2016 sees the Return of Renault to Formula One as a full factory team with the new RS 16 car which was launched in Paris in January and spectacularly arrived in Australia for the first GP of the year being paddled ashore on a surf ski at a beach near Sydney! If you haven’t seen the video on YouTube it’s worth a look. Drivers Kevin Magnussen and Jolyon Palmer have been coming to grips with the new car which has proven very reliable but lacking in pace until further upgrades arrive during the year, at the last race Kevin scored the first points of the season with 7th place. Encouragingly Daniel Ricciardo, using the same power unit in his Red Bull car, has shown some significant gains in power & speed. Front runners Mercedes and Ferrari have had some issues so far this year, and while Nico Rosberg has been getting all the wins Lewis Hamilton has had to fight for position. The new HAAS team with Roman Grosjean has put in some strong performances for a new outfit, while traditional teams such as McLaren & Williams with their talented driver line ups must be due for better results this year. With the usual political manouvering in the background about engine specifications, qualifying and many other things, Bernie is still the ringmaster of this highly technical and expensive circus which continues to keep us entertained as it travels around the world each year!
Since the change of engine rules to a V6 Hybrid, Mercedes have dominated FI. Not so in Spain last week! Their two cars managed to collide and go home, leaving a chance for others. (from AFP) TEENAGER Max Verstappen became the youngest ever Formula One winner on Sunday when he took full advantage of a spectacular first lap crash that eliminated both Mercedes cars and drove to triumph in the Spanish Grand Prix. In his maiden outing with the Red Bull team following his unexpected promotion from Toro Rosso, the 18-year-old Dutchman showed supreme composure under pressure as he resisted all attacks to claim a memorable victory in only his 24th F1 race. CRASH: Hamilton, Rosberg crash out on opening lap TIRADE: Vettel’s radio fury after Ricciardo’s passing attempt He became the youngest race winner, replacing four-time champion Sebastian Vettel who had also taken that record as a Red Bull driver. Verstappen, heralded as the sport’s hottest property, proved he has everything required to be a future world champion, but owed some of his good fortune also to Red Bull’s decision to put him on a three-stop strategy while his senior team-mate Daniel Ricciardo was on a two-stop plan. That prevented the Australian from turning his early control of the race into victory after the opening lap collision between championship leader Nico Rosberg and his Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton had left them fuming in a gravel trap at Turn Four and out of the race. Ricciardo eventually came home fourth, despite suffering a puncture on the penultimate 65th lap, behind the two Ferraris of Kimi Raikkonen who finished second ahead of Vettel. Verstappen’s maiden win on his Red Bull debut was the first in the sport by a Dutchman and the first by the team without Vettel involved in one of their cars. “It’s unbelievable, I can’t believe this,” said Verstappen’s father Jos, who on Saturday had announced he had stood down as his son’s manager. Valtteri Bottas came home fifth for Williams ahead of Carlos Sainz in a Toro Rosso, Sergio Perez of Force India, Felipe Massa in the second Williams, Jenson Button of McLaren and Daniil Kvyat on his return to Toro Rosso.
PSA and DongFeng are evolving the benefits of their relationship. PSA developed their CMP platform with GE for their ranges of small town cars. Now PSA and DongFeng are working on the e-CMP enhancement with electric propulsion. The cars will appear in 2019. Citroën already has electric car experience with Bolloré and Mitsubishi but DongFeng will bring the battery expertise. They are not planning specific electric cars but electric version of their smaller IC engined models. DongFeng see Citroën as a premium marque but cannot take full advantage because the DS marque is with another partner, Chang,an. So they have now launched the C6 for China only. Not the top end black government limo as was sold in France but a revamped DongFeng Fengshen A9 on the PSA EMP2 platform (like the 308 but stretched). There is a good set of pictures here: http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/citroen/95300/new-2016-citroen-c6-for-chinese-market-pictures#0
In announcing the second phase of recovery at PSA named "Push to Pass" Tavares emphasised the need for quality improvement to get up to the top three in the industry. As a start they took a VW Golf, the gold standard in this size of car and drove it with 308's for two years on a variety of roads across Euope. At the end, in the estimation of their research team, the Golf was still slightly ahead in quality. From the lessons learned now being applied in the 3008 and the revamped 308 they are improving such things as the accuracy of door mountings, reduction of noise in the doors and general vibration levels.
Motors will be there with a Cactus and possibly a DS 4 Crossback depending on stock at the time. We have been lucky enough to secure a manual Cactus (1 of three currently available in Aus) and a Crossback (1 of just 30 released to Australia) A couple interesting points: -As you may already know the final run of C5's with Hydractive are nearly pre-sold prior to even landing here. -There will be delivery of Cactus arriving in the coming month so you will hopefully see more out and about soon! -The DS3 is in runout, it may be the last chance to get one with a manual 121Kw engine (Price is $29,990 drive away which is well below retail) I look forward to catching up on the 16th of July unless you want to call in and say hello! Kind regards, Gerrard Quinn
The European market for cars was up 15% in March on last year. The Renault group sales rose by 28.7%, a result which shows them gaining more market share and was the best performance of the major manufacturers. Nissan on the other hand only saw a 2.4% increase. Peugeot SA were up 18.7% , a slight improvement in market share. The British market slipped to a growth of only 2.5%. This is always a slow month at the start of their financial year and spending is constrained while the Brexit referendum is in the balance.
