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.

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Volvo to increase its technician count by 50% by 2020, meaning at least 5 per site.

  • Volvo Car UK will actively seek 300 new technicians to increase numbers by almost 50%
  • UK dealerships will average five technicians per site by 2020
  • Recruits will get the chance to work on exciting, industry-leading technologies
Volvo Car UK is launching a nationwide recruitment drive for 300 new technicians to join its 119-strong dealer network by 2020, in line with the brand's increasing sales and its growing product range.
The award-winning S90 and V90 models most recently joined Volvo's impressive line-up, and with more new products set to arrive in the coming years, Volvo aims to increase its technical talent by almost 50%, adding to the 600 existing dealership technicians to support the brand and meet the demands of the network as its sales continue to grow year-on-year.
Volvo is establishing itself as an industry leader in new technologies such as autonomous drive and connectivity, where their application is designed to make drivers' lives easier and safer. 

With cars that include technology such as Pilot Assist, Volvo's innovative semi-autonomous drive feature, advanced technical knowledge is vital to keep customers' cars in the best possible condition.
The increased stream into Volvo's dealership aftersales teams will see, on average, five technicians per site by 2020, with fast-track development opportunities available through innovative web-based training and one-to-one assessments. Volvo retailers offer this through a structured career path, leading to ongoing certifications and qualifications, which can start from Service Apprentice through to Volvo's highest technical accolade, Master Technician.
The recruitment drive further reinforces the need for talented technicians to join the brand as it marks the next steps in Volvo's Volvo Retail Experience (VRE) and Volvo Personal Service (VPS) programmes, both announced in 2015.
VRE, designed to create a space for customers in which high levels of visual transparency are key, creates an open and inclusive working environment where, as part of VPS, technicians can work alongside other technicians in multi-skilled teams, engaging with customers and managing their own relationships with Volvo owners.
As Volvo continues to change its retail landscape to keep pace with the evolving market, there is now also a need for a product specialist to work in all of Volvo's soon-to-be network of state-of-the-art UK dealerships. These specialists will further enrich the customer buying and ownership experience through their knowledge and insights, making customers' lives less complicated through a human-centric approach.
Jon Wakefield, Managing Director, Volvo Car UK, commented: "Any technician joining Volvo will get the chance to work on exciting industry-leading technology, including autonomous drive, in-car connectivity and hybrid powertrains. For those looking to join our 600-strong team of technicians, our continued investment into our staff will allow them to progress their knowledge of new car technology, engineering and design – and grow alongside the Volvo brand."
The recruitment news comes after the announcement of Volvo Car UK's £6 million investment into a new state-of-the-art training centre in Daventry, to enhance further its successful apprenticeship and development schemes.

The PSA Group invests €200 Million in the "SOCHAUX 2022" Modernisation project.

  • An investment calibrated to the right level to modernise this historical site and ensure its sustainability
  • The acquisition of a new press line, a first in France for 20 years.
  • Improvements to logistic flows with the construction of a new stamping building
  • A versatile multi-silhouette line allowing production of up to six different bodies
  • Over 60,000 training hours to support this project and significant improvements to work station ergonomics
With "Sochaux 2022", a project that has mobilised a dedicated multi-skilled team on the Sochaux site in Eastern France for the last 36 months, the PSA Group shows its ambition to turn the site into a benchmark plant, at the heart of its historical homeland.
This strategic project aims to simplify flows, inherited from over 100 years of industrial history, that do not currently allow Sochaux to reach its full potential compared to the other PSA Group Industrial sites.
Restoring coherence to building locations will reduce loading and unloading: Sochaux currently is a complex production site, extending over 200 hectares, including 24 kilometres of conveyor belts, and mobilising dozens of trucks to move vehicle sub-assemblies in production.
At the end of this transformation project, Sochaux will be able to meet changing customer expectations thanks to a highly-flexible multi-silhouette line, able to produce six different silhouettes, with a production capacity of 400,000 vehicles per year, exceeding the average of the last 10 years.
This new large transfer press line is the first acquired in France in the last two decades. This new line will be high speed and cutting edge technology, able to build multiple parts and to produce both steel and aluminium parts.
Sochaux's modernisation will also include the setting-up of a versatile, extremely flexible body-assembly workshop, capable of processing the whole diversity of the site's production, and the installation of an assembly workshop, meeting the highest world standards, closer to the other production buildings. This assembly workshop will be built to the highest standards.
Designed according to the principles of the plant of the future, Sochaux will take advantage of the latest developments in terms of digital tools, full kitting logistics, and mobile operator platforms for better ergonomics and optimum levels of quality. The workshops, designed for the 21st century, will be better organised, to meet the highest standards in ergonomics for the men and women that work there.
The transformations planned as part of the "Sochaux 2022" project will bring the principles of the "excellent plant" programme to the industrial birthplace of the PSA Group and safeguard its future, thanks to a high level of performance.
For Maxime Picat, Executive Vice President, Operational Director Europe: "Today, Sochaux produces emblematic cars for the PSA Group, including the new Peugeot 3008 which has been a huge commercial success, and will begin to manufacture vehicles for the Opel brand. I know that I can count on the professionalism and unwavering commitment of all the employees at our historical site - with whom I have had the chance to work - to continue to meet the current and future expectations of our customers."
For Yann Vincent, Executive Vice President, Director Supply Chain and Manufacturing: "The ‘Sochaux 2022, the car draws itself a future’ project perfectly translates the PSA Group's desire to write its industrial future in France."

