I will try my best to provide detailed info on various cars and what is like to live with them, I have already produced a few for Jaguar-car-forums, I will do my best to be unbiased, but it will be hard for some cars. I will re-produce press releases and copy from other motoring news.

Friday, 10 May 2013

Jaguar wins with XJ and XF in The Telegraph, Car of the Year awards.


  • Jaguar XF named Best Executive Car in The Telegraph Car of the Year Motoring Awards
  • XJ awarded Best Luxury Car title by Telegraph readers
  • XF chosen as Best Executive Car in Diesel Car’s 2013 Car of the Year Awards by judging panel
  • Jaguar XF Sportbrake and XJ executive saloon shortlisted for awards by Diesel Car


It has been a remarkable week for Jaguar as two of its prestigious models – the Jaguar XF executive saloon and the Jaguar XJ luxury saloon – receive recognition from national newspaper The Daily Telegraph and specialist automotive publication Diesel Car.

At the inaugural Telegraph Motoring Awards, the Jaguar XF beat competition from other premium car manufacturers to claim the Best Executive Car award, while the all-aluminium Jaguar XJ was named Best Luxury Car ahead of several more expensive competitor models.

Erin Baker, Head of Motoring at Telegraph Media Group, said: “Our discerning readers have always been fans of British luxury. The Jaguar XF and XJ are deserved winners, thanks in no small part to their eye-catching designs and the rewarding driving experiences they offer.”

The Jaguar XF received the Best Executive Car title in Diesel Car’s 2013 Car of the Year Awards, the fifth consecutive year the XF has won the award. The recently-launched Jaguar XF Sportbrake was a finalist in Diesel Car’s premium estate car category, and the Jaguar XJ was shortlisted in the luxury car category.

The awards are chosen based on a stringent test programme undertaken by Diesel Car’s team of award-winning writers. Announcing the win for Jaguar, Diesel Car Editor Ian Robertson said: "We’re big fans of the XF, a big cat that prowls the roads with a sinuous presence."

SEAT, improves with a massive boost in April sales

  • SEAT UK sells more cars in April 2013 than in any other April in its history
  • 3,983 registrations is a 33% improvement on April 2012
  • UK sales growth beats that of overall UK car market
  • Huge take-up of ground-breaking full-LED headlights option on new Leon

SEAT S.A. financial results show third consecutive year of growth; company on track to profitability
With the new Leon having gone on sale in the UK in March, SEAT could have expected a positive effect on sales – but April’s shower of SEAT sales was way beyond expectations.

SEAT registered a record-breaking 3,983 sales in April – more than in any other April in the history of the company. It represents a staggering 33% improvement on the same month in 2012, which comfortably eclipses the 14.8%* overall UK market growth in April.

Furthermore, SEAT doubled its corporate and retail order take this April, compared to last – an indicator that SEAT’s range has more showroom appeal than ever.

It’s early days yet, but the April sales total means that SEAT is on course for a record-breaking market share in 2013, significantly higher than the record 1.9% it achieved in 2012, which was a fourth consecutive sales and market share increase for the brand.

While new Leon sales form a significant part of the April sales tally, making up over one-quarter of the total, it is actually steady growth across the range that accounts for the month’s success: the Ibiza, Toledo, Altea, Exeo and Alhambra all exceeded expectations.

Director of SEAT UK Neil Williamson says: “It’s the combination of great products and a very hard-working, dedicated team that has made 2013 such a successful year for SEAT so far. We’ve now got the most exciting and most complete product range we’ve ever had, and with the new Leon SC due imminently, and the ST estate later this year, it’s getting even better.

“But nothing actually sells itself, no matter how good, so alongside great cars we’ve also got a dealer network with a massive amount of enthusiasm, and with more focus on customer service than ever.

“We believe that no brand offers the combination of quality, style and affordability that SEAT does, which is why we’re confident that 2013 will be a record-breaking year for us,” he adds.  

Huge take-up for Leon full-LED headlights

SEAT has made plenty of noise about the new Leon being the first family hatchback to offer full-LED headlights (and to date the only one), which not only give the car a technological edge in the class, but are an important safety and comfort feature.

And it seems that the buying public have been suitably illuminated as to their benefits, because the take-up of LEDs – optional on SE and FR cars – has been enormous: 79% of eligible cars bought privately in the UK since it was launched.

Much of this success can be attributed to SEAT’s decision to make the Leon Technology Pack, which bundles the LEDs with satellite navigation and DAB digital radio, extremely affordable. These three options together would cost £1,915, yet since the Leon order books opened, Technology Pack has been available for just £500. Ordinarily, it costs £1,075, but it will continue to be available for £500 until at least the end of June.