My friends Michel and Isabelle went this month on a tour of some of the Chateaux with other collectors of 'youngtimers'. He is still reconditioning the engine of his Panhard and so drove his beautifully restored red Volvo Amazone. He often uses that as his daily transport for the enjoyment driving in the spirit of fifty years ago. See and enjoy his photo album at http://jalbum.net/fr/browse/user/album/1728343
Bertrand Cadart has reminded us of the Matra Museum at Romorantin-Lanthenay which is holding an expo of French winning cars - Loeb's DS3, the Peugeot 908 that won Le Mans 24 and the Renault F1 world champion in 2006 ...... It is near the town of Blois and there are some interesting wineries in the region. The museum is open all year round but this special expo closes on the 20th Nov.
First reviews of the new C3 are appearing. see http://www.largus.fr/actualite-automobile/nouvelle-citroen-c3-2016-nos-premieres-impressions-en-video-7947391.html It uses the Peugeot 208 platform but the styling includes a lot of Cactus features, inside and out and a few cues from the C4 Piccaso. It brings some sense of commonality to the Citroën branded range as they continue to differentiate it from the DS
The intrepid Michel was off again last weekend to a meeting at Tartas in the Landes see http://www.tartas.fr/Tartas/Tartas/Tartas-en-images. His album of some beatiful cars that participated is at http://jalbum.net/fr/browse/user/album/1732088. Enjoy!
Peugeot S.A. had an important position in the Iranian market, when they were supplying CKD kits of cars to be assembled in an Iranian owned factory. When the sanctions against Iran were stiffened, they were forced to suspend deliveries. The Iranians demanded compensation which was also blocked. This came at a time when Peugeot had serious financial problems and added to the difficulties that led to their restructure with the French Government and Dong Feng entering the shareholding. The sanctions are now lifted and Peugeot also have positive cashflow. They are paying 430 million euros to restart in Iran. They have signed agreements with two factories, one for Peugeot branded vehicles and the other for Citroën.
Having turned the corner, restored profitability and cash flow, PSA is reorganising at the top to push into new markets and to compete against stiffening competition. The manager responsible for China has changed. Their DS range has slow sales and overall they are losing growth against the agressive competition. The executive for the European market has also changed. The European market is growing in spite of flat overall economics. However the sales growth of PSA lags behind the overall market growth in contrast to Renault, whose sales growth exceed the market. PSA have created a new division with an experienced head to expand in 'transport' as opposed to vehicles. With the arrival of Uber and local competitors opening a high growth sector for shared transport and other innovations in transport integration, they want a share of the action. Earlier this year they acquired Mister Auto, an Internet based multi-marque spares logistic operation working in 13 countries. Will any of this arrive in Australia where only a old style vehicle distributor - dealer network is stilll in place?
Promotional Flyer for Car Display by members of FCCT, CCCT and ICE, Launceston.
Citroën carried out a study recently in 7 European countries in which they used a sample of 500 people over 15 years old. How much time do they spend in a vehicle and how do they pass the time? The results were........ 4 years and 1 month in a car during an average lifetime for Europeans but only 3 y 10 m for the French sample, 2y10m driving and 1y2m as a passenger. 2y of thatare spent with family or friends The French who drive every day thank or salute 9 094 personnes on the road. The French not only sing in the shower but at the wheel. 4,803 times in their lives The car is an extension of the bathroom for many French. They do their hair, shave and make-up 1,724 times They eat on the move 2,953 times Their car is a place for leaving things and they empty them on average 955 times during their lives. The car is also a place where the French experience highs and lows of emotion. They laugh 141 and cry 43 times. They do lots of things with their families and friends, Join in a game 45 times, argue 79 times, make up 33 times and repeat "We will soon be there" 154 times. The car is still a place of close contact. They kiss 3,042 times and make love 2/3 times in their lives. Note that there are wide geographical dispariries on this subject :the Euorpean average is 4 times, while the Italian is 8. Where do you fit in this survey?
Dear Car Club Members, A call for assistance; Greg Churm is helping with some research for an article/book on the DS in Australia. He wants to know if any of the famous "Architects Cars" still exist. According to the Citco Sales Ledgers both architects bought 3 cars each from Citco. 1. 1962 ID19 White, original rego CWM 197, Engine Number 19731187*; 2. 1966 ID19 Char/Mist Red, original rego EDK 215, Engine Number 19400431*; 3. 1970 DS21H Grey, original rego BCL 484, Engine Number 579015763*; 4. 1963 ID19 Tan/White, original rego CYM 364, Engine Number 19732055*; 5. 1963 ID19 Green/White, original rego DDE 670, Engine Number 19205305*; & 6. 1963 ID19 Safari White, original rego DDN 307, Engine Number 16701043* If you know of the existence of these cars please contact email@example.com Sincerely, Secretary | CCC of NSW Inc * details sourced from Citco sales ledgers Copyright © 2016 CCC of NSW Inc, All rights reserved. Our mailing address is: CCC of NSW Inc PO Box 348 Parramatta, NSW 2124 Australia
I arrived as they were setting up, so did not get a chance to gauge the customer interest. They had two Koleos on display and I was impressed by the build quality of the Koreans. Equally interesting were the Master vans in the carpark. Here tradies use utes but in Europe covered vans are the way to go. Lets hope these start a trend.
