.com.

    Motorious.com aims to become the leading international car collector digital platform, launching with a start-up inventory of over 50,000 cars for sale. The marketplace features all premium automotive segments including classics, sports, exotics and muscle cars, as well as off-road vehicles and hot rods. The platform will be enriched with Speed Digital’sbuying guides, research information and editorial content from the Motor1MotorGT and AutoClassics stables to provide automotive enthusiasts and collectors with an ‘all-in-one-place’ solution.

    Motorious.com will initially target North American and European markets with a progressive roll-out of ten language editions across multiple territories to deliver a genuinely worldwide solution for the collectable car market. Sellers will also benefit from proprietary software solutions that syndicate sales listings to other reputable sites dedicated to this market.

    https://motorsport.tv/embed/YpLxylY7-motorious-com-announcement?autoplay

    Motorsport Network’s venture partner in Motorious.com is Speed Digital, a market-leading US business that provides its proprietary software solutions and digital platforms across the North American automotive and classic car industry. The organisation is focused on assisting dealers, auctioneers and collectors with its state-of-the-art dealership management software and custom web & marketing solutions.

    Speed Digital’s Founder and Chairman, Rob Kauffman, is an experienced financial services investor, race team owner and noted car enthusiast. “We are very excited by this new partnership with Motorsport Network. With our joint capabilities, we are using technology to create an easy-to-use platform for research, market information, for sale listings and interesting content for car collectors, enthusiasts and professionals. Over time, we hope to make Motorious.com the ‘go-to’ destination for everything collector-car related,” said Kauffman.

    Zak Brown, Motorsport Network’s Chairman said, “Motorsport Network has a strong tradition of internationalising its digital platforms and currently operates in 81 markets and 17 languages. Bringing this experience of multi-territory roll-out to Speed Digital’strade automotive alongside our editorial capabilities makes this a hugely powerful proposition in a growth market. We will be the first people to offer a global solution in this space, which is incredibly exciting.

    Motorious.com will preview at the Autosport International Show at stand 4310, in Hall 4 from 10-13 of January at the NEC in Birmingham, UK.

Items 21 to 30 of 270 total

Page:
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. ...
  7. 27