SEAT improves overall financial results for third year running

SEAT’s UK growth is in line with overall company growth, as demonstrated by the brand’s latest financial results, announced by James Muir at the end of the 2012 financial year.

In 2012 SEAT improved its financial result after tax by 51% compared with 2011, posting a loss of €30m. This result is startling in context: in 2011, SEAT posted a -€134m result, and in 2010, -€232.

Income grew by more than £1bn in 2012, while SEAT put €652m into investment and R&D expenditure, which is €100m more than in 2011.

SEAT is clearly on a path to major profitability, with the 2012 result coming because of an increase in exports, a major product offensive including the launch of the new Leon, and the first full year of Audi Q3 production at Martorell – a facility whose overall output increased by 7% in 2012.

SEAT is now present in 77 countries, and its vehicle exports grew from 79% in 2011 to 83% in 2012.

SEAT also boosted its growth outside Europe. Its arrival in China, coupled with the re-launching of the brand in Russia, added to the excellent results obtained in Mexico, North Africa and the Middle East. SEAT quadrupled its deliveries in Algeria, and increased them by 43% in Israel. In 2012 SEAT grew 46% outside Europe and almost 18% of its sales were made beyond the continent – seven points up on the previous financial year.

Discovery and Evoque win again at Diesel car awards

  • Land Rover products commended in annual Diesel Car Magazine’s Car of the Year 2013
  • Range Rover Evoque is voted best crossover for the second year in a row
  • Land Rover Discovery 4 wins best 4x4 title for the fourth year in succession
  • All-new Range Rover voted luxury finalist in 4x4 category

The Range Rover Evoque and Land Rover Discovery have continued their winning ways in the annual Diesel Car, Car of the Year Awards.

Following on from being crowned Diesel Car Magazine’s Car of the Year in 2012, the Range Rover Evoque, which has been on sale since 2011 and has notched up over 130 awards worldwide, was voted best crossover for the second year in a row. Diesel Car Magazine’s Editor, Ian Robertson said: "We’re huge fans of the Evoque, a car that is equally at home up a rugged mountain track or outside the Ritz."

The Land Rover Discovery 4 also triumphed once again for the fourth year in succession to take top honours with the all-new Range Rover commended as the luxury finalist within the highly-competitive 4x4 category. Robertson added: “If the Discovery 4 is not the most all-round capable car in the world, we honestly don’t know what is.”

Land Rover’s UK Marketing Director, Laura Schwab commented: “We are delighted to receive these awards which are a testament to the unique combination of go anywhere ability, practicality and clever design that are intrinsic to Land Rover products.”

“The Range Rover Evoque has proved to be an instant hit attracting many new customers to the brand, while the Discovery 4 has long been the choice for customers who want a vehicle for all purposes.”

Diesel Car Magazine’s award winning writers put every single new car through its paces, in a stringent test programme, to decide upon the very best cars in ten different segments.

The Awards issue of Diesel Car magazine, including a long term test on the Diesel Car’s resident Evoque coupe eD4 Prestige, goes on sale online at www.dieselcaronline.co.uk and in all good newsagents on Friday 10th May 2013. It’s also available for the iPad via the Apple App Store on iTunes.

Peugeot's RCZ wins again in the Diesel car magazine awards

  • Peugeot RCZ recognised for its combination of style, performance and economy
  • ‘Best-Sports Car’ title winner since its launch in 2010
  • Distinctive and unique double-bubble roofline instantly recognisable on UK roads

In the auspicious annual Diesel Car magazine’s ‘Car of the Year Awards 2013’, the Peugeot RCZ Sports Coupé has again been selected as the winner of the ‘Best Sports Car’ category, beating off strong opposition from the Mercedes-Benz SLK and others to retain this title undefeated.

The Peugeot RCZ is distinguished by its characteristic double-bubble roofline and aluminium roof arches.  It is available in two trim levels – Sport and GT (accounting for 80% of range) – and with a choice of two 1.6-litre petrol engines and a 2.0-litre HDi 163 turbo-diesel. Strong performance with 240 lb ft of torque from 2,000rpm means the RCZ can reach 62mph in 8.7seconds onto a top speed of 137mph. The economy in the Combined Drive Cycle at 53.2mpg is impressive, combined with CO2 at just 139g/km.

Diesel Car Editor, Ian Robertson said: “Here is a pocket supercar for far less money than its voluptuous looks and slick behaviour would lead you to expect.”

The Peugeot RCZ range starts at £21,600, with the HDi 163 Sport priced at £23,435 and the higher-specification GT at the top of the range at £25,835.