Early this year, following management difficulties at Mitsubishi Motors, Nissan stepped in to save it by buying 34% of its capital and taking over control. While waiting for the Japanese authorities' approval Carlos Ghosn has prepared a massive plan of integration and is ready to implement it. It will have massive effects on all three marques under his control. The Alliance Renault/Nissan will become Renault/Nissan/Mitsubishi. All three will share purchasing, platforms, engines and technologies, etc. Japan, India and the US are the first to benefit but then their models in Europe of all three manufacturers will benefit. With the commonality of parts and sub assemblies we can speculate on the effect it will have on dealerships and their service overlaps. The economies of scale will solidly position the Alliance among the top four manufacturers in the automobile industry, who together are responsible for over 60% of the world's car production.
Now that the Groupe and Alliance Renault control Mitsubishi in Japan, Avtovar in Russia, Samsung Motors in Korea and Dacia in Romania, its total annual sales has reached 9.5 million vehicles. It is close to catching Toyota at 10 million as the world’s No 1. In Tasmania, Renault is thought of a small importer in the market with some interestingly different vehicles on offer. It creates the illusion that as a niche player, buyers are at risk after the disappearance of several marques like Saab and Rover. Nothing could be further from the truth as now Renault is near the top of the big league. In the highly competitive market with a surfeit of models, Renault Australia bring in a small proportion of their global model range, choosing the models that they expect to have special local appeal. By 2020 the model range of the Alliance will include cars built on common platforms and so the issues of spares supply for small volumes will be mitigated by the commonality of mechanical parts with Nissan and Mitsubishi. Bearing in mind the strained relationship between the Board of Renault and the French Government the opportunity of management change given by the Mitsubishi investment has interesting implications. Osamu Masuko, the boss of Mitsubishi will remain on its board to drive the return to profitability of Mitsubishi and the continuity of its brand identity in Japan. Trevor Mann who is presently the Director of Nissan responsible for its profitability will become the Director of Operations at Mitsubishi. The interesting change is that Carlos Ghosn will remain the PDG ( président directeur général) of both Renault and Nissan and now chair the board at Mitsubishi but he has appointed Hiroto Saikawa to a parallel role to him in Nissan. He was the director responsible for competitivity at Nissan and was the front man in the dispute with the French Government. When the Minister Macron threatened to increase the government shareholding in Renault and to implement a double voting position, Nissan responded by threatening a takeover of Renault by a public offer. The tensions still remain and this structure allows Nissan to match plays at shareholder level with the French without putting Ghosn in a conflicted position. With the departure of Macron from the Ministry of Industry and the imminent elections in France, the issue of the selling down the Government’s interests in Peugeot and Renault crops up from time to time. It is not likely to proceed until after the Presidential election next year. For Peugeot the buyers are not obvious but the shareholding could be used to facilitate a strategic alliance. In Renaults case there are plenty of options. The institutional shareholders have an appetite for more investment and also it gives flexibility in consolidating the Alliance.
Renault, Nissan and Mercedes have a cross shareholding which underpins a commercial alliance. This has given Mercedes access to Renault shared platforms and technology to reinforce the Mercedes small car range. Its effects are to be seen in the Smart and the A-Class. Now, all three companies are sharing a ute platform. It is based on the Nissan Navara and will appear as the Renault Alaskan and the Mercedes X-Class. They will be made in the Nissan factory in Barcelona, Spain and the Renault factory in Cordoba, Argentina. The Merc will be on the world market at the end of 2017 with a double cabin version and a Mercedes 3 litre V6 Diesel. It will carry 1100kgms and tow up to 3.5 tons. How is that for globalisation?
Rod Belbin of Shannons (Hobart) has advised that as the October 2016 event was washed out due to storms during the week preceding and on the day of the event their annual "Take your tops off" display was cancelled. Due to the overwhelming interest in this event he has been able to obtain the Parliament Lawns on the 1st April. He also advised that he will not be holding their annual Shannons Car & Bike Expo at Rosny this year due to our proposed office move and other event commitments during April. For more information contact: Rodney K Belbin Business Development Manager Regional Victoria/Tasmania Shannons Insurance Mobile: 0408 314 309 Phone: 62811091 Fax: 62341678 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 337 Argyle Street North Hobart 7000 Tasmania
PSA is working with GM to buy Opel and Vauxhall and their operations in Europe. Opel is about to launch a vehicle which is little more than a badge engineered Peugeot/Citroën, the outcome of a relationship with GM prior to the financial collapse of both corporations. With the French government exerting serious control thhrough its shareholding in PSA, the deal is complicated by their concerns about preserving jobs in France. Opel supply several models to Australia branded Holden.