Fulham Football Club and Fiat UK Via Motor VIllage are to launch a Limited Edition 500X

A new special edition Fiat 500X has just been launched in London to celebrate the continuing successful partnership between Fiat Chrysler Motor Village UK and Fulham Football Club.
The special version of the popular Fiat SUV – the Fulham FC special Edition – features distinctive styling details, exclusive black, white and red paint finish and unique ‘FFC’ badging, along with a host of 500X standard equipment. It will be sold through Motor Village UK, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles UK’s flagship dealer.
A limited run of just 15 of this celebration range of cars will be built, designed exclusively for Fulham FC season ticket holders. The special cars will cost £21,365 OTR.

Available in two different styles – City Look and Off-Road Look – the car is based on the 500X Pop Star version, and includes among its standard equipment: alloy wheels, front fog lights with cornering function, rear parking sensors, climate control, six airbags, cruise control and 5-inch touchscreen with navigation, Bluetooth, USB and aux-in socket.
The SKYbet Championship football club is also holding a prize draw in which one lucky winner will get to drive a new Fiat 500X Fulham FC Special Edition for two weeks, with their keys being handed over by the team’s players. Signed footballs and shirts are also available as runners-up prizes.
“This is another excellent example of how we are teaming up with Fulham FC and its supporters,” says Fabio di Prima, managing director, Motor Village UK. “There’s the prize draw to win the limited edition 500X for two weeks, the chance to meet the players and the opportunity for season ticket holders to purchase the new car.
“Of course, if a non-season ticket holder would like to buy the Fulham FC Special Edition – or any other of our large range of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles cars – we would be delighted to sign them up!”
“It is important to us to ensure that our partners and supporters have a positive relationship, and being able to offer such a fantastic prize is a really tremendous way of highlighting that,” says Casper Stylsvig, chief revenue officer, Fulham FC.
“The limited edition 500X is really quite unique, so with an opportunity to win, plus an additional competition to meet the players, Motor Village really has excelled itself in giving added value to the Fulham fanbase which we are delighted about; good luck to all!’
Note to editors: Motor Village UK is Official Car Partner to Fulham FC and offers exclusive deals to club season ticket holders on new Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Jeep and Abarth cars. The prize draw is open to Fulham FC season ticket holders, over-18s and holders of a valid driving license.

Latest SQ5 with 354PS V6 TFSI joins UK Audi range following its recent world debut.

Latest SQ5 with 354PS V6 TFSI joins UK Audi range following its recent world debut at the NAIAS in Detroit
  • All-new SQ5 TFSI now available to order priced from £51,200 OTR – first UK deliveries expected in June
  • Newly adopted 3.0 TFSI petrol engine with 354PS and 500Nm (368.8 lb-ft), 0 to 62mph in 5.4 seconds
  • S-specific styling enhancements and a high level of standard equipment, including 'S' suspension with electronic damper control
  • MMI Navigation Plus, Audi connect, electric seats, Fine Nappa leather, 20-inch alloy wheels and Audi drive select as standard
  • Matrix LED lights, virtual cockpit, head-up display and predictive efficiency assistant among the key options
Part high-achieving performance car,  part resilient and family-ready SUV – the Audi SQ5 is already a firm UK favourite on the strength of its impressively well-rounded skillset, and from this week its all-new successor retakes its rightful place at the head of the Q5 range offering an even more concentrated dose of that successful formula. 
Based around a new and highly sophisticated powertrain incorporating TFSI petrol power for the first time, and enhanced by the many design and technology advances from which the entire Q5 range has benefited, the SQ5 returns with an OTR price of £51,200, and is expected with its first UK customers in June.
Charged with propelling 35kg less weight thanks in part to sophisticated new body architecture, the more powerful 354PS TFSI promises 5.4-second 0-62mph pace in the quattro all-wheel-driven figurehead without ruling out real world fuel efficiency.

