The Tata Nano could appear in Europe as an electric model only, after the Indian company conducted further market analysis on the possible future of the Nano on the old continent. In fact, the choice makes a lot of sense. While the Nano Europa is planned for a 2012 debut at less than 6,000 euros, an electric version could make this a real city car for European centres getting stricter about pollution and emissions.
Originally, an electric Tata Nano was not planned but a recent interview with CEO Carl Peter Forster hinted that one could be developed. It would make the Nano quite unique, and we believe could even make it a significant long-term prospect in its own country of India if the right infrastructure could be developed. The only downside is that an electric version could cost double the 6,000 euros for the standard version, making it decidedly less appealing in Europe.
However, if an electric city car is your choice of vehicle, competitor options such as the Citroen C-Zero or Peugeot iOn have pricing around the 30,000 euros mark. It’s still a Tata Nano, though…. Despite our European cynicism, if the Nano electric goes ahead it could be produced in the same production facilities as the Smart EV, indicating a possible future joint-venture. It seems the Indians are getting very good at collaborating and we could soon see an intelligent choice from Tata entering the European market. Something to look out for in the future.
Source | Autointernationaal
The legendary Ford Mustang could be coming to the old continent in 2015 in a move that is likely to send more than one classic car fan’s heart fluttering. The Mustang will celebrate 50 years in 2014 and the anniversary could see a new generation of coupe arrive in Europe, too. The next Mustang should also be slightly smaller, and include more Ecoboost engine options which could meet Europe’s strict anti-pollution norms.
If this turns out to be true, I’m going to start saving now. On the muscle car front, though, the Chevrolet Camaro which debuted at the 2008 Paris motor show was supposed to have appeared in showrooms in Europe, but it looks as though the infamous economic crisis may have slowed that project. I can see a niche market for the Mustang, though, particularly in a 50th anniversary guise. Fingers crossed…
Source | Autointernationaal.nl
As you may well imagine, Volkswagen did very nicely in the European market for 2009, as did Opel and Ford (and there’s no prizes for guessing for which models). There are a couple of surprises though, with Fiat doing very well, but not with the Fiat 500, which makes a nice change, and Peugeot and Renault put in appearances as well. Check out Europe’s top ten cars for 2009 after the jump.
Some car trivia for the weekend was required as we get down to the business of Christmas cheer, and in this gallery we take a look at all the Car of the Year models from 1964 to today. This year, the humble Volkswagen Polo took out the title, marking the 47th since the award was incepted. The Car of the Year award is judged by seven European car magazine titles: Autocar in the UK, Stern in Germany, Vi Bilägare in Sweden, Autovisie in the Netherlands, L’Automobile Magazine in France, Auto in Italy, and Autopista in Spain.
The first Car of the Year back in 1964 was the Rover 2000, and things have come a long way since then. The Car of the Year must be a new vehicle that is available to at least five European markets in the year in question. Criteria such as design, comfort, performance, safety, practicality, ecology and economy, price and overall driveability are considered.
Perhaps surprisingly, the brand that has received the most awards in the history of the Car of the Year is Fiat, with a total of nine models, and that’s not including other Fiat Group brands such as Alfa Romeo or Lancia. Following Fiat, the company with the most success has been Renault, winning six times. The Volkswagen Polo for 2010 marks only the second time that Volkswagen has won the prize. After the jump is the full list of Car of the Year models from 1964 to 2010.
The official European importer for the Brilliance brand, HSO Motors, has been officially declared bankrupt due to the total flop of Chinese cars in Europe. The Luxembourg company had invested in Germany as its main market, but the Brilliance brand never recovered from the ADAC crash test in which it received no stars, despite modifying the vehicle afterwards to receive three.
According to reports, Brilliance failed on the German market not only to its poor quality, but also its uncompetitive prices. With all the well-made German cars on the market, not even the BS4 managed to salvage the situation, despite being a more recent model with better safety features. No diesel versions were available for the BS4 and BS6 models, with the first diesel being planned only for 2011.
