Automotive industry briefing
The latest news and stories you need to know about
News in numbers
Volkswagen Group is planning to invest around €46bn in electric mobility and the hybridization of its fleet in the next five years.
Electric vehicle battery manufacturer LG Energy Solution plans to expand its US battery production capacity to 75 gigawatt hours (GWh) by 2025, creating 10,000 jobs directly and 6,000 additional jobs among its subcontractors.
China's new vehicle market rebounded strongly in February 2021, by 365% year-on-year to 1.455m units after plunging by over 79% to just 310,000 units a year earlier.
Renault has redesigned its logo - the diamond or lozenge used by the brand since 1925. The latest iteration will be the ninth. The current logo – created in 1992 and redesigned in 2015 – is being redesigned as Renault moves into a new era to meet the challenges of a modern international brand, with a significant focus on the digital world, the automaker said.
1.8 million sales is the current forecast for the recovering UK new car market in 2021, which compares with pandemic hit 1.63 million sales in 2020 (the lowest annual total since 1962). In 2019, the UK car market exceeded 2.31 million units.
Volvo revives C nameplate for new BEV
Geely's Volvo Cars is reviving the nameplate used for its first pure EV - the select customers and markets C30 of a decade ago - with the C40. The C40 Recharge, "the latest manifestation of [our] commitment to a zero emission future", according to the automaker, appears to be a potential challenge to models at the lower end of Tesla's all-electric range.
XPeng launches new LFP-battery powered models
XPeng, the Chinese smart electric vehicle maker, has expanded its domestic product line with three new models powered by lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries. The three are the rear-wheel drive (RWD) P7 Standard Range Smart and Premium models plus the G3 460c and all are now available to order.
GM targets e-SUV market with Bolt EUV
GM's Chevrolet brand is to introduce a new, all-electric 2022 Bolt EUV, alongside the facelifted 2022 Bolt EV. It goes on sale in the US this summer. The SUV-like Bolt EUV is positioned above the Bolt and six inches longer; it is a rival for the VW ID.4. Although the Bolt EUV and Bolt share architecture, no body panels are in common. Bolt EUV, like Bolt, also does not have GM's new Ultium-branded batteries.
The saloon and estate models of the new C-Class are starting to leave the production line at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Bremen, Germany. The new car will start production in Bremen, the lead plant in the global C-Class production network.
This will shortly be followed by start-ups at international locations in Beijing, China and East London, South Africa.