The new 3.0-litre TFSI is the successor to the unit first used by the S4 and S5 performance flagships, and replaces its supercharger with a new twin-scroll turbocharger located within the 90-degree V of the cylinder banks that delivers even keener and stronger response. This is evident not only in the healthy 354PS power peak but also in the 500Nm of torque which remains available from 1,370rpm right through to 4,500rpm.  
Thanks to super-efficient new Audi-developed combustion technology based on the so-called ‘B cycle’ process the advanced new six-cylinder is also able to deliver up to 34mpg according to the NEDC test, equating to CO2output of 189 grams per km with the standard 20-inch ‘5 twin-spoke star’ alloy wheels on board. The engine’s 14kg weight advantage over its predecessor also works in favour of overall efficiency.
An eight-speed tiptronic transmission complements the powerful yet impressively linear delivery of the V6 with inherently smooth yet fittingly sporting shifts. The lower gears feature short ratios, while the upper gears are long in the interest of fuel conservation. 
If required the transmission can freewheel as soon as the driver lifts off the accelerator at speeds of between 34mph and 99mph for even greater fuel efficiency.
Being both a Q5 and a member of the Audi ‘S’ series, the SQ5 is naturally quattro all-wheel-drive-equipped. 
During normal driving, the system distributes power with a slight rear-axle bias, but when necessary it can divert the majority to whichever axle has better traction. It is backed up by wheel-selective torque control, which slightly brakes the inside wheels during faster cornering to tuck the SQ5 into the bend, and then helps to prolong handling neutrality and precision once the car is committed.
For even greater adjustability and agility a sport differential is also available on the options list. It actively distributes torque between the rear wheels via two superposition stages, helping to literally push the car into bends and to contain understeer. Its management is integrated into the Audi drive select control system.
Also controllable via Audi drive select is the electronically regulated ‘S’ suspension, using an adaptive CDC damping (continuous damping control) setup. 
This system allows the driver to adapt damper response to suit the driving situation, offering a more compliant setting for everyday cruising and a tauter and more dynamic mode for faster, more challenging driving.
Body and exterior design
Even when stationary, an array of details underlines the dynamic characteristics of the new Audi SQ5. The bumpers up front and in the rear are complemented by more strongly contoured, S-specific air inlets and a diffuser with a honeycomb grille. 

Another S-specific feature is the radiator grille with double aluminium slats and contrasting trim elements in matt twilight grey. The S logo with red rhombus is used in numerous locations to set additional accents.

LED technology is standard for all lighting functions, including the Audi Beam which projects the four rings logo onto the floor using LEDs when the doors are opened. Illuminated door sills also bear exclusive S logos. High beam assist is also factory fitted. The dynamic indicators ensure a high recognition factor.
Matrix LED headlights are optionally available, featuring a special Q signature and adding dynamic indicators at the front.  In profile, aluminium-look exterior mirrors and door trim strips finished in the body colour underscore the model’s exclusivity. The rear bumper houses the S-specific twin exhaust tailpipes of the dual-branch exhaust system and an aluminium diffuser clasp.
Contrasting stitching on the leather steering wheel and sport seats create a dynamic and elegant ambiance. The S sport seats are upholstered in fine Nappa leather with diamond stitching and are electrically adjustable. Matt brushed aluminium inlays are standard and an exclusive carbon inlay is optionally available. 

Aluminium-look shift paddles enable the driver to quickly shift the tiptronic’s gears. The pedals and footrest are finished in stainless steel.

The standard rear seat bench plus in the new Audi SQ5 is split into three segments. Depending on the position of the rear seat bench, the luggage compartment has a standard capacity of 500 to 610 litres. When the rear bench is folded down, this volume grows to 1,550 litres.
Infotainment and Audi connect
As standard, the SQ5 TFSI is fitted with the top-of-the-line MMI navigation plus infotainment system with MMI all-in-touch and an 8.3-inch display. The system recognises handwritten input as well as touch gestures familiar from consumer electronics, such as zoom. 

It also provides haptic feedback to input. One element is Audi connect, which connects the new SQ5 to the internet via LTE. 