We would add to this list of failures, the general patriotic feeling and prejudice on the old continent that European cars are better, and that when in Germany, why would you buy anything that isn’t German? Despite this, it looks as though Brilliance itself will take over the failed activity of HSO Motors, in attempts to continue imports of its Chinese cars to Europe.
Source | Autoweek.nl
In what could bode well for the fortunes of the Fiat 500 in the US, the cute little city car is continuing its sales success in the UK. While still a European market, the 2,989 Fiat 500’s sold in the month of October prove that the retro style model has appeal outside of its local Italian market.
The sales results mean that the Fiat 500 could enter the top ten most sold cars in the UK. Fiat has also had good results with its other models, with a total of 6,570 Fiat models sold in October this year. That’s an increase of 117.5 percent on the same period last year (with 3,020 models sold). While still very small, Fiat’s market share in the UK has increased from 2.58 to 2.9 percent.
Source | Autoblog.it
As the car world waits for the plan of the Fiat-Chrysler deal to be revealed, it looks as though a new Chrysler logo could be revealed. You might wonder why, if the brand is going to disappear from Europe, but it could be a show of faith from Fiat that Chrysler will get a revival in its own market of North America.
The new logo is quite sexy, definitely modern and hopefully marks the dawn of a new era for America’s beloved Chrysler. So far the Fiat-Chrysler plans have been sketchy and mostly include the arrival of the Fiat 500 or Abarth 500 on the US market, the appearance of the Alfa Giulia in the US, but perhaps not the Milano or MiTo, and the retaining of the Jeep brand on the European market. It looks as though Dodge will go niche, including an electric car in its line-up, and that we will see Lancia-badged Chryslers, particularly the new 300c already spied, in Europe. All will soon be revealed. Stay tuned.
Source | Autoblog
We had reported that the Alfa Giulia was to appear in 2012, and now it looks positively destined for the US market. While the Fiat 500 is getting a Chrysler distribution and should be the flag bearer of Italian trendy style in that market, it seems the larger models from the Fiat portfolio are the ones considered for an American debut.
According to reports, the successful Alfa MiTo and yet-to-be-released Milano will not be going to the US due to their smaller size. It seems the MiTo and Milano will appear on the European market only at this stage. The MiTo has already been enjoying solid sales since its debut, though the fortunes of the Milano and Giulia are still unknown.
Source | Motorionline
Despite restructing plans for Toyota, the company has suffered sales losses in the European market. Sales for the first half of 2009 were down 26 percent, showing that the auto industry across the globe is still feeling the economic downturn.
The figures show some interesting facts, though, with the Yaris being the best selling model. It is still down 19 percent on last year’s sales, with 109,403 units sold. Tadashi Arashima, president and CEO of Toyota Motor Europe has said: “On the plus side, our sales in Western Europe have been bolstered by government stimulus packages and our ability to adjust production volumes swiftly.”
Toyota is planning new and different models for Europe, to become a niche player in hybrid players, moving away from its previous full product line offerings.
Source | Autocar
Reports say that Toyota plans to make its first European-produced hybrid car with the Auris model. Production could start from 2012, when the Auris hatchback is due for a full remodelling.
This would make it the third hybrid model in the Toyota range after the Prius, and the Camry (in the US) adding a further option to Toyota’s environmental offering. In the Asia Pacific region, Toyota has previously said that it would introduce a number of hybrid models, among which the Auris (Corolla in that market) would be included.
The Auris has been successful car for Toyota in the European market, being the third best sold in the range in the first five months of this year, after the Yaris and Aygo Light Car models.
New Toyota president Akio Toyoda has said that Toyota will take a new direction in the future, modifying its strategy to be a full-line manufacturer in all regions. One part of the strategy will be to focus on the hybrid model offering in Europe.