Newsflash: specificaties nieuwe Nissan X-Trail zijn bekend

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+++ The HYUNDAI MOTOR GROUP (HMG) has deepened its ties with TomTom in Europe. All Hyundai and Kia vehicles in the Old Continent will have their maps and real-time traffic data supported by TomTom, joining Genesis in the process. To recall, Genesis was the first among the HMG brands to have TomTom loaded right off European showrooms when it was launched last summer. “We are thrilled that all Hyundai and Kia drivers in Europe will benefit from the comfort and safety provided by TomTom’s best-in-class geolocation technology”, said Haeyoung Kwon, vice president and Head of Infotainment Development Group, HMG. “TomTom is a partner we trust to deliver highly accurate map data that enhances our Highway Driving Assist technology, and real-time traffic information that helps us optimise navigation guidance and ETAs”. According to the release, millions of Hyundai, Kia, and Genesis vehicles will come equipped with this technology as standard over the coming years. With TomTom’s advanced maps and real-time traffic technology, carmakers are able to push automation more by enabling advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) to better anticipate the road ahead. TomTom claims that its ADAS Map provides higher-quality road information, including gradient, lanes, curvature, and speed limits, which should improve safety, comfort, and efficiency in the process. TomTom’s map data also provide accurate content for all speed limit types across Europe, helping with intelligent speed assistance (ISA) regulation compliance, which came into force as of July 2022. Back in June, a report surfaced announcing that Hyundai, Kia and Genesis will develop more cars in Europe, moving forward. The new cars are beyond the N cars, which are all developed and tested in the Old Continent for the global market. To support the expansion, the size of HMG’s test facility at the Nurburgring will be doubled in size. +++

+++ You can tell how important is a region for an automaker by the time it takes to bring over a certain model. The Rogue was unveiled in the US by NISSAN back in June 2020 but it wasn’t until July this year when the equivalent X-Trail made its debut at home in Japan. It’s now Europe’s turn to get the midsize SUV, complete with 3-row seating, optional all-wheeldrive and an electrified powertrain with a 3-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine. Looking oh so familiar inside and out, the X-Trail destined for the Old Continent is big enough to host passengers up to 160 centimetres tall on the rearmost seats. As for the second-row bench, it has a 60:40-split configuration and can slide forward to make it easier for people to access the third row. With the seats in place, the cargo capacity stands at 585 litres or 20 litres more than its predecessor. The combustion engine doesn’t actually drive the wheels. Instead, the 3-pot unit with a 1.5-litre displacement is used to generate the necessary electrical energy for the battery, which is then fed to the electric motor. This method prompts Nissan to say the X-Trail behaves pretty much like an EV, offering its full 330 Nm of torque virtually instantly. That e-motor is good for 204 hp, enabling a 0 to 100 km/h in 8 seconds. Nissan will also be selling the X-Trail in Europe with AWD by installing an electric motor on each axle for a combined output of 215 hp. In the all-paw configuration, the SUV will complete the sprint in 7 seconds for the 5-seat model and 7.2 seconds with 7 seats. Not that many people care about top speed when buying such a vehicle, but the single-motor setup maxes out at 170 km/h whereas the dual-motor configuration enables a maximum velocity of 180 km/h. Elsewhere, it’s the same Rogue we’re all familiar with, featuring a 12.3-inch driver’s display and an infotainment touchscreen of the same size. On the outside, the body is available in 10 colours, along with 5 two-tone shades. Dutch prices are expected to start at €48.490 where it’s the only 7-seat electrified SUV in segment. +++

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+++ German autos association VDA dampened its forecast for the PASSENGER CAR MARKET in the United States and Europe, citing inflation, interest rates and ongoing supply chain troubles. It adjusted its forecast for passenger car deliveries in the U.S. to predict a 7% drop this year, from a previous forecast of a 1% drop. In Europe, it said it expected deliveries to fall 4%, from a previous forecast of no change. In China, by contrast, where the recovery from pandemic-related lockdowns was progressing faster than expected, it forecast 9% growth compared with a previous forecast of 3%. Globally, the association continues to expect no change from last year’s deliveries, which totaled 71.4 million vehicles; still 9.2 million below the industry’s output in 2019 before the pandemic. +++

+++ TESLA production and sales in China appear to be quickly increasing after the Giga Shanghai plant was upgraded. According to Cui Dongshu, secretary-general of the China Passenger Car Association (CPCA), the preliminary data indicates that Tesla sold about 77.000 vehicles in August (retail sales in China and export). If the estimated result is correct, it would be the second highest result, after 78,906 units achieved in June. The growth rate would be around 74% year-over-year. Let’s recall that, according to the latest quarterly report, the plant can produce more than 750.000 Model 3/Model Y annually, but we guess that after the upgrade, it might be a significantly higher number. An interesting thing is that the Chinese sources report that the plant is currently limited by parts supply rather than its own manufacturing capacity. It suggests a higher output in the future. Who knows, maybe at some point the company will be able to produce 100.000+ units per month. Anyway, even at the current rate, estimated delivery times were drastically reduced, while the company celebrated a big milestone of 1 million BEVs produced in Shanghai. On the other hand, Tesla has to increase production and sales, as the Chinese manufacturers are getting stronger and stronger. BYD is already producing significantly more plug-in electric cars (and a comparable number of all-electric cars) than Tesla, although using multiple smaller plants. Because Tesla Giga Shanghai is Tesla’s export hub and most of the production from the first half of a quarter is for export, we can also assume that Tesla will have a pretty strong end of Q3 in Europe (potentially also Q4). The cars are exported also to multiple other markets, including Australia and New Zealand, which recently received their first batches of Tesla Model Y. Other Tesla factories are located in California, Texas and in Germany, but the 2 last ones are in the early ramp-up phase. +++