Audi connect enables convenient roaming in Europe for many connected infotainment services with its permanently installed SIM card – the Audi connect SIM with a flat data rate. A 36-month subscription is included as standard.

With the package “Audi connect safety & Service”, customers receive help automatically or at the push of a button via the emergency call and online roadside assistance services in the event of an accident or breakdown.
Furthermore, users can easily lock and unlock the SQ5 via the MMI connect app on their smartphones. Customers can also check vehicle’s status and use additional services such as Car Finder and information about the next service appointments or warning messages.
The MMI operating logic is based on the flat hierarchies used in today’s smartphones, and it offers such features as intelligent free-text search. The natural-language voice control function also recognises inputs from everyday speech.
Serving as an additional third operating level in the new Audi SQ5 is the leather-covered multifunction steering wheel. Audi can deliver a newly developed head-up display as an option. It projects relevant information onto the windshield – including from driver assistance systems – as symbols and numbers that can be perceived quickly.
One highlight of the display and control concept is the optional Audi virtual cockpit. It displays all key information in razor-sharp graphics on its 12.3-inch monitor. Views available to the driver include an S-specific sport mode centred around the rev counter.
The Audi phone box, another optional feature, connects the smartphone to the on-board antenna by near-field coupling and simultaneously charges it inductively using the Qi standard. 
The Bang & Olufsen Sound System with new 3D sound is available for hi-fi fans. The Audi smartphone interface brings Apple CarPlay and Android Auto into the car.
Driver assistance systems
The new Audi SQ5 also picks up the driver assistance systems from the broad, high-tech portfolio of the Audi Q5.

The predictive efficiency assistant provides specific driving tips to helps the driver save fuel. Adaptive cruise control (ACC) including traffic jam assist can handle some of the steering work in slow-moving traffic. Audi active lane assist makes it easier to stay in lane. Distance warning alerts the driver when the distance to a vehicle drops below a safe distance.
Cross traffic assist rear, the exit warning system, collision avoidance assist and turn assist are other new features for safety in everyday traffic. 

The same is true for the pre-sense systems: Audi pre sense city is standard. The system warns the driver about pedestrians and vehicles, and initiates automatic emergency braking within system limits. Park assist, the camera-based recognition of traffic signs and hill descent control round out the features.

WORLDWIDE SALES JAN - Volkswagen dips in January after a major fall in China & the Asia Pacific.

  • Global deliveries in January slightly below previous year
  • Special effects in China
  • Positive developments especially in Europe and the USA
In January 2017, the Volkswagen brand handed over 495,900 vehicles to customers throughout the world, corresponding to a fall of 4.9% compared with the previous year. 
Jürgen Stackmann, Volkswagen Brand Board Member for Sales, commented: "The Volkswagen brand started 2017 successfully. 
Worldwide deliveries may be slightly below the value for the previous year, but this is solely due to special effects in the major market of China. 
All the other reported gratifying increases compared with the previous year."
Overview of deliveries by the Volkswagen brand:
Deliveries to customers by marketsJanuary
Change (%)
Western Europe106,200109,100+2.7
Central & Eastern Europe14,90017,600+18.7
North America38,60041,400+7.4
South America29,00032,500+12.0
The main trends in January were as follows:
  • In Europe, deliveries rose by 4.7 per cent compared with the previous year, to 126,700 vehicles. This positive development was buoyed especially by the markets of Italy (+29.6 per cent) and Spain (+12.8 per cent. This good performance was based on strong demand for the new Tiguan.
  • In the home market of Germany, 38,600 vehicles were handed over to customers, corresponding to a slight fall of 5.1 per cent. As in previous months, the main reason for this fall was the extension of the leasing term for employees.
  • In the USA, deliveries increased significantly by 17.1 percent to 23,500 vehicles. New sales records were reported in January for the Tiguan, Golf estate (SportWagon) and e-Golf.
  • South America reported growth of 12.0 per cent to 32,500 vehicles. This is a result of special effects in Argentina. In January 2016, deliveries had been especially low as a result of difficult economic and political conditions. As a result, the figure for January 2017 was considerably higher.
  • In China, Volkswagen's largest sales market, special effects resulted in a fall in sales of 11.8 per cent to 270,800 vehicles at the beginning of the year. This was due to the significant reduction in tax concessions for vehicles of smaller displacement classes as of the end of 2016. In addition, January had one less working day than in 2016 as a result of the Chinese New Year festivities.
  • In India, the new Ameo resulted in an increase of 17.7% in deliveries. This model was developed especially for the Indian market and was introduced successfully in 2016.