Now the police can creep up to you silently in the Nissan LEAF

  • West Midlands Police make the UK’s largest ever corporate order of LEAFs
  • 30 LEAFs to be used across 10 local policing units as ‘diary’ cars
  • Arresting looks and LEAF’s zero emissions receive praise from the force
  • Local criminals won’t be the only ones charged after West Midlands Police (WMP) took delivery of 30 Nissan LEAFs in the UK’s largest corporate LEAF deal to date.

Ten local policing units (LPUs) will run three “diary car” LEAFs each: the cars will be used to attend pre-arranged meetings with victims of crime and locals who have contacted the police force. Diary cars average 40 to 45 miles per day making 124-mile range of the LEAFs perfectly suited for WMP’s day-to-day needs.

After a successful trial by WMP Fleet Services last summer, the decision was made to order 30 LEAFs and spread them evenly across each LPU. Feedback so far has been very positive, with police drivers praising the LEAF for its arresting looks and zero emissions when in use.

Dedicated charging points installed at each LPU will be used to charge the LEAFs, meaning officers won’t have trouble finding leads. With the bill for a full recharge being a mere £1.75, costs are kept under control too.

Bob Jones, Police and Crime Commissioner for West Midlands Police said: “We welcome the new LEAFs, which fit in perfectly with the operational requirements of diary cars and will significantly cut our fuel costs while also reducing our carbon footprint.”

Barry Beeston, Nissan corporate sales director said: “It’s fitting that the UK’s largest corporate LEAF deal to date is with such a prestigious institution in the West Midlands Police. The LEAF is becoming ever more popular as fleet managers see the benefits of 100% electric vehicles and massively reduced running costs. We’re delighted to hear the police are already enjoying driving the LEAFs and we hope they’re enjoying going after a new type of lead!”

New service package for Evoque owners gives added peace of mind

  • Land Rover UK introduces new Service Pack for the Range Rover Evoque
  • £499 pack covers all routine servicing costs for five years

Available to all new UK customers and owners who have purchased a new Evoque since 1st January 2013
Contributing further to the Range Rover Evoque’s highly competitive cost of ownership and strong residual values, Land Rover will introduce a new optional five year service pack for the Range Rover Evoque giving UK customers further value and peace of mind.

The service pack covers routine maintenance according to the official servicing schedule through the Land Rover’s nationwide network of Land Rover dealerships and approved service centres, and will be made available to all new customers and owners who have purchased an Evoque since 1st January 2013. The £499 Evoque service pack will provide owners with the confidence that their vehicle will be looked after by qualified Land Rover service advisors and technicians, using genuine parts.

The competitive pricing covers the routine service schedule for five years or 50,000 miles for the Si4 petrol engine or 60,000 miles for diesel engines, whichever comes sooner. Customers will be able to transfer the service pack to a new owner should they decide to sell their vehicle.

The Range Rover Evoque was launched in 2011 and has sold in excess of 30,000 vehicles in the UK market, swiftly becoming Land Rover’s biggest selling model worldwide.

Jaguar Land Rover UK Managing Director, Jeremy Hicks said: “The Range Rover Evoque has proved to be enormously popular as a blend of modern design, practicality and capability – in fact over 80 per cent of Evoque customers are new to the brand.

“This is the first time Land Rover has introduced the concept of a service pack which aims to give customers a simple and effective way to look after their Evoque in the early years of ownership through Land Rover experts across the country.”

The offer is available now on all new Range Rover Evoque purchases and available to customers who purchased a new Evoque since 1st January 2013 Full details, terms and conditions are available at: www.landrover.co.uk/approvedservicepack.

AUDI proves that they can continue to beat the gloomy times with increased worldwide sales

  • Global deliveries since January at around 503,000 units, up 6.7 per cent
  • UK cumulative sales reach almost 50,000, a 9.6 per cent increase over the previous year
  • UK April sales figures reach 10,205, up 9.4 per cent on April 2012
  • Sales chief Luca de Meo: “Dynamics in North America and Asia support worldwide growth impetus"
  • Market launch of locally produced Q3 and new-generation Q5 in China

Audi has marked the start of the second quarter with further sales growth. The Ingolstadt-based premium manufacturer sold around 133,500 cars in April, representing an increase of 6.6 per cent compared with the same period in 2012. UK demand for Audi models remains particularly strong – 10,205 sales were recorded here, representing a 9.4 per cent increase on April last year. In total, around 503,000 customers worldwide have chosen a new Audi since the beginning of this year, an increase of 6.7 per cent.

This is the first time that Audi has exceeded the threshold of half a million deliveries after just four months. In particular demand for the new A3 family and the Q3, Q5 and Q7 SUV models strengthened business for the brand with the four rings.