+++ In August, the new car market of the UNITED KINGDOM enjoyed its first month of year-on-year growth since February, according to new figures released this week. Data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) revealed almost 69.000 new cars were registered last month, up by just over one percent compared with the same month last year. A total of 68.858 new cars were registered in the UK last month, an increase of 1.2 percent compared with August 2021. It’s the first time the market has recorded year-on-year growth since February, thanks in part to supply issues caused by the ongoing war in Ukraine. The growth was largely fuelled by an uplift in sales of electric cars, with more than 10.000 examples registered last month. That’s a 35-percent increase compared with August 2021, when fewer than 7.500 new electric cars hit the roads. The growth, however small, will be welcome news for manufacturers stifled by supply shortages in recent months, especially as August is typically the second-quietest month of the year as buyers wait for the new number plate that arrives on September 1. However, despite the positivity, the SMMT pointed out the growth was small and August 2021 was the worst August for the market since 2013. And although there were positives to be taken from August, it did not help redress the balance in a year that has largely been very difficult for car makers and dealers. During the first 8 months of the year, just over 983.000 new cars have been registered (down 10.7 percent compared with the same period last year. And that figure is down 35.3 percent compared with the first 8 months of 2019) the last full year before the coronavirus pandemic struck. The SMMT has welcomed last month’s results, but warned that businesses face a difficult time in the coming months, thanks to the rising cost of energy and ongoing supply issues. The organisation said September’s figures would be the acid test for an industry that normally enjoys massive sales following the plate change. “August’s new car market growth is welcome, but marginal during a low volume month”, said the SMMT’s chief executive, Mike Hawes. “Spiralling energy costs and inflation on top of sustained supply chain challenges are piling even more pressure on the automotive industry’s post-pandemic recovery, and we urgently need the new Prime Minister to tackle these challenges and restore confidence and sustainable growth. With September traditionally a bumper time for new car uptake, the next month will be the true barometer of industry recovery as it accelerates the transition to zero emission mobility despite the myriad challenges”. +++

+++ Lower Saxony, VOLKSWAGEN ’s second-largest shareholder, views the carmaker as undervalued but believes its growing battery business could boost its valuation, the state’s prime minister said. As Volkswagen and its largest shareholder Porsche SE prepare to list sports car maker Porsche in part to raise funds, Stephan Weil said he believed the group had potential far above its valuation, adding it was not time to consider capital increases. “Volkswagen has unbelievable potential … there is a lot to suggest its activities around batteries will increase the value of the group in a sustainable way”, Weil said on the sidelines of his election campaign. Lower Saxony, where Volkswagen’s global headquarters are located, owns an 11.8% stake in Volkswagen and controls 20% of the voting rights. Volkswagen’s market capitalization exceeded €100 billion in March 2021 as the carmaker released ambitious electrification targets, but has dropped to €82.9 billion amid a wider European slump this year. Ex-chief Herbert Diess said in December he expected the carmaker’s growing battery division, which plans to build 6 factories in Europe and 2 in North America, to generate 20 billion euros of revenue by 2030. Conversations thus far about a listing of Porsche AG, which could be triggered as soon as next week, went smoothly so far, Weil said, adding the state remained committed to its stake in the Volkswagen Group. Investors have estimated Porsche alone could be valued at anywhere between 60-85 billion euros in the event of a listing, though some suggest unfavourable market conditions mean it may land on the lower end of that range. Qatar, the next-largest shareholder after Lower Saxony with a 10.5% stake, would also become a strategic investor in Porsche AG’s preferred shares in the case of an IPO, Volkswagen said in February. +++

+++ VOLVO reports 43.666 global car sales in August, which is 4.6% down year-over-year, but at the same time, it’s the lowest decrease in over a year. During the first 8 months of the year, sales decreased by 21.5% to 379.631. In terms of plug-in electric cars (Volvo Recharge), last month the company sold 9.582 units (down 13% year-over-year), which is 21.9% of the total volume. The Swedish brand explains that demand remains strong, especially for its Recharge models, but production is still limited, which affects sales: “The positive trend in production continued into August. However, the pace of normalisation was affected by power cuts and Covid-19 outbreaks in China. In addition, lack of availability of components, notably semiconductors, continues to influence manufacturing output, which impacted Volvo Cars’ retail deliveries during the month”. Interestingly, all-electric car sales improved by almost 52% year-over-year to 2.494 (5.7% share), but the result is still about 2 times lower than the peak of 5.256 in March. PHEV sales (7.088) were down 25% (and had a 16.2% share). So far this year, Volvo sold 113.139 plug-in electric cars (29.8% share), which is slightly less (down 5%) than a year ago at this point. BEV cars did 26.297 (up 91%; 6.9% share), while PHEV models sold 86.842 times (down 18% and 22.9% share). Geographically, as usual, most Volvo plug-in cars were sold in Europe (5.223 in August and 70.113 year-to-date). In the US, sales decreased in August, by 30% year-over-year to 1.380 (206 BEVs and 1.174 PHEVs). Volvo’s line-up includes 2 all-electric models, the C40 Recharge and the XC40 Recharge. In August, the company sold 1.613 electric XC40 (down 2%) and 881 units of the C40 (new). In the not-too-distant future, Volvo will introduce next-generation BEVs, which are expected to boost sales. +++

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