- Volvo and their Chinese parent company, Geely, are reportedly in talks to merge together into a single company, which in turn would become China’s first global carmaker.
Chairman of Geely Holding Group, Li Shufu, announced this week that “a combination of the two companies would result in a strong global group" and "accelerate financial and technical synergies” with the "scale, knowledge and resources to be a leader in the ongoing transformation of the automotive industry".
Geely, who also own Lotus, Lynk&Co, Proton and LEVC, acquired Volvo in 2010 and the two firms have remained separate from each other ever since. Volvo's new electric performance brand, Polestar, is however jointly owned with Geely. Li Shufu has added that any potential merger between the companies would "preserve the distinct identity" of each brand and remain separate from one another.
Earlier this year Geely completed a 50:50 joint ownership deal of the ‘Smart’ brand, with its parent company Daimler, who also own Mercedes-Benz. This deal will eventually lead to a £594 million investment from each company and move the production of future Smart models to China and further develop“a leader in premium and intelligent electrified vehicles”. Daimler will continue to lead the design and styling, while Geely will now lead the engineering.
- Citroen revealed the new facelifted Citroen C3 this week, an evolution of the brand's worldwide best-seller, with over 750,000 sales since its launch at the end of 2016.
New features include a new front end with signature and LED headlights, Advanced Comfort seats, 11 driving aids and an increase in its customisation potential with 97 exterior combinations available.
The New Citroen C3 will arrive in UK dealerships from June 2020.
- ŠKODA has announced its upcoming electric SUV will be called the ENYAQ, which is “based on the Irish language and expresses the vehicle’s dynamism and efficiency”.
ŠKODA SUVs have traditionally had names ending in the letter Q, and the new ŠKODA ENYAQ follows this tradition like the KAMIQ, KAROQ and KODIAQ models. But the new model’s first letter now shows that this tradition is merging with the eMobility era, referenced by the letter E at the beginning of the name.
The ENYAQ will be the production version of ŠKODA’s Vision iV concept, which was revealed last year and will go on sale in 2021 and will form part of the ten electrified models ŠKODA plan to launch under their ‘iV’ subrand by the end of 2022.
- EDF has acquired electric vehicle charge point provider Pod Point in a deal reportedly worth £110 million.
Founded in 2009, Pod Point has installed 62,000 charging points so far in the UK and by joining with EDF, they hope to “take things to the next level and accelerate [their] national rollout of charging points and make it even easier for drivers across the UK to go electric.”
EDF already offers a 100% renewable ‘Go Electric’ tariff and allow customers to charge their EVs at discounted rates on evenings and weekends. EDF say the acquisition of Pod Point will allow them to now include charging point installations as part of its packages.
- The Hyundai Motor Group, owners of Hyundai and Kia, announced this week they will be jointly developing a new electric vehicle platform with the California-based startup company, Canoo, as part of their commitment of investing £67 billion on future growth plans and EV development in the next five years.
Canoo announced last year it would launch the worlds-first subscription-only electric vehicle and have developed a ‘skateboard’ platform for its range of EVs. This new partnership with Hyundai and Kia will involve sharing this platform as well as "engineering services".
Albert Biermann, the former head of BMW’s M division and now R&D boss at Hyundai, has said they are “highly impressed by the speed and efficiency in which Canoo developed their innovative EV architecture”. Their goal together is to develop a cost-effective “platform concept that is autonomous ready and suitable for mass adoption.”
- Dacia is set to launch a new factory-fitted dual-fuel solution across its range of models by utilizing an all-new 1.0-litre turbo Bi-Fuel 100 engine to combine petrol and LPG fuel, becoming the only manufacturer in the UK to do so.
The LPG technology has been tried and tested across Dacia models in Europe for several years and the main change to the vehicles is the addition of a high-strength steel LPG tank in place of the spare wheel. By offering customers a choice of using petrol or LPG, Dacia hopes to deliver reduced fuel costs, lower emissions and improved performance, as well as offering a combined range of up to 620 miles.
There are over 1400 LPG stations across the UK and filling up with LPG is as simple as adding petrol, with a filler flap and protective cover situated at the rear of the vehicle, on the opposite side of the petrol filler unit. The car can be manually switched between LPG and petrol by pressing a dedicated switch in the cockpit at any time or automatically when one of the tanks is empty.
The new Dacia Bi-Fuel range will go on sale this month.