“Given the extremely difficult market situation in Europe, we see our global sales result for April as positive. Especially the USA and China are currently setting the pace for Audi,” says Luca de Meo, Member of the Board of Management for Sales and Marketing at AUDI AG. And: “We are further strengthening our position in China with the launch of the locally produced Audi Q3, in a very dynamic segment. Already today, more than every third customer in the Chinese premium market decides in favour of an SUV.”

The Q3 went into local production a few weeks ago at the Changchun site as Audi’s fourth locally produced model alongside the A6 L, A4 L and Q5. The first units of the compact SUV became available in Chinese dealerships in April. Also the new generation of the Q5, an extremely popular model in China, went into the showrooms last month. Together with the Q7, Audi’s SUV sales in China increased by 31.3 per cent to 11,784 units already in April. Also sales of the locally produced A4 L saw strong growth of 19.5 per cent to 10,426 units. Across the entire model range, Audi recorded a growth of 13.1 per cent to 38,710 cars delivered last month. From January to April, Audi handed 141,520 automobiles over to Chinese customers, an increase of 13.9 per cent.

Other markets as well contributed to Audi’s continued dynamic growth in the Asia-Pacific region with strong double-digit growth in April. In Japan for example, the brand with the four rings expanded its business by 36.3 per cent to sales of 1,858 cars, in South Korea by 35.7 per cent to 1,711 units and in India by 37.0 per cent to 770 automobiles.

In Europe, however, Audi was also not able to escape the general economic situation: In April, sales in this region decreased by 1.9 per cent to around 65,500 premium automobiles. In France, where Audi had achieved sales growth of 13.7 per cent in the prior-year month, deliveries this April decreased by a similar percentage (-10.2 per cent to 5,648 cars). In Italy, the dip for Audi accounted for 19.4 per cent last month, corresponding to 3,920 units sold. In comparison to the same period last year, this result reflects the negative overall market condition as well as the fact that in April 2012, two new models in the Audi portfolio, the A1 Sportback and the Q3, had just become fully available in this market.

In Germany sales tailed off by 3.7 per cent to 23,411 cars, while Russia (+11.1 per cent to 3,651 cars) and the UK bucked the trend, posting particularly impressive growth among the major European sales markets. In the United Kingdom, the 9.4 per cent increase in demand for Audi models was strengthened by the successful start of the A3 Sportback and the new-generation Q5. In total, European sales for the Audi model range in the first four months of 2013 matched the same period in 2012, with 253,050 units delivered (+/- 0 per cent). This means that the business of Audi AG in Europe is developing in a much more stable way than the region’s overall market.

In the USA, Audi of America continued its strong performance of the previous months with substantial growth of 14.2 per cent to 13,157 deliveries in April. The brand was again particularly successful with its full-size models: 467 customers took delivery of a new Audi A8, 30.4 per cent more than in April 2012. This month, the diesel powered version of the brand’s flagship became available at US dealers for the first time. As the year progresses, Audi will expand its TDI offensive in the USA with the A6, the A7 and the Q5. Audi’s second full-size sedan, the A6, also made good headway in the USA last month, with growth of 21.7 per cent to 1,905 units sold. Also the brand’s SUVs continue to be extremely popular with US customers: Audi of America recorded 1,183 deliveries of the Q7 in April (plus 33.4 per cent), and 3,241 of the Q5 (plus 31.6 per cent).

Meanwhile, Mexico has established itself as another growth driver for Audi in North America. With growth of 54.7 per cent to 3,553 units sold from January through April, Audi is the leading premium brand in the Mexican market. In April alone, unit sales climbed by 74.8 per cent compared with the prior-year month, boosted for example by strong demand for the new A3. As of 2016, Audi will produce the Q5 for the world market in the Mexican city of San José Chiapa; last Saturday, the Board of Management of AUDI AG laid the foundation stone for the new car factory there.

Golf wins a handful of awards including car of the year

Volkswagen launched its seventh-generation Golf in January this year, and since then the new car has scooped a few hefty accolades including the European and World Car of the Year awards.  This week the trophy cabinet is once again opening its doors to accommodate four new gongs, thanks to Telegraph Motoring and Diesel Car magazine.

Part of the Telegraph Festival of Motoring, the Telegraph’s inaugural Car of the Year awards ceremony was held in London on Friday.  With votes coming from buyers, the Golf won the Best family car category as well as the overall Car of the Year title.  Commenting on the win, Paul Hudson, the Telegraph's Acting Head of Motoring, said: ‘The Volkswagen Golf is an excellent car, both as a practical all-rounder and something that feels like a cut above many of its rivals.  Its trick is that it exceeds expectations in almost every area, whether it's engine refinement, space or build quality.  It's an extremely worthy winner of the Telegraph's first Car of the Year award.’

