Daimler is particularly active in expanding its manufacturing footprint in the region. The company last month announced plans to build a second plant at its site in Kecskemet, Hungary, for the production of front- and rear-wheel-drive cars.
The Datsun on-DO sedan and mi-DO hatchback, two models based on the Lada Granta and Kalina and manufactured by Nissan’s Russian partner AvtoVAZ, are available as the brand returns to Lebanon after 49 years.
The facility, which makes Peugeot 208 hatchbacks and Citroen C3 Picasso microvans, launches output of a third model in the second half of this year. What PSA calls a ‟B Mainstreamˮ car is the successor to the Citroen C3 now built at Poissy, France.
A newspaper reports Magna Steyr is expected to launch production of a BMW sports car that will succeed the Z4, in 2018, with a Toyota model to follow some months later. Plans call for combined production of at least 60,000 vehicles per year.
In February, Emil Frey Group took over PSA’s import subsidiaries for Peugeot, Citroen and DS vehicles in Hungary, Croatia and Slovenia. The Swiss car importer and retailer added Czech Republic and Slovakia to its portfolio this month.
Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche says the automaker is mulling additional capacity in Europe, while PSA Vice President Yann Vincent says PSA could benefit from expanding into emerging markets such as those in Eastern Europe.
Tofas, a joint venture between FCA and Turkish conglomerate Koc Holding, launched volume production of the new sedan in September. The car is sold as the Fiat Egea in Turkey, while FCA uses Fiat’s traditional Tipo model name for other markets.
Production of the SEAT Ateca already is under way. Skoda is manufacturing SEAT’s first CUV for the Spanish brand. A concept of the second new vehicle, Skoda’s first 7-seater SUV, will be shown in Geneva as the Skoda VisionS.
We call out vehicles with problematic fit-and-finish, materials, ergonomics or unfortunate design choices. Each of these items resulted in points deducted as WardsAuto editors selected the 2016 Wards 10 Best Interiors.