Announced today, the Golf has also been named Diesel Car’s Best medium car as well as overall Diesel Car, Car of the Year for 2013.  The Golf beat off strong to win the overall title, with Editor, Ian Robertson, saying: ‘The Golf is an energetic performer and also immensely civilised, refined and user-friendly, with superb quality.’

For more from the Telegraph, go to www.telegraph.co.uk/motoring or look out for the special Telegraph Motoring supplement in Saturday’s paper.

To read more about why the Golf is proving so popular with Diesel Car, check out the Awards issue which is on sale online at www.dieselcaronline.co.uk and in all good newsagents tomorrow.  It’s also available for the iPad via the Apple App Store on iTunes.

Kia wins at Diesel Car Magazine awards

Diesel Car magazine has named the Kia cee’d Sportswagon “Best Estate Car” in its annual Car of the Year issue – the first award won by Kia’s C-segment car.

Beating off strong opposition from the Mazda 6 Tourer and Jaguar XF Sportbrake to win the overall title, Diesel Car magazines editor, Ian Robertson said: “The cee’d Sportswagon combines well-designed practicality and excellent driving calibre in an attractive package.”

Kia had a strong showing in the Diesel Car magazine awards, with the Sorento highly commended in the mainstream 4x4 class, whilst the Rio was also commended in the mainstream small car class too. Celebrating their 25th anniversary in the business this year, Diesel Car is the UK’s top selling diesel, alternative fuel and eco-friendly car specialist monthly magazine.

Paul Philpott, President and CEO, Kia Motors UK Limited said:  “We are delighted that Diesel Car has awarded the cee’d Sportswagon best estate car for 2013.  It’s unrivalled combination of space, functionality and engine performance, wrapped up in a premium design and backed up with our 7 year warranty, gave us great confidence that we had a best-in-class product. Thankfully Diesel Car agree!”

Built and launched in Slovakia in September 2012, the second generation cee’d Sportswagon is available with two engine options – 1.4 litre 89hbp and 1.6 litre CRDi 126bhp, with prices starting from £16,895 on the road.  Kia’s fixed-priced and inflation proof “Care-3” and “Care-3 plus” servicing packages, which covers the first three or first five services for retail customers, are available for £329, or £609 accordingly.  For more information on cee’d Sportswagon, please visit www.kia.co.uk.

Since registrations of the new generation cee’d family begun in May 2012, the cee’d Sportswagon currently makes up 16 per cent of the total cee’d family sales, this being split between 75 per cent fleet, and 25 per cent retail sales in the UK.

Bentley expands to Belarus

  • Bentley to open first-ever dealership in Belarusian capital
  • New sales and aftersales point will open in Summer 2013

Bentley will expand its presence in the fast-growing Eastern Europe region later this year, with the opening of its first-ever dealership in Belarus.

Located in the heart of the capital, Bentley Minsk will open in Summer 2013, and will offer sales and aftersales services to customers of the luxury British brand.

Bentley Minsk will present the full range of exclusive Bentley cars – from the powerful and elegant Continental GT and GT Convertible V8 and W12 models, to the refined and dynamic Flying Spur and the Mulsanne luxury flagship.  In keeping with the Bentley tradition, each model offers an unrivalled blend of effortless performance, peerless refinement, and hand-crafted contemporary luxury.

Further details about the new Bentley showroom will be communicated in due course.

Fiesta and B-Max win at awards ceremony

The segment-leading Ford B-MAX, on sale since September last year, was crowned best MPV ahead of the Ford C-MAX, while the new Ford Fiesta, Britain’s best-selling car, fought off strong opposition to win the best small car title.

Ian Robertson, Diesel Car editor, said:  "From the moment you get behind the wheel of a Fiesta, you just know that Ford’s engineers have got this car spot on.

"The B-MAX is friendly and fun, clever and capable, with zippy performance and really good economy."

Mark Ovenden, Ford of Britain chairman and managing director said: “This is an exciting time for our small car range.  Our stylish and dynamic new Ford Fiesta continues to top the sales charts and the B-MAX with its easy access door system is proving a smart, practical and economical choice for customers.  We are delighted to have received this independent endorsement from Diesel Car Magazine.”

Ford’s medium and large car range also received praise, with the Ford Mondeo, S-MAX and Focus Estate being commended in the large car, large MPV and estate car classes.

The acclaimed Ford Mondeo has recently undergone a number of upgrades.  A new, simplified series line-up has been introduced and models equipped with the reputed 2.0-litre Duratorq TDCi diesel engine now boast CO2 emissions from just 119g/km across both 140PS and 163PS power outputs.

Ford Fiesta and B-MAX, available in dealerships now, are priced from £9,995 and £12,995 on-the-road.

Volkswagen Golf on roids, stunning.

Volkswagen will today showcase a new Golf GTI concept for the track – the Design Vision GTI – at the annual enthusiasts’ meeting on the shores of Lake Wörthersee in Reifnitz, Austria.  Around 150,000 fans are expected to attend the gathering between now and Saturday, and take their turn to see the concept, designed by Volkswagen engineers and designers.

Based on the seventh-generation Golf GTI which has just gone on sale in the UK, the Wörthersee concept transfers the design and power potential of the iconic hot hatch to the world of racing.  Drawn under the watchful eye of Klaus Bischoff, Volkswagen’s Head of Design, the new car’s most striking features are the C-pillars and side sills which have been extended out as autonomous body elements, allowing for a substantially wider track and larger wheels.

Using all the flexibility allowed by the Volkswagen Group’s MQB or Modular Transverse Matrix, the Design Vision GTI has a long wheelbase and short front overhangs.  It measures 4,253 mm in length (15 mm less than the production GTI), just 1,385 mm in height (57 mm lower than the road-going car) and 1,870 wide – a 71 mm growth in width.  These dimensions are reflected in the car’s wide track: 1,595 mm at the front and 1,579 at the rear.  Its overall wide, low stance shows that this is a car which belongs on the track, while unique 20-inch wheels and ceramic brake discs complete the racing style.

Many of the car’s external design features will be familiar to the Wörthersee audience – albeit they are executed in a more extreme manner: the honeycomb grille, black, red and white colour scheme and horizontal red line details are all there.  A particularly striking feature is the headlamp unit in which the lights are set back as if into the bonnet, giving the car ‘eyes’ with a somewhat menacing appearance.  Like the overall design it’s 100 per cent GTI, but emphasised to the max.

Under the bonnet the theme continues: the Design Vision GTI is powered by a 3.0-litre V6 TSI engine with direct injection and turbocharger, which produces 503 PS at 6,500 rpm and 560 Nm of torque between 4,000 and 6,000 rpm.  500 Nm is already produced at just 2,000 rpm.  This power is channelled via a DSG gearbox to all four wheels; standstill to 62 mph takes a mere 3.9 seconds.  With this drivetrain and bespoke sports chassis the GTI concept is capable of handling the most demanding of race tracks.

Inside, the concept car was designed according to the following rules laid down by Volkswagen’s Head of Interior Design, Tomasz Bachorski: ‘Pure GTI.  Concentration on the truly essential.  But with style.’  And they stuck to these, with the Design Vision GTI exhibiting the minimum number of switches, and those which there are oriented towards the driver for optimum use when driving on the track.  A familiar black, red and white colour scheme, touches of carbon and alcantara as well as a door handle in the shape of a red loop (reminiscent of that in Porsche Cup models) add to the race car feel.  The back seat space is occupied by an X-shaped cross member, adding to the car’s overall stiffness.  Two black helmets are stored under the cross member.

Of note in the cabin are an onboard camera and a facility to allow the driver to network with a social community from the car.  A large display to the right of the main instruments shows the circuit being driven as well as times achieved.  The display also communicates with other vehicles on the course and calculates details about the current status of the race in real time.

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Jaguar awards £2.8 Billion worth of contracts with £1.5 Billion in the UK

  • UK suppliers win in excess of £1.5 billion contracts 
  • First customer cars leave Castle Bromwich manufacturing facility
  • 75% of Jaguar F-TYPE to be exported

The first Jaguar F-TYPE customer cars leave Jaguar Land Rover’s Castle Bromwich manufacturing facility today. The all new sportscar has resulted in contracts worth £2.8 billion being placed with companies internationally, with in excess of £1.5 billion placed with companies in the UK.

Contracts have been awarded to more than 270 companies globally following the completion of a global competitive tendering exercise on component sourcing for the vehicle. Of these, 116 are based in the UK and 50 per cent are from the Midlands.

Jaguar Land Rover has created almost 9,000 new jobs in the UK over the last two years, including 2,000 new engineers and 350 to directly support the new F-TYPE. The contracts awarded to support the F-TYPE are expected to create thousands more new skilled jobs across the UK’s automotive supply chain.

Ian Harnett, Jaguar Land Rover’s Purchasing Director said, “As one of the leading investors in automotive research and development in the UK, Jaguar Land Rover generates several billion pounds of economic activity here every year. As today’s announcement demonstrates we are working with world-class suppliers to strengthen the UK automotive supply base and support our ambitious plans for growth in the future.”

Destined for customers around the world, the new Jaguar F-TYPE vehicles were loaded onto a train at the company’s onsite rail facility at Castle Bromwich earlier today. With sales in over 170 countries, Jaguar Land Rover generates export revenues approaching £11 billion each year, making it one of the UK’s largest exporters by value. It anticipates that it will export over 75% of Jaguar F-TYPE vehicles produced. The USA is expected to be the largest market with almost half of all sales, closely followed by the UK and Germany.

Adrian Hallmark, Jaguar’s Global Brand Director said, “Since we unveiled the car last year, the level of customer interest in the F-TYPE has been unprecedented. It is a very proud moment for us to see some of the very first customer cars leave our Castle Bromwich facility today.”

The Jaguar F-TYPE has been designed, engineered and manufactured in the West Midlands, UK.

Last month, almost 450 potential customers were given an exclusive insight into the F-TYPE and a behind the scenes tour of the Castle Bromwich factory. Jaguar Land Rover has invested significantly in its Castle Bromwich manufacturing facility to create the fastest and most advanced Jaguar sports car production line for the F-TYPE.

F-TYPE production has been incorporated into the manufacturing operation at Castle Bromwich to maximise capacity, technology and skills at the plant. Jaguar Land Rover has utilised and enhanced the manufacturing techniques and technologies employed for the Jaguar XK production, while introducing new equipment and processes specifically required for the F-TYPE. The all-aluminium construction of the F-TYPE is carried out in Castle Bromwich’s 14,000 square metre body shop which employs manufacturing techniques adapted from the aerospace industry.

TMW - Renault a potted history

This is just a very brief and concise history of Renault, ready for "The Motoring World's" exclusive look at the new Captur.

In 1899 there was to be a company launched that would, over the following 114 years, prove to be an automotive icon, Louis Renault and his two brothers launched Renault to the world with a Renault Voiturette 1CV car, which was sold to a family friend, from there the company grew, and prospered, it successfully saw of World War one, and in the years between that and the second world war the company continued a growth that would only be curtailed by the invasion of France by the Nazi's in 1940, Louis was ordered by the Germans to make tanks for the occupiers, but refused, instead building trucks.

A number of raids by both the British and American forces damaged the factory enough to slow production by a vast amount, after the war was over, Louis was arrested for collaboration and was due to stand trial in 1944, however he passed away under mysterious circumstances before this trial could begin,  while he was awaiting the trail, General Charles De Gaulle,  took the company into government hands and placed an administrator to run the company.

During the war period Louis was developing a new car to launch once hostilities had ceased, this was developed further after the war and was launched as the Renault 4CV in 1946, and sold over 500,000 in its lifespan which ended in 1961, The famous Dauphine followed and again was a success, but Renault was not standing back and allowing the sales to just accumulate, they were continuing with development and in when the 4CV stopped production the new and extremely modern Renault 4 was launched, this car was to compete with the Citroen 2CV, both cars were very successful and both lasted for nigh on thirty years.

The Renault 4 became a major success for the company and further models followed, including the Renault the R8 and R10, and in 1966 Renault launched a more luxurious car the R16, again this was another success story, the R6 followed, which was a small 16, and then the Renault 5 arrived in 1972 and further expansion of the model ranges continued into the 80's, world expansion was also part of the plan for Renault and a number of tie ups with foreign marques were made, and some were more successful than others, even in Australia they not only produced their own cars, but Peugeot and Ford too, until Ford pulled out of the factory, which in turn caused the closure of the site.

A number of bland cars were produced through late 80's and 90's nothing which was to ignite the passion that was there for previous cars, however, Renault did have a knack of making cars that people wanted, and  in 1984, amongst the worst year of its existence when the company lost 12.4 billion francs, the Espace was launched, the first car in Europe to fit niche section that would become Renaults own, the Renault 5 was coming to an end and the new car the Clio was introduced to the world with striking looks and a brilliant advertising campaign the Clio soon became a big seller, this was then followed by the 19 replacement, the Megane.

in 1996 the company was privatised, and this freed Renault from the shackles of government purse strings, investments in other parts of the world followed and a tie up with Nissan in 1999, which is still in place today, was made, at the same time, the purchase of Dacia, a Romanian car brand was made, and with the assistance of Renault the Dacia brand went from strength to strength and became thee brand for budget conscious buyers, in 2013 Dacia was launched in the UK to great success with 4,000 models sold in the first four months.

New products came on stream fast and furious, Scenic, Laguna, new Megane, clio updates and so on, and with each new models came increased safety, so much so that Renault has now become the brand of safety with its models all achieving the coveted 5 star NCAP safety certificate, sales were good, well in its home country, in the UK in the 2000's Renault was finding it hard to make a profit, and then the decision was made to slice the brands products for UK sales, the Laguna, Espace, Wind and Kangoo models were scraped, this resulted in sales being halved overnight, but they persevered and by the time 2013 came along, the sales had levelled out and new products were coming on stream.

As well as Safety, Renault has become a name known alongside environmentally conscious cars, with a number of the cars they make being zero emissions, the Twizy, Zoe and Fluence have all been launched to great success, and with further models being produced the future for Renault is looking good, the latest launches include the new Clio and the brand new Captur (which is being reviewed separately) are all looking to the future, with modern computer driven centre consoles, with the ability to download apps via bluetooth from your 3G mobile phone.

Continued alliances with Nissan and Daimler, and pushing Dacia forward with new products and cost busting prices, Renault are now one of the biggest automotive companies by volume, and with this they will be a force to reckon with for many decades to come, the French flair is back in their products, the prices are right, now the perceived reliability needs to be worked on, once this has been ironed out, and with the "4" package that comes with all new Renaults sold in the UK (4 years warranty, 4 years servicing and 4 years roadside assistance) this is a good start.

Here is to the next 114 years,

Its that time of the Month again - UK April sales figures


APRIL 2012 805 sales - APRIL 2013 1080 sales +34.16%
YTD 2012 4825 sales - YTD 2013 6058 sales +25.55%


APRIL 2012 2633 sales - APRIL 2013 3483 sales +32.28%
YTD 2012 18443 sales - YTD 2013 22248 sales +20.63%



APRIL 2012 9486 sales - APRIL 2013 8866 sales -9.95%
YTD 2012 39909 sales - YTD 2013 40188 sales +0.70%


APRIL 2012 6721 sales - APRIL 2013 7631 sales +13.54%
YTD 2012 32297 sales - YTD 2013 36633 sales +13.43%


APRIL 2012 509 sales - APRIL 2013 551 sales -7.62%
YTD 2012 2770 sales - YTD 2013 3243 sales -14.59%


APRIL 2012 8991 sales - APRIL 2013 10823 sales +20.38%
YTD 2012 44953 sales - YTD 2013 49085 sales +9.19%


ABARTH +13.51%
CITROEN +15.27%
DACIA +0.00%
FIAT +15.16%
FORD +2.95%HONDA +16.66%
HYUNDAI +11.84%
KIA +11.20%
LOTUS +100.00%
MINI +10.06% 
MITSUBISHI +54.89%NISSAN +15.31%
PEUGEOT +8.24%
SEAT +10.35%
SKODA +14.72% 
SMART +0.00% 
SUZUKI +33.09%
TOYOTA +1.92%
VAUXHALL +16.88%

CHRYSLER -13.71%
INFINITI -23.89%
JEEP -20.12%
LOTUS -82.61% 
MASERATI -16.80%
MAZDA -1.93%MG -79.65%
PERODUA -30.29%
PORSCHE -1.32%PROTON -87.70%
RENAULT -6.41%
SAAB -97.81%
SUBARU -21.54%
VOLVO -1.50%

Sorry for the break, I will try my best to continue these every month, now onto the figures, Jaguar and Land Rover continue the upward trend, the UK based firm has seen increased figures now each month for some considerable while and with new products (F-Type and Sport) coming on stream in the next few weeks the continued upward trend for some while to come.

Renault has turned a corner, yes YOY sales are down but April sales were up a storming 43%, It's sister companies Nissan and Dacia continue to perform very well, with Dacia selling 4,000 cars so far this year, which makes MG pathetic effort of 13 cars for April and less than 100 for the year, a laughing stock, Mg do not seem to want to sell cars here in the UK, and whilst they cant be bothered I won't even consider the brand, which considering the old Rover/MG company was one i was very fond of and all my cars bar the first were from that company until its demise in 2005, since then i have had a Jaguar (Brilliant car) a Vauxhall (not bad but not the best) and a Mini Countryman (dreadful ride and very hard seats (never again)).

Vauxhall has, after a poor start to the year, continued an upward sweep, with the brand having lots of new models, The ADAM, the Mokka and the Cascada this will be an upward sweep that will carry on for some while, they just need to get rid of the dirty diesel engines and less that frugal petrols for some decent engines and then they will be ripe to do some serious business, Ford, as always, carries the torch for sales, with teh Focus and Fiesta still in the top three, and it is nice to see something different in the top ten, the FIAT 500, Polo, Pug 208 and Qashqai, there is even an Audi, A3, that creeps in at ten.

With the UK being the odd one out for european sales, and it's continued growth month on month, there is a ray of hope that the awful few years of austerity has, or is now starting to weaken and the UK might be on the road to recovery, we can only hope.